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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 08 JULY 2020 VOL 46 NO 52

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 8th July, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES’ MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Hon. Mutodi has been assigned to serve in the Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following Ministers have tendered their leave of absence today: Hon. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Culture, Hon. Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Hon. July Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Minister of Finance and Economic Development was supposed to make a Ministerial Statement today as requested by this august House on the state of the economy.  The Hon. Minister has indicated that because he is going to present a Mid-Term review; he has requested that the Ministerial Statement be not be made today but will form part and parcel of his Mid-Year Term review, next week on 16th July, 2020.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, concerning the enactment of the Patriotic Act.  When is Government going to enact this law as a matter of urgency?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the very important question. I concede that it is a very important piece of legislation that we need.  Most progressive countries protect their territorial integrity by ensuring that citizens do not go about selling out their country to other nations.

I have requested my officers within the Policy Department to do a background research on it. We have been slowed down by the pandemic as we have a skeletal staff.  I can assure the Hon. Member that we are expecting developments before the end of this year. We are very much aware and we want to have that Act.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is Government policy in relation to uranium enrichment and other minerals in order to produce renewable energy and enhance the availability of renewable energy migrating from fossil fuels?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. ADV. CHASI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very timely question.  Government is currently engaged in the process of coming up with a national integrated energy resource plant for the first time in this country.  This process ensures that we take into account all the resources that we have to make power.  It is common cause that we have suffered from climate change with respect to Kariba.  It is also common cause that we depend a lot on coal.  Government respects its international obligations regarding the Carbon footprint.  We are looking at all possible sources that we can have and nuclear is one of them which arises from uranium.

We are now in the process of actively considering this possibility and as we come to the point where we talk about uranium, I can assure the House that a lot of work will have been done, but it is work in progress.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you for the privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.  May the Minister indulge me in terms of timelines of the energy policy which he is currently framing - to what extend or at what point can we expect that we have traction in that regard, aware that the European Union has set 20% migration in 2020 as a benchmark for migrating and diverting from fossil fuels.  What are we expecting as a nation?

HON. CHASI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question. As I indicated, we are working on a national integrated energy resource plan.  We had false start with regards to this process. We are now working with development agencies like the World Bank and African Development Bank who are helping us to come up with this policy.

I am not able at this moment in time to say precisely when this work will be concluded but all those who are involved in this matter understand the urgency of the matter.  I am very helpful that by year end, we will have our first draft.

HON. KASHIRI: What is the Ministry’s position in terms of taking biogas, especially to rural areas?

HON. CHASI:  It follows up on what I have already said in the previous answer.  The country is taking every possible source of power and biogas is critical.  We are already beginning to work with people in the provinces to educate people on what this really means and to ensure that in as far as possible, we take advantage of biogas.  We have done bio-digesters in some parts of the country and at an opportune moment, I will be able to furnish the House with the details but I want to assure the Hon. Member that biogas is indeed part of our consideration.

+HON. MATHE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  I have noticed the children are getting education through the radio and this is assisting but I would like to know when this programme will be accessed in the rural areas, especially in Nkayi, since there are no waves. Ztv and radio is not accessible to school children.?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): The Constitution of this country has a provision for access to information for all.  Section 61 and 62 speaks to that and that is precisely what the Government policy is implementing.  We have been going round consulting people at grassroots levels.  We will be issuing out community radios.  This is another way of making sure that those areas where they are not receiving the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation signal, both radio and television can be able to have their own radios.

We are cognisant of the fact that there are certain areas where our Zimbabwean people instead of receiving signals and getting news from this country from our radio, they have been receiving signals from Zambia, especially those in Binga and Manama.  This is why we have been moving in these areas making sure that the community there organise themselves.  The definition of community radio is that the owners are the community and as such, the community has to be organised and apply.  The deadline for that application still stands at 31st July, 2020.

In terms of making sure that information especially in with this COVID pandemic upon up, we have made it a point that we rope in all traditional leaders.  We are using the database which the Ministry of Local Government do have of our local leadership.  We have gone out training them about COVID-19 pandemic, preventing and protective measures to make sure that we contain this disease.

During this pandemic – because it is a two way communication between Government and the people, we established a call centre which is a toll free line so that Zimbabweans all over the 10 Provinces of our country can actually call.  They do not need to have airtime in their cell phones.  They just call 2023 for anything they want to know.  We established in mind considering that the COVID-19 lockdown created a lot of anxiety among our people.  We have been received quite a lot of calls through that call centre.

I urge Hon. Members of this august House to encourage your people to call the call centre 2023 – we have more than eight desks there.  Right now we have four languages.  People can call in Tonga, Ndebele, English and Shona.  We are trying hard to make sure that we create more desks so that we can actually use all the 16 official languages of this country.

The second republic’s work is to ensure that each and every Zimbabwean has access to information.  It is their constitutional right.  I hope I have been able to answer your question Hon. Mathe.  I thank you.

+HON. MATHE:  My supplementary question Hon. Minister is, since you are looking forward to children being able to access information and be informed on forthcoming examinations and the COVID-19, what other measures are currently in place so that those who are not accessing the information can have access so that they can share with those who have?  Children in the rural areas have no access to information whatsoever. What is the Ministry’s policy on that so that children can access the requisite information?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mathe, I thought the Hon. Minister was very comprehensive in her response and coverage.  It will sound like we are being very redundant if we have to stretch that further than what the Hon. Minister has actually replied.  Hon. Minister, what is your Call Centre? – [HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: 2023!] – 2023 will answer your concern Hon. Mathe.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Minister, aware that you were undertaking a transmitter establishment …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Do not address the Hon. Minister, address the Chair.  We do not want a dual here.

HON. NDUNA:  I am very sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. Aware that Hon. Minister and your department is establishing transmitters in various areas, I would want to know how many of those are now ready.  When would we expect the full proto in terms of digitalisation that you hope to achieve by the establishment of these transmitters?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you but that supplementary question does not stand.  It is better if it comes as a written question because I do not expect the Hon. Minister to know how many air antennas are there currently constructed.  She will need to investigate and come up with a written response accordingly.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care and in his absentia, it can go to the Leader of the House.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Acting Minister of what?

HON. DR. LABODE:  Health and Child Care.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  He is there.

HON. DR. LABODE:  We are masked, so we cannot see people.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is Hon. Prof. Murwira.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Acting Minister of Health and Child Care

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please address the Chair, address the Chair.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  My question is.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is, there has been a challenge with the issue of age of consent to accessing health services.  Please I want to be understood properly.  It is not age of consent to sex but age of consent to accessing services.  We have been working on it and we were promised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care that they would review or amend the Act to include that in the Health Services Bill which is supposed to be coming to Parliament but has not come.  A petition has been brought to Parliament on the issue and nothing has happened. We were hoping that maybe the Public Health Act would be amended for that purpose.

I am asking the Hon. Minister to say, Hon. Minister how far, ngiyakwazi ukuthi awukwazi, but how far with the amendment of the age of consent to health services for the minors?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode, how can you say, ‘Ngiyazi awukwazi?’ and then you want your question to be sustainable?  I think you should withdraw that aspect.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I withdraw it Mr. Speaker, I am sorry Hon. Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker, that is a very detailed question for a person who is just coming in, but I have got my Deputy Minister because in the meantime we are really looking at everything before we can give substantive answers on some of these things.  My Deputy Minister can respond to this one, with your indulgence of course.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Hon. Deputy Minister, can you assist?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is a very good question and a good follow up but I need to go and recheck in order to be able to give her a more detailed report next week because I had not looked at that one.  I am going to do it next week – I will definitely give the House an answer that is detailed and straight. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode! – [HON. DR. LABODE: Yebo baba!] – Hayi, angisibo baba nxa ngihlezi lapha! – [Laughter] – Ngingu baba nxa sisekhaya ngale.  I am sure that you are happy with the response.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Yes I am, but there is a component where a petition has disappeared in this Parliament.  The petition was brought in almost three months ago and you have not read it here. So I am assuming there is a problem somehow.  Somebody is not happy bringing that issue to the House.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I shall investigate as well and find out what has happened to that but if you have got a copy – you can assist.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I will.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.

+HON. H. MGUNI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What measures are in place since we are about to embark on the farming season in terms of tractors, inputs and other farming implements?  I observed in the past that these are availed to people when it is already too late.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proud and happy to tell you that preparations for the summer season are already at an advanced stage.  In fact Hon. Speaker Sir, we started the preparations as early as April of this year.  We have two schemes on board.  As you know, there is the Presidential Input Scheme which is almost complete in terms of procurement of inputs and then we have the Command Agriculture Scheme.  The Command Agriculture Scheme falls under the financial institutions but Hon. Speaker Sir, with regards to the Presidential Scheme we have slightly changed the design of the Presidential Input Scheme to ensure that we add what we call the Pfumvudza concept.

The Pfumvudza concept is climate smarting our agriculture.  This is certainly a requirement for us to be sustainable as a nation.  The Pfumvudza concept - basically what we are saying to our farmers is that they must ensure that they are ready for the Presidential Input Scheme as it will go to those who have already prepared their mulching, water harvesting and if individuals have not – they will not benefit from the Presidential Input Scheme.  So this is a pre-condition for them to benefit.

*HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We do not have much knowledge regarding this pfumvudza, we are also interested in having extensive knowledge regarding this issue. We just hear it being said but we do not know what it is all about.  Can the Minister highlight to us what it is all about?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Kwaramba, you did not switch on your microphone so you were not recorded, kindly repeat your question.

Hon. Kwaramba repeated her question.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): I want to thank the Hon. Member for her question.  The issue of pfumvudza is aimed at addressing effects of climate change to farmers.  In this programme, people must work very hard Mr. Speaker Sir because this is a laborious process.  People must be prepared and be able to dig plantation holes.  All those who are supposed to benefit must dig these holes...

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please be more specific where do they dig these holes and what kind of holes are these?

*HON. KARORO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I did not want to go into the technicalities of this but what happens is they will dig planting holes/stations, this is done for moisture conservation.  When we say farmers must be prepared, I am saying they must dig these holes and do the necessary preparations to safeguard those holes so that water does not evaporate easily.  All the farmers that are going to benefit must be prepared enough. As Ministry of Agriculture, we will be visiting your constituencies. Our Agritex officials are ready to visit all the constituencies. They will be teaching the community on how this programme works.  I want to say that if Hon. Members hear that we have visited their constituencies, they must also come so that they will learn together with the communities how this programme works.  I hope by the time we distribute inputs, everyone will be aware of this programme and the farmers will be well prepared.

HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary is, whilst we may have all the components that we may need the pfumvudza, fertilisers and the seed, has Government and Ministry of Agriculture looked at how our season is going to be like in 2021?  Do we have any indication whether we are going to have low, medium or high rainfall this year?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the good question.  Traditionally, when we look at weather patterns, we look towards the October/November cycle, so at this stage, we have just come out of two seasons of consecutive droughts.  So as a Ministry, we are planning for the worst, therefore that is why we are shifting towards climate smart agriculture because it is a necessary must. We have to plan for the worst and anything that comes that is any better than that is just a bonus to us.  We have to certainly plan for the lives of our people and our nation. We have food security at our hands and food and nutrition security at our hands too Hon. Speaker.We cannot play with that and therefore, we are planning for the worst.  In terms of the announcement, it is only done towards the end of the year.

HON. NDEBELE: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: We agreed in this House that no point of privilege will be entertained on Wednesdays.

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, I do not know what to call it but it is a follow up to the Hon. Minister’s answer.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is a point of clarification.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You could have done well if you had asked a supplementary question.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to request if it is not too much to ask of the Deputy Ministers that they present a statement to this House canvassing the entirety of this pfumvudza programme. It sounds like a comprehensive programme, instead of us learning together with the rest of the citizens about the programme.  I would prefer a situation where we get a comprehensive statement and then we seek clarifications; if you may indulge me Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is a wonderful suggestion.  Hon. Speaker Sir, pfumvudza is at the centre of our agricultural recovery plan; agricultural recovery plan requires all stakeholders, Government, donor agencies, private individuals including our Members of Parliament and our leadership. So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that Hon. Speaker Sir and we will prepare in accordance. I thank you.

HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mine is a follow up to this pfumvudza programme. It is a good programme and we are kindly waiting for the Ministerial Statement.  I wanted the Minister to clarify, I heard that people will be digging holes and these are the people who will benefit.  We have vulnerable groups and the elderly who might find it difficult to dig these holes. What plans does Government have for the elderly who are no longer energetic to do that...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear, the statement will be given and once that statement is given, then you can ask questions for clarification including that one.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  To what extent is the Zimbabwe Higher Performance Computing Project, as Government policy, be regarded as an engine for economic growth and development in Zimbabwe?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the question on the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing.  I am happy to report that under our innovation, science and technology development programme, we have instituted now the High Performance Computing Centre as a research institute under the manpower Development Act, it is SI 169 of 2020.  Under this, Treasury has supported this to 24 posts.  So, the High Performance Computing Centre is now a fully fledged research and development institute and we call it Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1.

At Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1, the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing is going to focus on two divisions. The first division is understanding the high performance computer itself, which is a technical division.  And, the application division is going to be focusing on key areas that include health and medical research, genomics; it is going to look at space and earth observation sciences, geo-spatial sciences for mineral exploration.  It is going to look at drug discovery; it is going to do engineering applications that need very high performance computing power.  We believe that the future of this country is through the application of science and technology on its natural resources, understanding our natural resources better for exploitation for the purpose of the development of this country, giving this country enough national capability so that we can be able to meet vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle income economy.

We believe that this is possible when we have the capability because we can talk about Vision 2030. Once the President has said that we really need to develop steps which make sure that we reach that goal and Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing which is at Zimbabwe Science Park 1 is one of the integral applications that we are going to have of science and technology towards the development of this country in terms of all the areas that I have mentioned above.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  How is the high performance computing project going to assist in solving contemporary problems, especially those of our farmers such as climate change issues and also weather forecasting?  Thank you.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you very much Hon.

Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the supplementary question.  One of the main applications of the high performance computing Centre is weather and climate modeling, which is under the geo-spatial and earth sciences division of the High Performance Computing, which we have instituted.  Hon. Speaker, coincidentally, I brought the whole concept of the High Performance Computer and we actually had to document everything so that we understand exactly what we want to do with the High Performance Computing Centre.  What we want is - we can speak high language but, the long and short of it is that, the High Performance Computer is going to tell us the likelihood of a drought or lack of it.  It is not the computer itself but, the people who are working there using that computer.  So, we are looking at also an issue whereby it is going to support the Zimbabwe Space Agency because the Zimbabwe Space Agency is correlated with the High Performance Computing Centre.  So, all the observations that are going to be made by our satellites which are going to be in space and some of which we are using, the international ones are going to relay the information to the High Performance Computing so that we talk about bread and butter issues on technology, delivering food, delivering weather, delivering soil condition, delivering population statistics, delivering everything that we need.  So, we believe that the High Performance Computing Centre through well thought applications, is going to help with agriculture using the method that I have mentioned above.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Yes, the Hon. Minister has told us that he has brought this and it is in writing.  Why do we not adopt a situation whereby we write it as it is than flighting it in the media?  Then, when we do that work and there is progress, we then publish in media so that we perform and publicise because the hunger that is being experience in Zimbabwe is not because we are poor farmers but the challenge is on the planning aspect.  There is no water and we are ploughing seed 727...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are now going into detail.  Is it possible that since we have written it and it is so well written in black and white, can we not do it in practice?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have just showed you the book but it does not mean that we will not implement.  I want to make a commitment that everything that we talk about in this House happens and has results.  Yes, we sometimes have words that we say but at the end of the day, those words are translated into action.  I want to say, this year as we speak about what has been raised by the other Hon. Member and Hon. Matangira, because of the hunger that is in this country and also on planting the wrong crops on wrong soils, we have a project under this high performance computer which address agro - ecological regions.

I want to say that we were able to live according to our word.  In August we are going to have new ecological regions and I want to promise you that Hon. Matangira we might talk as if this cannot be implemented, but it will happen because sometime ago we had not fully done our research, it did not yield results. What we want to do is to bring in new research so that we do not depend on previous knowledge but current knowledge. I want to give my commitment that we are not only going to talk but we will act. I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: My supplementary question is basically on the timelines in particular as it relates to interrogating the high performance computer centre whether it is going to work in terms of adding value to our minerals. When is that going to be in place so that we can derive maximum benefit as alluded to in the mineral sector, particularly on the 60 known minerals that we are endowed with as a nation so that we can start collaboration, coordination and networking and get out of the “BBC” era, the born before computer era.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon. Nduna for the supplementary question regarding mineral exploration. One of the main programmes that we are running with the high performance computer centre  is mineral exploration techniques. This is a programme that we started funding in 2018 and we believe  that any country has to know where its mineral resources are, so that we run away from words such as abundant, endowed and just say how many nuggets do we have and how much in terms of kilogrammes.

The high performance computer will make us be able to talk about our mineral resources the way we talk about a bank account whereby you say out of $1000, I withdrew $300 so I am left with $700. So this research programme about mineral resources is one of the key functions that we are performing at the high performance computing centre. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Unfortunately we agreed that we will stick to three supplementary questions. Having said that Hon Minister, some of the sections of your presentation were highly Greek to the Chair and to some of us seated there – would it not be good perhaps if you have the resources to print that booklet so that it is distributed among the Hon. Members where they can read about it and at some future time if there are issues they want to raise, they can follow a written narrative.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): We can happily make copies available. I am also happy to say this booklet is also on the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development website. If Hon Members want to make immediate access to it, they can access the website but if they really need hard copies like what I have I am happy to say we will avail copies this month. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank your Hon Minister that the content is on website. All Hon Members have got tablets now, you can liaise with the Clerk of Parliament and send the soft copies directly to each Member of Parliament.

*HON. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Land, Agriculture and Water Development. What measures does the Government have in place in terms on the distribution of mechanisation equipment from John Deere and to ensure that it is decentralised to district level. Due to the Covid pandemic most people cannot travel to the urban centres to go and apply thus the result is that those who benefited before will still benefit again. What we want is for the provinces to equally benefit from this mechanisation programme?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he posed which will assist a lot of people in the rural areas. The issue of mechanisation equipment which includes combine harvesters and other agricultural implements – the way it is being distributed is that Government used to give the equipment directly to the farmers but there were challenges of favouratism and people were alleging that inputs were going to people in top leadership. So to curtail that challenge, this programme is now being administered by banks. Government devised this plan so that there will not be farmers who will be disadvantaged. What I can urge Hon. Member here is that if you want a tractor or plough, you need to apply to CBZ, Stanbic and Agribank.

I believe all these banks are present in every province. So, whoever wants anything should apply and specify what one wants. The tractors come in sizes and you need to specify the size. If you go to the bank you will be given an application form where you give those specific details. This was done so that no province or race is disadvantaged because this mechanisation equipment is for farmers. It is not discriminatory and does not look at ones race, religion or party but it looks at your ability as a farmer.

*HON GOZHO: I need clarification from the Minister that if I go to the bank, what are the requirements for me to qualify to apply for that equipment.

*HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that she posed.  No, Mr. Speaker, it does not mean that once you apply you automatically get a tractor.  What is happening is that we are in the phase 1 stage of mechanisation, so it is concentrating on A2 farmers who are highly productive and the farmers that are highly productive, especially looking at their submission of grain to the GMB.  So, it is mostly targeted towards A2 successful farmers.

There is a phase 2 scheme that is going to focus more on small scale farmers.  What they consider the most, Hon. Member who posed the question, like I said you need to be a renowned farmer, a successful farmer.  If you take your application to the bank, the bank will send its officers to come and assess whether you are a professional farmer.  That is what will be considered for you to get any mechanisation equipment and the bank will determine.  A deposit is also needed to ensure that once you get the tractor you will be able to pay.  Yes, you will negotiate with the bank for the repayment period, depending on the equipment that you have chosen.  Like I said, the tractors have different sizes.  You choose the tractor that you want and you pay the deposit.  I thank you.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  My supplementary question is, in view of the fact that these very limited tractors are going to be allocated on the basis of performance, is it possible for the Ministry to avail to Parliamentarians a database showing previous records of productivity so that we can play our oversight role.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. KARORO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you Hon. Member.  It is very possible Mr. Speaker, to come up with a database.  These are records and those records are there.  If Parliament wants to have a look at the list, we are prepared to bring the list to Parliament.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  From the way the Minister has explained this does not seem to be an immediate process that after applying to get a tractor. How does the Minister explain the fact that the programme was launched and on the same day it was launched, I met several people driving away their tractors.

HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, to the best of my knowledge no tractor was driven that day, unless if the Hon. Member of Parliament is prepared to bring evidence to our Ministry, we will then make investigations.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Sekai Nzenza.  Minister, in recent weeks we have seen the sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities - day in, day out.  What policy measures is Government putting in place to stabilise prices of basic commodities and stimulate domestic production so as to contain imported inflation?  Thank you

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  It is certainly true that we have witnessed prices continuously going up to the extent that we had a stakeholder meeting with retailers and in good faith agreed to put on a moratorium of price rises. I would like to admit Mr. Speaker Sir, that it was not as effective as we thought it was going to be.

The major problem, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we are struggling with the exchange rate.  We need to stabilise the economy and that is also impacting on the prices.  Secondly, the other problem is yes, we do have some difficult people who are not so sympathetic to the consumer and we are appealing to those who continuously raise prices to be a bit more cognisant and sympathetic to the ordinary citizen.

Thirdly, as a Ministry we are looking at import substitution and in doing so we are working quite closely with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to look at the agriculture recovery plan, manufacturing with a view to increasing the production of raw materials within the country.  So what is happening Mr. Speaker Sir is that this requires different line ministries to work together in order to meet the Presidential mandate towards increased employment, import substitution, innovation with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development so that our vision will become true.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Thank you Hon. Minister for the answer.  Can you favour this House with a time line within which the import substitution measures are going to be implemented.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Again Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  We do have a strategy looking at import substitution and within this strategy we are looking at what we are calling the low hanging fruit. These are the key priorities and one of them is looking at the pharmaceutical industry and the second one is looking at the fertilizer industry.  So what you will see in this coming season we will be producing fertilizer locally and that is the time line.  We are also looking at the leather and cotton industry and again by the end of this year we will show results.  That is the time line.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care.  In view of the rising numbers in the COVID – 19 pandemic and the planned opening of schools later this month, what is Government policy in respect of continued use of education promises as worshipping centres?  I thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker it is important to know that the rising cases can be disaggregated.  Most of the cases are imported cases, therefore quarantine centres have been very important as places to contain that.  We also of course have got local transmission.  That mostly is related to the imported cases, which means they are the contacts.  So in terms of the policy on quarantine centres, the taskforce already started moving away from schools and colleges. I think in terms of colleges, by this week they would have been cleared and we do disinfection.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  With due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, my question was not related to the use of schools as quarantine centres.  My question is the use of schools as worship centres.  What is Government policy on the continued use of schools as churches?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Sorry about misinforming that I thought you had said quarantine centres.  I think the guidelines are very clear.  We have to be more careful now.  The issue is that the schools are schools but they can also be used for certain functions.  As long as the function that is there is conforming to the World Health Organisation guidelines as adopted by the guidelines issued by the Government of Zimbabwe through my Ministry, then we do not see a problem.  Thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am aware that all schools which were used as quarantine centres were fumigated; they were all fumigated and by allowing worshippers to these schools, are we not bringing about the spreading of COVID 19?  Why not allow worshippers to use other premises which are not schools?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Perhaps the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education could chip in.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. MATHEMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for asking this question.  In fact, this morning I gave a directive that churches must move out of schools in preparation for the opening of schools at the end of this month.  I sent out that directive this morning.  I thank you.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very concerned about students opening end of this month.  A case in point is, may his soul rest in peace, Mr. Sibanda.  Mr. Sibanda worked in a Government department which is currently closed.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Mr. who?

HON. DR. LABODE:  A Mr. Sibanda who died of COVID recently.  He worked in a Government institution.  He did not present any COVID symptoms.  He lived with his children in Norton.  He went to a workshop in Chiredzi.  The timeframe between him being infected, which we do not know and the time he died without telling us where his contacts are is frightening.  Mr. Sibanda’s children, I am sure like a lot of other COVID people will go to school on the 31st.  I hope we will not lead ourselves into another lockdown like Madagascar.  Thank you.

HON. MATHEMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for her worries and indeed the whole country needs to be worried.  We all need to do the best we can to prevent the spread of this pandemic.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we do the best we can at the schools to protect our learners or our children, teachers and all staff members of each school.  We have thermometers at each school, sanitisers and masks.  So we do the best we can to make sure that nobody is affected by the illness.  We will do the best we can all over the country and that is why we need cooperation of everybody; the schools, managers, the administration, parents and the general public to make sure that our children go back to school in an environment that will protect them as much as we can.  Thank you.

HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to commend the Government for putting a lot of effort on the agricultural programme, but I would like to enquire whether there is or there will be a policy to adjust the buying price for maize as we see that there is an adjustment on the rate at which the US dollar is exchanging to our Zimbabwe dollar.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for a very wise and good question.  Hon. Speaker, a few months ago we announced a new producer price and recently, we announced an incentive to our farmers of about 30% if farmers delivered maize in July.  Hon. Speaker, I can tell you that certainly we understand that the environment is changing daily and our Ministry has also put a proposal to have a further incentive.  However, at this stage Hon. Speaker, nothing has been agreed on although we do understand the need to ensure that something is put in place.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is - what are the chances that the cotton price is also going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, the cotton price was very recently announced and you will remember Hon. Speaker that it had a component of US dollars of about US$10 per bale.  At this stage Hon. Speaker, I think it will be premature for us to stand here and promise the nation anything.  At this stage, the cotton price remains, although we do understand there are other problems that are surrounding the cotton industry.  However, specifically to answer the Hon. Member’s question, at this stage not.  Thank you.

*HON. TEKESHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister said the cotton prices were revised recently but it was not done in US dollars.  It was pegged against the Zimbabwe dollar which is losing its value every day.  We visited the area and people told us that

they were expecting to buy tractors or trucks but now the cotton producers will not be able to buy anything.  They have not received the payments in Zimbabwean dollar since May.  Are the prices going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: The question is the same as the previous one.  I want to point out that cotton farmers receive inputs for free. It is different from other crops like tobacco, maize, wheat and soyabeans.  At this stage, it is impractical to stand up and guarantee the nation that something will be reviewed.  It is not within our Ministry – we can put recommendations but at the end of the day, it has to be decided from the Ministry of Finance.  If the situation changes, we will stand with our farmers and back them.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My supplementary question goes to the Minister of Agriculture.  Farmers are facing challenges of transporting their maize to GMB because the transporters cannot access fuel.  Is there any provision from Government for transport or fuel access?

HON. HARITATOS: With regards to transport, I think it is not only unique to the agricultural sector but to each and every one of us even in here today.  What we have done to mitigate this in the short to medium term is to increase the number of buying stations under GMB.  We have also tried to assist our farmers with transport from buying stations to the GMB depots.  We have asked commercial farmers to also act as centres for us to be able to buy.   These are the measures we have taken but certainly transport is a major challenge because the liquid fuel is unavailable.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following vehicles are obstructing  or blocking other vehicles; ADX 8903 a silver land cruiser and ADV 3896 which is a navy blue Mercedes Benz.  Please, if you can move your vehicles so that you do not obstruct other vehicles otherwise the two vehicles will be clamped.

*HON. TEKESHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Since the introduction of toll gates, we were promised that we were going to have very good roads in this country but our roads especially in the rural areas are worse off than how they used to be before the introduction of toll gates.  Is the revenue from toll gates being used properly or not?

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH. MATIZA): We are seeing a lot of development on the roads in this Second Republic.  Four road authorities get money from ZINARA for the maintenance of roads but there are challenges that we face in the way we are operating and some of the problems were inherited.

Firstly, it is the management at ZINARA.  As you know, there was a lot of chaos and corruption; that is what we had to address first and foremost.  We now have a new board and new management.  All the executive positions have been replaced now.  The management is now moving smoothly.

The money that was collected by ZINARA is now used to cover credits, backlogs and arrears.  Some people are now asking us to increase toll-gate fees from RTGS10 to RTGs150 or so.  That should happen so that we are able to repair our roads from money generated from toll gates.

The problem goes to management of road authorities.  There are some requirements that they are supposed to fulfil before then can get money from ZINARA and these are delayed.  This leads to delay in maintenance or repair of roads, thus people will end up blaming Government for that.  We have been liaising with them and we have held workshops to educate them on that.

In terms of progress on road maintenance and works; there are a lot of road works that are taking place in this country, especially in relation to what is happening in our country; firstly Cyclone Idai, droughts and now COVID-19.  All these things were being covered by revenue from toll-gates but Government persevered.  If you look at roads in all the provinces or districts, most of them are being repaired as we speak under these difficult circumstances that we are in.

*HON. TEKESHE: I understand that the money from toll gates is being used for pandemics such as COVID.  That money is supposed to be used for road maintenance.  Are we supposed to refuse paying the toll gate fees because most of us do not use those roads which are being repaired? When are these roads that we use in the rural areas going to be repaired?

*HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  I said all these disasters that happened slowed down road maintenance. This means that there is something that is happening although the progress has slowed down.  We actually disbursed funds to several authorities right now but I cannot mention them.  What you can simply do is to check in your localities whether they have not received money from ZINARA and find out why they have not received funds from ZINARA.  Then I am sure you will be able to even tell me here why but the main aim is what we are looking at now is increasing toll fees so that we are able to maintain and repair our roads so that our roads are usable.

ZINARA’s duty is to collect money, disburse it to road authorities and to ensure accountability of those funds.  Those requirements, rules and laws of accountability apply even to local authorities and that is where the problem is.  They fail to fulfill the conditions and fail to get the money.  What you should do is that when you return to your constituencies, ask your local authorities about what is happening and that will help us all for betterment of development.

*HON. KASHIRI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister Matiza and also to thank His Excellency the President, E. D. Mnangagwa for organising ZUPCO buses for us.  The problem that we have is that in the rural areas, ZUPCO buses are not plying the routes because of poor roads.  What plans do you have to repair the roads so that people can access ZUPCO transport in the rural areas?

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Hon. Kashiri, your question is the same as what was asked before and the Hon. Minister has already attended to that question.  Unless Hon. Minister, if you have something to add to the question that was asked now.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you.  I wish that the Hon. Minister could explain this growing trend.  When a road has been started, we expect that all the scope of works, budgets, everything has been done and material is acquired and carried to site.

There is now a growing trend that a road is started Mr. Speaker.  They start working and two to three months, they disappear for two years and nothing happens then suddenly they reappear.  What will be happening?  What is the problem?  Could the Hon. Minister explain to us because all roads that are started never get completed.  At some stage you know the contractor will disappear…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member, may you get direct to your question.

HON. GABBUZA:  I am sure that the Hon. Minister understood it.  There is a growing trend that roads are started and hopefully all the equipment will have been put on site but suddenly they disappear for some years then resurface.  What is the problem according to the Hon. Minister’s experience?  Thank you.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  What normally happens is that roads are funded and we do that here in terms of budgetary allocations and budget allocations are done annually.

In some instances and which was now becoming a rare issue before the catastrophe of Idai and subsequent catastrophes.  So this then leads to certain prioritization.  I will give you an example of what is happening right now.  We have some roads that have reached priming stage, some roads have just been cleared – now those that have reached priming stage, if they are left like that, then that means we are going to lose that material and the money.  So the issue of prioritization then means that we have to leave certain roads and prioritise the roads that are at a certain level.  This is a funding issue Hon. Member; it is a funding issue Hon. Speaker which I am very sure the Hon. Member is aware.

Where I can come in is to explain the issue of prioritization when we get to areas where there is budgetary deficit.  This is where then we come in and select certain portions of the roads that have gone to certain levels where a lot of expenditure has been done.  This is what we are doing now.  The issues of the roads in various provinces, I can name the majority of them, we have now reprioritised as we speak.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has released ZWL$250 million as of yesterday to now pay all the contractors who had not been paid so that they can restart on these projects.  So, this is how the trend goes.

In some cases, it is not Government’s fault as it could be the contractors themselves.  Sometimes they mismanage their funding and they do not go ahead with work and in those cases, we terminate and bring other contractors on board – that takes a bit of time to rearrange.  So Hon. Member, I want to assure you that whenever funding is available, whenever the funding that we vote for here is made available the work continues. I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Minister, Hon. Speaker, what safeguards has the Ministry put in place so that monies that are contributed through toll gates and other sources are not misused by local authorities especially what we have seen in urban centres; where they receive that money and end up buying big vehicles at the expense of residents?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member.  When money has been allocated to a local authority which has all the functionaries of any authority, we expect them to take care of that money and use it properly.  Any other way of using it, misappropriation is deemed as corruption.

However, we have an Audit Section, as I said; we would want, through ZINARA funding, ZINARA will go and make sure that those monies are properly used by way of auditing and reports.  Largely, an authority is an authority given their budgets, they sit in their council chambers, they allocate the roads that they want to do and they have engineers there. They also have an Audit Section there to see that these things work.  So, to a certain extent, the misappropriation is an issue of misgovernance at that level.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to know from the Hon. Minister what plans he has got to increase the charges at the toll gates?  Aware that this is where the money for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance of the road network comes from and also the road access fees; aware that we are the lowest in the region in terms of the amount paid.

Currently, it is about USD$20.00 for foreign vehicles.  Does he have plans and when does he intend putting them in place?  We are paying ZWL$10.00; it used to be USD$10.00.  Does he have plans to put it up to that so that we can have our impeccable infrastructure second to none?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member on the question that he has just asked.  In fact, we are almost at the concluding stage of revising the toll fees.

We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be of high standard.  We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be accident free and also of the fact that they have to be commensurate with the regional road network in terms of quality.  So, this is why we have looked at the toll charges and very soon before the end of the month, we will be gazetting them.

HON. S. S.  KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  What is Government policy on rehabilitating boreholes that were dug and equipped in the 1940s and 1950s?   The boreholes seemingly are now getting out of use, the breakdowns are so numerous that perhaps I think they need complete rehabilitation and overhaul.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker and to the Hon. Member for the question.  Certainly Hon. Speaker, water is a basic human right and our Ministry understands its mandate.  The rehabilitation of boreholes around the country is a top priority of our Ministry.  It is actually what we call a low bearing fruit because it does not involve drilling new ones.   Our Ministry so far this year alone has rehabilitated in excess of 1 800 boreholes and deep wells.  So to answer specifically what the Hon. Member is asking, there are certain boreholes that were drilled almost 7   to 8 decades ago and at some stage, boreholes do certainly pass the best before.  So our Ministry in line with rehabilitation of boreholes also has facilities to drill new boreholes and ZINWA under our Ministry is in charge of drilling in two provinces specifically and DDF are in charge of the balance of the provinces.  So, it is certainly an ongoing process but given the challenges with the finances and given recently the challenges with liquid fuel, our Ministry has not been able to do to its full optimal level and certainly we hope that in the near future, this becomes a thing of the past.

HON. S. S. KHUMALO: Mr. Speaker Sir, perhaps the Minister is talking about this rehabilitation of 1 700 boreholes from different areas.  From where I come from the boreholes are just not being serviced.  If I may just make it open; I hail from Tsholotsho North. We have a serious problem of water in that area and it is disheartening that the Minister can answer me and say they have been rehabilitating boreholes yet the boreholes there have outlived their lifespan.  I did not want to say that but that is what I realised.  I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, we have what we call our WASH programme which is at district level so that the job of rehabilitating and repairing individual boreholes actually falls at district level and so certainly, I have taken note of what the Hon. Members mentioned and I am happy to say that Hon. Members even come to my office to raise these issues.  I will make the undertaking rather to ensure that we do prioritise certainly the southern regions of our country which are very dry and need greater amount of support and that is certainly what our Ministry will do.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker Sir, in the life of the 8th Parliament, we were promised by the same Ministry that they will drill 4 boreholes in each constituency. Could I kindly check with the Minister if this is still in the pipeline?  He has indicated that the drilling of boreholes is a low hanging fruit, is he able to provide timelines as to when we are going to get those 4 boreholes per constituency?

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, I would like to correct the Hon. Member. I said the rehabilitation of boreholes is a low bearing fruit, certainly the drilling of boreholes is a much greater cost and a little more difficult. Hon. Speaker, I am a proud member of the Nineth Parliament, I was not around in the Eighth Parliament. However, I do know from my predecessor in my personal constituency...

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, when I raise issues in the past, I am aware that he is a new member but this is a House of record and the Ministry existed, then so it is for him to read and make sure he is up to speed with what has been happening in the House before he came.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker, unfortunately I was cut off before I could finish my sentence.  Hon. Speaker, what I was saying is that I know from my predecessor who did receive the 4 boreholes in is constituency and therefore I do certainly know about this.  What I meant to say to the Hon. Member was that I do not know specifically which constituencies were done and which constituencies were not done.  It is possible that some constituencies had two boreholes instead of the 4. The undertaking that I was going to say before I was stopped is that certainly, I will look at the 210 constituencies and ensure that we do at least put in line that we do complete this project even though it is not in the Nineth Parliament.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to add one quick item.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No you cannot add.  Is it a point of clarification?

HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I need clarity if one member of this House got 4 boreholes already, what is the criteria of prioritization because I come from the driest part of the country and it will beat any manner of sensible thinking why we were not put up first?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the Minister was very clear on that point.  He said he was going to look into all those 210 constituencies to find out how many of those constituencies got 4 boreholes, how many got two then he will come back with a response.  What else would you want him to say?

HON. NDEBELE: I come from the driest part of the country.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: But look at it, he has answered that clearly, why would you want to labour the Minister on that.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is that Minister, it is a proven fact that bush pumps are a lot more expensive to install and repair compared to submersibles.  What policy position is there to migrate towards solar driven boreholes?

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the fantastic question. I am also an advocate of the same Hon. Speaker. I will tell you and as well as our Ministry.  We are certainly trying to move away and go into what we also deem as climate smart methods of dealing with our water and sanitation issues.  Certainly, we are shifting towards that but again Hon. Speaker, the major constraint is the finances and as the finances come, we would like to look at these.  I know certain boreholes for example anything between 40 to 50 metres can still be used by bush pumps, anything deeper than 50 metres is very difficult. you almost damage the equipment.  So, this is very well within our Ministry and certainly in the near future we will prioritise.

*HON. NHARI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is Government policy concerning our returnees when they come back to Zimbabwe considering that they will be travelling in the same bus?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Government and the Ministry or taskforce has what we call guidelines that we use so that people will not affect each other and to minimise the rate of infections.

*THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Ministry and the taskforce, we have guidelines that we use so that we  minimise chances of spreading the disease.  So government, through our Ministry is working hard to ensure that happens.  All I can say is that if those guidelines can be adhered to, the ones that are written, everything will go according to plan.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My question on those who are travelling, being transported from South Africa to Malawi for example, if those people get a breakdown on the road, those people end up being stranded, live there and they end up spreading the disease as they travel to their country.  We came across such a situation where people travelling to Malawi had a breakdown.  What is Government policy to assist people in such a scenario?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:   Thank you Hon. Speaker, our plan is not about disaster of stopping the spread of disease.  Accidents happen on the roads and we know that.   When people travel in the country, we try by all means to implement our programme according to the guidelines that we have because that is what helps us in solving such problems if they come up.  If our guidelines are adhered to, our programme will work very well.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, when I go for testing and they discover that I am HIV positive, there are counselors.  What happens with Covid- 19, does Government provide counselors if people discover that they are Covid- 19 positive so that they are not in a shock even if they go to quarantine centres so that they recover very well.  I thank you.

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Government has social workers, also psycho support services and in short, yes.  I thank you.

*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  What is the Government doing to make sure that the pensioners concerned get a decent living out of the many years of service and dedication to the country:

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Zhou for that beautiful question. The question is too specific and I would request that you write it down, then I can get the specific answers.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  There has been a bit of reference to my question but I want to fine tune it.  It is a fact that there has been an increase in cases of locally transmitted Covid- 19 and it is also a fact that there is bound to be a spike as we go through the rest of the winter season.  The second republic in its wisdom has declared our response to Covid- 19 as a war.  You and I Mr. Speaker lived through the liberation struggle wherein schools were out for more than 10 years.  I want to check with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Speaker Sir, if you allow me.  What is so painfully difficult for the listening second Republic to come up with a policy that gravitates towards the writing of the rest of this academic year - that is if

writing off the rest of this academic year if our intention is to protect our children from Covid-19.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Indeed, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the listening Second Republic are aware of the dangers posed by Covid-19. However, we do not think that it is at the scale at the moment to warrant a cancelling off completely of everything. It is our belief that measures that we are taking currently to protect our learners, teachers and communities are sufficient in our view to give a free and safe environment for our learners.

HON. NDEBELE: Most schools have not received adequate PPEs and schools in Bulawayo in particular have no water. What sufficient measures is the Deputy Minister speaking to and for good measure, teachers’ unions have spoken against the opening of schools. I thank you.

HON. E. MOYO: I think it is common knowledge that even before the writing of the June examinations, a lot of reservations on the preparedness of the Ministry to run the examinations were expressed. However, the reality on the ground turned out that preparations were sufficient and I think at the moment no one has raised any significant complaints regarding those preparations. It is still our view that our preparations are ongoing and it in our anticipation that by the time Grade 7s, Form 4s and Form 6s come back to school, we would have finished those preparations.

In fact our response to Covid19 with regards to reopening of schools has been well measured to allow for social distancing, hence the phased reopening of schools.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and in his absence I will direct it to the Leader of the House. I want to thank Government for distributing food to the needy. My question is what plans does the Ministry have in giving social assistance grants to Covid-19 victims.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The question is not very specific. What in particular, those that have been tested positive or what. It is not very clear.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is what plans do you have on giving social assistance grants to vulnerable people faced with Covid-19?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, during this Covid-19 period Social Welfare requested registration for all the vulnerable so that they can offer some social assistance even in urban areas. In the rural areas we already have a social assistance programme where we give grain and also have some NGOs that are supporting Government programmes by giving food aid. While the question is not very specific as to who is now vulnerable because of COVID that need social assistance, I believe there is a broad based programme to help all those that are vulnerable during this pandemic period. I thank you.

Question without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of standing order Number 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION OF BULAWAYO-NKAYI ROAD

  1. HON S. K. MGUNI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the construction of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road will be completed, considering that the project has been outstanding for more than 35 years.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA): Bulawayo-Nkayi road is a primary road which links Bulawayo and Nkayi and also provides a direct link between Bulawayo and Gokwe in the Midlands Province. The upgrading has been going on over a long period of time. The upgrade of the road from narrow state to surface standard commenced in 1993 with a feasibility study. The actual construction commenced using donor funding from the Kuwait Fund in 1996. The donor pulled out in the year 2000 after completing the designs for 65km and the construction of one bridge as well as 29 km of road.

The Department of Roads took over the construction of the road in 2001 and did construction up to 44 km peg as well as completed Mbembesi and Ingwingwizi Bridges which are now trafficable. The progress has been slow due to the rate at which funding for the implementation of the project is availed by Treasury. For the 10 km target of 2019 5 km have been primed. Due to the Covid-19 most of the road construction projects were stalled this year as resources were diverted to fight the pandemic. Priority is now on ongoing road projects that were at prime stage as at December 2019. Bulawayo-Nkayi Road falls under the reprioritised list of roads targeted for surfacing in 2020. Materials needed to surface the 5 km primed section for the Bulawayo Nkayi Road are already on site. Since we are in winter and we are experiencing low temperatures which are not ideal for surfacing, track and seal works will resume as temperatures improve.  Construction will continue guided by funding availed.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I visited this road at the beginning of last month to assess the state of the road and the progress to date.  Due to limited resources, the Department of Roads will ensure routine maintenance of the narrow mat to ensure it is trafficable while rehabilitation and construction is ongoing on the other section of the road.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister the road that he alludes to is infested with a lot of mining ventures.  Queens Mine is another one and there is Tech Mine and there is another mine.  Whose primary mandate is it to extract our resources and leave gaps, if not dams; aware that this resource that I am talking about is finite and we will not have any shoots sprouting from the ground.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, please may you get to your question.

HON. NDUNA:  My question therefore is, what is the Minister doing in order to make sure that these miners plough back in terms of infrastructural development?  It is happening outside our borders using our minerals, why can it not happen here?  What is it that we are doing in order for them to plough back using this finite resource in our country, for our country to use what we have to get what we can?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, your question is completely out of the original question.  That sounds like it is a new question unless of course Minister, you have got something to add.

HON. NDUNA:  I spoke about the mines in that area.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No.

FINALISATION OF RECONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGE ACROSS PIRIVIRI RIVER

  1. HON. HOUGHTON asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when -

(a) The Magunje-Siakobvu Road in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District will be upgraded;

(b)            The bridge over the Mawena River will be repaired considering that it is the only link between the Negande area to the road network system in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District and the rest of the country.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The first answer Mr. Speaker Sir, the Magunje-Siakobvu Road is a section of the Karoi-Binga Road that we have been working on since 2019.  In essence, the upgrading of that road has already started and to date we have surfaced 10km.  We shall continue to lobby the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to continue funding the road so that we can deliver at least 10km a year.

The second question – Mr. Speaker Sir, the bridge in question is on the road that is maintained by DDF and as such, the bridge is also under the purview of DDF.  DDF is therefore in a better position to answer the question.  I thank you.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road going to Nyaminyami rural district area is so bad that there has been no bus service for more than a year on that.  In the entire Nyaminyami rural district, there is no bus service and I think the Minister needs to put an effort into getting the road usable there so that at least the people can have a bus service.  Thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As I have alluded to that as long as we get the funding, we will continue to upgrade these roads given the fact that at least we should do 10km a year.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road is 334km long.  Apparently, about 100km have been done which means that there is about 200km still to be done.  At 10km a year, it is going to take 20 years to complete that road.  It is not good enough Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I said is at least the minimum.  This is a budgetary issue, it is depending on the funding and we approve the budgets here, but at minimum that is what we are talking about.  I thank you.

RESUMPTION OF CONSTRUCTION OF LUPANE HOSPITAL

  1.     HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the construction of the Lupane Provincial Hospital will resume.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Works at the proposed Lupane Provincial Hospital has since resumed.  The contractor, Zimbabwe Jingsu International was handed over the site on 26th August last year.  The project is being implemented in phases.  Phase one comprises of Outpatient Department, administration block, pharmacy, central stores, staff houses and civil works.  A pre-purchase of materials worth $9 million RTGs was done late last year and have since been delivered to site.  I am sure the work has started and is going on.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

REBUILDING OF THE MATERNITY WARD AT ST LUKE HOSPITAL

  1.   HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans to rebuild the maternity ward at St Luke Hospital which was gutted by fire.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  The affected department is a Family and Child Health Department. The hospital through the church, who are the owners have raised US$18 000 and have since done the quotations for the roof.  The Government has also allocated $2 000 000 through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) to augment the contribution of the mission. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

PROTECTION OF PATIENTS FROM WEATHER ELEMENTS

  1.   HON. CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House measures being taken to protect patients from weather elements as they wait for treatment outside health care centres in compliance with the COVID-19 control measures.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is putting in place various measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The Ministry has embarked on expediting the provision of treatment or consultation services at all various levels of care to prevent long queues as well as observing social distancing.  Further to that, we have embarked on provision of waiting mothers’ shelters and/or waiting areas at all health facilities.  Most of our clinics, rural health hospitals, district/mission, provincial and central hospitals have waiting shelters as part of their structure.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN BIKITA SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.   HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency will have internet connectivity.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.

NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MMB) phase 3 project.  Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26, 28 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the Fourth Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure master plan.  The master plan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and POTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am supplementing in relation to the issue of infrastructure sharing that the Hon. Minister spoke about.  We have not heard this for the first time.  Could the Hon. Minister share with this House where the bottlenecks are?  Where are the problems because this has been talked about, I think, since time immemorial?

HON. DR. MUSWERE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Infrastructure sharing is taking place and so far more than 20 sites have been identified and at least more than 10 have been developed by POTRAZ on an infrastructure sharing basis.

What basically happens is that POTRAZ develops the passive infrastructure and the three MNOs then install their active infrastructure on each and every passive infrastructure base station that would have been identified by POTRAZ.  It is an ongoing process, it is taking place and is very successful.  Currently, Econet and NetOne are working together on around 49 new sites wherein they will be sharing their infrastructure.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ROAD REHABILITATION IN MABVUKUTAFARA CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. CHIDHAKWAasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development when the Ministry will start road rehabilitation in Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency given that the roads are badly dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry is cognisant of the poor state of roads in a number of residential areas including Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency.  The road networks have outlived their design lives and therefore require rehabilitation.   Plans have been put in place for the rehabilitation and reseal of the roads and the implementation has started with the major roads.  The rehabilitation will continue to be implemented in a prioritised manner until the entire road network has been attended to.  The City of Harare is in charge of these roads and is also in a better position to give concrete plans for road rehabilitation in Harare.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF TYNWALD NORTH AND GOODHOPE ROADS

  1. HON. MAMOMBE asked Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will rehabilitate Tynwald North and Goodhope Roads in Harare West Constituency in view of the fact that both roads are dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Tynwald North and Goodhope roads are important feeder roads in Harare West constituency.  The roads are currently in a poor state and indeed require rehabilitation.  City of Harare is in a better position to give us its immediate plans for rehabilitation.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF SHAMROCK ROAD IN HURUNGWE NORTH

  1. HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain measures put in place to rehabilitate Shamrock Road in Ward 9 Hurungwe North.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, currently due to budget constraints there is no periodic maintenance being done.  We are prioritising routine maintenance as funds are limited.  The Department of Roads is cognisant of the fact that the road requires rehabilitation in the medium term and this will be done when commensurate funding is available.  I thank you.

TARRING OF ZVOMUKONDE AND NGUNGUMBANE STRETCH IN MBERENGWA

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane and when the stretch in Mberengwa District will be tarred.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch of 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane were non availability of the designs of road for that section during construction.  The funds for the road project ran out during the time of construction in 2004.  As soon as the funding line has been availed to our Ministry, the project will resume.  I thank you.

FUNDS RELEASED BY ZINARA TO MBERENGWA RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House how much ZINARA released to Mberengwa Rural District Council for the period 2018 to 2019 and how much was acquitted to date.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINARA disbursed $23 647 on 6th March, 2018 and $130 086 on September, 2018 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  In 2019, a total of $76 866 was disbursed and recently in March 2020, Zinara disbursed $258 486 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  These disbursements were for routine maintenance and it should be noted that Mberengwa Rural District Council is failing to utilise its periodic maintenance funds.  Each year ZINARA allocates funds to both urban and rural district councils.  Of these funds, 75% should be allocated to periodic maintenance while 25% is for routine maintenance.  In this regard, a total of $504 838 was allocated in 2018, $597 767 in 2019 and $1 824 024 in 2020.

To date, there are no records showing any utilisation of these allocated funds for periodic maintenance by Mberengwa Rural District Council.  Money for periodic maintenance is usually disbursed after work is done.  With regards to acquittals for 2019, the disbursed funds are only for first half of the year and no acquittals were submitted for the last six months.  In cases where allocated funds are not enough to cover periodic maintenance, rural district councils and urban councils can pass resolutions to use allocated funds for routine maintenance.

HARARE FLYOVERS

  1. HON. MAGO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry of Transport is going to attend to Harare Flyovers that are in need of urgent attention as they risk collapse. These include the Simon Mazorodze, Beatrice Road at the interchange with Rotten Row.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the tender for the inspection of these bridges inclusive of Simon Mazorodze was concluded and awarded.  The consultant is due to formalise their engagement through a formal contract and start work in the near future.  I thank you.

ZUPCO BUSES FOR MHANGURA FEEDER ROADS

  1. HON. MASANGOasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain when ZUPCO buses will be allocated to feeder roads that are mainly dirty dusty roads in Mhangura.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the allocation and operation of ZUPCO buses falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  As such, the question should be directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

FREE MEDICAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

  1. HON. S. CHAMISAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care what the government is doing to facilitate free medical services for the elderly.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  In terms of section 82 (b) of the Constitution, rights of the elderly, people over the age of 70 years have the right to receive health care and medical assistance from the State.  Government policy has gone further to include those who are 65 years old and above in providing free medical services at all public health institutions.  They are not required to pay for their medical care in public health institutions.

  1.   HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether the government has any plans to construct more clinics in Wards 23, 24 and 29 in Zaka West Constituency considering that some people have to walk for distances as long as 40 kilometres to access treatment at clinics.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry in its Infrastructure Development Plan has intention to construct health facilities in the three wards and proposed sites have been identified, that is Ward 23 site is at Choringeno, Ward 24 site is at Charuka and Ward 29 site is at Bepeza.  The Ministry has embarked on the construction of health posts and clinics and Charuka is going to be considered under this initiative.  However, we urge the Hon. Member of Parliament to also support Central Government by mobilising local communities and businesses to contribute towards such projects.

OPENING OF MASIKATI CLINIC

  1. HON. MASENDAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the Masikati Clinic which was constructed two years ago will be officially opened to the public considering that people have to walk some 20 kilometres to access medical services.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Masikati Clinic is a newly proposed facility in Hurungwe District and is owned by Hurungwe Rural District Council.  The new facility was formerly a farm house converted into a clinic.  The facility will serve a large population that is currently walking long distances to either Tengwe or Kasimure clinics which are very far.  However, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is aware of the need to speed up the official opening of the clinic given its catchment service.  Inspections were done by both the District Health Executive and the Hurungwe Rural District Council members recently.  In that regard, there were few things that needed attention which includes proper waste management facilities, fixing of wall and ceiling cracks, water availability as well as human resources for the clinic and these are at advanced stage.  Moreover, as part of social responsibility, I also urge Hon. Member of Parliament to mobilise additional resources for the community through possible donors / partners or under the Community Development Funds (CDF) to complement the efforts being done by the Central Government.

EXPANSION OF THE NETONE MOBILE NETWORK COVERAGE IN ZAKA WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when the NetOne mobile network coverage will be expanded to cover Wards 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MBB) phase 3 project.  Ward 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the 4th Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure Masterplan.  The masterplan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and PORTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

ASSISTANCE TO DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS

  1.   HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to:
  2. a)  Inform the House on the measures and programmes that have been put in place by the Ministry to assist disadvantaged children in rural areas such as Sipepa and Siganda, who, unlike those in urban centers have no access to the Internet:
  3. b)  Explain to the House how the general public can be protected from uncensored false information which is disseminated to peace loving Zimbabweans with the aim of causing confusion; and
  4. c)  Inform the House what measures have been put in place by the Ministry to sensitise the public to desist from being gullible to misleading information.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  a) The Ministry is doing everything to bridge the digital divide and this will benefit all students and pupils.  The Ministry has assigned POTRAZ and Zimpost to set up Community Information Centers (CICs) throughout the country.  These CICs are Internet connected with a minimum of 10 laptops depending on the size of the CIC.  This means that in communities that already have this facility, students can make use of the Internet for their studies.  To communities like Sipepa and Siganda CICs, we are working on it.

The Ministry with its stakeholders is also running with the Schools E-Learning Programme where computes are distributed to schools and Internet being connected to schools.  ZARNet is connecting schools whilst POTRAZ and other stakeholders are distributing computers to schools.  This however, is an ongoing programme where you will notice that some schools have already benefited both Internet connectivity and computers but, Mr. Speaker Sir, be assured that this programme is intended to reach all our schools especially those in the rural areas and the disadvantaged communities.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and POTRAZ are also ensuring equitable distribution of network towers for this will again result in connectivity to those who can afford data and advanced gadgets.  Let me however say, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the lack of foreign currency and COVID-19 is hindering a lot of these projects as we cannot procure ICT equipment.

  1. b)  The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill was given a nod by Cabinet and is at the moment with this House.   Parliament is doing its diligent job making consultations throughout the country.  Once the process is over, we will hear the outcome and it is my hope that the Act from this Bill will address concerns by the Hon. Member.
  2. c)  The Ministry, working with the regulator POTRAZ, is carrying out consumer protection awareness programmes in the form of road shows throughout the country.  Emphasis is being put on cyber related issues.

There are a number of communities that were reached and these include Ngundu, Kadoma, Shangani and Madhlambuzi just to mention but a few.  The month of October is referred to as the Cyber Security month.  The month is thus packed with activities that include road shows, public lectures, conferences, radio and television shows.  All these activities are meant to sensitise the public on cyber related threats.  Last year, 2019 in October, we carried out Cyber Security Conference/Indaba at the Rainbow Towers in Harare and Bulawayo respectively, public lectures at Africa University and National Defence University, radio and television programmes and road shows were also conducted in a number of areas.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF PERMANENT CLASSROOM BLOCKS IN RESETTLEMENT AREAS

  1.  HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary  Education to inform the House Government policy on the construction of permanent classroom blocks in resettlement areas since children in these schools learn in temporary structures.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry has in place plans for the upgrading of schools in resettlement areas, most of which are satellite schools. For each of these schools, there is a site designated for the construction of permanent structures. Programmes for construction of schools have prioritised resettlement areas. For example, the Ministry working with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has so far completed construction of 17 new schools (11 primary and 6 secondary) which are awaiting commissioning. The bulk of these schools were constructed in the resettlement areas. The Ministry is working with various partners, NGOs, churches. School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds have been used to construct classrooms in resettlement areas. Devolution funds may also be used. Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) is also used to finance these schools.

STATISTICS OF UNDERAGE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO FELL PREGNANT AND DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL IN 2019 BY PROVINCE

  1.  HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to apprise the House on the statistics of underage school girls that fell pregnant and dropped out of school in 2019 by province.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): 2019 statistics are captured in February and therefore, on the onset of the lockdown, statistics had not yet been disaggregated. However, the global figure for 2019 is as follows:

Primary Secondary Total
120 2 864 2 984

 

Through the guidance and counseling programme, the Ministry intends to eliminate the problem of dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will construct a secondary school in Ward 6, Mberengwa East Constituency, in view of the fact that children are walking a long distance from Mututu Primary School and Chiwara Primary to Mbuyanehanda High School.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): It is the Ministry’s mandate, in accordance with P73 of 1991, to ensure that learners at any given place do not walk more than 5km to the nearest school to access education. It is now a matter of public record that the Ministry, through its 2013 Infrastructure Expo has established deficit of 2 056 schools. The number has since increased.

In order to reduce the school infrastructure deficit, the Ministry has already rolled out the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Programme which to date has completed 17 schools now awaiting commissioning. The situation in Ward 6 will be looked at by inspection teams from our district offices who are expected to furnish Head Office on their findings. Furthermore, partners who include church organisations and NGOs are also invited and also working on provision of schools. Thank you.

SCHOOL FURNITURE FOR MPONJANE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA DISTRICT

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will buy school furniture for Mponjane Primary School in Mberengwa District.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Schools like Mponjane that get SIG grants are encouraged to use the grants for the acquisition of school furniture. Thank you.

INSTALLATION OF SHARED BASE STATIONS IN REMOTE AREAS OF HURUNGWE NORTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. GANDAWAasked the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House on the measures being put in place in installing shared base stations in remote areas that are economically marginalised, particularly Hurungwe North Constitutency in the Dete area, Ward 9.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Ministry has developed modalities with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to institute several measures to improve coverage in poor marginalised areas of Zimbabwe. Some of the measures taken are:

  1. Infrastructure Sharing Regulations

The authority has initiated infrastructure sharing. Infrastructure

Sharing Regulations were gazette in 2016 and the authority began mandatory sharing of telecommunications base stations. Infrastructure sharing benefits the public in that MNOs will be able to install equipment on existing towers, thereby increasing coverage. This also reduces the cost of investment thereby reducing the cost of providing the service ad pricing of services. In addition, infrastructure sharing can help reduce energy consumption and radio emissions of networks.

  1. Installation of Shared Base Stations

The authority has installed 20 shared base stations country-wide.

The completed projects consist of fifteen shared base stations with passive infrastructure and five base stations with active equipment comprising Multi Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN). In the long run, the authority has identified about three hundred and fifty wards with poor or no network coverage in Zimbabwe.

The authority, through the Universal Services Fund (USF) has

initiated several projects to address the network coverage gaps. Some of the projects include:

  1. a)Construction of 350 Shared Base Stations (Huawei Technologies)

A tender for the construction of 350 base stations was awarded to Huawei Technologies of China. The project was vendor financed and Huawei was required to source the finance. The project could not proceed as Huawei failed to secure the required financing. The tender has not yet been closed.

  1. b)Construction of 100 Shared Base Stations

The authority has tendered for the construction of 100 shared base stations in marginalised areas. An expression of interest (EOI) was done and five possible bidders have been shortlisted. The authority will proceed to issue the request for proposals (RFP). The project is also vendor financed on a build and transfer (BT) model.

  1. c)Construction of Shared Base Station Sites by Operators/Relocation of collocated Sites

The aim of this project is for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to construct passive base station infrastructure in assigned remote marginalised areas. The passive base station infrastructure includes 60m or 70m towers, equipment shelters, guard rooms, perimeter fence, commercial power, solar power (Photo Voltaic Modules), diesel engine generators, power back-up batteries and access roads.

After completion of the project, all operators will share the infrastructure. The authority through Universal Services Fund (USF), will reimburse the MNOs who would have constructed the sites.

As part of this initiative, MNOs will also be required to relocate base stations that are co-located, to new sites. Both the new site and the relocated sites will be shared by all MNOs. POTRAZ will be responsible for the cost of the relocation of the base stations.

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INFORMATION CENTRE IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to explain when the Ministry is going to establish an Information Centre in Mberengwa East Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The Ministry working with POTRAZ, is still in the process of deploying Community Information Centres (CICS) throughout the country. In Mberengwa, a CIC was established at Mberengwa Post Office and handed over to ZIMPOST for operationalisation, CICs are not established on the basis of constituencies. The primary basis for distribution of CICs is on per province basis. Using a connectivity matrix, the CIC at Mataga Post Office was set up by my Ministry and is currently operational. A CVIC is in the process of being established at Mnene, but delays have been experienced due to the shortage of foreign currency to procure required gadgets as highlighted above and the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are being made to ensure that all outstanding CICs are operationalised this year.

 

 

 

 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. NDUNA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, I move that the rest of the Questions with Notice be stood over until the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Hon. Nyoni gives a Ministerial Statement.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RESPONSE TO REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ON THE FACT FINDING VISIT  TO DISTRICT OFICES AND WOMEN EMPOWRMENT PROJECTS

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. NYONI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to present a response on the report of the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development on the fact finding visits to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry notes and appreciates the report by the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development following a fact finding visit to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.  The findings and recommendations are quite pertinent as these help the Ministry in refining programming of the various interventions to improve service delivery to the citizenry.  However, I would like to point out to the House that the report was written way back in February 2019.  The Ministry has since addressed most of the issues raised in the report such as distribution of motor bikes, training of project beneficiaries, support and modern machinery and increasing budgetary support for funded projects.

The Ministry would like to shed light however, on what has been done during this period and the challenges that are being faced.  These will be as follows:-

  1.  State of District Offices and General Infrastructure

The status of district offices is a matter of great concern to my

Ministry Mr. Speaker Sir.  However, the mandate of providing office accommodation to Government ministries is vested with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Public Works.  The Ministry responsible has been approached several times with requests to provide suitable accommodation for our officers.  It is our hope that progress will be made soon as a new idea has been mooted and that is the construction of pre-fabricated structures for use by our officers as offices.  The Public Works Department has been tasked to work with my Ministry’s Provincial Development offices to achieve the goal.

  1.  Shortage of office computers, printers and lack of Internet connectivity

The challenge has been caused by resource provision especially

on procurement of assets by Treasury.  The schedule below shows the overall resource under provision.  For example, after realising the need to provide furniture for provinces and districts, a proposal was made under the 2020 budget.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you will find that as a whole, there was a variance to what we had requested and what was given.  There was a variance of about 57%.

THE BIDS FOR 2020 BUDGET

PROGRAMME IDEAL $ ALLOCATED BUDGET SHORTFALL VARIANCE
Policy and

Administration

116 969 000 53 504 000 63 465 000 54%
Women 477 500 153 368 322 132 67%
Empowerment, Gender & Community Development 000 000 000
SMED & Cooperative Development 478 367 000 295 104 000 183 263 000 38%
TOTALS 1 176 836 000 503 976 000 672 864 000 57%

 

From the above breakdown and analysis, it is clear that   only 43% of the required budget was availed.

  1.  Mobility of officers

The explanation above on furniture and computers is relevant.

Again, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is our hope that with more funds, we could make sure that our officers are mobile.  Anyway, I am happy to announce that five vehicles have been bought.  Although we had budgeted for 17 vehicles because of inflation, we could not buy all of them.  So we have resubmitted for the other 10 vehicles and shortly these we hope will be available for our officers.

The Project Sectors

It is also the concern of the Ministry that micro enterprises in rural areas are largely engaged in extractive industry and other primary production ventures especially those that are agricultural related.  Some of the reasons for low entrepreneur skills are also the lack of technical skills and technology is also being attended to; as I will show later that the Ministry is now engaging in training people at this level.

The use of Modern Machinery and Technology.

The observation that the project does not use modern machinery and technology was noted. In 2019, the Ministry supported SMEs and new entrepreneurs where the modern equipment was sourced from India.  Such support included incubation of new machines, a function which has now been transferred to another Ministry and it is our hope that we continue to engage the relevant ministries to ensure that SMEs and women have access to appropriate technology.

The Underfunded Cooperatives

Underfunding of project is a result of the limited resources available, the rapid increase in the prices of materials to set up projects has also contributed to the problem.  However, I am pleased to say that the Ministry has reviewed the level of funding and we have increased the women’s development fund to start from 150 000 from early this year.  We are also going to review the increase of disbursement upwards up to 300 000 per project.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am glad to say that we have the Women’s Bank last year, they disbursed about 40 000 loans and I am going to be tabling the way that was done per province.  The bank also will soon be rolling out the 500 million recovery fund that was given to the Ministry by Government.  The seventh issue was access to lucrative markets; this concern was raised and I am glad to say the Ministry is engaging SMEs, training them and linking them to markets especially for their handcrafts.

We have a handcraft center in Harare that has managed to link handcrafters with markets in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, German, Australia and Japan.  The handcrafts are going very well and they have a website, if anyone wants to link to the website.  The Ministry is promoting access to markets by SMEs through facilitating them to participate in local markets especially the ZITF, Agricultural Shows and also in the SADC region.  Whenever there are such activities, the Ministry sends the SMEs there.

To promote an integration among SMEs for inputs and outputs, the Ministry is facilitating the linkage programme and we are linking them in manufacturing in terms of subcontracting and also in agriculture in the agricultural value chains and in textile and in the retail sector.  A target of 1360 SMEs participated in the agricultural value chains in the past year and a total of 4645 SMEs were linked to large companies.  This was an increase of over 272 per cent increase from what we did in 2018.

The Ministry is in collaboration with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and is building the capacity of SMEs for access to public sector procurement markets.  SMEs are also being facilitated to have business linkages with themselves, cooperatives as well as with the corporates.

Monitoring and evaluation of projects    

The monitoring of all projects under the Ministry especially key ones in which huge funds would have been committed is of paramount importance to the Ministry.  The Ministry now has a fully fledged monitoring and evaluation department and this has resulted in an improvement of the monitoring programme.

Training and Capacity Building for Project Members.

The Ministry values the training and capacity building for both members and our staff.  In 2019 a total of 24 731 SMEs were trained whilst the Ministry’s two training centres hosted 1200 women for livelihood skills training programmes.  It is important to note that trainers employed by the Ministry have been deployed to various areas to carry out this mandate.  They are also identifying if they are any capacity gaps in order for the Ministry to fill these up.  The Ministry is training also up to ward level in order to ensure that competencies and efficiencies are cascaded to that level of our operation.  Our full fledged programme was supposed to start at the first quarter of 2020 and this was disturbed by the lockdown due to COVID - 19 pandemic.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the members for their vibrant and constructive debates and also to thank the Ministry’s Portfolio Committee and hope that we continue to have constructive engagement to ensure appropriate timeframes.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I give this opportunity to members to ask questions, raise points of clarification, not making other statements.  May I emphasise on that point that you need not to make another statement.  The floor is for you to ask pertinent questions relevant to the Ministerial Statement.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 5 has been disposed of.

HON. KASHIRI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE THIRD WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT HELD IN INDONESIA

HON. P. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name:  That this House takes note of the report of the Delegation to the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Bali, Indonesia, from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.

HON. GABBUZA:  I second.

HON. P. MOYO:

Introduction

Hon. Chief Mtshane Khumalo, Member of Parliament, led the Parliamentary delegation to attend the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development which was held in Bali, Indonesia from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.  The forum was attended by 30 countries and 55 organisations.  The theme of the forum was, combating inequality through social and financial inclusion.  Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane Khumalo was accompanied by the following Members of Parliament and an officer of Parliament; Hon. Concilia Chinanzvavana, MP; Hon. Priscilla Moyo, MP; Hon. Marian Chombo, MP and now Deputy Minister; Hon. Joel Gabbuza, MP; Mrs. Chiwoniso Mataruka, Committee Clerk and Secretary of the delegation.

The report of the Chair of Indonesia House Steering Committee

The Steering Committee held a series of focul group discussions where rising inequalities is a major setback to attaining sustainable development.  Economic instability undermines social cohesion.  Inequality is a global phenomenon which needs address and 11 years remain to attain sustainable development goals targets.  This requires strong leadership of Members of Parliament who are expected to provide enabling legislation noting that Parliament is the cornerstone of democracy to hold the Executive into account.  Social and financial inclusion is key to ensure inclusivity.  The World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development should be a strong partner on attainment of sustainable development and ensure accountability and oversight of the parliamentarians effort and commitment in attainment and mainstreaming of SDGs.

         OPENING REMARKS BY MR. BAMBANG SOESATYA, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

The Speaker of the House of Representatives welcomed the delegates to the forum under the theme “Combating Inequality through Social and Financial Inclusion.” He stressed that with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, combating inequality and applying social protection has become the centre of policy agenda in all countries. Financial inclusion should be at the forefront of Government policies to reduce income inequality. Governments must protect the people and promote more social inclusion by distributing resources more fairly.

He noted that disparities are taking place around the world and require urgent attention. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are meant to attend to global challenges to attain a wealth of justice, prosperity and peace. Despite all progress and efforts, inequality still remains a challenge. There is need for stronger focus in decreasing inequality in income and skills. Poverty has fatal consequences in perpetuating inequality leading to conflict;

There is therefore, need for a deliberate move by Parliaments to capacitate the vulnerable and leave no one behind for the achievement of the 2030 agenda.

SPECIAL REMARKS BY H.E. DR MUHAMMAD JUSUF KALLA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

His Excellency Kalla noted that since the adoption of SDGs in 2015 ultimately ending in 2030, much progress has been made. Before were the MDGs with their own progress and challenges and the same applies to SDGs, but these require working together or collective efforts. He stressed the following; that nations seem to be lagging behind in many areas and this requires SDG 17 that of partnering of developed and developing nations. SDGs are Inter-connected and interrelated - that is economic development, social development and environmental sustainability.

The 2019 theme encourages nations to think on how to reduce inequality in this world through social and economic growth without discrimination where, “no one should be left behind.” Inclusiveness is the central theme of SDGs. Social development can only be achieved through social and economic growth. Countries are at different levels of development and as such, there is need for a global concerted effort to achieve development. Greater efforts must be made to achieve equality in gender, health, clean energy and addressing climate change. A developed country should have good hygiene and sanitation and these are fundamentals for the status of one’s country.

Planning and budgeting are key to overseeing SDGs in different Governments. Parliament with its authority to legislate and scrutinise budgets is important. Parliamentarians should participate effectively in how industry and infrastructure should create opportunities to do away with inequality and ensure equal opportunities. Tax rates should be discussed so that they benefit citizens of the nations.

His Excellency summed up by emphasising that partnership is key among world countries in the implementation of SDGs. No one country can grow without financial support. Thus there is need for access to financing for livelihoods and communities.

         PLENARY SESSION ON “HOW INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION CAN FOSTER EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The session was moderated by Ms Andini Effendi, and the following issues were discussed:

That the  topic of combating inequality though social and financial inclusion, and more specifically, on how infrastructure and industrial innovation can foster equal opportunities, bearing in mind that we are experiencing a new industrial revolution is key. Knowledge, interconnectedness and mobility are key and industrial revolution does not mean necessarily neither equity nor fairness. New dynamics go hand in hand with new imbalances. It is the duty of nations to ensure that progress leaves no-one behind.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development provides us with guiding principles and targets: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Infrastructure and industrial innovation impacts on several of the 17 goals and in implementing these goals, countries have to bear in mind that infrastructure is no longer synonymous with physical infrastructure. The lack of access to formal education will prevent us from combating inequalities, from creating new decent jobs and enhance social mobility; and without education the gender gap will persist harming our social and economic progress.

Industrial innovation has the potential of enhancing our means of combating the environmental, economic and social consequences of climate change, however, political willingness is imperative.

That education and awareness on the effects of climate change must be embraced by all stakeholders, including civil society.

PLENARY SESSION ON “ENSURING RURAL ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER SUPPLY, SANITATION AND HYGIENE”

The session was chaired by Mr Putri Ayuningtyas and the following issues were discussed as solutions to reach the poorest and the marginalised in improving their health, nutrition and productivity;

That 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water services, including 44 million people who are dependent on surface water and 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.

The fact that water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) is the subject of dedicated targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG No. 6 is proof to its fundamental role in public health and therefore in the future of sustainable  development. Access to safe water and sanitation are human rights, as  recognised in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. Below are key issues Parliaments may convince their governments to deliberate on:

That integrated water management can provide important co-benefits for sustainable development, climate change mitigation & adaptation, and disaster risk management especially as countries begin to review and implement their national plans in the context of the Paris Agreement. There is a unique opportunity to improve and enhance water management practices;

That WASH, as part of the achievement of SDG 6 as a whole, be higher on countries’ political agenda, and that it is mainstreamed into national, sub-national, and community-level planning;

That there be predictable and sufficient finance for WASH; and

That there be greater mutual accountability and coordination among the developing countries, development partners, supporting governments, and their citizens on WASH issues.

PLENARY ON “ENHANCING PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS INCLUSIVE FINANCING

Ms Masyitoh Annisa Ramadhani, chaired the session on ways and means of ensuring the creation of accountable, accessible and sustainable financial services for all and the following issues were raised:

That the key issues in financing development projects include: improving the ability of countries to generate permanent and stable tax revenues and improve resource management; focusing aid on sectors to be served by private finance; using aid to leverage and attract more private sector financing to projects that support development (for example, infrastructure) through public-private partnerships and investment risk mitigation;

That domestic resources (public and private) and international/external resources (public and private), as well as blended finance are the key pillars of inclusive financing for development;

That there is a need to address some global public goods and efforts to mobilize diaspora financing for the development and building a more robust private sector by improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium-enterprises;

That countries achieve the goal of universal access, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services for everyone who needs them, provided by sustainable institutions for sustainable projects;

That one important aspect is that, “Leave no one behind” and this means put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build effective peace and open trusted and accountable institutions for all; and forge a new global partnership;

That realising this goal will require a committed alliance between business, government and civil society and will determine needed and sustainable investments. Countries should work on how to mobilize financial services to deliver the needed investments for the opportunities and secure a sustainable economic future and how to leverage technologies that boost production.

CONCLUSION

In the wake of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, many countries continue to face significant challenges in an increasingly unequal world, while the most vulnerable groups remain marginalized from social and economic  participation. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are still perceived as executives’ domain, but the core Parliamentary functions in law-making, budgeting, oversight and representation of the peoples’ interests, are critical in building people-centred, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous societies, and ending all poverty everywhere in all its dimensions. Therefore, the formulation of a Parliamentary Roadmap on SDGs shall transform our shared perspective into more tangible efforts, under the principles of inclusion, partnership, and participation, where “no one left behind.

In 2017, the First World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development (WPFSD) adopted the Bali Declaration, which emphasizes the critical involvement of Parliaments in ensuring the effective implementation and timely realization of the SDGs. The Bali Declaration encourages Parliaments to strengthen national ownership by mainstreaming and implementing SDGs into enforceable National Development Plan, ensuring sufficient legal frameworks and budgetary requirements to support national policy on SDGs, scaling up efforts to end violence and sustaining peace, and enhancing climate action.

In 2018, the Second WPFSD adopted the Bali Commitment, which draws attention to the significance of partnership towards sustainable energy for all.  The Bali Commitment promotes;

  • the big potential of renewable energy resources for producing sustainable energy; and
  • the prospect of blue economy, green industry and sustainable development to achieve energy security and diversification. This outcome document endorses Parliaments to establish the necessary mechanism to work closely with the governments and other stakeholders.

Parliamentarians gathered at the Third WPFSD in Bali, Indonesia, on 4-5 September 2019, adopted the Bali Roadmap, which consists of a number of forward-looking recommendations that represent various dimensions in addressing challenges of SDGs implementation. By referring to the Bali Roadmap, we agree to:

  1. Safeguard efforts towards the achievement of SDGs, particularly on achieving equality in all social and financial aspects, as emphasized in the Resolution 2010/12 adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council on Promoting Social Integration and UN General Assembly Resolution 72/206 on Financial Inclusion;
  2. Urge our respective governments to formulate national action plan and establish effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions in supporting SDGs implementation;
  3. Call upon Governments to renew their commitment and give more attention in delivering the SDGs timely through tangible actions and accelerating policy implementations, as asserted in the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York;
  4. Advocate the delivery of sustainable social protection measures, resilient infrastructure, and public services for all, including for those living below the poverty line, people in rural and remote areas, the vulnerable, persons with disabilities, children and older persons, and indigenous peoples, particularly through the fulfilment of their fundamental human rights, which consist of no less than the following aspects:
  • Quality education;
  • Health care;
  • Decent and affordable housing; and
  • Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
  1. Urge governments and local governments, as well as national and regional parliaments to mainstreaming and localizing the SDGs, based on the cultures, local languages and conditions, or uniqueness of a respective country;
  2. Strengthen legal frameworks and promote the development of an enabling environment to diversify financial resources and scale up funding from multiple sources to reduce financing gap in infrastructure, and to achieve an inclusive and sustainable development through innovative SDGs financing, such as blended finance, Green Financing for Financial Institution, Social Impact Fund, religious-based philanthropy for SDGs, and crowd funding through digital philanthropy;
  3. Underpin multi-stakeholders partnerships in ensuring the creation of inclusive financial services which open up access for the marginalised to fully participating in the economy and benefit from development;
  4. Strengthen the multilateral system for effective global coordination, responses
  5. and solutions to address the multifaceted crises and challenges arise from interconnectedness, interdependency and complex global governance;

Invite business sector and other relevant stakeholders to utilize their innovation and promote creative economy to contribute in addressing sustainable development challenges through the implementation of more sustainable consumption for Sustainable Development; Production patterns, and to engage with parliaments as strategic partners in development process.

We extend our appreciation to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, as the founder of the WPFSD, for its relentless efforts in promoting the achievement of SDGs, while express our gratitude to the IPU President for continuously supporting the WPFSD. We call upon all Parliamentarians to continue to actively engage in substantiating and holding the regular events of the WPFSD.

 

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

HON. KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 9th July, 2020.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MAVETERA, the House adjourned at Twenty Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 8th July, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES’ MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Hon. Mutodi has been assigned to serve in the Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following Ministers have tendered their leave of absence today: Hon. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Culture, Hon. Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Hon. July Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Minister of Finance and Economic Development was supposed to make a Ministerial Statement today as requested by this august House on the state of the economy.  The Hon. Minister has indicated that because he is going to present a Mid-Term review; he has requested that the Ministerial Statement be not be made today but will form part and parcel of his Mid-Year Term review, next week on 16th July, 2020.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, concerning the enactment of the Patriotic Act.  When is Government going to enact this law as a matter of urgency?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the very important question. I concede that it is a very important piece of legislation that we need.  Most progressive countries protect their territorial integrity by ensuring that citizens do not go about selling out their country to other nations.

I have requested my officers within the Policy Department to do a background research on it. We have been slowed down by the pandemic as we have a skeletal staff.  I can assure the Hon. Member that we are expecting developments before the end of this year. We are very much aware and we want to have that Act.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is Government policy in relation to uranium enrichment and other minerals in order to produce renewable energy and enhance the availability of renewable energy migrating from fossil fuels?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. ADV. CHASI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very timely question.  Government is currently engaged in the process of coming up with a national integrated energy resource plant for the first time in this country.  This process ensures that we take into account all the resources that we have to make power.  It is common cause that we have suffered from climate change with respect to Kariba.  It is also common cause that we depend a lot on coal.  Government respects its international obligations regarding the Carbon footprint.  We are looking at all possible sources that we can have and nuclear is one of them which arises from uranium.

We are now in the process of actively considering this possibility and as we come to the point where we talk about uranium, I can assure the House that a lot of work will have been done, but it is work in progress.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you for the privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.  May the Minister indulge me in terms of timelines of the energy policy which he is currently framing - to what extend or at what point can we expect that we have traction in that regard, aware that the European Union has set 20% migration in 2020 as a benchmark for migrating and diverting from fossil fuels.  What are we expecting as a nation?

HON. CHASI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question. As I indicated, we are working on a national integrated energy resource plan.  We had false start with regards to this process. We are now working with development agencies like the World Bank and African Development Bank who are helping us to come up with this policy.

I am not able at this moment in time to say precisely when this work will be concluded but all those who are involved in this matter understand the urgency of the matter.  I am very helpful that by year end, we will have our first draft.

HON. KASHIRI: What is the Ministry’s position in terms of taking biogas, especially to rural areas?

HON. CHASI:  It follows up on what I have already said in the previous answer.  The country is taking every possible source of power and biogas is critical.  We are already beginning to work with people in the provinces to educate people on what this really means and to ensure that in as far as possible, we take advantage of biogas.  We have done bio-digesters in some parts of the country and at an opportune moment, I will be able to furnish the House with the details but I want to assure the Hon. Member that biogas is indeed part of our consideration.

+HON. MATHE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  I have noticed the children are getting education through the radio and this is assisting but I would like to know when this programme will be accessed in the rural areas, especially in Nkayi, since there are no waves. Ztv and radio is not accessible to school children.?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): The Constitution of this country has a provision for access to information for all.  Section 61 and 62 speaks to that and that is precisely what the Government policy is implementing.  We have been going round consulting people at grassroots levels.  We will be issuing out community radios.  This is another way of making sure that those areas where they are not receiving the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation signal, both radio and television can be able to have their own radios.

We are cognisant of the fact that there are certain areas where our Zimbabwean people instead of receiving signals and getting news from this country from our radio, they have been receiving signals from Zambia, especially those in Binga and Manama.  This is why we have been moving in these areas making sure that the community there organise themselves.  The definition of community radio is that the owners are the community and as such, the community has to be organised and apply.  The deadline for that application still stands at 31st July, 2020.

In terms of making sure that information especially in with this COVID pandemic upon up, we have made it a point that we rope in all traditional leaders.  We are using the database which the Ministry of Local Government do have of our local leadership.  We have gone out training them about COVID-19 pandemic, preventing and protective measures to make sure that we contain this disease.

During this pandemic – because it is a two way communication between Government and the people, we established a call centre which is a toll free line so that Zimbabweans all over the 10 Provinces of our country can actually call.  They do not need to have airtime in their cell phones.  They just call 2023 for anything they want to know.  We established in mind considering that the COVID-19 lockdown created a lot of anxiety among our people.  We have been received quite a lot of calls through that call centre.

I urge Hon. Members of this august House to encourage your people to call the call centre 2023 – we have more than eight desks there.  Right now we have four languages.  People can call in Tonga, Ndebele, English and Shona.  We are trying hard to make sure that we create more desks so that we can actually use all the 16 official languages of this country.

The second republic’s work is to ensure that each and every Zimbabwean has access to information.  It is their constitutional right.  I hope I have been able to answer your question Hon. Mathe.  I thank you.

+HON. MATHE:  My supplementary question Hon. Minister is, since you are looking forward to children being able to access information and be informed on forthcoming examinations and the COVID-19, what other measures are currently in place so that those who are not accessing the information can have access so that they can share with those who have?  Children in the rural areas have no access to information whatsoever. What is the Ministry’s policy on that so that children can access the requisite information?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mathe, I thought the Hon. Minister was very comprehensive in her response and coverage.  It will sound like we are being very redundant if we have to stretch that further than what the Hon. Minister has actually replied.  Hon. Minister, what is your Call Centre? – [HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: 2023!] – 2023 will answer your concern Hon. Mathe.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Minister, aware that you were undertaking a transmitter establishment …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Do not address the Hon. Minister, address the Chair.  We do not want a dual here.

HON. NDUNA:  I am very sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. Aware that Hon. Minister and your department is establishing transmitters in various areas, I would want to know how many of those are now ready.  When would we expect the full proto in terms of digitalisation that you hope to achieve by the establishment of these transmitters?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you but that supplementary question does not stand.  It is better if it comes as a written question because I do not expect the Hon. Minister to know how many air antennas are there currently constructed.  She will need to investigate and come up with a written response accordingly.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care and in his absentia, it can go to the Leader of the House.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Acting Minister of what?

HON. DR. LABODE:  Health and Child Care.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  He is there.

HON. DR. LABODE:  We are masked, so we cannot see people.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is Hon. Prof. Murwira.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Acting Minister of Health and Child Care

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please address the Chair, address the Chair.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  My question is.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is, there has been a challenge with the issue of age of consent to accessing health services.  Please I want to be understood properly.  It is not age of consent to sex but age of consent to accessing services.  We have been working on it and we were promised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care that they would review or amend the Act to include that in the Health Services Bill which is supposed to be coming to Parliament but has not come.  A petition has been brought to Parliament on the issue and nothing has happened. We were hoping that maybe the Public Health Act would be amended for that purpose.

I am asking the Hon. Minister to say, Hon. Minister how far, ngiyakwazi ukuthi awukwazi, but how far with the amendment of the age of consent to health services for the minors?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode, how can you say, ‘Ngiyazi awukwazi?’ and then you want your question to be sustainable?  I think you should withdraw that aspect.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I withdraw it Mr. Speaker, I am sorry Hon. Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker, that is a very detailed question for a person who is just coming in, but I have got my Deputy Minister because in the meantime we are really looking at everything before we can give substantive answers on some of these things.  My Deputy Minister can respond to this one, with your indulgence of course.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Hon. Deputy Minister, can you assist?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is a very good question and a good follow up but I need to go and recheck in order to be able to give her a more detailed report next week because I had not looked at that one.  I am going to do it next week – I will definitely give the House an answer that is detailed and straight. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode! – [HON. DR. LABODE: Yebo baba!] – Hayi, angisibo baba nxa ngihlezi lapha! – [Laughter] – Ngingu baba nxa sisekhaya ngale.  I am sure that you are happy with the response.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Yes I am, but there is a component where a petition has disappeared in this Parliament.  The petition was brought in almost three months ago and you have not read it here. So I am assuming there is a problem somehow.  Somebody is not happy bringing that issue to the House.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I shall investigate as well and find out what has happened to that but if you have got a copy – you can assist.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I will.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.

+HON. H. MGUNI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What measures are in place since we are about to embark on the farming season in terms of tractors, inputs and other farming implements?  I observed in the past that these are availed to people when it is already too late.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proud and happy to tell you that preparations for the summer season are already at an advanced stage.  In fact Hon. Speaker Sir, we started the preparations as early as April of this year.  We have two schemes on board.  As you know, there is the Presidential Input Scheme which is almost complete in terms of procurement of inputs and then we have the Command Agriculture Scheme.  The Command Agriculture Scheme falls under the financial institutions but Hon. Speaker Sir, with regards to the Presidential Scheme we have slightly changed the design of the Presidential Input Scheme to ensure that we add what we call the Pfumvudza concept.

The Pfumvudza concept is climate smarting our agriculture.  This is certainly a requirement for us to be sustainable as a nation.  The Pfumvudza concept - basically what we are saying to our farmers is that they must ensure that they are ready for the Presidential Input Scheme as it will go to those who have already prepared their mulching, water harvesting and if individuals have not – they will not benefit from the Presidential Input Scheme.  So this is a pre-condition for them to benefit.

*HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We do not have much knowledge regarding this pfumvudza, we are also interested in having extensive knowledge regarding this issue. We just hear it being said but we do not know what it is all about.  Can the Minister highlight to us what it is all about?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Kwaramba, you did not switch on your microphone so you were not recorded, kindly repeat your question.

Hon. Kwaramba repeated her question.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): I want to thank the Hon. Member for her question.  The issue of pfumvudza is aimed at addressing effects of climate change to farmers.  In this programme, people must work very hard Mr. Speaker Sir because this is a laborious process.  People must be prepared and be able to dig plantation holes.  All those who are supposed to benefit must dig these holes...

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please be more specific where do they dig these holes and what kind of holes are these?

*HON. KARORO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I did not want to go into the technicalities of this but what happens is they will dig planting holes/stations, this is done for moisture conservation.  When we say farmers must be prepared, I am saying they must dig these holes and do the necessary preparations to safeguard those holes so that water does not evaporate easily.  All the farmers that are going to benefit must be prepared enough. As Ministry of Agriculture, we will be visiting your constituencies. Our Agritex officials are ready to visit all the constituencies. They will be teaching the community on how this programme works.  I want to say that if Hon. Members hear that we have visited their constituencies, they must also come so that they will learn together with the communities how this programme works.  I hope by the time we distribute inputs, everyone will be aware of this programme and the farmers will be well prepared.

HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary is, whilst we may have all the components that we may need the pfumvudza, fertilisers and the seed, has Government and Ministry of Agriculture looked at how our season is going to be like in 2021?  Do we have any indication whether we are going to have low, medium or high rainfall this year?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the good question.  Traditionally, when we look at weather patterns, we look towards the October/November cycle, so at this stage, we have just come out of two seasons of consecutive droughts.  So as a Ministry, we are planning for the worst, therefore that is why we are shifting towards climate smart agriculture because it is a necessary must. We have to plan for the worst and anything that comes that is any better than that is just a bonus to us.  We have to certainly plan for the lives of our people and our nation. We have food security at our hands and food and nutrition security at our hands too Hon. Speaker.We cannot play with that and therefore, we are planning for the worst.  In terms of the announcement, it is only done towards the end of the year.

HON. NDEBELE: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: We agreed in this House that no point of privilege will be entertained on Wednesdays.

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, I do not know what to call it but it is a follow up to the Hon. Minister’s answer.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is a point of clarification.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You could have done well if you had asked a supplementary question.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to request if it is not too much to ask of the Deputy Ministers that they present a statement to this House canvassing the entirety of this pfumvudza programme. It sounds like a comprehensive programme, instead of us learning together with the rest of the citizens about the programme.  I would prefer a situation where we get a comprehensive statement and then we seek clarifications; if you may indulge me Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is a wonderful suggestion.  Hon. Speaker Sir, pfumvudza is at the centre of our agricultural recovery plan; agricultural recovery plan requires all stakeholders, Government, donor agencies, private individuals including our Members of Parliament and our leadership. So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that Hon. Speaker Sir and we will prepare in accordance. I thank you.

HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mine is a follow up to this pfumvudza programme. It is a good programme and we are kindly waiting for the Ministerial Statement.  I wanted the Minister to clarify, I heard that people will be digging holes and these are the people who will benefit.  We have vulnerable groups and the elderly who might find it difficult to dig these holes. What plans does Government have for the elderly who are no longer energetic to do that...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear, the statement will be given and once that statement is given, then you can ask questions for clarification including that one.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  To what extent is the Zimbabwe Higher Performance Computing Project, as Government policy, be regarded as an engine for economic growth and development in Zimbabwe?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the question on the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing.  I am happy to report that under our innovation, science and technology development programme, we have instituted now the High Performance Computing Centre as a research institute under the manpower Development Act, it is SI 169 of 2020.  Under this, Treasury has supported this to 24 posts.  So, the High Performance Computing Centre is now a fully fledged research and development institute and we call it Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1.

At Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1, the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing is going to focus on two divisions. The first division is understanding the high performance computer itself, which is a technical division.  And, the application division is going to be focusing on key areas that include health and medical research, genomics; it is going to look at space and earth observation sciences, geo-spatial sciences for mineral exploration.  It is going to look at drug discovery; it is going to do engineering applications that need very high performance computing power.  We believe that the future of this country is through the application of science and technology on its natural resources, understanding our natural resources better for exploitation for the purpose of the development of this country, giving this country enough national capability so that we can be able to meet vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle income economy.

We believe that this is possible when we have the capability because we can talk about Vision 2030. Once the President has said that we really need to develop steps which make sure that we reach that goal and Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing which is at Zimbabwe Science Park 1 is one of the integral applications that we are going to have of science and technology towards the development of this country in terms of all the areas that I have mentioned above.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  How is the high performance computing project going to assist in solving contemporary problems, especially those of our farmers such as climate change issues and also weather forecasting?  Thank you.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you very much Hon.

Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the supplementary question.  One of the main applications of the high performance computing Centre is weather and climate modeling, which is under the geo-spatial and earth sciences division of the High Performance Computing, which we have instituted.  Hon. Speaker, coincidentally, I brought the whole concept of the High Performance Computer and we actually had to document everything so that we understand exactly what we want to do with the High Performance Computing Centre.  What we want is - we can speak high language but, the long and short of it is that, the High Performance Computer is going to tell us the likelihood of a drought or lack of it.  It is not the computer itself but, the people who are working there using that computer.  So, we are looking at also an issue whereby it is going to support the Zimbabwe Space Agency because the Zimbabwe Space Agency is correlated with the High Performance Computing Centre.  So, all the observations that are going to be made by our satellites which are going to be in space and some of which we are using, the international ones are going to relay the information to the High Performance Computing so that we talk about bread and butter issues on technology, delivering food, delivering weather, delivering soil condition, delivering population statistics, delivering everything that we need.  So, we believe that the High Performance Computing Centre through well thought applications, is going to help with agriculture using the method that I have mentioned above.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Yes, the Hon. Minister has told us that he has brought this and it is in writing.  Why do we not adopt a situation whereby we write it as it is than flighting it in the media?  Then, when we do that work and there is progress, we then publish in media so that we perform and publicise because the hunger that is being experience in Zimbabwe is not because we are poor farmers but the challenge is on the planning aspect.  There is no water and we are ploughing seed 727...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are now going into detail.  Is it possible that since we have written it and it is so well written in black and white, can we not do it in practice?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have just showed you the book but it does not mean that we will not implement.  I want to make a commitment that everything that we talk about in this House happens and has results.  Yes, we sometimes have words that we say but at the end of the day, those words are translated into action.  I want to say, this year as we speak about what has been raised by the other Hon. Member and Hon. Matangira, because of the hunger that is in this country and also on planting the wrong crops on wrong soils, we have a project under this high performance computer which address agro - ecological regions.

I want to say that we were able to live according to our word.  In August we are going to have new ecological regions and I want to promise you that Hon. Matangira we might talk as if this cannot be implemented, but it will happen because sometime ago we had not fully done our research, it did not yield results. What we want to do is to bring in new research so that we do not depend on previous knowledge but current knowledge. I want to give my commitment that we are not only going to talk but we will act. I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: My supplementary question is basically on the timelines in particular as it relates to interrogating the high performance computer centre whether it is going to work in terms of adding value to our minerals. When is that going to be in place so that we can derive maximum benefit as alluded to in the mineral sector, particularly on the 60 known minerals that we are endowed with as a nation so that we can start collaboration, coordination and networking and get out of the “BBC” era, the born before computer era.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon. Nduna for the supplementary question regarding mineral exploration. One of the main programmes that we are running with the high performance computer centre  is mineral exploration techniques. This is a programme that we started funding in 2018 and we believe  that any country has to know where its mineral resources are, so that we run away from words such as abundant, endowed and just say how many nuggets do we have and how much in terms of kilogrammes.

The high performance computer will make us be able to talk about our mineral resources the way we talk about a bank account whereby you say out of $1000, I withdrew $300 so I am left with $700. So this research programme about mineral resources is one of the key functions that we are performing at the high performance computing centre. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Unfortunately we agreed that we will stick to three supplementary questions. Having said that Hon Minister, some of the sections of your presentation were highly Greek to the Chair and to some of us seated there – would it not be good perhaps if you have the resources to print that booklet so that it is distributed among the Hon. Members where they can read about it and at some future time if there are issues they want to raise, they can follow a written narrative.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): We can happily make copies available. I am also happy to say this booklet is also on the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development website. If Hon Members want to make immediate access to it, they can access the website but if they really need hard copies like what I have I am happy to say we will avail copies this month. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank your Hon Minister that the content is on website. All Hon Members have got tablets now, you can liaise with the Clerk of Parliament and send the soft copies directly to each Member of Parliament.

*HON. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Land, Agriculture and Water Development. What measures does the Government have in place in terms on the distribution of mechanisation equipment from John Deere and to ensure that it is decentralised to district level. Due to the Covid pandemic most people cannot travel to the urban centres to go and apply thus the result is that those who benefited before will still benefit again. What we want is for the provinces to equally benefit from this mechanisation programme?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he posed which will assist a lot of people in the rural areas. The issue of mechanisation equipment which includes combine harvesters and other agricultural implements – the way it is being distributed is that Government used to give the equipment directly to the farmers but there were challenges of favouratism and people were alleging that inputs were going to people in top leadership. So to curtail that challenge, this programme is now being administered by banks. Government devised this plan so that there will not be farmers who will be disadvantaged. What I can urge Hon. Member here is that if you want a tractor or plough, you need to apply to CBZ, Stanbic and Agribank.

I believe all these banks are present in every province. So, whoever wants anything should apply and specify what one wants. The tractors come in sizes and you need to specify the size. If you go to the bank you will be given an application form where you give those specific details. This was done so that no province or race is disadvantaged because this mechanisation equipment is for farmers. It is not discriminatory and does not look at ones race, religion or party but it looks at your ability as a farmer.

*HON GOZHO: I need clarification from the Minister that if I go to the bank, what are the requirements for me to qualify to apply for that equipment.

*HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that she posed.  No, Mr. Speaker, it does not mean that once you apply you automatically get a tractor.  What is happening is that we are in the phase 1 stage of mechanisation, so it is concentrating on A2 farmers who are highly productive and the farmers that are highly productive, especially looking at their submission of grain to the GMB.  So, it is mostly targeted towards A2 successful farmers.

There is a phase 2 scheme that is going to focus more on small scale farmers.  What they consider the most, Hon. Member who posed the question, like I said you need to be a renowned farmer, a successful farmer.  If you take your application to the bank, the bank will send its officers to come and assess whether you are a professional farmer.  That is what will be considered for you to get any mechanisation equipment and the bank will determine.  A deposit is also needed to ensure that once you get the tractor you will be able to pay.  Yes, you will negotiate with the bank for the repayment period, depending on the equipment that you have chosen.  Like I said, the tractors have different sizes.  You choose the tractor that you want and you pay the deposit.  I thank you.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  My supplementary question is, in view of the fact that these very limited tractors are going to be allocated on the basis of performance, is it possible for the Ministry to avail to Parliamentarians a database showing previous records of productivity so that we can play our oversight role.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. KARORO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you Hon. Member.  It is very possible Mr. Speaker, to come up with a database.  These are records and those records are there.  If Parliament wants to have a look at the list, we are prepared to bring the list to Parliament.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  From the way the Minister has explained this does not seem to be an immediate process that after applying to get a tractor. How does the Minister explain the fact that the programme was launched and on the same day it was launched, I met several people driving away their tractors.

HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, to the best of my knowledge no tractor was driven that day, unless if the Hon. Member of Parliament is prepared to bring evidence to our Ministry, we will then make investigations.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Sekai Nzenza.  Minister, in recent weeks we have seen the sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities - day in, day out.  What policy measures is Government putting in place to stabilise prices of basic commodities and stimulate domestic production so as to contain imported inflation?  Thank you

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  It is certainly true that we have witnessed prices continuously going up to the extent that we had a stakeholder meeting with retailers and in good faith agreed to put on a moratorium of price rises. I would like to admit Mr. Speaker Sir, that it was not as effective as we thought it was going to be.

The major problem, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we are struggling with the exchange rate.  We need to stabilise the economy and that is also impacting on the prices.  Secondly, the other problem is yes, we do have some difficult people who are not so sympathetic to the consumer and we are appealing to those who continuously raise prices to be a bit more cognisant and sympathetic to the ordinary citizen.

Thirdly, as a Ministry we are looking at import substitution and in doing so we are working quite closely with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to look at the agriculture recovery plan, manufacturing with a view to increasing the production of raw materials within the country.  So what is happening Mr. Speaker Sir is that this requires different line ministries to work together in order to meet the Presidential mandate towards increased employment, import substitution, innovation with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development so that our vision will become true.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Thank you Hon. Minister for the answer.  Can you favour this House with a time line within which the import substitution measures are going to be implemented.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Again Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  We do have a strategy looking at import substitution and within this strategy we are looking at what we are calling the low hanging fruit. These are the key priorities and one of them is looking at the pharmaceutical industry and the second one is looking at the fertilizer industry.  So what you will see in this coming season we will be producing fertilizer locally and that is the time line.  We are also looking at the leather and cotton industry and again by the end of this year we will show results.  That is the time line.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care.  In view of the rising numbers in the COVID – 19 pandemic and the planned opening of schools later this month, what is Government policy in respect of continued use of education promises as worshipping centres?  I thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker it is important to know that the rising cases can be disaggregated.  Most of the cases are imported cases, therefore quarantine centres have been very important as places to contain that.  We also of course have got local transmission.  That mostly is related to the imported cases, which means they are the contacts.  So in terms of the policy on quarantine centres, the taskforce already started moving away from schools and colleges. I think in terms of colleges, by this week they would have been cleared and we do disinfection.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  With due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, my question was not related to the use of schools as quarantine centres.  My question is the use of schools as worship centres.  What is Government policy on the continued use of schools as churches?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Sorry about misinforming that I thought you had said quarantine centres.  I think the guidelines are very clear.  We have to be more careful now.  The issue is that the schools are schools but they can also be used for certain functions.  As long as the function that is there is conforming to the World Health Organisation guidelines as adopted by the guidelines issued by the Government of Zimbabwe through my Ministry, then we do not see a problem.  Thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am aware that all schools which were used as quarantine centres were fumigated; they were all fumigated and by allowing worshippers to these schools, are we not bringing about the spreading of COVID 19?  Why not allow worshippers to use other premises which are not schools?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Perhaps the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education could chip in.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. MATHEMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for asking this question.  In fact, this morning I gave a directive that churches must move out of schools in preparation for the opening of schools at the end of this month.  I sent out that directive this morning.  I thank you.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very concerned about students opening end of this month.  A case in point is, may his soul rest in peace, Mr. Sibanda.  Mr. Sibanda worked in a Government department which is currently closed.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Mr. who?

HON. DR. LABODE:  A Mr. Sibanda who died of COVID recently.  He worked in a Government institution.  He did not present any COVID symptoms.  He lived with his children in Norton.  He went to a workshop in Chiredzi.  The timeframe between him being infected, which we do not know and the time he died without telling us where his contacts are is frightening.  Mr. Sibanda’s children, I am sure like a lot of other COVID people will go to school on the 31st.  I hope we will not lead ourselves into another lockdown like Madagascar.  Thank you.

HON. MATHEMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for her worries and indeed the whole country needs to be worried.  We all need to do the best we can to prevent the spread of this pandemic.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we do the best we can at the schools to protect our learners or our children, teachers and all staff members of each school.  We have thermometers at each school, sanitisers and masks.  So we do the best we can to make sure that nobody is affected by the illness.  We will do the best we can all over the country and that is why we need cooperation of everybody; the schools, managers, the administration, parents and the general public to make sure that our children go back to school in an environment that will protect them as much as we can.  Thank you.

HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to commend the Government for putting a lot of effort on the agricultural programme, but I would like to enquire whether there is or there will be a policy to adjust the buying price for maize as we see that there is an adjustment on the rate at which the US dollar is exchanging to our Zimbabwe dollar.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for a very wise and good question.  Hon. Speaker, a few months ago we announced a new producer price and recently, we announced an incentive to our farmers of about 30% if farmers delivered maize in July.  Hon. Speaker, I can tell you that certainly we understand that the environment is changing daily and our Ministry has also put a proposal to have a further incentive.  However, at this stage Hon. Speaker, nothing has been agreed on although we do understand the need to ensure that something is put in place.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is - what are the chances that the cotton price is also going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, the cotton price was very recently announced and you will remember Hon. Speaker that it had a component of US dollars of about US$10 per bale.  At this stage Hon. Speaker, I think it will be premature for us to stand here and promise the nation anything.  At this stage, the cotton price remains, although we do understand there are other problems that are surrounding the cotton industry.  However, specifically to answer the Hon. Member’s question, at this stage not.  Thank you.

*HON. TEKESHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister said the cotton prices were revised recently but it was not done in US dollars.  It was pegged against the Zimbabwe dollar which is losing its value every day.  We visited the area and people told us that

they were expecting to buy tractors or trucks but now the cotton producers will not be able to buy anything.  They have not received the payments in Zimbabwean dollar since May.  Are the prices going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: The question is the same as the previous one.  I want to point out that cotton farmers receive inputs for free. It is different from other crops like tobacco, maize, wheat and soyabeans.  At this stage, it is impractical to stand up and guarantee the nation that something will be reviewed.  It is not within our Ministry – we can put recommendations but at the end of the day, it has to be decided from the Ministry of Finance.  If the situation changes, we will stand with our farmers and back them.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My supplementary question goes to the Minister of Agriculture.  Farmers are facing challenges of transporting their maize to GMB because the transporters cannot access fuel.  Is there any provision from Government for transport or fuel access?

HON. HARITATOS: With regards to transport, I think it is not only unique to the agricultural sector but to each and every one of us even in here today.  What we have done to mitigate this in the short to medium term is to increase the number of buying stations under GMB.  We have also tried to assist our farmers with transport from buying stations to the GMB depots.  We have asked commercial farmers to also act as centres for us to be able to buy.   These are the measures we have taken but certainly transport is a major challenge because the liquid fuel is unavailable.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following vehicles are obstructing  or blocking other vehicles; ADX 8903 a silver land cruiser and ADV 3896 which is a navy blue Mercedes Benz.  Please, if you can move your vehicles so that you do not obstruct other vehicles otherwise the two vehicles will be clamped.

*HON. TEKESHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Since the introduction of toll gates, we were promised that we were going to have very good roads in this country but our roads especially in the rural areas are worse off than how they used to be before the introduction of toll gates.  Is the revenue from toll gates being used properly or not?

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH. MATIZA): We are seeing a lot of development on the roads in this Second Republic.  Four road authorities get money from ZINARA for the maintenance of roads but there are challenges that we face in the way we are operating and some of the problems were inherited.

Firstly, it is the management at ZINARA.  As you know, there was a lot of chaos and corruption; that is what we had to address first and foremost.  We now have a new board and new management.  All the executive positions have been replaced now.  The management is now moving smoothly.

The money that was collected by ZINARA is now used to cover credits, backlogs and arrears.  Some people are now asking us to increase toll-gate fees from RTGS10 to RTGs150 or so.  That should happen so that we are able to repair our roads from money generated from toll gates.

The problem goes to management of road authorities.  There are some requirements that they are supposed to fulfil before then can get money from ZINARA and these are delayed.  This leads to delay in maintenance or repair of roads, thus people will end up blaming Government for that.  We have been liaising with them and we have held workshops to educate them on that.

In terms of progress on road maintenance and works; there are a lot of road works that are taking place in this country, especially in relation to what is happening in our country; firstly Cyclone Idai, droughts and now COVID-19.  All these things were being covered by revenue from toll-gates but Government persevered.  If you look at roads in all the provinces or districts, most of them are being repaired as we speak under these difficult circumstances that we are in.

*HON. TEKESHE: I understand that the money from toll gates is being used for pandemics such as COVID.  That money is supposed to be used for road maintenance.  Are we supposed to refuse paying the toll gate fees because most of us do not use those roads which are being repaired? When are these roads that we use in the rural areas going to be repaired?

*HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  I said all these disasters that happened slowed down road maintenance. This means that there is something that is happening although the progress has slowed down.  We actually disbursed funds to several authorities right now but I cannot mention them.  What you can simply do is to check in your localities whether they have not received money from ZINARA and find out why they have not received funds from ZINARA.  Then I am sure you will be able to even tell me here why but the main aim is what we are looking at now is increasing toll fees so that we are able to maintain and repair our roads so that our roads are usable.

ZINARA’s duty is to collect money, disburse it to road authorities and to ensure accountability of those funds.  Those requirements, rules and laws of accountability apply even to local authorities and that is where the problem is.  They fail to fulfill the conditions and fail to get the money.  What you should do is that when you return to your constituencies, ask your local authorities about what is happening and that will help us all for betterment of development.

*HON. KASHIRI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister Matiza and also to thank His Excellency the President, E. D. Mnangagwa for organising ZUPCO buses for us.  The problem that we have is that in the rural areas, ZUPCO buses are not plying the routes because of poor roads.  What plans do you have to repair the roads so that people can access ZUPCO transport in the rural areas?

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Hon. Kashiri, your question is the same as what was asked before and the Hon. Minister has already attended to that question.  Unless Hon. Minister, if you have something to add to the question that was asked now.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you.  I wish that the Hon. Minister could explain this growing trend.  When a road has been started, we expect that all the scope of works, budgets, everything has been done and material is acquired and carried to site.

There is now a growing trend that a road is started Mr. Speaker.  They start working and two to three months, they disappear for two years and nothing happens then suddenly they reappear.  What will be happening?  What is the problem?  Could the Hon. Minister explain to us because all roads that are started never get completed.  At some stage you know the contractor will disappear…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member, may you get direct to your question.

HON. GABBUZA:  I am sure that the Hon. Minister understood it.  There is a growing trend that roads are started and hopefully all the equipment will have been put on site but suddenly they disappear for some years then resurface.  What is the problem according to the Hon. Minister’s experience?  Thank you.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  What normally happens is that roads are funded and we do that here in terms of budgetary allocations and budget allocations are done annually.

In some instances and which was now becoming a rare issue before the catastrophe of Idai and subsequent catastrophes.  So this then leads to certain prioritization.  I will give you an example of what is happening right now.  We have some roads that have reached priming stage, some roads have just been cleared – now those that have reached priming stage, if they are left like that, then that means we are going to lose that material and the money.  So the issue of prioritization then means that we have to leave certain roads and prioritise the roads that are at a certain level.  This is a funding issue Hon. Member; it is a funding issue Hon. Speaker which I am very sure the Hon. Member is aware.

Where I can come in is to explain the issue of prioritization when we get to areas where there is budgetary deficit.  This is where then we come in and select certain portions of the roads that have gone to certain levels where a lot of expenditure has been done.  This is what we are doing now.  The issues of the roads in various provinces, I can name the majority of them, we have now reprioritised as we speak.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has released ZWL$250 million as of yesterday to now pay all the contractors who had not been paid so that they can restart on these projects.  So, this is how the trend goes.

In some cases, it is not Government’s fault as it could be the contractors themselves.  Sometimes they mismanage their funding and they do not go ahead with work and in those cases, we terminate and bring other contractors on board – that takes a bit of time to rearrange.  So Hon. Member, I want to assure you that whenever funding is available, whenever the funding that we vote for here is made available the work continues. I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Minister, Hon. Speaker, what safeguards has the Ministry put in place so that monies that are contributed through toll gates and other sources are not misused by local authorities especially what we have seen in urban centres; where they receive that money and end up buying big vehicles at the expense of residents?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member.  When money has been allocated to a local authority which has all the functionaries of any authority, we expect them to take care of that money and use it properly.  Any other way of using it, misappropriation is deemed as corruption.

However, we have an Audit Section, as I said; we would want, through ZINARA funding, ZINARA will go and make sure that those monies are properly used by way of auditing and reports.  Largely, an authority is an authority given their budgets, they sit in their council chambers, they allocate the roads that they want to do and they have engineers there. They also have an Audit Section there to see that these things work.  So, to a certain extent, the misappropriation is an issue of misgovernance at that level.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to know from the Hon. Minister what plans he has got to increase the charges at the toll gates?  Aware that this is where the money for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance of the road network comes from and also the road access fees; aware that we are the lowest in the region in terms of the amount paid.

Currently, it is about USD$20.00 for foreign vehicles.  Does he have plans and when does he intend putting them in place?  We are paying ZWL$10.00; it used to be USD$10.00.  Does he have plans to put it up to that so that we can have our impeccable infrastructure second to none?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member on the question that he has just asked.  In fact, we are almost at the concluding stage of revising the toll fees.

We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be of high standard.  We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be accident free and also of the fact that they have to be commensurate with the regional road network in terms of quality.  So, this is why we have looked at the toll charges and very soon before the end of the month, we will be gazetting them.

HON. S. S.  KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  What is Government policy on rehabilitating boreholes that were dug and equipped in the 1940s and 1950s?   The boreholes seemingly are now getting out of use, the breakdowns are so numerous that perhaps I think they need complete rehabilitation and overhaul.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker and to the Hon. Member for the question.  Certainly Hon. Speaker, water is a basic human right and our Ministry understands its mandate.  The rehabilitation of boreholes around the country is a top priority of our Ministry.  It is actually what we call a low bearing fruit because it does not involve drilling new ones.   Our Ministry so far this year alone has rehabilitated in excess of 1 800 boreholes and deep wells.  So to answer specifically what the Hon. Member is asking, there are certain boreholes that were drilled almost 7   to 8 decades ago and at some stage, boreholes do certainly pass the best before.  So our Ministry in line with rehabilitation of boreholes also has facilities to drill new boreholes and ZINWA under our Ministry is in charge of drilling in two provinces specifically and DDF are in charge of the balance of the provinces.  So, it is certainly an ongoing process but given the challenges with the finances and given recently the challenges with liquid fuel, our Ministry has not been able to do to its full optimal level and certainly we hope that in the near future, this becomes a thing of the past.

HON. S. S. KHUMALO: Mr. Speaker Sir, perhaps the Minister is talking about this rehabilitation of 1 700 boreholes from different areas.  From where I come from the boreholes are just not being serviced.  If I may just make it open; I hail from Tsholotsho North. We have a serious problem of water in that area and it is disheartening that the Minister can answer me and say they have been rehabilitating boreholes yet the boreholes there have outlived their lifespan.  I did not want to say that but that is what I realised.  I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, we have what we call our WASH programme which is at district level so that the job of rehabilitating and repairing individual boreholes actually falls at district level and so certainly, I have taken note of what the Hon. Members mentioned and I am happy to say that Hon. Members even come to my office to raise these issues.  I will make the undertaking rather to ensure that we do prioritise certainly the southern regions of our country which are very dry and need greater amount of support and that is certainly what our Ministry will do.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker Sir, in the life of the 8th Parliament, we were promised by the same Ministry that they will drill 4 boreholes in each constituency. Could I kindly check with the Minister if this is still in the pipeline?  He has indicated that the drilling of boreholes is a low hanging fruit, is he able to provide timelines as to when we are going to get those 4 boreholes per constituency?

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, I would like to correct the Hon. Member. I said the rehabilitation of boreholes is a low bearing fruit, certainly the drilling of boreholes is a much greater cost and a little more difficult. Hon. Speaker, I am a proud member of the Nineth Parliament, I was not around in the Eighth Parliament. However, I do know from my predecessor in my personal constituency...

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, when I raise issues in the past, I am aware that he is a new member but this is a House of record and the Ministry existed, then so it is for him to read and make sure he is up to speed with what has been happening in the House before he came.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker, unfortunately I was cut off before I could finish my sentence.  Hon. Speaker, what I was saying is that I know from my predecessor who did receive the 4 boreholes in is constituency and therefore I do certainly know about this.  What I meant to say to the Hon. Member was that I do not know specifically which constituencies were done and which constituencies were not done.  It is possible that some constituencies had two boreholes instead of the 4. The undertaking that I was going to say before I was stopped is that certainly, I will look at the 210 constituencies and ensure that we do at least put in line that we do complete this project even though it is not in the Nineth Parliament.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to add one quick item.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No you cannot add.  Is it a point of clarification?

HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I need clarity if one member of this House got 4 boreholes already, what is the criteria of prioritization because I come from the driest part of the country and it will beat any manner of sensible thinking why we were not put up first?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the Minister was very clear on that point.  He said he was going to look into all those 210 constituencies to find out how many of those constituencies got 4 boreholes, how many got two then he will come back with a response.  What else would you want him to say?

HON. NDEBELE: I come from the driest part of the country.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: But look at it, he has answered that clearly, why would you want to labour the Minister on that.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is that Minister, it is a proven fact that bush pumps are a lot more expensive to install and repair compared to submersibles.  What policy position is there to migrate towards solar driven boreholes?

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the fantastic question. I am also an advocate of the same Hon. Speaker. I will tell you and as well as our Ministry.  We are certainly trying to move away and go into what we also deem as climate smart methods of dealing with our water and sanitation issues.  Certainly, we are shifting towards that but again Hon. Speaker, the major constraint is the finances and as the finances come, we would like to look at these.  I know certain boreholes for example anything between 40 to 50 metres can still be used by bush pumps, anything deeper than 50 metres is very difficult. you almost damage the equipment.  So, this is very well within our Ministry and certainly in the near future we will prioritise.

*HON. NHARI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is Government policy concerning our returnees when they come back to Zimbabwe considering that they will be travelling in the same bus?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Government and the Ministry or taskforce has what we call guidelines that we use so that people will not affect each other and to minimise the rate of infections.

*THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Ministry and the taskforce, we have guidelines that we use so that we  minimise chances of spreading the disease.  So government, through our Ministry is working hard to ensure that happens.  All I can say is that if those guidelines can be adhered to, the ones that are written, everything will go according to plan.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My question on those who are travelling, being transported from South Africa to Malawi for example, if those people get a breakdown on the road, those people end up being stranded, live there and they end up spreading the disease as they travel to their country.  We came across such a situation where people travelling to Malawi had a breakdown.  What is Government policy to assist people in such a scenario?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:   Thank you Hon. Speaker, our plan is not about disaster of stopping the spread of disease.  Accidents happen on the roads and we know that.   When people travel in the country, we try by all means to implement our programme according to the guidelines that we have because that is what helps us in solving such problems if they come up.  If our guidelines are adhered to, our programme will work very well.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, when I go for testing and they discover that I am HIV positive, there are counselors.  What happens with Covid- 19, does Government provide counselors if people discover that they are Covid- 19 positive so that they are not in a shock even if they go to quarantine centres so that they recover very well.  I thank you.

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Government has social workers, also psycho support services and in short, yes.  I thank you.

*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  What is the Government doing to make sure that the pensioners concerned get a decent living out of the many years of service and dedication to the country:

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Zhou for that beautiful question. The question is too specific and I would request that you write it down, then I can get the specific answers.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  There has been a bit of reference to my question but I want to fine tune it.  It is a fact that there has been an increase in cases of locally transmitted Covid- 19 and it is also a fact that there is bound to be a spike as we go through the rest of the winter season.  The second republic in its wisdom has declared our response to Covid- 19 as a war.  You and I Mr. Speaker lived through the liberation struggle wherein schools were out for more than 10 years.  I want to check with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Speaker Sir, if you allow me.  What is so painfully difficult for the listening second Republic to come up with a policy that gravitates towards the writing of the rest of this academic year - that is if

writing off the rest of this academic year if our intention is to protect our children from Covid-19.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Indeed, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the listening Second Republic are aware of the dangers posed by Covid-19. However, we do not think that it is at the scale at the moment to warrant a cancelling off completely of everything. It is our belief that measures that we are taking currently to protect our learners, teachers and communities are sufficient in our view to give a free and safe environment for our learners.

HON. NDEBELE: Most schools have not received adequate PPEs and schools in Bulawayo in particular have no water. What sufficient measures is the Deputy Minister speaking to and for good measure, teachers’ unions have spoken against the opening of schools. I thank you.

HON. E. MOYO: I think it is common knowledge that even before the writing of the June examinations, a lot of reservations on the preparedness of the Ministry to run the examinations were expressed. However, the reality on the ground turned out that preparations were sufficient and I think at the moment no one has raised any significant complaints regarding those preparations. It is still our view that our preparations are ongoing and it in our anticipation that by the time Grade 7s, Form 4s and Form 6s come back to school, we would have finished those preparations.

In fact our response to Covid19 with regards to reopening of schools has been well measured to allow for social distancing, hence the phased reopening of schools.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and in his absence I will direct it to the Leader of the House. I want to thank Government for distributing food to the needy. My question is what plans does the Ministry have in giving social assistance grants to Covid-19 victims.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The question is not very specific. What in particular, those that have been tested positive or what. It is not very clear.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is what plans do you have on giving social assistance grants to vulnerable people faced with Covid-19?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, during this Covid-19 period Social Welfare requested registration for all the vulnerable so that they can offer some social assistance even in urban areas. In the rural areas we already have a social assistance programme where we give grain and also have some NGOs that are supporting Government programmes by giving food aid. While the question is not very specific as to who is now vulnerable because of COVID that need social assistance, I believe there is a broad based programme to help all those that are vulnerable during this pandemic period. I thank you.

Question without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of standing order Number 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION OF BULAWAYO-NKAYI ROAD

  1. HON S. K. MGUNI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the construction of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road will be completed, considering that the project has been outstanding for more than 35 years.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA): Bulawayo-Nkayi road is a primary road which links Bulawayo and Nkayi and also provides a direct link between Bulawayo and Gokwe in the Midlands Province. The upgrading has been going on over a long period of time. The upgrade of the road from narrow state to surface standard commenced in 1993 with a feasibility study. The actual construction commenced using donor funding from the Kuwait Fund in 1996. The donor pulled out in the year 2000 after completing the designs for 65km and the construction of one bridge as well as 29 km of road.

The Department of Roads took over the construction of the road in 2001 and did construction up to 44 km peg as well as completed Mbembesi and Ingwingwizi Bridges which are now trafficable. The progress has been slow due to the rate at which funding for the implementation of the project is availed by Treasury. For the 10 km target of 2019 5 km have been primed. Due to the Covid-19 most of the road construction projects were stalled this year as resources were diverted to fight the pandemic. Priority is now on ongoing road projects that were at prime stage as at December 2019. Bulawayo-Nkayi Road falls under the reprioritised list of roads targeted for surfacing in 2020. Materials needed to surface the 5 km primed section for the Bulawayo Nkayi Road are already on site. Since we are in winter and we are experiencing low temperatures which are not ideal for surfacing, track and seal works will resume as temperatures improve.  Construction will continue guided by funding availed.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I visited this road at the beginning of last month to assess the state of the road and the progress to date.  Due to limited resources, the Department of Roads will ensure routine maintenance of the narrow mat to ensure it is trafficable while rehabilitation and construction is ongoing on the other section of the road.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister the road that he alludes to is infested with a lot of mining ventures.  Queens Mine is another one and there is Tech Mine and there is another mine.  Whose primary mandate is it to extract our resources and leave gaps, if not dams; aware that this resource that I am talking about is finite and we will not have any shoots sprouting from the ground.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, please may you get to your question.

HON. NDUNA:  My question therefore is, what is the Minister doing in order to make sure that these miners plough back in terms of infrastructural development?  It is happening outside our borders using our minerals, why can it not happen here?  What is it that we are doing in order for them to plough back using this finite resource in our country, for our country to use what we have to get what we can?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, your question is completely out of the original question.  That sounds like it is a new question unless of course Minister, you have got something to add.

HON. NDUNA:  I spoke about the mines in that area.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No.

FINALISATION OF RECONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGE ACROSS PIRIVIRI RIVER

  1. HON. HOUGHTON asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when -

(a) The Magunje-Siakobvu Road in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District will be upgraded;

(b)            The bridge over the Mawena River will be repaired considering that it is the only link between the Negande area to the road network system in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District and the rest of the country.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The first answer Mr. Speaker Sir, the Magunje-Siakobvu Road is a section of the Karoi-Binga Road that we have been working on since 2019.  In essence, the upgrading of that road has already started and to date we have surfaced 10km.  We shall continue to lobby the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to continue funding the road so that we can deliver at least 10km a year.

The second question – Mr. Speaker Sir, the bridge in question is on the road that is maintained by DDF and as such, the bridge is also under the purview of DDF.  DDF is therefore in a better position to answer the question.  I thank you.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road going to Nyaminyami rural district area is so bad that there has been no bus service for more than a year on that.  In the entire Nyaminyami rural district, there is no bus service and I think the Minister needs to put an effort into getting the road usable there so that at least the people can have a bus service.  Thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As I have alluded to that as long as we get the funding, we will continue to upgrade these roads given the fact that at least we should do 10km a year.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road is 334km long.  Apparently, about 100km have been done which means that there is about 200km still to be done.  At 10km a year, it is going to take 20 years to complete that road.  It is not good enough Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I said is at least the minimum.  This is a budgetary issue, it is depending on the funding and we approve the budgets here, but at minimum that is what we are talking about.  I thank you.

RESUMPTION OF CONSTRUCTION OF LUPANE HOSPITAL

  1.     HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the construction of the Lupane Provincial Hospital will resume.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Works at the proposed Lupane Provincial Hospital has since resumed.  The contractor, Zimbabwe Jingsu International was handed over the site on 26th August last year.  The project is being implemented in phases.  Phase one comprises of Outpatient Department, administration block, pharmacy, central stores, staff houses and civil works.  A pre-purchase of materials worth $9 million RTGs was done late last year and have since been delivered to site.  I am sure the work has started and is going on.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

REBUILDING OF THE MATERNITY WARD AT ST LUKE HOSPITAL

  1.   HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans to rebuild the maternity ward at St Luke Hospital which was gutted by fire.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  The affected department is a Family and Child Health Department. The hospital through the church, who are the owners have raised US$18 000 and have since done the quotations for the roof.  The Government has also allocated $2 000 000 through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) to augment the contribution of the mission. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

PROTECTION OF PATIENTS FROM WEATHER ELEMENTS

  1.   HON. CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House measures being taken to protect patients from weather elements as they wait for treatment outside health care centres in compliance with the COVID-19 control measures.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is putting in place various measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The Ministry has embarked on expediting the provision of treatment or consultation services at all various levels of care to prevent long queues as well as observing social distancing.  Further to that, we have embarked on provision of waiting mothers’ shelters and/or waiting areas at all health facilities.  Most of our clinics, rural health hospitals, district/mission, provincial and central hospitals have waiting shelters as part of their structure.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN BIKITA SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.   HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency will have internet connectivity.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.

NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MMB) phase 3 project.  Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26, 28 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the Fourth Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure master plan.  The master plan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and POTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am supplementing in relation to the issue of infrastructure sharing that the Hon. Minister spoke about.  We have not heard this for the first time.  Could the Hon. Minister share with this House where the bottlenecks are?  Where are the problems because this has been talked about, I think, since time immemorial?

HON. DR. MUSWERE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Infrastructure sharing is taking place and so far more than 20 sites have been identified and at least more than 10 have been developed by POTRAZ on an infrastructure sharing basis.

What basically happens is that POTRAZ develops the passive infrastructure and the three MNOs then install their active infrastructure on each and every passive infrastructure base station that would have been identified by POTRAZ.  It is an ongoing process, it is taking place and is very successful.  Currently, Econet and NetOne are working together on around 49 new sites wherein they will be sharing their infrastructure.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ROAD REHABILITATION IN MABVUKUTAFARA CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. CHIDHAKWAasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development when the Ministry will start road rehabilitation in Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency given that the roads are badly dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry is cognisant of the poor state of roads in a number of residential areas including Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency.  The road networks have outlived their design lives and therefore require rehabilitation.   Plans have been put in place for the rehabilitation and reseal of the roads and the implementation has started with the major roads.  The rehabilitation will continue to be implemented in a prioritised manner until the entire road network has been attended to.  The City of Harare is in charge of these roads and is also in a better position to give concrete plans for road rehabilitation in Harare.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF TYNWALD NORTH AND GOODHOPE ROADS

  1. HON. MAMOMBE asked Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will rehabilitate Tynwald North and Goodhope Roads in Harare West Constituency in view of the fact that both roads are dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Tynwald North and Goodhope roads are important feeder roads in Harare West constituency.  The roads are currently in a poor state and indeed require rehabilitation.  City of Harare is in a better position to give us its immediate plans for rehabilitation.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF SHAMROCK ROAD IN HURUNGWE NORTH

  1. HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain measures put in place to rehabilitate Shamrock Road in Ward 9 Hurungwe North.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, currently due to budget constraints there is no periodic maintenance being done.  We are prioritising routine maintenance as funds are limited.  The Department of Roads is cognisant of the fact that the road requires rehabilitation in the medium term and this will be done when commensurate funding is available.  I thank you.

TARRING OF ZVOMUKONDE AND NGUNGUMBANE STRETCH IN MBERENGWA

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane and when the stretch in Mberengwa District will be tarred.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch of 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane were non availability of the designs of road for that section during construction.  The funds for the road project ran out during the time of construction in 2004.  As soon as the funding line has been availed to our Ministry, the project will resume.  I thank you.

FUNDS RELEASED BY ZINARA TO MBERENGWA RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House how much ZINARA released to Mberengwa Rural District Council for the period 2018 to 2019 and how much was acquitted to date.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINARA disbursed $23 647 on 6th March, 2018 and $130 086 on September, 2018 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  In 2019, a total of $76 866 was disbursed and recently in March 2020, Zinara disbursed $258 486 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  These disbursements were for routine maintenance and it should be noted that Mberengwa Rural District Council is failing to utilise its periodic maintenance funds.  Each year ZINARA allocates funds to both urban and rural district councils.  Of these funds, 75% should be allocated to periodic maintenance while 25% is for routine maintenance.  In this regard, a total of $504 838 was allocated in 2018, $597 767 in 2019 and $1 824 024 in 2020.

To date, there are no records showing any utilisation of these allocated funds for periodic maintenance by Mberengwa Rural District Council.  Money for periodic maintenance is usually disbursed after work is done.  With regards to acquittals for 2019, the disbursed funds are only for first half of the year and no acquittals were submitted for the last six months.  In cases where allocated funds are not enough to cover periodic maintenance, rural district councils and urban councils can pass resolutions to use allocated funds for routine maintenance.

HARARE FLYOVERS

  1. HON. MAGO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry of Transport is going to attend to Harare Flyovers that are in need of urgent attention as they risk collapse. These include the Simon Mazorodze, Beatrice Road at the interchange with Rotten Row.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the tender for the inspection of these bridges inclusive of Simon Mazorodze was concluded and awarded.  The consultant is due to formalise their engagement through a formal contract and start work in the near future.  I thank you.

ZUPCO BUSES FOR MHANGURA FEEDER ROADS

  1. HON. MASANGOasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain when ZUPCO buses will be allocated to feeder roads that are mainly dirty dusty roads in Mhangura.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the allocation and operation of ZUPCO buses falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  As such, the question should be directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

FREE MEDICAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

  1. HON. S. CHAMISAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care what the government is doing to facilitate free medical services for the elderly.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  In terms of section 82 (b) of the Constitution, rights of the elderly, people over the age of 70 years have the right to receive health care and medical assistance from the State.  Government policy has gone further to include those who are 65 years old and above in providing free medical services at all public health institutions.  They are not required to pay for their medical care in public health institutions.

  1.   HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether the government has any plans to construct more clinics in Wards 23, 24 and 29 in Zaka West Constituency considering that some people have to walk for distances as long as 40 kilometres to access treatment at clinics.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry in its Infrastructure Development Plan has intention to construct health facilities in the three wards and proposed sites have been identified, that is Ward 23 site is at Choringeno, Ward 24 site is at Charuka and Ward 29 site is at Bepeza.  The Ministry has embarked on the construction of health posts and clinics and Charuka is going to be considered under this initiative.  However, we urge the Hon. Member of Parliament to also support Central Government by mobilising local communities and businesses to contribute towards such projects.

OPENING OF MASIKATI CLINIC

  1. HON. MASENDAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the Masikati Clinic which was constructed two years ago will be officially opened to the public considering that people have to walk some 20 kilometres to access medical services.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Masikati Clinic is a newly proposed facility in Hurungwe District and is owned by Hurungwe Rural District Council.  The new facility was formerly a farm house converted into a clinic.  The facility will serve a large population that is currently walking long distances to either Tengwe or Kasimure clinics which are very far.  However, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is aware of the need to speed up the official opening of the clinic given its catchment service.  Inspections were done by both the District Health Executive and the Hurungwe Rural District Council members recently.  In that regard, there were few things that needed attention which includes proper waste management facilities, fixing of wall and ceiling cracks, water availability as well as human resources for the clinic and these are at advanced stage.  Moreover, as part of social responsibility, I also urge Hon. Member of Parliament to mobilise additional resources for the community through possible donors / partners or under the Community Development Funds (CDF) to complement the efforts being done by the Central Government.

EXPANSION OF THE NETONE MOBILE NETWORK COVERAGE IN ZAKA WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when the NetOne mobile network coverage will be expanded to cover Wards 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MBB) phase 3 project.  Ward 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the 4th Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure Masterplan.  The masterplan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and PORTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

ASSISTANCE TO DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS

  1.   HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to:
  2. a)  Inform the House on the measures and programmes that have been put in place by the Ministry to assist disadvantaged children in rural areas such as Sipepa and Siganda, who, unlike those in urban centers have no access to the Internet:
  3. b)  Explain to the House how the general public can be protected from uncensored false information which is disseminated to peace loving Zimbabweans with the aim of causing confusion; and
  4. c)  Inform the House what measures have been put in place by the Ministry to sensitise the public to desist from being gullible to misleading information.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  a) The Ministry is doing everything to bridge the digital divide and this will benefit all students and pupils.  The Ministry has assigned POTRAZ and Zimpost to set up Community Information Centers (CICs) throughout the country.  These CICs are Internet connected with a minimum of 10 laptops depending on the size of the CIC.  This means that in communities that already have this facility, students can make use of the Internet for their studies.  To communities like Sipepa and Siganda CICs, we are working on it.

The Ministry with its stakeholders is also running with the Schools E-Learning Programme where computes are distributed to schools and Internet being connected to schools.  ZARNet is connecting schools whilst POTRAZ and other stakeholders are distributing computers to schools.  This however, is an ongoing programme where you will notice that some schools have already benefited both Internet connectivity and computers but, Mr. Speaker Sir, be assured that this programme is intended to reach all our schools especially those in the rural areas and the disadvantaged communities.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and POTRAZ are also ensuring equitable distribution of network towers for this will again result in connectivity to those who can afford data and advanced gadgets.  Let me however say, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the lack of foreign currency and COVID-19 is hindering a lot of these projects as we cannot procure ICT equipment.

  1. b)  The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill was given a nod by Cabinet and is at the moment with this House.   Parliament is doing its diligent job making consultations throughout the country.  Once the process is over, we will hear the outcome and it is my hope that the Act from this Bill will address concerns by the Hon. Member.
  2. c)  The Ministry, working with the regulator POTRAZ, is carrying out consumer protection awareness programmes in the form of road shows throughout the country.  Emphasis is being put on cyber related issues.

There are a number of communities that were reached and these include Ngundu, Kadoma, Shangani and Madhlambuzi just to mention but a few.  The month of October is referred to as the Cyber Security month.  The month is thus packed with activities that include road shows, public lectures, conferences, radio and television shows.  All these activities are meant to sensitise the public on cyber related threats.  Last year, 2019 in October, we carried out Cyber Security Conference/Indaba at the Rainbow Towers in Harare and Bulawayo respectively, public lectures at Africa University and National Defence University, radio and television programmes and road shows were also conducted in a number of areas.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF PERMANENT CLASSROOM BLOCKS IN RESETTLEMENT AREAS

  1.  HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary  Education to inform the House Government policy on the construction of permanent classroom blocks in resettlement areas since children in these schools learn in temporary structures.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry has in place plans for the upgrading of schools in resettlement areas, most of which are satellite schools. For each of these schools, there is a site designated for the construction of permanent structures. Programmes for construction of schools have prioritised resettlement areas. For example, the Ministry working with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has so far completed construction of 17 new schools (11 primary and 6 secondary) which are awaiting commissioning. The bulk of these schools were constructed in the resettlement areas. The Ministry is working with various partners, NGOs, churches. School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds have been used to construct classrooms in resettlement areas. Devolution funds may also be used. Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) is also used to finance these schools.

STATISTICS OF UNDERAGE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO FELL PREGNANT AND DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL IN 2019 BY PROVINCE

  1.  HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to apprise the House on the statistics of underage school girls that fell pregnant and dropped out of school in 2019 by province.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): 2019 statistics are captured in February and therefore, on the onset of the lockdown, statistics had not yet been disaggregated. However, the global figure for 2019 is as follows:

Primary Secondary Total
120 2 864 2 984

 

Through the guidance and counseling programme, the Ministry intends to eliminate the problem of dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will construct a secondary school in Ward 6, Mberengwa East Constituency, in view of the fact that children are walking a long distance from Mututu Primary School and Chiwara Primary to Mbuyanehanda High School.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): It is the Ministry’s mandate, in accordance with P73 of 1991, to ensure that learners at any given place do not walk more than 5km to the nearest school to access education. It is now a matter of public record that the Ministry, through its 2013 Infrastructure Expo has established deficit of 2 056 schools. The number has since increased.

In order to reduce the school infrastructure deficit, the Ministry has already rolled out the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Programme which to date has completed 17 schools now awaiting commissioning. The situation in Ward 6 will be looked at by inspection teams from our district offices who are expected to furnish Head Office on their findings. Furthermore, partners who include church organisations and NGOs are also invited and also working on provision of schools. Thank you.

SCHOOL FURNITURE FOR MPONJANE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA DISTRICT

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will buy school furniture for Mponjane Primary School in Mberengwa District.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Schools like Mponjane that get SIG grants are encouraged to use the grants for the acquisition of school furniture. Thank you.

INSTALLATION OF SHARED BASE STATIONS IN REMOTE AREAS OF HURUNGWE NORTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. GANDAWAasked the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House on the measures being put in place in installing shared base stations in remote areas that are economically marginalised, particularly Hurungwe North Constitutency in the Dete area, Ward 9.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Ministry has developed modalities with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to institute several measures to improve coverage in poor marginalised areas of Zimbabwe. Some of the measures taken are:

  1. Infrastructure Sharing Regulations

The authority has initiated infrastructure sharing. Infrastructure

Sharing Regulations were gazette in 2016 and the authority began mandatory sharing of telecommunications base stations. Infrastructure sharing benefits the public in that MNOs will be able to install equipment on existing towers, thereby increasing coverage. This also reduces the cost of investment thereby reducing the cost of providing the service ad pricing of services. In addition, infrastructure sharing can help reduce energy consumption and radio emissions of networks.

  1. Installation of Shared Base Stations

The authority has installed 20 shared base stations country-wide.

The completed projects consist of fifteen shared base stations with passive infrastructure and five base stations with active equipment comprising Multi Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN). In the long run, the authority has identified about three hundred and fifty wards with poor or no network coverage in Zimbabwe.

The authority, through the Universal Services Fund (USF) has

initiated several projects to address the network coverage gaps. Some of the projects include:

  1. a)Construction of 350 Shared Base Stations (Huawei Technologies)

A tender for the construction of 350 base stations was awarded to Huawei Technologies of China. The project was vendor financed and Huawei was required to source the finance. The project could not proceed as Huawei failed to secure the required financing. The tender has not yet been closed.

  1. b)Construction of 100 Shared Base Stations

The authority has tendered for the construction of 100 shared base stations in marginalised areas. An expression of interest (EOI) was done and five possible bidders have been shortlisted. The authority will proceed to issue the request for proposals (RFP). The project is also vendor financed on a build and transfer (BT) model.

  1. c)Construction of Shared Base Station Sites by Operators/Relocation of collocated Sites

The aim of this project is for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to construct passive base station infrastructure in assigned remote marginalised areas. The passive base station infrastructure includes 60m or 70m towers, equipment shelters, guard rooms, perimeter fence, commercial power, solar power (Photo Voltaic Modules), diesel engine generators, power back-up batteries and access roads.

After completion of the project, all operators will share the infrastructure. The authority through Universal Services Fund (USF), will reimburse the MNOs who would have constructed the sites.

As part of this initiative, MNOs will also be required to relocate base stations that are co-located, to new sites. Both the new site and the relocated sites will be shared by all MNOs. POTRAZ will be responsible for the cost of the relocation of the base stations.

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INFORMATION CENTRE IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to explain when the Ministry is going to establish an Information Centre in Mberengwa East Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The Ministry working with POTRAZ, is still in the process of deploying Community Information Centres (CICS) throughout the country. In Mberengwa, a CIC was established at Mberengwa Post Office and handed over to ZIMPOST for operationalisation, CICs are not established on the basis of constituencies. The primary basis for distribution of CICs is on per province basis. Using a connectivity matrix, the CIC at Mataga Post Office was set up by my Ministry and is currently operational. A CVIC is in the process of being established at Mnene, but delays have been experienced due to the shortage of foreign currency to procure required gadgets as highlighted above and the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are being made to ensure that all outstanding CICs are operationalised this year.

 

 

 

 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. NDUNA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, I move that the rest of the Questions with Notice be stood over until the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Hon. Nyoni gives a Ministerial Statement.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RESPONSE TO REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ON THE FACT FINDING VISIT  TO DISTRICT OFICES AND WOMEN EMPOWRMENT PROJECTS

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. NYONI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to present a response on the report of the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development on the fact finding visits to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry notes and appreciates the report by the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development following a fact finding visit to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.  The findings and recommendations are quite pertinent as these help the Ministry in refining programming of the various interventions to improve service delivery to the citizenry.  However, I would like to point out to the House that the report was written way back in February 2019.  The Ministry has since addressed most of the issues raised in the report such as distribution of motor bikes, training of project beneficiaries, support and modern machinery and increasing budgetary support for funded projects.

The Ministry would like to shed light however, on what has been done during this period and the challenges that are being faced.  These will be as follows:-

  1.  State of District Offices and General Infrastructure

The status of district offices is a matter of great concern to my

Ministry Mr. Speaker Sir.  However, the mandate of providing office accommodation to Government ministries is vested with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Public Works.  The Ministry responsible has been approached several times with requests to provide suitable accommodation for our officers.  It is our hope that progress will be made soon as a new idea has been mooted and that is the construction of pre-fabricated structures for use by our officers as offices.  The Public Works Department has been tasked to work with my Ministry’s Provincial Development offices to achieve the goal.

  1.  Shortage of office computers, printers and lack of Internet connectivity

The challenge has been caused by resource provision especially

on procurement of assets by Treasury.  The schedule below shows the overall resource under provision.  For example, after realising the need to provide furniture for provinces and districts, a proposal was made under the 2020 budget.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you will find that as a whole, there was a variance to what we had requested and what was given.  There was a variance of about 57%.

THE BIDS FOR 2020 BUDGET

PROGRAMME IDEAL $ ALLOCATED BUDGET SHORTFALL VARIANCE
Policy and

Administration

116 969 000 53 504 000 63 465 000 54%
Women 477 500 153 368 322 132 67%
Empowerment, Gender & Community Development 000 000 000
SMED & Cooperative Development 478 367 000 295 104 000 183 263 000 38%
TOTALS 1 176 836 000 503 976 000 672 864 000 57%

 

From the above breakdown and analysis, it is clear that   only 43% of the required budget was availed.

  1.  Mobility of officers

The explanation above on furniture and computers is relevant.

Again, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is our hope that with more funds, we could make sure that our officers are mobile.  Anyway, I am happy to announce that five vehicles have been bought.  Although we had budgeted for 17 vehicles because of inflation, we could not buy all of them.  So we have resubmitted for the other 10 vehicles and shortly these we hope will be available for our officers.

The Project Sectors

It is also the concern of the Ministry that micro enterprises in rural areas are largely engaged in extractive industry and other primary production ventures especially those that are agricultural related.  Some of the reasons for low entrepreneur skills are also the lack of technical skills and technology is also being attended to; as I will show later that the Ministry is now engaging in training people at this level.

The use of Modern Machinery and Technology.

The observation that the project does not use modern machinery and technology was noted. In 2019, the Ministry supported SMEs and new entrepreneurs where the modern equipment was sourced from India.  Such support included incubation of new machines, a function which has now been transferred to another Ministry and it is our hope that we continue to engage the relevant ministries to ensure that SMEs and women have access to appropriate technology.

The Underfunded Cooperatives

Underfunding of project is a result of the limited resources available, the rapid increase in the prices of materials to set up projects has also contributed to the problem.  However, I am pleased to say that the Ministry has reviewed the level of funding and we have increased the women’s development fund to start from 150 000 from early this year.  We are also going to review the increase of disbursement upwards up to 300 000 per project.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am glad to say that we have the Women’s Bank last year, they disbursed about 40 000 loans and I am going to be tabling the way that was done per province.  The bank also will soon be rolling out the 500 million recovery fund that was given to the Ministry by Government.  The seventh issue was access to lucrative markets; this concern was raised and I am glad to say the Ministry is engaging SMEs, training them and linking them to markets especially for their handcrafts.

We have a handcraft center in Harare that has managed to link handcrafters with markets in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, German, Australia and Japan.  The handcrafts are going very well and they have a website, if anyone wants to link to the website.  The Ministry is promoting access to markets by SMEs through facilitating them to participate in local markets especially the ZITF, Agricultural Shows and also in the SADC region.  Whenever there are such activities, the Ministry sends the SMEs there.

To promote an integration among SMEs for inputs and outputs, the Ministry is facilitating the linkage programme and we are linking them in manufacturing in terms of subcontracting and also in agriculture in the agricultural value chains and in textile and in the retail sector.  A target of 1360 SMEs participated in the agricultural value chains in the past year and a total of 4645 SMEs were linked to large companies.  This was an increase of over 272 per cent increase from what we did in 2018.

The Ministry is in collaboration with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and is building the capacity of SMEs for access to public sector procurement markets.  SMEs are also being facilitated to have business linkages with themselves, cooperatives as well as with the corporates.

Monitoring and evaluation of projects    

The monitoring of all projects under the Ministry especially key ones in which huge funds would have been committed is of paramount importance to the Ministry.  The Ministry now has a fully fledged monitoring and evaluation department and this has resulted in an improvement of the monitoring programme.

Training and Capacity Building for Project Members.

The Ministry values the training and capacity building for both members and our staff.  In 2019 a total of 24 731 SMEs were trained whilst the Ministry’s two training centres hosted 1200 women for livelihood skills training programmes.  It is important to note that trainers employed by the Ministry have been deployed to various areas to carry out this mandate.  They are also identifying if they are any capacity gaps in order for the Ministry to fill these up.  The Ministry is training also up to ward level in order to ensure that competencies and efficiencies are cascaded to that level of our operation.  Our full fledged programme was supposed to start at the first quarter of 2020 and this was disturbed by the lockdown due to COVID - 19 pandemic.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the members for their vibrant and constructive debates and also to thank the Ministry’s Portfolio Committee and hope that we continue to have constructive engagement to ensure appropriate timeframes.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I give this opportunity to members to ask questions, raise points of clarification, not making other statements.  May I emphasise on that point that you need not to make another statement.  The floor is for you to ask pertinent questions relevant to the Ministerial Statement.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 5 has been disposed of.

HON. KASHIRI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE THIRD WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT HELD IN INDONESIA

HON. P. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name:  That this House takes note of the report of the Delegation to the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Bali, Indonesia, from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.

HON. GABBUZA:  I second.

HON. P. MOYO:

Introduction

Hon. Chief Mtshane Khumalo, Member of Parliament, led the Parliamentary delegation to attend the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development which was held in Bali, Indonesia from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.  The forum was attended by 30 countries and 55 organisations.  The theme of the forum was, combating inequality through social and financial inclusion.  Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane Khumalo was accompanied by the following Members of Parliament and an officer of Parliament; Hon. Concilia Chinanzvavana, MP; Hon. Priscilla Moyo, MP; Hon. Marian Chombo, MP and now Deputy Minister; Hon. Joel Gabbuza, MP; Mrs. Chiwoniso Mataruka, Committee Clerk and Secretary of the delegation.

The report of the Chair of Indonesia House Steering Committee

The Steering Committee held a series of focul group discussions where rising inequalities is a major setback to attaining sustainable development.  Economic instability undermines social cohesion.  Inequality is a global phenomenon which needs address and 11 years remain to attain sustainable development goals targets.  This requires strong leadership of Members of Parliament who are expected to provide enabling legislation noting that Parliament is the cornerstone of democracy to hold the Executive into account.  Social and financial inclusion is key to ensure inclusivity.  The World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development should be a strong partner on attainment of sustainable development and ensure accountability and oversight of the parliamentarians effort and commitment in attainment and mainstreaming of SDGs.

         OPENING REMARKS BY MR. BAMBANG SOESATYA, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

The Speaker of the House of Representatives welcomed the delegates to the forum under the theme “Combating Inequality through Social and Financial Inclusion.” He stressed that with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, combating inequality and applying social protection has become the centre of policy agenda in all countries. Financial inclusion should be at the forefront of Government policies to reduce income inequality. Governments must protect the people and promote more social inclusion by distributing resources more fairly.

He noted that disparities are taking place around the world and require urgent attention. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are meant to attend to global challenges to attain a wealth of justice, prosperity and peace. Despite all progress and efforts, inequality still remains a challenge. There is need for stronger focus in decreasing inequality in income and skills. Poverty has fatal consequences in perpetuating inequality leading to conflict;

There is therefore, need for a deliberate move by Parliaments to capacitate the vulnerable and leave no one behind for the achievement of the 2030 agenda.

SPECIAL REMARKS BY H.E. DR MUHAMMAD JUSUF KALLA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

His Excellency Kalla noted that since the adoption of SDGs in 2015 ultimately ending in 2030, much progress has been made. Before were the MDGs with their own progress and challenges and the same applies to SDGs, but these require working together or collective efforts. He stressed the following; that nations seem to be lagging behind in many areas and this requires SDG 17 that of partnering of developed and developing nations. SDGs are Inter-connected and interrelated - that is economic development, social development and environmental sustainability.

The 2019 theme encourages nations to think on how to reduce inequality in this world through social and economic growth without discrimination where, “no one should be left behind.” Inclusiveness is the central theme of SDGs. Social development can only be achieved through social and economic growth. Countries are at different levels of development and as such, there is need for a global concerted effort to achieve development. Greater efforts must be made to achieve equality in gender, health, clean energy and addressing climate change. A developed country should have good hygiene and sanitation and these are fundamentals for the status of one’s country.

Planning and budgeting are key to overseeing SDGs in different Governments. Parliament with its authority to legislate and scrutinise budgets is important. Parliamentarians should participate effectively in how industry and infrastructure should create opportunities to do away with inequality and ensure equal opportunities. Tax rates should be discussed so that they benefit citizens of the nations.

His Excellency summed up by emphasising that partnership is key among world countries in the implementation of SDGs. No one country can grow without financial support. Thus there is need for access to financing for livelihoods and communities.

         PLENARY SESSION ON “HOW INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION CAN FOSTER EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The session was moderated by Ms Andini Effendi, and the following issues were discussed:

That the  topic of combating inequality though social and financial inclusion, and more specifically, on how infrastructure and industrial innovation can foster equal opportunities, bearing in mind that we are experiencing a new industrial revolution is key. Knowledge, interconnectedness and mobility are key and industrial revolution does not mean necessarily neither equity nor fairness. New dynamics go hand in hand with new imbalances. It is the duty of nations to ensure that progress leaves no-one behind.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development provides us with guiding principles and targets: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Infrastructure and industrial innovation impacts on several of the 17 goals and in implementing these goals, countries have to bear in mind that infrastructure is no longer synonymous with physical infrastructure. The lack of access to formal education will prevent us from combating inequalities, from creating new decent jobs and enhance social mobility; and without education the gender gap will persist harming our social and economic progress.

Industrial innovation has the potential of enhancing our means of combating the environmental, economic and social consequences of climate change, however, political willingness is imperative.

That education and awareness on the effects of climate change must be embraced by all stakeholders, including civil society.

PLENARY SESSION ON “ENSURING RURAL ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER SUPPLY, SANITATION AND HYGIENE”

The session was chaired by Mr Putri Ayuningtyas and the following issues were discussed as solutions to reach the poorest and the marginalised in improving their health, nutrition and productivity;

That 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water services, including 44 million people who are dependent on surface water and 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.

The fact that water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) is the subject of dedicated targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG No. 6 is proof to its fundamental role in public health and therefore in the future of sustainable  development. Access to safe water and sanitation are human rights, as  recognised in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. Below are key issues Parliaments may convince their governments to deliberate on:

That integrated water management can provide important co-benefits for sustainable development, climate change mitigation & adaptation, and disaster risk management especially as countries begin to review and implement their national plans in the context of the Paris Agreement. There is a unique opportunity to improve and enhance water management practices;

That WASH, as part of the achievement of SDG 6 as a whole, be higher on countries’ political agenda, and that it is mainstreamed into national, sub-national, and community-level planning;

That there be predictable and sufficient finance for WASH; and

That there be greater mutual accountability and coordination among the developing countries, development partners, supporting governments, and their citizens on WASH issues.

PLENARY ON “ENHANCING PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS INCLUSIVE FINANCING

Ms Masyitoh Annisa Ramadhani, chaired the session on ways and means of ensuring the creation of accountable, accessible and sustainable financial services for all and the following issues were raised:

That the key issues in financing development projects include: improving the ability of countries to generate permanent and stable tax revenues and improve resource management; focusing aid on sectors to be served by private finance; using aid to leverage and attract more private sector financing to projects that support development (for example, infrastructure) through public-private partnerships and investment risk mitigation;

That domestic resources (public and private) and international/external resources (public and private), as well as blended finance are the key pillars of inclusive financing for development;

That there is a need to address some global public goods and efforts to mobilize diaspora financing for the development and building a more robust private sector by improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium-enterprises;

That countries achieve the goal of universal access, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services for everyone who needs them, provided by sustainable institutions for sustainable projects;

That one important aspect is that, “Leave no one behind” and this means put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build effective peace and open trusted and accountable institutions for all; and forge a new global partnership;

That realising this goal will require a committed alliance between business, government and civil society and will determine needed and sustainable investments. Countries should work on how to mobilize financial services to deliver the needed investments for the opportunities and secure a sustainable economic future and how to leverage technologies that boost production.

CONCLUSION

In the wake of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, many countries continue to face significant challenges in an increasingly unequal world, while the most vulnerable groups remain marginalized from social and economic  participation. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are still perceived as executives’ domain, but the core Parliamentary functions in law-making, budgeting, oversight and representation of the peoples’ interests, are critical in building people-centred, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous societies, and ending all poverty everywhere in all its dimensions. Therefore, the formulation of a Parliamentary Roadmap on SDGs shall transform our shared perspective into more tangible efforts, under the principles of inclusion, partnership, and participation, where “no one left behind.

In 2017, the First World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development (WPFSD) adopted the Bali Declaration, which emphasizes the critical involvement of Parliaments in ensuring the effective implementation and timely realization of the SDGs. The Bali Declaration encourages Parliaments to strengthen national ownership by mainstreaming and implementing SDGs into enforceable National Development Plan, ensuring sufficient legal frameworks and budgetary requirements to support national policy on SDGs, scaling up efforts to end violence and sustaining peace, and enhancing climate action.

In 2018, the Second WPFSD adopted the Bali Commitment, which draws attention to the significance of partnership towards sustainable energy for all.  The Bali Commitment promotes;

  • the big potential of renewable energy resources for producing sustainable energy; and
  • the prospect of blue economy, green industry and sustainable development to achieve energy security and diversification. This outcome document endorses Parliaments to establish the necessary mechanism to work closely with the governments and other stakeholders.

Parliamentarians gathered at the Third WPFSD in Bali, Indonesia, on 4-5 September 2019, adopted the Bali Roadmap, which consists of a number of forward-looking recommendations that represent various dimensions in addressing challenges of SDGs implementation. By referring to the Bali Roadmap, we agree to:

  1. Safeguard efforts towards the achievement of SDGs, particularly on achieving equality in all social and financial aspects, as emphasized in the Resolution 2010/12 adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council on Promoting Social Integration and UN General Assembly Resolution 72/206 on Financial Inclusion;
  2. Urge our respective governments to formulate national action plan and establish effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions in supporting SDGs implementation;
  3. Call upon Governments to renew their commitment and give more attention in delivering the SDGs timely through tangible actions and accelerating policy implementations, as asserted in the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York;
  4. Advocate the delivery of sustainable social protection measures, resilient infrastructure, and public services for all, including for those living below the poverty line, people in rural and remote areas, the vulnerable, persons with disabilities, children and older persons, and indigenous peoples, particularly through the fulfilment of their fundamental human rights, which consist of no less than the following aspects:
  • Quality education;
  • Health care;
  • Decent and affordable housing; and
  • Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
  1. Urge governments and local governments, as well as national and regional parliaments to mainstreaming and localizing the SDGs, based on the cultures, local languages and conditions, or uniqueness of a respective country;
  2. Strengthen legal frameworks and promote the development of an enabling environment to diversify financial resources and scale up funding from multiple sources to reduce financing gap in infrastructure, and to achieve an inclusive and sustainable development through innovative SDGs financing, such as blended finance, Green Financing for Financial Institution, Social Impact Fund, religious-based philanthropy for SDGs, and crowd funding through digital philanthropy;
  3. Underpin multi-stakeholders partnerships in ensuring the creation of inclusive financial services which open up access for the marginalised to fully participating in the economy and benefit from development;
  4. Strengthen the multilateral system for effective global coordination, responses
  5. and solutions to address the multifaceted crises and challenges arise from interconnectedness, interdependency and complex global governance;

Invite business sector and other relevant stakeholders to utilize their innovation and promote creative economy to contribute in addressing sustainable development challenges through the implementation of more sustainable consumption for Sustainable Development; Production patterns, and to engage with parliaments as strategic partners in development process.

We extend our appreciation to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, as the founder of the WPFSD, for its relentless efforts in promoting the achievement of SDGs, while express our gratitude to the IPU President for continuously supporting the WPFSD. We call upon all Parliamentarians to continue to actively engage in substantiating and holding the regular events of the WPFSD.

 

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

HON. KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 9th July, 2020.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MAVETERA, the House adjourned at Twenty Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

 

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 8th July, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES’ MEMBERSHIP

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Hon. Mutodi has been assigned to serve in the Public Accounts Committee and the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following Ministers have tendered their leave of absence today: Hon. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Culture, Hon. Shiri, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Hon. July Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Minister of Finance and Economic Development was supposed to make a Ministerial Statement today as requested by this august House on the state of the economy.  The Hon. Minister has indicated that because he is going to present a Mid-Term review; he has requested that the Ministerial Statement be not be made today but will form part and parcel of his Mid-Year Term review, next week on 16th July, 2020.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, concerning the enactment of the Patriotic Act.  When is Government going to enact this law as a matter of urgency?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the very important question. I concede that it is a very important piece of legislation that we need.  Most progressive countries protect their territorial integrity by ensuring that citizens do not go about selling out their country to other nations.

I have requested my officers within the Policy Department to do a background research on it. We have been slowed down by the pandemic as we have a skeletal staff.  I can assure the Hon. Member that we are expecting developments before the end of this year. We are very much aware and we want to have that Act.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is Government policy in relation to uranium enrichment and other minerals in order to produce renewable energy and enhance the availability of renewable energy migrating from fossil fuels?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. ADV. CHASI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very timely question.  Government is currently engaged in the process of coming up with a national integrated energy resource plant for the first time in this country.  This process ensures that we take into account all the resources that we have to make power.  It is common cause that we have suffered from climate change with respect to Kariba.  It is also common cause that we depend a lot on coal.  Government respects its international obligations regarding the Carbon footprint.  We are looking at all possible sources that we can have and nuclear is one of them which arises from uranium.

We are now in the process of actively considering this possibility and as we come to the point where we talk about uranium, I can assure the House that a lot of work will have been done, but it is work in progress.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you for the privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.  May the Minister indulge me in terms of timelines of the energy policy which he is currently framing - to what extend or at what point can we expect that we have traction in that regard, aware that the European Union has set 20% migration in 2020 as a benchmark for migrating and diverting from fossil fuels.  What are we expecting as a nation?

HON. CHASI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question. As I indicated, we are working on a national integrated energy resource plan.  We had false start with regards to this process. We are now working with development agencies like the World Bank and African Development Bank who are helping us to come up with this policy.

I am not able at this moment in time to say precisely when this work will be concluded but all those who are involved in this matter understand the urgency of the matter.  I am very helpful that by year end, we will have our first draft.

HON. KASHIRI: What is the Ministry’s position in terms of taking biogas, especially to rural areas?

HON. CHASI:  It follows up on what I have already said in the previous answer.  The country is taking every possible source of power and biogas is critical.  We are already beginning to work with people in the provinces to educate people on what this really means and to ensure that in as far as possible, we take advantage of biogas.  We have done bio-digesters in some parts of the country and at an opportune moment, I will be able to furnish the House with the details but I want to assure the Hon. Member that biogas is indeed part of our consideration.

+HON. MATHE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  I have noticed the children are getting education through the radio and this is assisting but I would like to know when this programme will be accessed in the rural areas, especially in Nkayi, since there are no waves. Ztv and radio is not accessible to school children.?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): The Constitution of this country has a provision for access to information for all.  Section 61 and 62 speaks to that and that is precisely what the Government policy is implementing.  We have been going round consulting people at grassroots levels.  We will be issuing out community radios.  This is another way of making sure that those areas where they are not receiving the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation signal, both radio and television can be able to have their own radios.

We are cognisant of the fact that there are certain areas where our Zimbabwean people instead of receiving signals and getting news from this country from our radio, they have been receiving signals from Zambia, especially those in Binga and Manama.  This is why we have been moving in these areas making sure that the community there organise themselves.  The definition of community radio is that the owners are the community and as such, the community has to be organised and apply.  The deadline for that application still stands at 31st July, 2020.

In terms of making sure that information especially in with this COVID pandemic upon up, we have made it a point that we rope in all traditional leaders.  We are using the database which the Ministry of Local Government do have of our local leadership.  We have gone out training them about COVID-19 pandemic, preventing and protective measures to make sure that we contain this disease.

During this pandemic – because it is a two way communication between Government and the people, we established a call centre which is a toll free line so that Zimbabweans all over the 10 Provinces of our country can actually call.  They do not need to have airtime in their cell phones.  They just call 2023 for anything they want to know.  We established in mind considering that the COVID-19 lockdown created a lot of anxiety among our people.  We have been received quite a lot of calls through that call centre.

I urge Hon. Members of this august House to encourage your people to call the call centre 2023 – we have more than eight desks there.  Right now we have four languages.  People can call in Tonga, Ndebele, English and Shona.  We are trying hard to make sure that we create more desks so that we can actually use all the 16 official languages of this country.

The second republic’s work is to ensure that each and every Zimbabwean has access to information.  It is their constitutional right.  I hope I have been able to answer your question Hon. Mathe.  I thank you.

+HON. MATHE:  My supplementary question Hon. Minister is, since you are looking forward to children being able to access information and be informed on forthcoming examinations and the COVID-19, what other measures are currently in place so that those who are not accessing the information can have access so that they can share with those who have?  Children in the rural areas have no access to information whatsoever. What is the Ministry’s policy on that so that children can access the requisite information?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mathe, I thought the Hon. Minister was very comprehensive in her response and coverage.  It will sound like we are being very redundant if we have to stretch that further than what the Hon. Minister has actually replied.  Hon. Minister, what is your Call Centre? – [HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: 2023!] – 2023 will answer your concern Hon. Mathe.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Minister, aware that you were undertaking a transmitter establishment …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Do not address the Hon. Minister, address the Chair.  We do not want a dual here.

HON. NDUNA:  I am very sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. Aware that Hon. Minister and your department is establishing transmitters in various areas, I would want to know how many of those are now ready.  When would we expect the full proto in terms of digitalisation that you hope to achieve by the establishment of these transmitters?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you but that supplementary question does not stand.  It is better if it comes as a written question because I do not expect the Hon. Minister to know how many air antennas are there currently constructed.  She will need to investigate and come up with a written response accordingly.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care and in his absentia, it can go to the Leader of the House.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Acting Minister of what?

HON. DR. LABODE:  Health and Child Care.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  He is there.

HON. DR. LABODE:  We are masked, so we cannot see people.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  It is Hon. Prof. Murwira.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Acting Minister of Health and Child Care

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please address the Chair, address the Chair.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  My question is.

HON. DR. LABODE:  My question is, there has been a challenge with the issue of age of consent to accessing health services.  Please I want to be understood properly.  It is not age of consent to sex but age of consent to accessing services.  We have been working on it and we were promised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care that they would review or amend the Act to include that in the Health Services Bill which is supposed to be coming to Parliament but has not come.  A petition has been brought to Parliament on the issue and nothing has happened. We were hoping that maybe the Public Health Act would be amended for that purpose.

I am asking the Hon. Minister to say, Hon. Minister how far, ngiyakwazi ukuthi awukwazi, but how far with the amendment of the age of consent to health services for the minors?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode, how can you say, ‘Ngiyazi awukwazi?’ and then you want your question to be sustainable?  I think you should withdraw that aspect.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I withdraw it Mr. Speaker, I am sorry Hon. Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker, that is a very detailed question for a person who is just coming in, but I have got my Deputy Minister because in the meantime we are really looking at everything before we can give substantive answers on some of these things.  My Deputy Minister can respond to this one, with your indulgence of course.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Hon. Deputy Minister, can you assist?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  It is a very good question and a good follow up but I need to go and recheck in order to be able to give her a more detailed report next week because I had not looked at that one.  I am going to do it next week – I will definitely give the House an answer that is detailed and straight. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Dr. Labode! – [HON. DR. LABODE: Yebo baba!] – Hayi, angisibo baba nxa ngihlezi lapha! – [Laughter] – Ngingu baba nxa sisekhaya ngale.  I am sure that you are happy with the response.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Yes I am, but there is a component where a petition has disappeared in this Parliament.  The petition was brought in almost three months ago and you have not read it here. So I am assuming there is a problem somehow.  Somebody is not happy bringing that issue to the House.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I shall investigate as well and find out what has happened to that but if you have got a copy – you can assist.

HON. DR. LABODE:  I will.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.

+HON. H. MGUNI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What measures are in place since we are about to embark on the farming season in terms of tractors, inputs and other farming implements?  I observed in the past that these are availed to people when it is already too late.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am proud and happy to tell you that preparations for the summer season are already at an advanced stage.  In fact Hon. Speaker Sir, we started the preparations as early as April of this year.  We have two schemes on board.  As you know, there is the Presidential Input Scheme which is almost complete in terms of procurement of inputs and then we have the Command Agriculture Scheme.  The Command Agriculture Scheme falls under the financial institutions but Hon. Speaker Sir, with regards to the Presidential Scheme we have slightly changed the design of the Presidential Input Scheme to ensure that we add what we call the Pfumvudza concept.

The Pfumvudza concept is climate smarting our agriculture.  This is certainly a requirement for us to be sustainable as a nation.  The Pfumvudza concept - basically what we are saying to our farmers is that they must ensure that they are ready for the Presidential Input Scheme as it will go to those who have already prepared their mulching, water harvesting and if individuals have not – they will not benefit from the Presidential Input Scheme.  So this is a pre-condition for them to benefit.

*HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We do not have much knowledge regarding this pfumvudza, we are also interested in having extensive knowledge regarding this issue. We just hear it being said but we do not know what it is all about.  Can the Minister highlight to us what it is all about?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Kwaramba, you did not switch on your microphone so you were not recorded, kindly repeat your question.

Hon. Kwaramba repeated her question.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): I want to thank the Hon. Member for her question.  The issue of pfumvudza is aimed at addressing effects of climate change to farmers.  In this programme, people must work very hard Mr. Speaker Sir because this is a laborious process.  People must be prepared and be able to dig plantation holes.  All those who are supposed to benefit must dig these holes...

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please be more specific where do they dig these holes and what kind of holes are these?

*HON. KARORO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I did not want to go into the technicalities of this but what happens is they will dig planting holes/stations, this is done for moisture conservation.  When we say farmers must be prepared, I am saying they must dig these holes and do the necessary preparations to safeguard those holes so that water does not evaporate easily.  All the farmers that are going to benefit must be prepared enough. As Ministry of Agriculture, we will be visiting your constituencies. Our Agritex officials are ready to visit all the constituencies. They will be teaching the community on how this programme works.  I want to say that if Hon. Members hear that we have visited their constituencies, they must also come so that they will learn together with the communities how this programme works.  I hope by the time we distribute inputs, everyone will be aware of this programme and the farmers will be well prepared.

HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary is, whilst we may have all the components that we may need the pfumvudza, fertilisers and the seed, has Government and Ministry of Agriculture looked at how our season is going to be like in 2021?  Do we have any indication whether we are going to have low, medium or high rainfall this year?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the good question.  Traditionally, when we look at weather patterns, we look towards the October/November cycle, so at this stage, we have just come out of two seasons of consecutive droughts.  So as a Ministry, we are planning for the worst, therefore that is why we are shifting towards climate smart agriculture because it is a necessary must. We have to plan for the worst and anything that comes that is any better than that is just a bonus to us.  We have to certainly plan for the lives of our people and our nation. We have food security at our hands and food and nutrition security at our hands too Hon. Speaker.We cannot play with that and therefore, we are planning for the worst.  In terms of the announcement, it is only done towards the end of the year.

HON. NDEBELE: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: We agreed in this House that no point of privilege will be entertained on Wednesdays.

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, I do not know what to call it but it is a follow up to the Hon. Minister’s answer.

THE HON. SPEAKER: It is a point of clarification.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You could have done well if you had asked a supplementary question.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to request if it is not too much to ask of the Deputy Ministers that they present a statement to this House canvassing the entirety of this pfumvudza programme. It sounds like a comprehensive programme, instead of us learning together with the rest of the citizens about the programme.  I would prefer a situation where we get a comprehensive statement and then we seek clarifications; if you may indulge me Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is a wonderful suggestion.  Hon. Speaker Sir, pfumvudza is at the centre of our agricultural recovery plan; agricultural recovery plan requires all stakeholders, Government, donor agencies, private individuals including our Members of Parliament and our leadership. So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that Hon. Speaker Sir and we will prepare in accordance. I thank you.

HON. MADIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mine is a follow up to this pfumvudza programme. It is a good programme and we are kindly waiting for the Ministerial Statement.  I wanted the Minister to clarify, I heard that people will be digging holes and these are the people who will benefit.  We have vulnerable groups and the elderly who might find it difficult to dig these holes. What plans does Government have for the elderly who are no longer energetic to do that...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear, the statement will be given and once that statement is given, then you can ask questions for clarification including that one.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  To what extent is the Zimbabwe Higher Performance Computing Project, as Government policy, be regarded as an engine for economic growth and development in Zimbabwe?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the question on the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing.  I am happy to report that under our innovation, science and technology development programme, we have instituted now the High Performance Computing Centre as a research institute under the manpower Development Act, it is SI 169 of 2020.  Under this, Treasury has supported this to 24 posts.  So, the High Performance Computing Centre is now a fully fledged research and development institute and we call it Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1.

At Zimbabwe Science Park No. 1, the Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing is going to focus on two divisions. The first division is understanding the high performance computer itself, which is a technical division.  And, the application division is going to be focusing on key areas that include health and medical research, genomics; it is going to look at space and earth observation sciences, geo-spatial sciences for mineral exploration.  It is going to look at drug discovery; it is going to do engineering applications that need very high performance computing power.  We believe that the future of this country is through the application of science and technology on its natural resources, understanding our natural resources better for exploitation for the purpose of the development of this country, giving this country enough national capability so that we can be able to meet vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle income economy.

We believe that this is possible when we have the capability because we can talk about Vision 2030. Once the President has said that we really need to develop steps which make sure that we reach that goal and Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing which is at Zimbabwe Science Park 1 is one of the integral applications that we are going to have of science and technology towards the development of this country in terms of all the areas that I have mentioned above.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  How is the high performance computing project going to assist in solving contemporary problems, especially those of our farmers such as climate change issues and also weather forecasting?  Thank you.

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you very much Hon.

Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Moyo for the supplementary question.  One of the main applications of the high performance computing Centre is weather and climate modeling, which is under the geo-spatial and earth sciences division of the High Performance Computing, which we have instituted.  Hon. Speaker, coincidentally, I brought the whole concept of the High Performance Computer and we actually had to document everything so that we understand exactly what we want to do with the High Performance Computing Centre.  What we want is - we can speak high language but, the long and short of it is that, the High Performance Computer is going to tell us the likelihood of a drought or lack of it.  It is not the computer itself but, the people who are working there using that computer.  So, we are looking at also an issue whereby it is going to support the Zimbabwe Space Agency because the Zimbabwe Space Agency is correlated with the High Performance Computing Centre.  So, all the observations that are going to be made by our satellites which are going to be in space and some of which we are using, the international ones are going to relay the information to the High Performance Computing so that we talk about bread and butter issues on technology, delivering food, delivering weather, delivering soil condition, delivering population statistics, delivering everything that we need.  So, we believe that the High Performance Computing Centre through well thought applications, is going to help with agriculture using the method that I have mentioned above.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Yes, the Hon. Minister has told us that he has brought this and it is in writing.  Why do we not adopt a situation whereby we write it as it is than flighting it in the media?  Then, when we do that work and there is progress, we then publish in media so that we perform and publicise because the hunger that is being experience in Zimbabwe is not because we are poor farmers but the challenge is on the planning aspect.  There is no water and we are ploughing seed 727...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, you are now going into detail.  Is it possible that since we have written it and it is so well written in black and white, can we not do it in practice?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have just showed you the book but it does not mean that we will not implement.  I want to make a commitment that everything that we talk about in this House happens and has results.  Yes, we sometimes have words that we say but at the end of the day, those words are translated into action.  I want to say, this year as we speak about what has been raised by the other Hon. Member and Hon. Matangira, because of the hunger that is in this country and also on planting the wrong crops on wrong soils, we have a project under this high performance computer which address agro - ecological regions.

I want to say that we were able to live according to our word.  In August we are going to have new ecological regions and I want to promise you that Hon. Matangira we might talk as if this cannot be implemented, but it will happen because sometime ago we had not fully done our research, it did not yield results. What we want to do is to bring in new research so that we do not depend on previous knowledge but current knowledge. I want to give my commitment that we are not only going to talk but we will act. I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: My supplementary question is basically on the timelines in particular as it relates to interrogating the high performance computer centre whether it is going to work in terms of adding value to our minerals. When is that going to be in place so that we can derive maximum benefit as alluded to in the mineral sector, particularly on the 60 known minerals that we are endowed with as a nation so that we can start collaboration, coordination and networking and get out of the “BBC” era, the born before computer era.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: I wish to thank Hon. Nduna for the supplementary question regarding mineral exploration. One of the main programmes that we are running with the high performance computer centre  is mineral exploration techniques. This is a programme that we started funding in 2018 and we believe  that any country has to know where its mineral resources are, so that we run away from words such as abundant, endowed and just say how many nuggets do we have and how much in terms of kilogrammes.

The high performance computer will make us be able to talk about our mineral resources the way we talk about a bank account whereby you say out of $1000, I withdrew $300 so I am left with $700. So this research programme about mineral resources is one of the key functions that we are performing at the high performance computing centre. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Unfortunately we agreed that we will stick to three supplementary questions. Having said that Hon Minister, some of the sections of your presentation were highly Greek to the Chair and to some of us seated there – would it not be good perhaps if you have the resources to print that booklet so that it is distributed among the Hon. Members where they can read about it and at some future time if there are issues they want to raise, they can follow a written narrative.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): We can happily make copies available. I am also happy to say this booklet is also on the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development website. If Hon Members want to make immediate access to it, they can access the website but if they really need hard copies like what I have I am happy to say we will avail copies this month. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank your Hon Minister that the content is on website. All Hon Members have got tablets now, you can liaise with the Clerk of Parliament and send the soft copies directly to each Member of Parliament.

*HON. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Land, Agriculture and Water Development. What measures does the Government have in place in terms on the distribution of mechanisation equipment from John Deere and to ensure that it is decentralised to district level. Due to the Covid pandemic most people cannot travel to the urban centres to go and apply thus the result is that those who benefited before will still benefit again. What we want is for the provinces to equally benefit from this mechanisation programme?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he posed which will assist a lot of people in the rural areas. The issue of mechanisation equipment which includes combine harvesters and other agricultural implements – the way it is being distributed is that Government used to give the equipment directly to the farmers but there were challenges of favouratism and people were alleging that inputs were going to people in top leadership. So to curtail that challenge, this programme is now being administered by banks. Government devised this plan so that there will not be farmers who will be disadvantaged. What I can urge Hon. Member here is that if you want a tractor or plough, you need to apply to CBZ, Stanbic and Agribank.

I believe all these banks are present in every province. So, whoever wants anything should apply and specify what one wants. The tractors come in sizes and you need to specify the size. If you go to the bank you will be given an application form where you give those specific details. This was done so that no province or race is disadvantaged because this mechanisation equipment is for farmers. It is not discriminatory and does not look at ones race, religion or party but it looks at your ability as a farmer.

*HON GOZHO: I need clarification from the Minister that if I go to the bank, what are the requirements for me to qualify to apply for that equipment.

*HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that she posed.  No, Mr. Speaker, it does not mean that once you apply you automatically get a tractor.  What is happening is that we are in the phase 1 stage of mechanisation, so it is concentrating on A2 farmers who are highly productive and the farmers that are highly productive, especially looking at their submission of grain to the GMB.  So, it is mostly targeted towards A2 successful farmers.

There is a phase 2 scheme that is going to focus more on small scale farmers.  What they consider the most, Hon. Member who posed the question, like I said you need to be a renowned farmer, a successful farmer.  If you take your application to the bank, the bank will send its officers to come and assess whether you are a professional farmer.  That is what will be considered for you to get any mechanisation equipment and the bank will determine.  A deposit is also needed to ensure that once you get the tractor you will be able to pay.  Yes, you will negotiate with the bank for the repayment period, depending on the equipment that you have chosen.  Like I said, the tractors have different sizes.  You choose the tractor that you want and you pay the deposit.  I thank you.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  My supplementary question is, in view of the fact that these very limited tractors are going to be allocated on the basis of performance, is it possible for the Ministry to avail to Parliamentarians a database showing previous records of productivity so that we can play our oversight role.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. KARORO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you Hon. Member.  It is very possible Mr. Speaker, to come up with a database.  These are records and those records are there.  If Parliament wants to have a look at the list, we are prepared to bring the list to Parliament.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  From the way the Minister has explained this does not seem to be an immediate process that after applying to get a tractor. How does the Minister explain the fact that the programme was launched and on the same day it was launched, I met several people driving away their tractors.

HON. KARORO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, to the best of my knowledge no tractor was driven that day, unless if the Hon. Member of Parliament is prepared to bring evidence to our Ministry, we will then make investigations.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Sekai Nzenza.  Minister, in recent weeks we have seen the sky rocketing of prices of basic commodities - day in, day out.  What policy measures is Government putting in place to stabilise prices of basic commodities and stimulate domestic production so as to contain imported inflation?  Thank you

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. NZENZA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  It is certainly true that we have witnessed prices continuously going up to the extent that we had a stakeholder meeting with retailers and in good faith agreed to put on a moratorium of price rises. I would like to admit Mr. Speaker Sir, that it was not as effective as we thought it was going to be.

The major problem, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we are struggling with the exchange rate.  We need to stabilise the economy and that is also impacting on the prices.  Secondly, the other problem is yes, we do have some difficult people who are not so sympathetic to the consumer and we are appealing to those who continuously raise prices to be a bit more cognisant and sympathetic to the ordinary citizen.

Thirdly, as a Ministry we are looking at import substitution and in doing so we are working quite closely with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to look at the agriculture recovery plan, manufacturing with a view to increasing the production of raw materials within the country.  So what is happening Mr. Speaker Sir is that this requires different line ministries to work together in order to meet the Presidential mandate towards increased employment, import substitution, innovation with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development so that our vision will become true.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Thank you Hon. Minister for the answer.  Can you favour this House with a time line within which the import substitution measures are going to be implemented.

HON. DR. NZENZA:  Again Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for the question.  We do have a strategy looking at import substitution and within this strategy we are looking at what we are calling the low hanging fruit. These are the key priorities and one of them is looking at the pharmaceutical industry and the second one is looking at the fertilizer industry.  So what you will see in this coming season we will be producing fertilizer locally and that is the time line.  We are also looking at the leather and cotton industry and again by the end of this year we will show results.  That is the time line.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Acting Minister of Health and Child Care.  In view of the rising numbers in the COVID – 19 pandemic and the planned opening of schools later this month, what is Government policy in respect of continued use of education promises as worshipping centres?  I thank you.

THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker it is important to know that the rising cases can be disaggregated.  Most of the cases are imported cases, therefore quarantine centres have been very important as places to contain that.  We also of course have got local transmission.  That mostly is related to the imported cases, which means they are the contacts.  So in terms of the policy on quarantine centres, the taskforce already started moving away from schools and colleges. I think in terms of colleges, by this week they would have been cleared and we do disinfection.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  With due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, my question was not related to the use of schools as quarantine centres.  My question is the use of schools as worship centres.  What is Government policy on the continued use of schools as churches?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Sorry about misinforming that I thought you had said quarantine centres.  I think the guidelines are very clear.  We have to be more careful now.  The issue is that the schools are schools but they can also be used for certain functions.  As long as the function that is there is conforming to the World Health Organisation guidelines as adopted by the guidelines issued by the Government of Zimbabwe through my Ministry, then we do not see a problem.  Thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am aware that all schools which were used as quarantine centres were fumigated; they were all fumigated and by allowing worshippers to these schools, are we not bringing about the spreading of COVID 19?  Why not allow worshippers to use other premises which are not schools?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Perhaps the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education could chip in.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. MATHEMA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for asking this question.  In fact, this morning I gave a directive that churches must move out of schools in preparation for the opening of schools at the end of this month.  I sent out that directive this morning.  I thank you.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am very concerned about students opening end of this month.  A case in point is, may his soul rest in peace, Mr. Sibanda.  Mr. Sibanda worked in a Government department which is currently closed.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Mr. who?

HON. DR. LABODE:  A Mr. Sibanda who died of COVID recently.  He worked in a Government institution.  He did not present any COVID symptoms.  He lived with his children in Norton.  He went to a workshop in Chiredzi.  The timeframe between him being infected, which we do not know and the time he died without telling us where his contacts are is frightening.  Mr. Sibanda’s children, I am sure like a lot of other COVID people will go to school on the 31st.  I hope we will not lead ourselves into another lockdown like Madagascar.  Thank you.

HON. MATHEMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for her worries and indeed the whole country needs to be worried.  We all need to do the best we can to prevent the spread of this pandemic.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we do the best we can at the schools to protect our learners or our children, teachers and all staff members of each school.  We have thermometers at each school, sanitisers and masks.  So we do the best we can to make sure that nobody is affected by the illness.  We will do the best we can all over the country and that is why we need cooperation of everybody; the schools, managers, the administration, parents and the general public to make sure that our children go back to school in an environment that will protect them as much as we can.  Thank you.

HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to commend the Government for putting a lot of effort on the agricultural programme, but I would like to enquire whether there is or there will be a policy to adjust the buying price for maize as we see that there is an adjustment on the rate at which the US dollar is exchanging to our Zimbabwe dollar.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CULTURE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member for a very wise and good question.  Hon. Speaker, a few months ago we announced a new producer price and recently, we announced an incentive to our farmers of about 30% if farmers delivered maize in July.  Hon. Speaker, I can tell you that certainly we understand that the environment is changing daily and our Ministry has also put a proposal to have a further incentive.  However, at this stage Hon. Speaker, nothing has been agreed on although we do understand the need to ensure that something is put in place.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is - what are the chances that the cotton price is also going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, the cotton price was very recently announced and you will remember Hon. Speaker that it had a component of US dollars of about US$10 per bale.  At this stage Hon. Speaker, I think it will be premature for us to stand here and promise the nation anything.  At this stage, the cotton price remains, although we do understand there are other problems that are surrounding the cotton industry.  However, specifically to answer the Hon. Member’s question, at this stage not.  Thank you.

*HON. TEKESHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister said the cotton prices were revised recently but it was not done in US dollars.  It was pegged against the Zimbabwe dollar which is losing its value every day.  We visited the area and people told us that

they were expecting to buy tractors or trucks but now the cotton producers will not be able to buy anything.  They have not received the payments in Zimbabwean dollar since May.  Are the prices going to be reviewed?

          HON. HARITATOS: The question is the same as the previous one.  I want to point out that cotton farmers receive inputs for free. It is different from other crops like tobacco, maize, wheat and soyabeans.  At this stage, it is impractical to stand up and guarantee the nation that something will be reviewed.  It is not within our Ministry – we can put recommendations but at the end of the day, it has to be decided from the Ministry of Finance.  If the situation changes, we will stand with our farmers and back them.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My supplementary question goes to the Minister of Agriculture.  Farmers are facing challenges of transporting their maize to GMB because the transporters cannot access fuel.  Is there any provision from Government for transport or fuel access?

HON. HARITATOS: With regards to transport, I think it is not only unique to the agricultural sector but to each and every one of us even in here today.  What we have done to mitigate this in the short to medium term is to increase the number of buying stations under GMB.  We have also tried to assist our farmers with transport from buying stations to the GMB depots.  We have asked commercial farmers to also act as centres for us to be able to buy.   These are the measures we have taken but certainly transport is a major challenge because the liquid fuel is unavailable.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The following vehicles are obstructing  or blocking other vehicles; ADX 8903 a silver land cruiser and ADV 3896 which is a navy blue Mercedes Benz.  Please, if you can move your vehicles so that you do not obstruct other vehicles otherwise the two vehicles will be clamped.

*HON. TEKESHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  Since the introduction of toll gates, we were promised that we were going to have very good roads in this country but our roads especially in the rural areas are worse off than how they used to be before the introduction of toll gates.  Is the revenue from toll gates being used properly or not?

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH. MATIZA): We are seeing a lot of development on the roads in this Second Republic.  Four road authorities get money from ZINARA for the maintenance of roads but there are challenges that we face in the way we are operating and some of the problems were inherited.

Firstly, it is the management at ZINARA.  As you know, there was a lot of chaos and corruption; that is what we had to address first and foremost.  We now have a new board and new management.  All the executive positions have been replaced now.  The management is now moving smoothly.

The money that was collected by ZINARA is now used to cover credits, backlogs and arrears.  Some people are now asking us to increase toll-gate fees from RTGS10 to RTGs150 or so.  That should happen so that we are able to repair our roads from money generated from toll gates.

The problem goes to management of road authorities.  There are some requirements that they are supposed to fulfil before then can get money from ZINARA and these are delayed.  This leads to delay in maintenance or repair of roads, thus people will end up blaming Government for that.  We have been liaising with them and we have held workshops to educate them on that.

In terms of progress on road maintenance and works; there are a lot of road works that are taking place in this country, especially in relation to what is happening in our country; firstly Cyclone Idai, droughts and now COVID-19.  All these things were being covered by revenue from toll-gates but Government persevered.  If you look at roads in all the provinces or districts, most of them are being repaired as we speak under these difficult circumstances that we are in.

*HON. TEKESHE: I understand that the money from toll gates is being used for pandemics such as COVID.  That money is supposed to be used for road maintenance.  Are we supposed to refuse paying the toll gate fees because most of us do not use those roads which are being repaired? When are these roads that we use in the rural areas going to be repaired?

*HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  I said all these disasters that happened slowed down road maintenance. This means that there is something that is happening although the progress has slowed down.  We actually disbursed funds to several authorities right now but I cannot mention them.  What you can simply do is to check in your localities whether they have not received money from ZINARA and find out why they have not received funds from ZINARA.  Then I am sure you will be able to even tell me here why but the main aim is what we are looking at now is increasing toll fees so that we are able to maintain and repair our roads so that our roads are usable.

ZINARA’s duty is to collect money, disburse it to road authorities and to ensure accountability of those funds.  Those requirements, rules and laws of accountability apply even to local authorities and that is where the problem is.  They fail to fulfill the conditions and fail to get the money.  What you should do is that when you return to your constituencies, ask your local authorities about what is happening and that will help us all for betterment of development.

*HON. KASHIRI:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister Matiza and also to thank His Excellency the President, E. D. Mnangagwa for organising ZUPCO buses for us.  The problem that we have is that in the rural areas, ZUPCO buses are not plying the routes because of poor roads.  What plans do you have to repair the roads so that people can access ZUPCO transport in the rural areas?

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Hon. Kashiri, your question is the same as what was asked before and the Hon. Minister has already attended to that question.  Unless Hon. Minister, if you have something to add to the question that was asked now.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you.  I wish that the Hon. Minister could explain this growing trend.  When a road has been started, we expect that all the scope of works, budgets, everything has been done and material is acquired and carried to site.

There is now a growing trend that a road is started Mr. Speaker.  They start working and two to three months, they disappear for two years and nothing happens then suddenly they reappear.  What will be happening?  What is the problem?  Could the Hon. Minister explain to us because all roads that are started never get completed.  At some stage you know the contractor will disappear…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Member, may you get direct to your question.

HON. GABBUZA:  I am sure that the Hon. Minister understood it.  There is a growing trend that roads are started and hopefully all the equipment will have been put on site but suddenly they disappear for some years then resurface.  What is the problem according to the Hon. Minister’s experience?  Thank you.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  What normally happens is that roads are funded and we do that here in terms of budgetary allocations and budget allocations are done annually.

In some instances and which was now becoming a rare issue before the catastrophe of Idai and subsequent catastrophes.  So this then leads to certain prioritization.  I will give you an example of what is happening right now.  We have some roads that have reached priming stage, some roads have just been cleared – now those that have reached priming stage, if they are left like that, then that means we are going to lose that material and the money.  So the issue of prioritization then means that we have to leave certain roads and prioritise the roads that are at a certain level.  This is a funding issue Hon. Member; it is a funding issue Hon. Speaker which I am very sure the Hon. Member is aware.

Where I can come in is to explain the issue of prioritization when we get to areas where there is budgetary deficit.  This is where then we come in and select certain portions of the roads that have gone to certain levels where a lot of expenditure has been done.  This is what we are doing now.  The issues of the roads in various provinces, I can name the majority of them, we have now reprioritised as we speak.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has released ZWL$250 million as of yesterday to now pay all the contractors who had not been paid so that they can restart on these projects.  So, this is how the trend goes.

In some cases, it is not Government’s fault as it could be the contractors themselves.  Sometimes they mismanage their funding and they do not go ahead with work and in those cases, we terminate and bring other contractors on board – that takes a bit of time to rearrange.  So Hon. Member, I want to assure you that whenever funding is available, whenever the funding that we vote for here is made available the work continues. I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Minister, Hon. Speaker, what safeguards has the Ministry put in place so that monies that are contributed through toll gates and other sources are not misused by local authorities especially what we have seen in urban centres; where they receive that money and end up buying big vehicles at the expense of residents?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member.  When money has been allocated to a local authority which has all the functionaries of any authority, we expect them to take care of that money and use it properly.  Any other way of using it, misappropriation is deemed as corruption.

However, we have an Audit Section, as I said; we would want, through ZINARA funding, ZINARA will go and make sure that those monies are properly used by way of auditing and reports.  Largely, an authority is an authority given their budgets, they sit in their council chambers, they allocate the roads that they want to do and they have engineers there. They also have an Audit Section there to see that these things work.  So, to a certain extent, the misappropriation is an issue of misgovernance at that level.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would want to know from the Hon. Minister what plans he has got to increase the charges at the toll gates?  Aware that this is where the money for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and maintenance of the road network comes from and also the road access fees; aware that we are the lowest in the region in terms of the amount paid.

Currently, it is about USD$20.00 for foreign vehicles.  Does he have plans and when does he intend putting them in place?  We are paying ZWL$10.00; it used to be USD$10.00.  Does he have plans to put it up to that so that we can have our impeccable infrastructure second to none?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member on the question that he has just asked.  In fact, we are almost at the concluding stage of revising the toll fees.

We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be of high standard.  We are cognisant of the fact that our roads need to be accident free and also of the fact that they have to be commensurate with the regional road network in terms of quality.  So, this is why we have looked at the toll charges and very soon before the end of the month, we will be gazetting them.

HON. S. S.  KHUMALO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture.  What is Government policy on rehabilitating boreholes that were dug and equipped in the 1940s and 1950s?   The boreholes seemingly are now getting out of use, the breakdowns are so numerous that perhaps I think they need complete rehabilitation and overhaul.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker and to the Hon. Member for the question.  Certainly Hon. Speaker, water is a basic human right and our Ministry understands its mandate.  The rehabilitation of boreholes around the country is a top priority of our Ministry.  It is actually what we call a low bearing fruit because it does not involve drilling new ones.   Our Ministry so far this year alone has rehabilitated in excess of 1 800 boreholes and deep wells.  So to answer specifically what the Hon. Member is asking, there are certain boreholes that were drilled almost 7   to 8 decades ago and at some stage, boreholes do certainly pass the best before.  So our Ministry in line with rehabilitation of boreholes also has facilities to drill new boreholes and ZINWA under our Ministry is in charge of drilling in two provinces specifically and DDF are in charge of the balance of the provinces.  So, it is certainly an ongoing process but given the challenges with the finances and given recently the challenges with liquid fuel, our Ministry has not been able to do to its full optimal level and certainly we hope that in the near future, this becomes a thing of the past.

HON. S. S. KHUMALO: Mr. Speaker Sir, perhaps the Minister is talking about this rehabilitation of 1 700 boreholes from different areas.  From where I come from the boreholes are just not being serviced.  If I may just make it open; I hail from Tsholotsho North. We have a serious problem of water in that area and it is disheartening that the Minister can answer me and say they have been rehabilitating boreholes yet the boreholes there have outlived their lifespan.  I did not want to say that but that is what I realised.  I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, we have what we call our WASH programme which is at district level so that the job of rehabilitating and repairing individual boreholes actually falls at district level and so certainly, I have taken note of what the Hon. Members mentioned and I am happy to say that Hon. Members even come to my office to raise these issues.  I will make the undertaking rather to ensure that we do prioritise certainly the southern regions of our country which are very dry and need greater amount of support and that is certainly what our Ministry will do.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker Sir, in the life of the 8th Parliament, we were promised by the same Ministry that they will drill 4 boreholes in each constituency. Could I kindly check with the Minister if this is still in the pipeline?  He has indicated that the drilling of boreholes is a low hanging fruit, is he able to provide timelines as to when we are going to get those 4 boreholes per constituency?

HON. HARITATOS: Hon. Speaker, I would like to correct the Hon. Member. I said the rehabilitation of boreholes is a low bearing fruit, certainly the drilling of boreholes is a much greater cost and a little more difficult. Hon. Speaker, I am a proud member of the Nineth Parliament, I was not around in the Eighth Parliament. However, I do know from my predecessor in my personal constituency...

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, when I raise issues in the past, I am aware that he is a new member but this is a House of record and the Ministry existed, then so it is for him to read and make sure he is up to speed with what has been happening in the House before he came.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker, unfortunately I was cut off before I could finish my sentence.  Hon. Speaker, what I was saying is that I know from my predecessor who did receive the 4 boreholes in is constituency and therefore I do certainly know about this.  What I meant to say to the Hon. Member was that I do not know specifically which constituencies were done and which constituencies were not done.  It is possible that some constituencies had two boreholes instead of the 4. The undertaking that I was going to say before I was stopped is that certainly, I will look at the 210 constituencies and ensure that we do at least put in line that we do complete this project even though it is not in the Nineth Parliament.

HON. NDEBELE: I just want to add one quick item.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: No you cannot add.  Is it a point of clarification?

HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I need clarity if one member of this House got 4 boreholes already, what is the criteria of prioritization because I come from the driest part of the country and it will beat any manner of sensible thinking why we were not put up first?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think the Minister was very clear on that point.  He said he was going to look into all those 210 constituencies to find out how many of those constituencies got 4 boreholes, how many got two then he will come back with a response.  What else would you want him to say?

HON. NDEBELE: I come from the driest part of the country.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: But look at it, he has answered that clearly, why would you want to labour the Minister on that.

HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is that Minister, it is a proven fact that bush pumps are a lot more expensive to install and repair compared to submersibles.  What policy position is there to migrate towards solar driven boreholes?

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the fantastic question. I am also an advocate of the same Hon. Speaker. I will tell you and as well as our Ministry.  We are certainly trying to move away and go into what we also deem as climate smart methods of dealing with our water and sanitation issues.  Certainly, we are shifting towards that but again Hon. Speaker, the major constraint is the finances and as the finances come, we would like to look at these.  I know certain boreholes for example anything between 40 to 50 metres can still be used by bush pumps, anything deeper than 50 metres is very difficult. you almost damage the equipment.  So, this is very well within our Ministry and certainly in the near future we will prioritise.

*HON. NHARI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is Government policy concerning our returnees when they come back to Zimbabwe considering that they will be travelling in the same bus?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Government and the Ministry or taskforce has what we call guidelines that we use so that people will not affect each other and to minimise the rate of infections.

*THE ACTING MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Ministry and the taskforce, we have guidelines that we use so that we  minimise chances of spreading the disease.  So government, through our Ministry is working hard to ensure that happens.  All I can say is that if those guidelines can be adhered to, the ones that are written, everything will go according to plan.

*HON. KACHEPA:  My question on those who are travelling, being transported from South Africa to Malawi for example, if those people get a breakdown on the road, those people end up being stranded, live there and they end up spreading the disease as they travel to their country.  We came across such a situation where people travelling to Malawi had a breakdown.  What is Government policy to assist people in such a scenario?

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:   Thank you Hon. Speaker, our plan is not about disaster of stopping the spread of disease.  Accidents happen on the roads and we know that.   When people travel in the country, we try by all means to implement our programme according to the guidelines that we have because that is what helps us in solving such problems if they come up.  If our guidelines are adhered to, our programme will work very well.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, when I go for testing and they discover that I am HIV positive, there are counselors.  What happens with Covid- 19, does Government provide counselors if people discover that they are Covid- 19 positive so that they are not in a shock even if they go to quarantine centres so that they recover very well.  I thank you.

*HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Our Government has social workers, also psycho support services and in short, yes.  I thank you.

*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  What is the Government doing to make sure that the pensioners concerned get a decent living out of the many years of service and dedication to the country:

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Zhou for that beautiful question. The question is too specific and I would request that you write it down, then I can get the specific answers.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  There has been a bit of reference to my question but I want to fine tune it.  It is a fact that there has been an increase in cases of locally transmitted Covid- 19 and it is also a fact that there is bound to be a spike as we go through the rest of the winter season.  The second republic in its wisdom has declared our response to Covid- 19 as a war.  You and I Mr. Speaker lived through the liberation struggle wherein schools were out for more than 10 years.  I want to check with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Speaker Sir, if you allow me.  What is so painfully difficult for the listening second Republic to come up with a policy that gravitates towards the writing of the rest of this academic year - that is if

writing off the rest of this academic year if our intention is to protect our children from Covid-19.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Indeed, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the listening Second Republic are aware of the dangers posed by Covid-19. However, we do not think that it is at the scale at the moment to warrant a cancelling off completely of everything. It is our belief that measures that we are taking currently to protect our learners, teachers and communities are sufficient in our view to give a free and safe environment for our learners.

HON. NDEBELE: Most schools have not received adequate PPEs and schools in Bulawayo in particular have no water. What sufficient measures is the Deputy Minister speaking to and for good measure, teachers’ unions have spoken against the opening of schools. I thank you.

HON. E. MOYO: I think it is common knowledge that even before the writing of the June examinations, a lot of reservations on the preparedness of the Ministry to run the examinations were expressed. However, the reality on the ground turned out that preparations were sufficient and I think at the moment no one has raised any significant complaints regarding those preparations. It is still our view that our preparations are ongoing and it in our anticipation that by the time Grade 7s, Form 4s and Form 6s come back to school, we would have finished those preparations.

In fact our response to Covid19 with regards to reopening of schools has been well measured to allow for social distancing, hence the phased reopening of schools.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and in his absence I will direct it to the Leader of the House. I want to thank Government for distributing food to the needy. My question is what plans does the Ministry have in giving social assistance grants to Covid-19 victims.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The question is not very specific. What in particular, those that have been tested positive or what. It is not very clear.

*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: My question is what plans do you have on giving social assistance grants to vulnerable people faced with Covid-19?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, during this Covid-19 period Social Welfare requested registration for all the vulnerable so that they can offer some social assistance even in urban areas. In the rural areas we already have a social assistance programme where we give grain and also have some NGOs that are supporting Government programmes by giving food aid. While the question is not very specific as to who is now vulnerable because of COVID that need social assistance, I believe there is a broad based programme to help all those that are vulnerable during this pandemic period. I thank you.

Question without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of standing order Number 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION OF BULAWAYO-NKAYI ROAD

  1. HON S. K. MGUNI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the construction of the Bulawayo-Nkayi Road will be completed, considering that the project has been outstanding for more than 35 years.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA): Bulawayo-Nkayi road is a primary road which links Bulawayo and Nkayi and also provides a direct link between Bulawayo and Gokwe in the Midlands Province. The upgrading has been going on over a long period of time. The upgrade of the road from narrow state to surface standard commenced in 1993 with a feasibility study. The actual construction commenced using donor funding from the Kuwait Fund in 1996. The donor pulled out in the year 2000 after completing the designs for 65km and the construction of one bridge as well as 29 km of road.

The Department of Roads took over the construction of the road in 2001 and did construction up to 44 km peg as well as completed Mbembesi and Ingwingwizi Bridges which are now trafficable. The progress has been slow due to the rate at which funding for the implementation of the project is availed by Treasury. For the 10 km target of 2019 5 km have been primed. Due to the Covid-19 most of the road construction projects were stalled this year as resources were diverted to fight the pandemic. Priority is now on ongoing road projects that were at prime stage as at December 2019. Bulawayo-Nkayi Road falls under the reprioritised list of roads targeted for surfacing in 2020. Materials needed to surface the 5 km primed section for the Bulawayo Nkayi Road are already on site. Since we are in winter and we are experiencing low temperatures which are not ideal for surfacing, track and seal works will resume as temperatures improve.  Construction will continue guided by funding availed.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I visited this road at the beginning of last month to assess the state of the road and the progress to date.  Due to limited resources, the Department of Roads will ensure routine maintenance of the narrow mat to ensure it is trafficable while rehabilitation and construction is ongoing on the other section of the road.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Minister the road that he alludes to is infested with a lot of mining ventures.  Queens Mine is another one and there is Tech Mine and there is another mine.  Whose primary mandate is it to extract our resources and leave gaps, if not dams; aware that this resource that I am talking about is finite and we will not have any shoots sprouting from the ground.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, please may you get to your question.

HON. NDUNA:  My question therefore is, what is the Minister doing in order to make sure that these miners plough back in terms of infrastructural development?  It is happening outside our borders using our minerals, why can it not happen here?  What is it that we are doing in order for them to plough back using this finite resource in our country, for our country to use what we have to get what we can?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, your question is completely out of the original question.  That sounds like it is a new question unless of course Minister, you have got something to add.

HON. NDUNA:  I spoke about the mines in that area.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No.

FINALISATION OF RECONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGE ACROSS PIRIVIRI RIVER

  1. HON. HOUGHTON asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when -

(a) The Magunje-Siakobvu Road in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District will be upgraded;

(b)            The bridge over the Mawena River will be repaired considering that it is the only link between the Negande area to the road network system in the Kariba-Nyaminyami District and the rest of the country.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The first answer Mr. Speaker Sir, the Magunje-Siakobvu Road is a section of the Karoi-Binga Road that we have been working on since 2019.  In essence, the upgrading of that road has already started and to date we have surfaced 10km.  We shall continue to lobby the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to continue funding the road so that we can deliver at least 10km a year.

The second question – Mr. Speaker Sir, the bridge in question is on the road that is maintained by DDF and as such, the bridge is also under the purview of DDF.  DDF is therefore in a better position to answer the question.  I thank you.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road going to Nyaminyami rural district area is so bad that there has been no bus service for more than a year on that.  In the entire Nyaminyami rural district, there is no bus service and I think the Minister needs to put an effort into getting the road usable there so that at least the people can have a bus service.  Thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As I have alluded to that as long as we get the funding, we will continue to upgrade these roads given the fact that at least we should do 10km a year.

HON. HOUGHTON:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  That road is 334km long.  Apparently, about 100km have been done which means that there is about 200km still to be done.  At 10km a year, it is going to take 20 years to complete that road.  It is not good enough Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you.

HON. ARCH MATIZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I said is at least the minimum.  This is a budgetary issue, it is depending on the funding and we approve the budgets here, but at minimum that is what we are talking about.  I thank you.

RESUMPTION OF CONSTRUCTION OF LUPANE HOSPITAL

  1.     HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the construction of the Lupane Provincial Hospital will resume.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Works at the proposed Lupane Provincial Hospital has since resumed.  The contractor, Zimbabwe Jingsu International was handed over the site on 26th August last year.  The project is being implemented in phases.  Phase one comprises of Outpatient Department, administration block, pharmacy, central stores, staff houses and civil works.  A pre-purchase of materials worth $9 million RTGs was done late last year and have since been delivered to site.  I am sure the work has started and is going on.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

REBUILDING OF THE MATERNITY WARD AT ST LUKE HOSPITAL

  1. HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans to rebuild the maternity ward at St Luke Hospital which was gutted by fire.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  The affected department is a Family and Child Health Department. The hospital through the church, who are the owners have raised US$18 000 and have since done the quotations for the roof.  The Government has also allocated $2 000 000 through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) to augment the contribution of the mission. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

PROTECTION OF PATIENTS FROM WEATHER ELEMENTS

  1.   HON. CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House measures being taken to protect patients from weather elements as they wait for treatment outside health care centres in compliance with the COVID-19 control measures.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry of Health and Child Care is putting in place various measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  The Ministry has embarked on expediting the provision of treatment or consultation services at all various levels of care to prevent long queues as well as observing social distancing.  Further to that, we have embarked on provision of waiting mothers’ shelters and/or waiting areas at all health facilities.  Most of our clinics, rural health hospitals, district/mission, provincial and central hospitals have waiting shelters as part of their structure.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN BIKITA SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.   HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency will have internet connectivity.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.

NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MMB) phase 3 project.  Wards 1, 3, 7, 8, 26, 28 and 29 in Bikita South Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the Fourth Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure master plan.  The master plan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and POTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I am supplementing in relation to the issue of infrastructure sharing that the Hon. Minister spoke about.  We have not heard this for the first time.  Could the Hon. Minister share with this House where the bottlenecks are?  Where are the problems because this has been talked about, I think, since time immemorial?

HON. DR. MUSWERE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Infrastructure sharing is taking place and so far more than 20 sites have been identified and at least more than 10 have been developed by POTRAZ on an infrastructure sharing basis.

What basically happens is that POTRAZ develops the passive infrastructure and the three MNOs then install their active infrastructure on each and every passive infrastructure base station that would have been identified by POTRAZ.  It is an ongoing process, it is taking place and is very successful.  Currently, Econet and NetOne are working together on around 49 new sites wherein they will be sharing their infrastructure.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ROAD REHABILITATION IN MABVUKUTAFARA CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. CHIDHAKWAasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development when the Ministry will start road rehabilitation in Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency given that the roads are badly dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry is cognisant of the poor state of roads in a number of residential areas including Mabvuku/Tafara Constituency.  The road networks have outlived their design lives and therefore require rehabilitation.   Plans have been put in place for the rehabilitation and reseal of the roads and the implementation has started with the major roads.  The rehabilitation will continue to be implemented in a prioritised manner until the entire road network has been attended to.  The City of Harare is in charge of these roads and is also in a better position to give concrete plans for road rehabilitation in Harare.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF TYNWALD NORTH AND GOODHOPE ROADS

  1. HON. MAMOMBE asked Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will rehabilitate Tynwald North and Goodhope Roads in Harare West Constituency in view of the fact that both roads are dilapidated.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Tynwald North and Goodhope roads are important feeder roads in Harare West constituency.  The roads are currently in a poor state and indeed require rehabilitation.  City of Harare is in a better position to give us its immediate plans for rehabilitation.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF SHAMROCK ROAD IN HURUNGWE NORTH

  1. HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain measures put in place to rehabilitate Shamrock Road in Ward 9 Hurungwe North.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, currently due to budget constraints there is no periodic maintenance being done.  We are prioritising routine maintenance as funds are limited.  The Department of Roads is cognisant of the fact that the road requires rehabilitation in the medium term and this will be done when commensurate funding is available.  I thank you.

TARRING OF ZVOMUKONDE AND NGUNGUMBANE STRETCH IN MBERENGWA

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane and when the stretch in Mberengwa District will be tarred.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the circumstances that led to the skipping of a stretch of 27km between Zvomukonde and Ngungumbane were non availability of the designs of road for that section during construction.  The funds for the road project ran out during the time of construction in 2004.  As soon as the funding line has been availed to our Ministry, the project will resume.  I thank you.

FUNDS RELEASED BY ZINARA TO MBERENGWA RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL

  1. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House how much ZINARA released to Mberengwa Rural District Council for the period 2018 to 2019 and how much was acquitted to date.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINARA disbursed $23 647 on 6th March, 2018 and $130 086 on September, 2018 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  In 2019, a total of $76 866 was disbursed and recently in March 2020, Zinara disbursed $258 486 to Mberengwa Rural District Council.  These disbursements were for routine maintenance and it should be noted that Mberengwa Rural District Council is failing to utilise its periodic maintenance funds.  Each year ZINARA allocates funds to both urban and rural district councils.  Of these funds, 75% should be allocated to periodic maintenance while 25% is for routine maintenance.  In this regard, a total of $504 838 was allocated in 2018, $597 767 in 2019 and $1 824 024 in 2020.

To date, there are no records showing any utilisation of these allocated funds for periodic maintenance by Mberengwa Rural District Council.  Money for periodic maintenance is usually disbursed after work is done.  With regards to acquittals for 2019, the disbursed funds are only for first half of the year and no acquittals were submitted for the last six months.  In cases where allocated funds are not enough to cover periodic maintenance, rural district councils and urban councils can pass resolutions to use allocated funds for routine maintenance.

HARARE FLYOVERS

  1. HON. MAGO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry of Transport is going to attend to Harare Flyovers that are in need of urgent attention as they risk collapse. These include the Simon Mazorodze, Beatrice Road at the interchange with Rotten Row.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the tender for the inspection of these bridges inclusive of Simon Mazorodze was concluded and awarded.  The consultant is due to formalise their engagement through a formal contract and start work in the near future.  I thank you.

ZUPCO BUSES FOR MHANGURA FEEDER ROADS

  1. HON. MASANGOasked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain when ZUPCO buses will be allocated to feeder roads that are mainly dirty dusty roads in Mhangura.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the allocation and operation of ZUPCO buses falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  As such, the question should be directed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

FREE MEDICAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY

  1. HON. S. CHAMISAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care what the government is doing to facilitate free medical services for the elderly.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  In terms of section 82 (b) of the Constitution, rights of the elderly, people over the age of 70 years have the right to receive health care and medical assistance from the State.  Government policy has gone further to include those who are 65 years old and above in providing free medical services at all public health institutions.  They are not required to pay for their medical care in public health institutions.

  1. HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether the government has any plans to construct more clinics in Wards 23, 24 and 29 in Zaka West Constituency considering that some people have to walk for distances as long as 40 kilometres to access treatment at clinics.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  The Ministry in its Infrastructure Development Plan has intention to construct health facilities in the three wards and proposed sites have been identified, that is Ward 23 site is at Choringeno, Ward 24 site is at Charuka and Ward 29 site is at Bepeza.  The Ministry has embarked on the construction of health posts and clinics and Charuka is going to be considered under this initiative.  However, we urge the Hon. Member of Parliament to also support Central Government by mobilising local communities and businesses to contribute towards such projects.

OPENING OF MASIKATI CLINIC

  1. HON. MASENDAasked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the Masikati Clinic which was constructed two years ago will be officially opened to the public considering that people have to walk some 20 kilometres to access medical services.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Masikati Clinic is a newly proposed facility in Hurungwe District and is owned by Hurungwe Rural District Council.  The new facility was formerly a farm house converted into a clinic.  The facility will serve a large population that is currently walking long distances to either Tengwe or Kasimure clinics which are very far.  However, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is aware of the need to speed up the official opening of the clinic given its catchment service.  Inspections were done by both the District Health Executive and the Hurungwe Rural District Council members recently.  In that regard, there were few things that needed attention which includes proper waste management facilities, fixing of wall and ceiling cracks, water availability as well as human resources for the clinic and these are at advanced stage.  Moreover, as part of social responsibility, I also urge Hon. Member of Parliament to mobilise additional resources for the community through possible donors / partners or under the Community Development Funds (CDF) to complement the efforts being done by the Central Government.

EXPANSION OF THE NETONE MOBILE NETWORK COVERAGE IN ZAKA WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. MURAMBIWAasked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when the NetOne mobile network coverage will be expanded to cover Wards 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  NetOne is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) and has developed a Communications Infrastructure Plan to cover all the provinces and wards through the Mobile Broadband (MBB) phase 3 project.  Ward 24, 22 and 33 in Zaka West Constituency are expected to be covered before the end of the 4th Quarter in 2020.

The Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services on the other hand has accelerated the development of the Digital Infrastructure Masterplan.  The masterplan will assist in identifying the underserved and unserved areas so that the operators and PORTRAZ backup can close the gaps.  The Ministry is also working to expedite the Infrastructure Sharing Policy to encourage infrastructure sharing amongst the MNOs.  This will result in more coverage by all operators as they will not spend money on construction of towers.  I thank you.

ASSISTANCE TO DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN RURAL AREAS

  1.   HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to:
  2. a)  Inform the House on the measures and programmes that have been put in place by the Ministry to assist disadvantaged children in rural areas such as Sipepa and Siganda, who, unlike those in urban centers have no access to the Internet:
  3. b)  Explain to the House how the general public can be protected from uncensored false information which is disseminated to peace loving Zimbabweans with the aim of causing confusion; and
  4. c)  Inform the House what measures have been put in place by the Ministry to sensitise the public to desist from being gullible to misleading information.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE):  a) The Ministry is doing everything to bridge the digital divide and this will benefit all students and pupils.  The Ministry has assigned POTRAZ and Zimpost to set up Community Information Centers (CICs) throughout the country.  These CICs are Internet connected with a minimum of 10 laptops depending on the size of the CIC.  This means that in communities that already have this facility, students can make use of the Internet for their studies.  To communities like Sipepa and Siganda CICs, we are working on it.

The Ministry with its stakeholders is also running with the Schools E-Learning Programme where computes are distributed to schools and Internet being connected to schools.  ZARNet is connecting schools whilst POTRAZ and other stakeholders are distributing computers to schools.  This however, is an ongoing programme where you will notice that some schools have already benefited both Internet connectivity and computers but, Mr. Speaker Sir, be assured that this programme is intended to reach all our schools especially those in the rural areas and the disadvantaged communities.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and POTRAZ are also ensuring equitable distribution of network towers for this will again result in connectivity to those who can afford data and advanced gadgets.  Let me however say, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the lack of foreign currency and COVID-19 is hindering a lot of these projects as we cannot procure ICT equipment.

  1. b)  The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill was given a nod by Cabinet and is at the moment with this House.   Parliament is doing its diligent job making consultations throughout the country.  Once the process is over, we will hear the outcome and it is my hope that the Act from this Bill will address concerns by the Hon. Member.
  2. c)  The Ministry, working with the regulator POTRAZ, is carrying out consumer protection awareness programmes in the form of road shows throughout the country.  Emphasis is being put on cyber related issues.

There are a number of communities that were reached and these include Ngundu, Kadoma, Shangani and Madhlambuzi just to mention but a few.  The month of October is referred to as the Cyber Security month.  The month is thus packed with activities that include road shows, public lectures, conferences, radio and television shows.  All these activities are meant to sensitise the public on cyber related threats.  Last year, 2019 in October, we carried out Cyber Security Conference/Indaba at the Rainbow Towers in Harare and Bulawayo respectively, public lectures at Africa University and National Defence University, radio and television programmes and road shows were also conducted in a number of areas.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF PERMANENT CLASSROOM BLOCKS IN RESETTLEMENT AREAS

  1. HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary  Education to inform the House Government policy on the construction of permanent classroom blocks in resettlement areas since children in these schools learn in temporary structures.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Ministry has in place plans for the upgrading of schools in resettlement areas, most of which are satellite schools. For each of these schools, there is a site designated for the construction of permanent structures. Programmes for construction of schools have prioritised resettlement areas. For example, the Ministry working with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has so far completed construction of 17 new schools (11 primary and 6 secondary) which are awaiting commissioning. The bulk of these schools were constructed in the resettlement areas. The Ministry is working with various partners, NGOs, churches. School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds have been used to construct classrooms in resettlement areas. Devolution funds may also be used. Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) is also used to finance these schools.

STATISTICS OF UNDERAGE SCHOOL GIRLS WHO FELL PREGNANT AND DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL IN 2019 BY PROVINCE

  1. HON. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to apprise the House on the statistics of underage school girls that fell pregnant and dropped out of school in 2019 by province.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): 2019 statistics are captured in February and therefore, on the onset of the lockdown, statistics had not yet been disaggregated. However, the global figure for 2019 is as follows:

Primary Secondary Total
120 2 864 2 984

 

Through the guidance and counseling programme, the Ministry intends to eliminate the problem of dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF A SECONDARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will construct a secondary school in Ward 6, Mberengwa East Constituency, in view of the fact that children are walking a long distance from Mututu Primary School and Chiwara Primary to Mbuyanehanda High School.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): It is the Ministry’s mandate, in accordance with P73 of 1991, to ensure that learners at any given place do not walk more than 5km to the nearest school to access education. It is now a matter of public record that the Ministry, through its 2013 Infrastructure Expo has established deficit of 2 056 schools. The number has since increased.

In order to reduce the school infrastructure deficit, the Ministry has already rolled out the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Programme which to date has completed 17 schools now awaiting commissioning. The situation in Ward 6 will be looked at by inspection teams from our district offices who are expected to furnish Head Office on their findings. Furthermore, partners who include church organisations and NGOs are also invited and also working on provision of schools. Thank you.

SCHOOL FURNITURE FOR MPONJANE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN MBERENGWA DISTRICT

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry will buy school furniture for Mponjane Primary School in Mberengwa District.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Schools like Mponjane that get SIG grants are encouraged to use the grants for the acquisition of school furniture. Thank you.

INSTALLATION OF SHARED BASE STATIONS IN REMOTE AREAS OF HURUNGWE NORTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. GANDAWAasked the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House on the measures being put in place in installing shared base stations in remote areas that are economically marginalised, particularly Hurungwe North Constitutency in the Dete area, Ward 9.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Ministry has developed modalities with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to institute several measures to improve coverage in poor marginalised areas of Zimbabwe. Some of the measures taken are:

  1. Infrastructure Sharing Regulations

The authority has initiated infrastructure sharing. Infrastructure

Sharing Regulations were gazette in 2016 and the authority began mandatory sharing of telecommunications base stations. Infrastructure sharing benefits the public in that MNOs will be able to install equipment on existing towers, thereby increasing coverage. This also reduces the cost of investment thereby reducing the cost of providing the service ad pricing of services. In addition, infrastructure sharing can help reduce energy consumption and radio emissions of networks.

  1. Installation of Shared Base Stations

The authority has installed 20 shared base stations country-wide.

The completed projects consist of fifteen shared base stations with passive infrastructure and five base stations with active equipment comprising Multi Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN). In the long run, the authority has identified about three hundred and fifty wards with poor or no network coverage in Zimbabwe.

The authority, through the Universal Services Fund (USF) has

initiated several projects to address the network coverage gaps. Some of the projects include:

  1. a)Construction of 350 Shared Base Stations (Huawei Technologies)

A tender for the construction of 350 base stations was awarded to Huawei Technologies of China. The project was vendor financed and Huawei was required to source the finance. The project could not proceed as Huawei failed to secure the required financing. The tender has not yet been closed.

  1. b)Construction of 100 Shared Base Stations

The authority has tendered for the construction of 100 shared base stations in marginalised areas. An expression of interest (EOI) was done and five possible bidders have been shortlisted. The authority will proceed to issue the request for proposals (RFP). The project is also vendor financed on a build and transfer (BT) model.

  1. c)Construction of Shared Base Station Sites by Operators/Relocation of collocated Sites

The aim of this project is for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to construct passive base station infrastructure in assigned remote marginalised areas. The passive base station infrastructure includes 60m or 70m towers, equipment shelters, guard rooms, perimeter fence, commercial power, solar power (Photo Voltaic Modules), diesel engine generators, power back-up batteries and access roads.

After completion of the project, all operators will share the infrastructure. The authority through Universal Services Fund (USF), will reimburse the MNOs who would have constructed the sites.

As part of this initiative, MNOs will also be required to relocate base stations that are co-located, to new sites. Both the new site and the relocated sites will be shared by all MNOs. POTRAZ will be responsible for the cost of the relocation of the base stations.

ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INFORMATION CENTRE IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. RAIDZAasked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to explain when the Ministry is going to establish an Information Centre in Mberengwa East Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The Ministry working with POTRAZ, is still in the process of deploying Community Information Centres (CICS) throughout the country. In Mberengwa, a CIC was established at Mberengwa Post Office and handed over to ZIMPOST for operationalisation, CICs are not established on the basis of constituencies. The primary basis for distribution of CICs is on per province basis. Using a connectivity matrix, the CIC at Mataga Post Office was set up by my Ministry and is currently operational. A CVIC is in the process of being established at Mnene, but delays have been experienced due to the shortage of foreign currency to procure required gadgets as highlighted above and the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts are being made to ensure that all outstanding CICs are operationalised this year.

 

 

 

 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. NDUNA:  Hon. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, I move that the rest of the Questions with Notice be stood over until the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Hon. Nyoni gives a Ministerial Statement.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RESPONSE TO REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT ON THE FACT FINDING VISIT  TO DISTRICT OFICES AND WOMEN EMPOWRMENT PROJECTS

          THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. NYONI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to present a response on the report of the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development on the fact finding visits to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Ministry notes and appreciates the report by the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development following a fact finding visit to selected Ministry, district offices and women’s empowerment projects.  The findings and recommendations are quite pertinent as these help the Ministry in refining programming of the various interventions to improve service delivery to the citizenry.  However, I would like to point out to the House that the report was written way back in February 2019.  The Ministry has since addressed most of the issues raised in the report such as distribution of motor bikes, training of project beneficiaries, support and modern machinery and increasing budgetary support for funded projects.

The Ministry would like to shed light however, on what has been done during this period and the challenges that are being faced.  These will be as follows:-

  1.  State of District Offices and General Infrastructure

The status of district offices is a matter of great concern to my

Ministry Mr. Speaker Sir.  However, the mandate of providing office accommodation to Government ministries is vested with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Public Works.  The Ministry responsible has been approached several times with requests to provide suitable accommodation for our officers.  It is our hope that progress will be made soon as a new idea has been mooted and that is the construction of pre-fabricated structures for use by our officers as offices.  The Public Works Department has been tasked to work with my Ministry’s Provincial Development offices to achieve the goal.

  1.  Shortage of office computers, printers and lack of Internet connectivity

The challenge has been caused by resource provision especially

on procurement of assets by Treasury.  The schedule below shows the overall resource under provision.  For example, after realising the need to provide furniture for provinces and districts, a proposal was made under the 2020 budget.  Mr. Speaker Sir, you will find that as a whole, there was a variance to what we had requested and what was given.  There was a variance of about 57%.

THE BIDS FOR 2020 BUDGET

PROGRAMME IDEAL $ ALLOCATED BUDGET SHORTFALL VARIANCE
Policy and

Administration

116 969 000 53 504 000 63 465 000 54%
Women 477 500 153 368 322 132 67%
Empowerment, Gender & Community Development 000 000 000
SMED & Cooperative Development 478 367 000 295 104 000 183 263 000 38%
TOTALS 1 176 836 000 503 976 000 672 864 000 57%

 

From the above breakdown and analysis, it is clear that   only 43% of the required budget was availed.

  1.  Mobility of officers

The explanation above on furniture and computers is relevant.

Again, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is our hope that with more funds, we could make sure that our officers are mobile.  Anyway, I am happy to announce that five vehicles have been bought.  Although we had budgeted for 17 vehicles because of inflation, we could not buy all of them.  So we have resubmitted for the other 10 vehicles and shortly these we hope will be available for our officers.

The Project Sectors

It is also the concern of the Ministry that micro enterprises in rural areas are largely engaged in extractive industry and other primary production ventures especially those that are agricultural related.  Some of the reasons for low entrepreneur skills are also the lack of technical skills and technology is also being attended to; as I will show later that the Ministry is now engaging in training people at this level.

The use of Modern Machinery and Technology.

The observation that the project does not use modern machinery and technology was noted. In 2019, the Ministry supported SMEs and new entrepreneurs where the modern equipment was sourced from India.  Such support included incubation of new machines, a function which has now been transferred to another Ministry and it is our hope that we continue to engage the relevant ministries to ensure that SMEs and women have access to appropriate technology.

The Underfunded Cooperatives

Underfunding of project is a result of the limited resources available, the rapid increase in the prices of materials to set up projects has also contributed to the problem.  However, I am pleased to say that the Ministry has reviewed the level of funding and we have increased the women’s development fund to start from 150 000 from early this year.  We are also going to review the increase of disbursement upwards up to 300 000 per project.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am glad to say that we have the Women’s Bank last year, they disbursed about 40 000 loans and I am going to be tabling the way that was done per province.  The bank also will soon be rolling out the 500 million recovery fund that was given to the Ministry by Government.  The seventh issue was access to lucrative markets; this concern was raised and I am glad to say the Ministry is engaging SMEs, training them and linking them to markets especially for their handcrafts.

We have a handcraft center in Harare that has managed to link handcrafters with markets in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, German, Australia and Japan.  The handcrafts are going very well and they have a website, if anyone wants to link to the website.  The Ministry is promoting access to markets by SMEs through facilitating them to participate in local markets especially the ZITF, Agricultural Shows and also in the SADC region.  Whenever there are such activities, the Ministry sends the SMEs there.

To promote an integration among SMEs for inputs and outputs, the Ministry is facilitating the linkage programme and we are linking them in manufacturing in terms of subcontracting and also in agriculture in the agricultural value chains and in textile and in the retail sector.  A target of 1360 SMEs participated in the agricultural value chains in the past year and a total of 4645 SMEs were linked to large companies.  This was an increase of over 272 per cent increase from what we did in 2018.

The Ministry is in collaboration with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and is building the capacity of SMEs for access to public sector procurement markets.  SMEs are also being facilitated to have business linkages with themselves, cooperatives as well as with the corporates.

Monitoring and evaluation of projects    

The monitoring of all projects under the Ministry especially key ones in which huge funds would have been committed is of paramount importance to the Ministry.  The Ministry now has a fully fledged monitoring and evaluation department and this has resulted in an improvement of the monitoring programme.

Training and Capacity Building for Project Members.

The Ministry values the training and capacity building for both members and our staff.  In 2019 a total of 24 731 SMEs were trained whilst the Ministry’s two training centres hosted 1200 women for livelihood skills training programmes.  It is important to note that trainers employed by the Ministry have been deployed to various areas to carry out this mandate.  They are also identifying if they are any capacity gaps in order for the Ministry to fill these up.  The Ministry is training also up to ward level in order to ensure that competencies and efficiencies are cascaded to that level of our operation.  Our full fledged programme was supposed to start at the first quarter of 2020 and this was disturbed by the lockdown due to COVID - 19 pandemic.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the members for their vibrant and constructive debates and also to thank the Ministry’s Portfolio Committee and hope that we continue to have constructive engagement to ensure appropriate timeframes.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I give this opportunity to members to ask questions, raise points of clarification, not making other statements.  May I emphasise on that point that you need not to make another statement.  The floor is for you to ask pertinent questions relevant to the Ministerial Statement.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 5 has been disposed of.

HON. KASHIRI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE DELEGATION TO THE THIRD WORLD PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT HELD IN INDONESIA

HON. P. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name:  That this House takes note of the report of the Delegation to the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development, held in Bali, Indonesia, from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.

HON. GABBUZA:  I second.

HON. P. MOYO:

Introduction

Hon. Chief Mtshane Khumalo, Member of Parliament, led the Parliamentary delegation to attend the Third World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development which was held in Bali, Indonesia from the 4th to the 5th of September, 2019.  The forum was attended by 30 countries and 55 organisations.  The theme of the forum was, combating inequality through social and financial inclusion.  Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane Khumalo was accompanied by the following Members of Parliament and an officer of Parliament; Hon. Concilia Chinanzvavana, MP; Hon. Priscilla Moyo, MP; Hon. Marian Chombo, MP and now Deputy Minister; Hon. Joel Gabbuza, MP; Mrs. Chiwoniso Mataruka, Committee Clerk and Secretary of the delegation.

The report of the Chair of Indonesia House Steering Committee

The Steering Committee held a series of focul group discussions where rising inequalities is a major setback to attaining sustainable development.  Economic instability undermines social cohesion.  Inequality is a global phenomenon which needs address and 11 years remain to attain sustainable development goals targets.  This requires strong leadership of Members of Parliament who are expected to provide enabling legislation noting that Parliament is the cornerstone of democracy to hold the Executive into account.  Social and financial inclusion is key to ensure inclusivity.  The World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development should be a strong partner on attainment of sustainable development and ensure accountability and oversight of the parliamentarians effort and commitment in attainment and mainstreaming of SDGs.

         OPENING REMARKS BY MR. BAMBANG SOESATYA, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

The Speaker of the House of Representatives welcomed the delegates to the forum under the theme “Combating Inequality through Social and Financial Inclusion.” He stressed that with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, combating inequality and applying social protection has become the centre of policy agenda in all countries. Financial inclusion should be at the forefront of Government policies to reduce income inequality. Governments must protect the people and promote more social inclusion by distributing resources more fairly.

He noted that disparities are taking place around the world and require urgent attention. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are meant to attend to global challenges to attain a wealth of justice, prosperity and peace. Despite all progress and efforts, inequality still remains a challenge. There is need for stronger focus in decreasing inequality in income and skills. Poverty has fatal consequences in perpetuating inequality leading to conflict;

There is therefore, need for a deliberate move by Parliaments to capacitate the vulnerable and leave no one behind for the achievement of the 2030 agenda.

SPECIAL REMARKS BY H.E. DR MUHAMMAD JUSUF KALLA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

His Excellency Kalla noted that since the adoption of SDGs in 2015 ultimately ending in 2030, much progress has been made. Before were the MDGs with their own progress and challenges and the same applies to SDGs, but these require working together or collective efforts. He stressed the following; that nations seem to be lagging behind in many areas and this requires SDG 17 that of partnering of developed and developing nations. SDGs are Inter-connected and interrelated - that is economic development, social development and environmental sustainability.

The 2019 theme encourages nations to think on how to reduce inequality in this world through social and economic growth without discrimination where, “no one should be left behind.” Inclusiveness is the central theme of SDGs. Social development can only be achieved through social and economic growth. Countries are at different levels of development and as such, there is need for a global concerted effort to achieve development. Greater efforts must be made to achieve equality in gender, health, clean energy and addressing climate change. A developed country should have good hygiene and sanitation and these are fundamentals for the status of one’s country.

Planning and budgeting are key to overseeing SDGs in different Governments. Parliament with its authority to legislate and scrutinise budgets is important. Parliamentarians should participate effectively in how industry and infrastructure should create opportunities to do away with inequality and ensure equal opportunities. Tax rates should be discussed so that they benefit citizens of the nations.

His Excellency summed up by emphasising that partnership is key among world countries in the implementation of SDGs. No one country can grow without financial support. Thus there is need for access to financing for livelihoods and communities.

         PLENARY SESSION ON “HOW INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRIAL INNOVATION CAN FOSTER EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The session was moderated by Ms Andini Effendi, and the following issues were discussed:

That the  topic of combating inequality though social and financial inclusion, and more specifically, on how infrastructure and industrial innovation can foster equal opportunities, bearing in mind that we are experiencing a new industrial revolution is key. Knowledge, interconnectedness and mobility are key and industrial revolution does not mean necessarily neither equity nor fairness. New dynamics go hand in hand with new imbalances. It is the duty of nations to ensure that progress leaves no-one behind.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development provides us with guiding principles and targets: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Infrastructure and industrial innovation impacts on several of the 17 goals and in implementing these goals, countries have to bear in mind that infrastructure is no longer synonymous with physical infrastructure. The lack of access to formal education will prevent us from combating inequalities, from creating new decent jobs and enhance social mobility; and without education the gender gap will persist harming our social and economic progress.

Industrial innovation has the potential of enhancing our means of combating the environmental, economic and social consequences of climate change, however, political willingness is imperative.

That education and awareness on the effects of climate change must be embraced by all stakeholders, including civil society.

PLENARY SESSION ON “ENSURING RURAL ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER SUPPLY, SANITATION AND HYGIENE”

The session was chaired by Mr Putri Ayuningtyas and the following issues were discussed as solutions to reach the poorest and the marginalised in improving their health, nutrition and productivity;

That 785 million people lack even a basic drinking-water services, including 44 million people who are dependent on surface water and 2.0 billion people still do not have basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines.

The fact that water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) is the subject of dedicated targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG No. 6 is proof to its fundamental role in public health and therefore in the future of sustainable  development. Access to safe water and sanitation are human rights, as  recognised in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. Below are key issues Parliaments may convince their governments to deliberate on:

That integrated water management can provide important co-benefits for sustainable development, climate change mitigation & adaptation, and disaster risk management especially as countries begin to review and implement their national plans in the context of the Paris Agreement. There is a unique opportunity to improve and enhance water management practices;

That WASH, as part of the achievement of SDG 6 as a whole, be higher on countries’ political agenda, and that it is mainstreamed into national, sub-national, and community-level planning;

That there be predictable and sufficient finance for WASH; and

That there be greater mutual accountability and coordination among the developing countries, development partners, supporting governments, and their citizens on WASH issues.

PLENARY ON “ENHANCING PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS INCLUSIVE FINANCING

Ms Masyitoh Annisa Ramadhani, chaired the session on ways and means of ensuring the creation of accountable, accessible and sustainable financial services for all and the following issues were raised:

That the key issues in financing development projects include: improving the ability of countries to generate permanent and stable tax revenues and improve resource management; focusing aid on sectors to be served by private finance; using aid to leverage and attract more private sector financing to projects that support development (for example, infrastructure) through public-private partnerships and investment risk mitigation;

That domestic resources (public and private) and international/external resources (public and private), as well as blended finance are the key pillars of inclusive financing for development;

That there is a need to address some global public goods and efforts to mobilize diaspora financing for the development and building a more robust private sector by improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium-enterprises;

That countries achieve the goal of universal access, at a reasonable cost, to a wide range of financial services for everyone who needs them, provided by sustainable institutions for sustainable projects;

That one important aspect is that, “Leave no one behind” and this means put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build effective peace and open trusted and accountable institutions for all; and forge a new global partnership;

That realising this goal will require a committed alliance between business, government and civil society and will determine needed and sustainable investments. Countries should work on how to mobilize financial services to deliver the needed investments for the opportunities and secure a sustainable economic future and how to leverage technologies that boost production.

CONCLUSION

In the wake of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, many countries continue to face significant challenges in an increasingly unequal world, while the most vulnerable groups remain marginalized from social and economic  participation. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are still perceived as executives’ domain, but the core Parliamentary functions in law-making, budgeting, oversight and representation of the peoples’ interests, are critical in building people-centred, inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous societies, and ending all poverty everywhere in all its dimensions. Therefore, the formulation of a Parliamentary Roadmap on SDGs shall transform our shared perspective into more tangible efforts, under the principles of inclusion, partnership, and participation, where “no one left behind.

In 2017, the First World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development (WPFSD) adopted the Bali Declaration, which emphasizes the critical involvement of Parliaments in ensuring the effective implementation and timely realization of the SDGs. The Bali Declaration encourages Parliaments to strengthen national ownership by mainstreaming and implementing SDGs into enforceable National Development Plan, ensuring sufficient legal frameworks and budgetary requirements to support national policy on SDGs, scaling up efforts to end violence and sustaining peace, and enhancing climate action.

In 2018, the Second WPFSD adopted the Bali Commitment, which draws attention to the significance of partnership towards sustainable energy for all.  The Bali Commitment promotes;

  • the big potential of renewable energy resources for producing sustainable energy; and
  • the prospect of blue economy, green industry and sustainable development to achieve energy security and diversification. This outcome document endorses Parliaments to establish the necessary mechanism to work closely with the governments and other stakeholders.

Parliamentarians gathered at the Third WPFSD in Bali, Indonesia, on 4-5 September 2019, adopted the Bali Roadmap, which consists of a number of forward-looking recommendations that represent various dimensions in addressing challenges of SDGs implementation. By referring to the Bali Roadmap, we agree to:

  1. Safeguard efforts towards the achievement of SDGs, particularly on achieving equality in all social and financial aspects, as emphasized in the Resolution 2010/12 adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council on Promoting Social Integration and UN General Assembly Resolution 72/206 on Financial Inclusion;
  2. Urge our respective governments to formulate national action plan and establish effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions in supporting SDGs implementation;
  3. Call upon Governments to renew their commitment and give more attention in delivering the SDGs timely through tangible actions and accelerating policy implementations, as asserted in the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York;
  4. Advocate the delivery of sustainable social protection measures, resilient infrastructure, and public services for all, including for those living below the poverty line, people in rural and remote areas, the vulnerable, persons with disabilities, children and older persons, and indigenous peoples, particularly through the fulfilment of their fundamental human rights, which consist of no less than the following aspects:
  • Quality education;
  • Health care;
  • Decent and affordable housing; and
  • Access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
  1. Urge governments and local governments, as well as national and regional parliaments to mainstreaming and localizing the SDGs, based on the cultures, local languages and conditions, or uniqueness of a respective country;
  2. Strengthen legal frameworks and promote the development of an enabling environment to diversify financial resources and scale up funding from multiple sources to reduce financing gap in infrastructure, and to achieve an inclusive and sustainable development through innovative SDGs financing, such as blended finance, Green Financing for Financial Institution, Social Impact Fund, religious-based philanthropy for SDGs, and crowd funding through digital philanthropy;
  3. Underpin multi-stakeholders partnerships in ensuring the creation of inclusive financial services which open up access for the marginalised to fully participating in the economy and benefit from development;
  4. Strengthen the multilateral system for effective global coordination, responses
  5. and solutions to address the multifaceted crises and challenges arise from interconnectedness, interdependency and complex global governance;

Invite business sector and other relevant stakeholders to utilize their innovation and promote creative economy to contribute in addressing sustainable development challenges through the implementation of more sustainable consumption for Sustainable Development; Production patterns, and to engage with parliaments as strategic partners in development process.

We extend our appreciation to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, as the founder of the WPFSD, for its relentless efforts in promoting the achievement of SDGs, while express our gratitude to the IPU President for continuously supporting the WPFSD. We call upon all Parliamentarians to continue to actively engage in substantiating and holding the regular events of the WPFSD.

 

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

HON. KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 9th July, 2020.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MAVETERA, the House adjourned at Twenty Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

 

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