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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 09 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 63

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 9th September, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following apologies for leave of absence:

  1.  Hon. D. Marapira, the Minister of State in Hon. Vice President K.C.D. Mohadi’s Office;
  2. Hon. S. B. Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
  3. Hon. Arch. J. B. Matiza, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; and
  4. Hon. Kazembe Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs.

I have one point of privilege, Hon. Chinhamo Masango, if my memory serves me right, I thought questions of privilege should not be asked today.  That was the ruling.  You ask questions tomorrow.  Thank you.

         Hon. T. Mliswa having stood up to present Notices of Motions.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you be linked up please.  Where is your gadget?

         HON. T. MLISWA: It was stolen Sir.  I was hoping that being a former headmaster, you would make me go through the whole process so that I am also part of the class because I missed out a lot when I was away – [Laughter.] –

         THE HON. SPEAKER: It was by your default.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

         HON. K. PARADZA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture and other things – [AN HON. MEMBER: Aaah what things?] -  Water, Irrigation –

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, this is not a circus. You should know your ministries.  They are clearly tabulated in the Hansard.  I do not want to hear about other things.

         HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  It is the Hon Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Farmers out there are worried about the pricing system by the GMB which has two prices for maize.  The first price was $16000 and it is now $21000 per tonne.  So farmers who delivered early say they have lost out.  Is that Government policy of having two prices for one product?

               THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA ): I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The clarification is that the maize pricing policy is based on the Cost Plus Build Up Model.  That model takes into account the cost of producing one hectare of maize at the time the maize price is announced.  Then we put a 15% incentive to motivate farmers to get back to the fields.  So, we announced a price at that stage and that was the price of producing one hectare of maize.  Obviously, four or so months down the line, because of changes in prices of inputs, if you did the same exercise, the figures will change and that was reflected in the revision of the price to $21000.  I actually think Government ought to be applauded for being sensitive to the movement in the prices of inputs for maize.  That is why $21000 is now the price of maize till the end of the season.

         HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Minister did not really understand my question because this is done in one season.  There were no two seasons here but one season.  Firstly, GMB said those farmers who delivered early they were going to give them an incentive of $16000, and those who delivered later $21000.  That is the disparity that we are talking about Hon. Speaker.

         HON.  DR. MASUKA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the clarification is clear.  The $16000 given at that time would purchase inputs for one hectare of maize, but now the same amount does not purchase one hectare worth of maize inputs but $21000 now purchases inputs for a hectare, hence the adjustment.  So the Hon. Member has to look at purchasing inputs sufficient for one hectare of maize.  That is the difference but value wise when you were paid then, it was payment equivalent to one hectare worth of inputs plus 15% motivation.  When you were paid $21000 it purchased the same amount of inputs plus the 15% incentive.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

         HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is - why does Government not pay farmers in US dollars because mealie-meal is bought in US$?  It is that simple or fair.

         HON.  DR. MASUKA:  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The current maize price is equivalent to US$253 per tonne.  So the request by the Hon. Member to be paid a part of that in US$ is currently not Government policy.  The payment is in our currency ZW$, mindful of the fact that the inputs that the farmers were given were largely procured by Government to support both small scale and large scale farmers.  So, the payment was ZW$ and farmers are being paid in ZW$.  Preparations for the next season are afoot and farmers will equally be able to access their inputs.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

         HON. MADZIMURE:  When the price was at ZW$16000 per tone, the rate then was around 25.  Now the rate is 82 and if you calculate to find out if the farmer will be able to go back to the land, that will not be possible.  Can the Minister explain whether his calculations are still relevant for the farmer to go back to the land?

         HON. DR. MASUKA:  Yes, indeed farmers will be able to go back to the land.  We urge them in this current environment to acquire their inputs as soon as they get their money so that they can preserve value.  Also, noting that this year Government will be again massively assisting farmers in various aspects and as I indicated, the small scale farmers will be assisted with the Pfumvudza programme which I shall elaborate later. As for the large scale farmers, we are finalising tomorrow the accessing of inputs so that inputs are availed on time.  So indeed, I think farmers will be able to get back to the land.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received further communication for leave of absence.  Hon. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Hon. J. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works. Hon. Kazembe managed to finish his programme in time and is now here with us, so he must not be marked as absence.  I thank you.

         HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

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

         HON. T. MLISWA: You have just mentioned Hon. Ziyambi who is the Leader of Government Business, so who will stand in as the Leader of Government Business?

         THE HON. SPEAKER: We have the Hon. Minister of Defence here present with us and she will do that.

         The Hon. Speaker having recognised Hon. Munetsi to speak and had to borrow an Ipad from Hon. Chikwinya.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Whilst the Hon. Member is still standing, in future anyone who does not bring his/her Ipad will not be allowed to speak.

         HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I want to find out from the Minister how he can assist pensioners in rural constituencies maybe by mobile banks since transport is a challenge these days and the monies that they get is very low.  How can he assist? I thank you.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  With regards to the issue of introducing mobile banks to constituencies, as we might have noticed because of technology, quite a number of banks are cutting on their branch network.  We have got a number of banks that are going to the rural areas to increase their branch network from the urban centres to the growth points; specifically mentioning Agri Bank, ZB Bank and POSB, banks that have got large network.  With regards to pensioners, what we are saying is; we are encouraging them to open their accounts with banks that have got branch networks in the rural areas.  We are also looking at embracing mobile technologies as part of financial inclusion. POTRAZ is rolling out base stations to make sure that we have got networks throughout the country.  This is going to enable our pensioners to be able to embrace banking through ICT.

         HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary arises from the response by the Hon. Deputy Minister with regards to embracing of technology as a measure of assisting in accessing of funds by pensioners.  Hon. Chair, the Government awarded...

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Which Chair are you talking about?

         HON. CHIKWINYA: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Government awarded US$30 equivalent in nostro accounts to pensioners accessible after having been exchanged to RTGs. Most of the banks excluding CBZ and CABS...

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Ask your supplementary question.

         HON. CHIKWINYA: Why have banks not allowed pensioners to access or to be able to convert the local nostro to RTGS over their phone as what is happening with CBZ and CABS?  Other banks have not done that yet.  The other banks are also using a lower rate than the Reserve Bank announced rate.

         HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  In terms of the policy as of now, all banks should have their systems to be able to disburse the pension which is the US$30 per month.  If we have got any specific banks that are using a rate which is different from the auction rate then that one is outside Government policy.  What we are looking at is a situation where the banks should follow the auction rate that will be existing for that week and this is what Government policy is.  I thank you.

         HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I do not know whether it is a point of clarity or a question.  The question was - how does the rural folk get assistance when there is no transportation, there is no broadband in terms of Wi-Fi to access their money?  The Minister is not understanding the question. The rural folk is the majority in the country and they have suffered. He cannot tell us that more branches are being set up. The banks themselves are going through ICT online and the rural folk has no access to that.  Can he clarify how they can access?  There is no broadband, there is no WiFi, the branches are not there.  If there is anything, which branches are there?  Which banks are having more branches in the rural areas because I have not seen any bank which has created a branch because of the online banking which is there?

HON. CHIDUWO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, I think I understood the question.  We are encouraging our pensioners to open accounts with banks that have got wide branch networks.  I mentioned specifically POSB because if we are to look at the spatial and geographic spread of our pensioners – we are looking at one who is in Hwange, the other one who is in Muzarabani.  It is not practically possible to come up with any solution where we can go to each of those in the villages.  The practical solution is we have got growth point network where we have got POSB and AGRIBANK and these are the nearest banks where they can access their funds...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  May I suggest to the Hon. Deputy Minister to look into the issue because there are transport logistics at the moment.  I suggest you look deeper into the issue and come back next time to see what arrangements or what measures have been taken to ameliorate the situation.  Thank you.

HON. M. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement.  On the 15th July 2020, I asked a question in this House about what concrete plans are being taken in place to mitigate the unfolding water crisis in our rural constituencies such as Silobela which are currently confronted with critical water shortages for both human beings and livestock.  The situation has been worsened  by the massive number of broken down boreholes...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, ask your question.

HON. M. MPOFU:  My question is Mr. Speaker, the late Minister Rtd. Air Chief Marshal Shiri, sorry for him being late, had promised to bring in a Ministerial Statement on the issue of boreholes and water situation in the country.  We are still waiting for that Ministerial Statement.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, the Ministerial Statement is going to be given today.  Be on standby – [HON. BITI:  What Ministerial Statement.] – The water situation nationally.

HON. M. MPOFU:  Thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  I am not sure whether he is in the House Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:   Just ask your question please.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is that in terms of Section 21 of the Parks and Wildlife Act [Chapter 20:14], the Hon. Minister is endowed with the duty specifically to protect national parks.  Section 24 of the same Act prohibits certain activities to be carried out from national parks.  I want to find out from the Hon. Minister what Government policy is with regards specifically mining in national parks looking into the matter which is circulating which was written by the Director General of Parks allowing certain companies to conduct mining in a national parks area.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The question has been overtaken by events but for the sake of the questioner, Hon. Minister, if you can be brief in updating the Hon. Member.

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and also to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for clarifying that the question particularly on the matter of policy has been overtaken by events given the Cabinet decision taken yesterday that all mining in national parks are banned with immediate effect.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to address the issue which the Hon. Member is putting forward that there was a letter written by the director general allowing mining activities to take place in the national parks.  Mr. Speaker Sir, that is not correct.  Maybe by way of background Mr. Speaker Sir, the special grant referred to here was applied for in 2011, granted in 2015 to ZMDC.  The ZMDC then identified a partner in 2018, 2019.  The Minister of Mines can correct me on that.  That is when it came to the attention of national parks that there was an SG granted.  The procedure ordinarily is that they needed to have been granted with a letter of no objection before the special grant was granted.  That said with a special grant, they applied to do mining which we could not grant.  They then applied to do exploration. In the letter the Hon. Member is referring to, it is clearly stated that this is not permission to mine and that the issues of mining are still discussed.  At the right time a decision will be taken, which decision was taken yesterday. Mr. Speaker Sir.

         HON. CHIKWINYA: I rise to challenge the response by the Minister and if possible, I am a member of the Mines…

         THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not challenge, ask your supplementary question.

         HON. CHIKWINYA: We have proof of licences for Riverbed Mining authorised by the National Parks under the office of the person whom the Minister is saying has no power to issue such licences and we can provide proof. This is why I am saying is his office as a Minister aware that the General Manager is doing such because we have proof?

         HON. M. NDLOVU: I think the Hon. Member will have to check the Hansard. I never said the DG has no authority. In the Act, it must be Section 21, I will have to correct; there is a provision to allow mining in the areas under National Parks but that they have to do in consultation with the Ministry of Mines and when the authority is granted, I need to have consulted the President. I did not say he does not have authority to do that. Thank you.

         HON. BITI: The Minister of Mines can also help on this one. The real issue that has happened in the past is the issuance of a special grant in a National Parks area. So, notwithstanding yesterday’s Cabinet decision, can we have guarantees that a special grant which is a special right issued in terms of the Mines and Minerals Act, would not be issued in National Parks and the Mines and Minerals Act will be amended to so reflect so that the disaster that happened in Hwange cannot happen again? Let us have guarantees because a special grant is such a serious right.

         THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question and the question he asks probably was adequately covered by the Cabinet decision that all mining in National Parks is banned and that any special grants which would have been issued will be reviewed for cancellation. So the answer is no mining in National Parks will be approved. That is the next stage which will be done to have that reflected in the review process of the Mines and Minerals Act.

         HON. T. MLISWA: We go back to the Mines and Minerals Bill which is yet to be finalised and it will be unfair for us to get the Minister to comment on a law which still exists and give guarantee to this House that it will not happen when the law is still there. The Act must be changed and the issue is when is the Mines and Minerals Bill going to be complete because we will be the first people to be seen to be naïve in asking a Minister to give assurance to this House that it will not happen when the law says it will happen. So, amending the Mines and Minerals Bill is critical to this and when will that happen?

         THE HON. SPEAKER: If I understood the Minister of Mines correctly, he said Cabinet decision is final and the law will be amended accordingly.

         HON. J. CHIDAKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. Mr. Speaker, the Government has pronounced plans to grant six more licences to independent players plus an extra cable to ZTV. Why is this happening Mr. Speaker ahead of the amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act?

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members who are not taking the floor, please keep muted. You unmute only when you have to speak so that there is less interference in the system. Thank you.

         THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Second Republic introduced quite a number of reforms and from the onset, we have been actually working very hard to make sure that we align all our Acts with the Constitution and we also reform our media Acts. One of the works which we have been doing as a Ministry is just to make sure that BAZ, the statutory body which is there to give licences is fully constituted in terms of its board and management. It had gone for quite a while without a board and that process has been done.

We have been talking about issuing six licences and they will be issued certainly before the end of the year. The process is on now. What Hon. Chidakwa was asking me was on the Broadcasting Services Act. That again is with the Attorney-General and is actually in the process of being amended and so the processes are almost moving simultaneously and there is no reason why the (Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe) BAZ as a statutory board can stop because the Broadcasting Services Bill has not yet been passed.  We are moving once and we want to issue the licences.  We realise the importance of having commercial television so that we give our Zimbabwean audience in terms of what they should be watching.  That process is on and 14 applicants applied for those licences and they were listed. Interviews are ongoing.  Public inquiries will be ongoing and the process is very transparent.  They will be chosen without fear or favour, transparently.

HON. MADZIMURE: As the Minister said, the licence must be issued fairly and distributed among all Zimbabweans.  We see amongst those who have applied, ZIMPAPERS has also applied again but it owns all the radio stations in this country. They already have ZTN as a television. Can the Minister assure this House that not all the licences are not going to be given to Government controlled institutions?

HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: Let me assure Hon. Madzimure that the processes which BAZ are doing are above board and they are following all that is in the statutes.  That process will be done without favouring anybody.  We will make sure that the best gets the licence –[HON. NDEBELE:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Ndebele, please observe decorum.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What is the future of the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) and its exports?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): As the Hon. Member might be aware, the CSC has gone through very turbulent times over the past 10 to 15 years to an extend that it is operating at between 8 and 10% capacity and all its ranches are literally moribund.  To that extent, Government scouted for a partner that came on board with certain performance parameters.  Unfortunately, those performance parameters have not been fully met and Government is in the process of reviewing that arrangement so that CSC can get back to what it used to be – to develop the lives of industry and complement Government efforts especially in the light of the recently launched livestock growth plan.

 HON. WATSON:  The Hon. Minister may know that one of the most lucrative things that the CSC had was the EU beef quota.  Is he also working as well as re-establishing the CSC with his Ministry to control and eradicate foot and mouth so that that quota would be regained?

HON. DR. MASUKA: Foot and mouth cannot be eradicated.  It is resident in buffaloes in Gonarezhou, Chirisa and in Hwange.  To control foot and mouth in livestock is to be able to effectively manage the separation largely through game fences and the requisite vaccinations for our cattle.  Until and unless that is done through the availing of sufficient resources to do that timeously, I am afraid we will have few more seasons where we will continue to have outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in various parts of the country.

Notwithstanding that, there are various initiatives that Government is looking at through the livestock growth plan to be able to complete 1 600 kilometers of fencing around Gonarezhou, Chirisa and Hwange.  We need to ensure that we acquire the necessary vaccines to be able to complete the second round of vaccinations before the end of September.

However, let me just comment about the myth regarding the European market. The European market was premised on certain fundamentals that are largely unobtainable now and perhaps may I request the Hon. Member to engage us to then look at the markets that are just next door to us within Africa and elsewhere where we think our beef, in its current form, can still have a market.

HON. GABBUZA:  The Minister confirms that the partner is failing on certain performance parameter and this is not the first time that we have seen various partners with CSC failing to perform.  Is the Minister confirming that they have no capacity to do a proper due diligence on a partner before engaging them?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT(HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Member wants to know whether or not we have failed to do the sufficient due diligence before a partner comes on board.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the simple answer is no, we have not. However, to clarify that further, I think certain aspects of that agreement were premised on certain preemptive processes that were time bound and that did not happen, which I think Government did the right thing to proactively look and see at if these preemptive processes have not been fulfilled in the first year or so - what is the likelihood that the performance parameters in year 2022 could be fulfilled.

So I think Government ought to be applauded for having reacted this fast to begin the process of reversing this process before we went far in it and saying the partner can you do more.  So I think the Government has capacity to vet possible partners and Government has done the right thing. Very soon Government will be able to indicate the way forward so that CSC can play its rightful role.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker the question of CSC is around the securitisation of state assets.  Kindly allow me to check with the Minister if their next move is going to consider local Zimbabwean investors to partner at CSC.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and the Hon. Member, thank you.  You wish to know whether we will consider local partners.  Indeed, even when this partner was brought on board several local partners were considered and at that stage it was felt that this partner had the best proposal for ensuring that CSC could be turned around in the quickest possible time. As we have indicated, this has not happened.  So indeed, we will be considering a lot of them. I think perhaps CSC is too big to give to one person - there is consideration for trying to look at the various operations and bringing in various partners. Again, as I said, CSC can get back to what it knows best – supporting the small holder and also supporting large scale farmers, because livestock is an important element of agricultural recovery.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary basically is, what is Government policy in terms of the CSC sights which are dotted across the country.  For example some of them have now been occupied by universities.  What is Government policy towards these sights since it is the one that wants to revive the Cold Storage Commission.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  I thank the Hon. Member for seeking clarification on the utilisation of these under utilised assets that CSC has dotted around the country.  Indeed it is very saddening that a parastatal of that magnitude has assets lying idle and not fully utilised for the benefit of the nation.  The aspect that I have referred to that we are looking at very quickly revamping CSC by bringing on board partners to my expectation, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that in the early part of next year, we will have partners who with demonstrable capability, ability to turn around these assets so that they can be sweated sufficiently to yield the dividend we are looking for.  So may the Hon. Member be patient into next year.  We are trying to look at these Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUTAMBISI:  My question is to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What has the Government put in place for the transportation of children for examination classes when schools open in areas where there are no ZUPCO buses since we are not allowed to use private ordinary commuter buses.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you very much for the question although I might have missed some areas, but however with regards to preparations for the running of the classes and examination in relation to transportation what we have done is we are discussing interministerially in terms of arrangements to provide transport buses for those people who will be commuting to schools like teachers, students and also non teaching staff.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, can I help you?  The question was, in the absence of the sufficient number of ZUPCO buses that have been authorised to transport people.  That is the context.

HON. E. MOYO:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, I think I have now picked it up.  The buses are going to be increased.  With the increased demand for transport, I am sure Cabinet has already made provision for the increase of that transport provision.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Deputy Minister says maybe Cabinet – he is not sure.  Hon. Prof Murwira, you sit in Cabinet.  Can you clarify?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question on the availability of transport.  Hon. Speaker Government is aware of the availability of transport is constricted.  To this end, Government has decided to increase the amount of fuel that is given to ZUPCO from a current 500 000 litres to 700 000 litres.  This should be able to increase the number of vehicles on the road that will facilitate the transportation of our pupils, students and teachers. So we are confident that with the measures that we are putting in place and the decision that we have made, we will be able to make the carrying out of examinations between September and November possible.  I thank you.

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, you have been exchanging that gadget, can you sanitise please?

         HON. BITI:  I have a supplementary to the esteemed…

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Biti, can you sanitise your hands please and your gadget.

         HON. BITI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, my supplementary is to the esteemed Hon. Minister, Prof. Murwira.  Is it not a solution to simply liberalise transport service in Zimbabwe and repeal the provisions of the Covid-19 regulations that give monopoly to ZUPCO for providing transport in Zimbabwe?

Let us go back to liberalisation instead of giving a monopoly to a service provider who is incapable of servicing our people.  I thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

         HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker and I wish to thank Hon. Biti for the question. Hon. Speaker, when we are healthy like this sometimes we forget that there is a pandemic.  The operation of ZUPCO and the incorporation of other transport providers within the ZUPCO franchise enabled Government to control transportation for the sole purpose of safeguarding lives.  If we talk about ZUPCO without taking into context the Covid-19 pandemic, we will not be able to interpret this whole thing correctly.  We are interpreting all this in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. So this is the context Mr. Speaker Sir.  I do not think the issue of liberalisation comes into play at this moment.

         Mr. Speaker, we are talking about people’s lives and the best way that we can use to the best of our knowledge to make sure that the transportation that is moving about is well accounted for.  It is important to note that the ZUPCO that we are talking about is just acoordinating mechanism.  There are a lot of private players that are having their vehicles being managed under the ZUPCO franchise.  There is no monopoly of ZUPCO, but just coordination by ZUPCO, of the national transportation system so that we can have a predictable way of preventing to the best of our ability the spread of Covid-19.  I thank you.

         HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Can he please explain, what is Government policy in relation to the charging of school fees by schools who are in anticipation of schools opening and that charging of school fees is being made in US dollars? What is Government policy in relation to that?

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  When schools open, we expect that fees that have been charged and approved by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education are going to be charged.  If people have changed their fees, they need to make the necessary processes and procedures for the increase of fees and then they must only charge those fees that have been approved.  The currency that is used at the moment is the Zimbabwe dollar.  If for any reason people want to pay in whatever currency, the official exchange rate should apply.  Thank you.

         HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is - is it Government policy for schools during this COVID lockdown, to charge levies and fees in local currency and US dollars which they would regard as e-learning fees?  Thank you.

         HON. E. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is not Government policy for schools to charge for online lessons. If there have to be any charges for whatever reason, like I said earlier, those have to be agreed to by parents.  An application should be made to the Ministry and authority granted but however it is not Government policy.  For example, one Hon. Member was saying pupils are not paying for the method of teaching but they are paying for the service.  Thank you.

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Deputy Minister, I think for ease of reference, perhaps the Ministry could produce a circular and then you favour these circulars to Members of Parliament so that they can take corrective action in their respective constituencies.

         HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I think instead of writing a circular on each particular item, I request that they also include the issue of COVID materials in that circular.  The schools are now charging for COVID materials which are masks, sanitisers and so forth. Is it Government policy to charge COVID materials on their own because it has announced that it is prepared to provide materials for schools?

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  A request should not be by way of a question, but by way of a statement. So I will not ask the Hon. Minister to answer that. I think he has taken note.

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

THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the point of order?

HON. NDEBELE: I agree with you, it must come in the form of a fully fledged statement to this House but my worry about Ministerial Statement …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, I did not say Ministerial Statement.  I said a comprehensive circular, taking on board what the Hon. Members have raised, distributed to the respective school system but also to the Hon. Members so that they are on the look-out for any deviation in their constituencies.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker, if I may seek your indulgence to raise the question of outstanding Ministerial Statement, particularly now that we are going to the end of this session.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Which Ministerial Statement?

HON. NDEBELE: I remember before the passing on of the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, may his soul rest in peace, I had requested for a statement on the Pfumvudza …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, it is going to be dealt with today.

HON. NDEBELE: Related to agriculture? Last week I had requested for a list of those farms that are available for reallocation province by province.  My well founded fear Hon. Speaker is that  when this session comes to an end …

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating, sorry.

HON. NDEBELE: I hope you are going to make a determination because this session is coming to an end …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  The Hon. Minister, take note of the list of farms that are available and the rest should be covered in the Ministerial Statement.  If Hon. Members would want to ask questions for clarification, that will be done.

HON. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, it is well known that the second term …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Supplementary question.

HON. MADZIMURE: The learners did not go to school for the second term.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, supplementary question!

HON. MADZIMURE: It is a supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, do not make a statement.

HON. MADZIMURE: I am not making a statement, I am asking.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Ask the question!

HON. MADZIMURE: The question is - are learners going to pay for the second term that they did not attend any lessons?  Are they going to pay any levies and fees for that particular term?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you for the question.  They are not going to pay for what they have not received.  Opening schools on the 28th up to the time they write examinations, they are going to pay fees for that period and no other.  Thank you.

HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  Under the Rural Electrification Programme, what is the policy regarding connectivity to villagers as we have seen some of them being charged ridiculous amounts by unscrupulous ZESA employees?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Kashiri for seeking clarification on the policy for connecting rural households in our rural electrification programme.  Hon. Speaker, the policy is to connect rural households.  However, if there is a particular …

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are not linked.  I think you are muted.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Hon. Speaker,  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking clarification on the connectivity on our rural homesteads on what is Government policy on our rural homesteads by Rural Electrification Agency (REA).  The policy is very simple.  We wish to have all our rural households, to the best of our capability to be connected to the grid in all several ways that we can.  However, if there is a particular case in which there are exorbitant or more than normal charges that are being made, it becomes a very important case for investigation.  Therefore, we would wish that the Hon. Member puts it in writing so that a specific investigation can be made on that particular rural household.  Thank you.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) television camera person having walked in with his camera.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Zimbabwe Television (ZTv) you are late, you must respect this House. The Hon. Members represent the electorate, you must be here by ten minutes past two o’clock p.m. at the latest.

HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Mines.  What is Government policy regarding corporate social responsibility on major mining companies.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): I would like to thank the Hon Member for the question.  I will answer the question within the context of communities benefitting from the operations of mining entities.  We have a two tier structure through which the nation benefits from the operations of mining entities.  The first are the taxes which are levied by Central Government.  The second are the proviso for the Rural District Councils to benefit from the operations of mining activities through levies on the particular mining locations.  What has become apparent is that we do have extremes in the way the levies are charged.  We have Rural District Councils which charge very low levies and other Rural District Councils which charge very high levies.  So, the thrust at the moment is to come up with standardised Rural District Councils charges on mining operations which is a vehicle through which the communities through Rural District Councils will have money coming into the coffers of the particular Rural District Councils.  So, we are working with the Ministry of Local Government to come up with standardised rates which will be levied by Rural District Councils and through those rates, the communities will benefit.  Over and above that, Government is reviewing modalities of the Community Share Ownership Schemes so that they can also be standardised amongst mining operations.  Once that is done, an announcement will be made accordingly.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response.  My supplementary question is, you talked about RDCs benefitting from the levies but Urban Local Authorities do not benefit from that.  What modalities are being put in place so that Urban Local Authorities also benefit since there are also mining companies that operate within their localities?

HON. CHITANDO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member asked a pertinent question.  The majority of mining operations are in Rural District Councils.  He is very much correct because we also have some mining entities which are in the periphery of urban areas and covered by the local authorities.  These will be applicable to those operations as well.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDEBELE:  Mr. Speaker, while they are still preparing, may I kindly request through you that the Minister of Mines and Mining Development brings to this House a statement on the current state of various Community Share Ownership Schemes so that we interrogate that as a House.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Hon. Minister have you taken note?

*HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Minister, my question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What plans does our Government have in place to ensure that smart agriculture that was taken to the banks which are known to charge very high interest rates does not short change this season which we were told will have adequate rains by the banks’ failing to give inputs timeously before the start of the farming season and charging very high interest rates?

* THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA). I want to thank the Hon. Member for the important question.  The issue of high interest rates by the banks on funds given to farmers – the first year that we asked banks to assist us give funds to farmers is the last farming season that just ended.  It was a season that we learnt a lot of lessons.  We learnt two things in particular.  Firstly, when farmers get inputs, they should know what they owe there and then and not to be told at the end of the season.  Secondly, last week we held meetings on interest rates on loans borrowed by farmers, the interest rates must be affordable so that the farmers can be able to go back to the field.  The other question was on inputs, yes this year we are well prepared compared to previous years.  We hope by the end of this month we will be starting to distribute inputs.  The department of Agritex is listing the names of farmers that are interested in farming this farming season because we are anticipating that we are going to have good rains this year.  I thank you.

         *HON. K. PARADZA: My supplementary question is last season the farmers did not have good harvests due to poor rains.  What plans does Government have for farmers who did not manage to pay back all their debts because of poor yields?  The Government must give then loans despite the fact that they did not clear their debts so that they can be able to go back to the field.

         *HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank the Hon. Member for his question. We acknowledge that farmers did not have good yields last year.  We discussed this issue with banks so that they can help these farmers. Still on that, let us not forget that the banks use depositors’ funds.  So there is an ongoing discussion between the Government and banks to see how we can help farmers.  Government plans concerning the AFC Land Bank are still afoot and we are looking forward that once this is finalized, the farmers can have something to lean on.

         *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The Minister said they are ready to issue inputs.  I want to know whether these inputs are for free or they are borrowing?  If it is just giving for free, how many in terms of quantities are they looking at for disbursement in terms of tones?

         *HON. DR. MASUKA:  I once said that I will give a Ministerial Statement concern the pfumvudza programme.  I have books to illustrate on that.  Now I am waiting for that time so that I can enlighten the House fully.

         HON. MASANGO-CHINHAMO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. Is there a policy which governs and authorises side-roads at tollgates whereby the country tends to lose revenue by having road users avoiding the tollgates and using side-roads instead?  I thank you.

         Hon. Prof. Murwira having walked in.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Prof. Murwira, you are the Acting Leader of the House, can the Hon. Member repeat the question again for the benefit of the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.

         Hon. Masango-Chinhamo repeats her question.

         THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Hon. Speaker, the question is not very clear.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please repeat your question.

         Hon. Masango-Chinhamo repeats the question using Shona language.

               *THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker I thank the Hon. Member for her question.  As Government, we have a policy that people must pay when passing through the tollgates.  Those who avoid the tollgate are prosecuted.  Government’s policy is that no one must avoid tollgates as this is where Government revenue comes from.  I thank you.

         HON. MUCHIMWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question is there are unbearable queues of vehicles at tollgates. This is why some people are avoiding tollgates; queues of 2 kms just waiting to pass through.  Is there any policy by Government to help ease the problem of queues at tollgates so that there will not be long queues? I thank you.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Repeat the last part.

         Hon. Muchimwe repeated the last part of his question.

         HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Government policy is to facilitate the collection of the necessary taxes to make sure that we enhance our infrastructure.  Anything to the contrary is not Government policy.  In executing those duties it is very important that we become efficient and effective.  In terms of the queues and queue management-Government policy is to be on the positive side.  Anything to the contrary is something that we must and we are correcting.  Enhancement of efficiency at our points of tolling is a priority in terms of making sure that our systems are improved.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I will talk about the Norton tollgate which has got queues of five kilometres.  The residents of Norton who too want to go home are also part of that queue.  What is Government doing to ensure that the residents in those areas get home sooner than expected?  What are you doing when the network is down and there is no cash money but yet all modes of payment are being tried, nothing is happening?  It is not the fault of the driver.  What is Government doing to alleviate that and to improve that, especially for the residents of Norton who spend hours coming from work and cannot get home because of the long queues which are there.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Mliswa for emphasising on the Norton tollgate and many others with similar problems.  Mr. Speaker, as I said Government, from a policy point of view, I do not thing we can have a policy of making people suffer at tollgates.  To this end, our policy is to make sure that we facilitate, to the best of our ability, the passage of our people through these tollgates.  It basically means improving the ICT systems that are there.  So our policy is to make sure that we alleviate those problems and it is very important that Hon. Members in this case, Hon. Mliswa is raising that point.  The fact that it is being raised means we have to up our game on that side and we accept that responsibility to up our game.  I thank you.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just wanted the Minister of Health to enunciate to this Parliament the new policy on de-isolation and quarantine covid affected clients.  Can you tell us what informed the decision on the current policy?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Why do you not clarify your question as raised yesterday?  Your question was those who have been tested, can they be tested again.  That was the issue.

HON. DR. LABODE:  Minister, I just wanted you to share with Parliament the new policy for de-isolation.  If you are isolated, how do you get out of isolation?  I could share with you and the permanent secretary later, how you get out of isolation once you have tested positive?  Is it because you have been there for so long or you need to be tested and what happens, even the quarantine because I am hearing people are landing from London and go home.  All those are important things.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. MANGWIRO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  De-isolation is two words.  There is isolation and quarantine.  Isolation pertains to people who have got signs and symptoms or who have tested covid positive whereas quarantine is just being put in a place waiting to see if you will have symptoms or you will get to convert to positive.  Nowadays, we are saying if one tests positive and is in an isolation centre, on the day 10 whether you are tested or not, according to WHO guidelines one can go home.  Isolation means the person is already infected and by day 9, 10 the virus is mostly dead.  So the WHO guidelines say if you are positive and you go in, on day 10 you go.  You may not be tested or you have been tested but one can go home, thus from isolation.  In terms of quarantine, if one has got a valid certificate from wherever they are coming from which is 72 hours in time, one can go straight and quarantine in their own facilities which would be also inspected by our officers.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  My supplementary Mr. Speaker takes from what Hon. Dr. Labode said in her question.  On day 10, you alluded that WHO guidelines say you can go.

 THE HON. SPEAKER:  Go where?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Go home.  From isolation centre you can go anywhere into the public.  What if someone is still testing positive?  An example has been given for Members of Parliament who had tested positive prior to the mandatory testing which was done about two weeks ago who then retested positive.  The advice was that you can still go into the public even if you are testing positive.  Are those the standards to the extent that people can be free to mingle with someone who has still tested and recorded to be positive but has spent more than 10 days in isolation?

   HON. MANGWIRO:  Testing positive on day 10 does not necessarily mean the virus is still viable.  These are particles of the virus that will still be showing that the antigen is still there, but the virus is no longer available.  One can easily go into society without causing any harm or danger to other people that they meet.

HON. NDEBELE:  Order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Ask your supplementary question.

HON. NDEBELE:  I am just interested in alerting you of the fact that his Ministry still owes us time.  There is a time I requested for a Ministerial Statement in this House and Hon. Obedia Moyo sent Hon. Kesty Coventry to bring in the statement to this House.  When Hon. Mliswa referred to the fact that Hon. Coventry...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is your question Hon. Member?

HON. NDEBELE:  It is not a question.  I am kindly requesting that they honour what you promised us that one competent Minister will come to this House to field questions that we still have on people that are living with HIV out there.  They brought in a Statement via Hon. Kesty Coventry and through you.  We agreed she was not competent to field questions on HIV.  I am demanding that they do so before the end of this Session.  I have a lot of requests that the desk might be keeping track of, that have not been honoured. You have taught me to take the business of this House very seriously and I am disappointed.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You have lost sense of patience. Hon. Minister, if you could liaise with Hon. K. Coventry to get that statement and come back to elaborate on it.

HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. What is the wisdom in compensating the white farmers US$3,5 billion while it is constitutional and there are many constitutional obligations like the welfare of the war veterans and many others in terms of funding? What is the wisdom of prioritising …

[Time limit]

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Mr. Speaker, I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by a further fifteen minutes.

HON. NDEBELE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you. My question to the Minister of Finance is what is the wisdom in compensating the white farmers who are a minority US$3,5 billion while it is constitutional, there are many other constitutional obligations which are important and have not been attended to financially.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): First of all, it is not an issue of wisdom but of compliance. Secondly, the issue of farmer engagement or compensation is a process which began a while ago but after the acceptance of the Constitution. I urge all Members to re-read Section 72 and 295. This is a process. So every year in the budget we set aside resources in the National Budget that this Parliament approves for farmers to be compensated, targeting those who are vulnerable. This year in the 2020 Budget we allocated something in the order of $300 million. In 2019, this Parliament allocated something in the order of $70 million. So what was happening was that every year we were allocating and paying the farmers.

All the global compensation did was just to come to a conclusion as to what the overall figure for compensation is for improvement because we were compensating but what is that figure? We were able to arrive at that figure after a long negotiation and evaluation process but also after a process within the farmers themselves as a group, they had a referendum and there was a 95% approval. I repeat, it is not an issue of wisdom but of compliance and we are already doing it. All we did was not to draw a line and establish clarity as to what that final compensation figure is.  The fact that there are other financial demands whatever in the Constitution is neither here nor there. What we are dealing with right now is the issue of compensation for farmers. I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, the aspect of compliance cannot be based on selective application. There are issues of people who are disabled where they must be accommodated in terms of their movement and in terms of infrastructure. There are issues of the war veterans where they must be accommodated and of the health sector which is non existent where there must be money. So, in terms of priority, is the compensation of the white farmers more important than the health sector where Ministers are going outside because they can afford to be treated so you are lucky. What about the ordinary person who cannot afford to go out? Why are you not injecting money in that sector to ensure that we save lives? Why are you giving a few white farmers who most them do not even require it anymore and are even laughing at us? Where does that money come from when it is not even factored in the budget, the $3,5 billion? This House is responsible for passing budgets. I have never sat down and cast a budget of $3,5 billion to go to the compensation of white farmers. I have passed a budget to look at the welfare of the war veterans, health sector, education sector and I can go on and on. So, when?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please may you just ask your question and allow the Minister to respond.

HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, the land issue is an emotive issue. The compensation of the minority is an emotive issue. Allow those emotions because I am a beneficiary of the land reform and I have invested everything in it. Those who do not have it like the Hon. Minister have no attachment to it. I went to prison …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just ask your question Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA: My point is where he is going to get money from when this Parliament has not approved it and there are many other issues like the health and education sectors which need money in terms of compliance. You have not even given them money but you have money to give the minority who really do not need it at the end of the day. Why have you made that decision when the money is not even there?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Again, I thank the Hon. Member for that follow up and clarity of his question. First of all, I must say that he has asked I think two questions in one. One is there are other areas that we ought to be covering and supporting as opposed to farmer compensation. He cited education, health, the vulnerable groups and social welfare. The other is about resources, where are we getting the money?

Let me start with the first one, we are releasing resources for the health sector and this is how we are supporting the health sector. Covid-19 is really concentrating our minds. We have done renovations on numerous health centres right across the country, quarantine or isolation centres. We are focused. There is a whole national taskforce that is focusing on that aspect. We have basically given authority as Treasury for the recruitment of more than 4 000 health workers and that recruitment is happening fast.

We are going to resolve industrial disputes with the health workers in terms of dealing with their health and risk allowances at various level.  We are doing all of that.

We also appreciate what the donors have done in supporting us in our objectives.  When it comes to the education sector, our actions are similar.  We are building schools around the country and we are going to make sure that as we negotiate with the civil servants, we are going to improve their salaries....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Minister.

HON. MADZIMURE:  On a point of order –[HON. CHIKWINYA: Inaudible interjection.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chikwinya.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development having stood up to continue debating. 

HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, the Minister must sit down because you have recognised me.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Have you been recognised?

HON. MADZIMURE: Yes. Madam Speaker, the question is very simple. Where are we going to get the $3.5 billion?  This Parliament did not approve that amount –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members please!

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  Let me answer the Hon. Member’s two questions –[HON. T. MLISWA:  Inaudible interjection.]-

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

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  In the education sector, we are doing a lot.  We are building schools.  We are going to be supporting the teachers.  We are working on raising salaries in that sector as is the case with all civil servants.

For the social welfare, our social welfare programme is robust;  cash transfers and food assistance programmes.  We have had challenges with food – I could go on and on including the Presidential Input Scheme which has been coming through the Pfumvudza system.  That is how we are assisting our ordinary citizens across the board in the areas that the Hon. Member raised.  I am pleased that he raised it.

I will now move on to his second question –[HON. MLISWA:  Inaudible interjection.]-

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please may you allow the Minister to respond.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  I now want to respond to his second question regarding the sources of funding.  The Global Compensation Agreement is an agreement on the figure – global and final figure for compensation.  The resources will be raised and in that statement, we have said the resources will be raised internally and externally, when we have agreed or concluded on the instrument through which the resources would be raised if it is a debt instrument; which is what we are targeting.  That will be brought before Parliament because we cannot contract debt without Parliament. It is at that stage that the financing instrument will be brought to Parliament.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I would like to be protected especially being an independent Member without a Chief Whip and not belonging to a party.  I should be protected more than everyone here.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You are protected. Please may you go ahead.

HON. T. MLISWA: The point of clarity I seek from the Minister is – we pass budgets here.  You talked about various Government departments being resourced.  The word you missed out and being a professor is ‘inadequately resourced’.  There is no resource which has been given to a Ministry because the Minister has never come back to Parliament and said what we got is enough.  There is always supplementary budgets which are coming through.  Supplementary means it is not enough.  Inflation has eaten up and this is US$ and not Zimbabwean dollar.  This is the first time I would have liked .....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Ask your question Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA: My point of clarity is that they have been inadequately resourced.  So the Minister cannot stand here and say we have been providing. The Chairperson of the COVID Taskforce has said that we do not have PPEs – they are begging.  If we have donors coming in, then we do not need the donors that you talk about if we are adequately resourced.  Where is the money coming from internally? Be very clear on that Hon. Minister.  Which entity internally will provide that money?

HON. NDUNA:  With your indulgence, I request a Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in the coming days.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think the Hon. Minister has taken note of that.

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Maam, the Ministerial Statement that I seek to request from the Minister of Finance is about the 821 km road from Plumtree to Mutare which was financed by the DBSA Bank to the tune of more than US$200 million.  I would like to know the subsistence of that contract for Group Five which encompasses Inter-tol and how far we are in the repayment of that loan; when is collection of revenue from the toll gates that should be established on the Norton Toll gate on the other dual carriage way and on the Ruwa Tollgate on the other dual carriage way going to come.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nduna, may you put your request in writing so that we can give it to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

HON. NDUNA:  Certainly, Madam Speaker Maam. I am grateful that you recognised me  and I also ask that on that score, that I be registered that I attended Parliament today.

HON. K. PARADZA:  On a point of order, Hon. Chikwinya used unparliamentary language.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What did he say?

*HON. K. PARADZA: Vatuka Hon. Chief Whip kuti musoro wako.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, may you please withdraw that.

 

P                                       t435445                                09/09/20

HON. CHIKWINYA: If you fix, it I can respond.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, Hon. Chikwinya.

*HON. CHIKWINYA:  Chirikuramba kuconecta.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Okay you may go ahead, the Hansard will capture it.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  I wish not to challenge the Chair and I will submit that if there is a procedure to challenge the Chair, I am prepared to follow it.  Unless if I am guided accordingly kuti musoro wako is an insult, in what manner?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: But it is not parliamentary Hon. Chikwinya, to say musoro wako munomu.  Please may you withdraw that?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Chair.  As I have stated before, I wish not to challenge this Chair and I wish to oblige with the instruction of the Chair, but where I come from ndikati kumunhu unemusoro, what you are saying…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chikwinya, please may you withdraw.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  I withdraw.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Questions with Notices, question number 1, Hon. Dr. Nyashanu.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I thought that the request by Hon. Nduna was that, may we forgo Questions with Notice in precedence for Ministerial Statements.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, Hon. Nduna was requesting a Ministerial Statement from the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Please may you take your seat.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  So let me raise my own point of order.  I propose Madam Speaker that in light of the two critical Ministerial Statements and the Ministers here present, noting that we are coming to an end of a Parliamentary session, can we give precedence to the Ministerial Statement so that they do not lapse from the Order Paper and we can indulge with them?  Our questions can be redeposited on the Order Paper as we come back to the Third Session of Parliament.

HON. WATSON:  I second Madam Speaker.

HON. TOGAREPI:  I object – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  There is an objection Hon. Chikwinya, so we are going ahead with the Questions with Notices.

HON. MPARIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  May I suggest that you go through the list in terms of the Ministers who are actually available so that we save both the time of the Ministers and the Hon. Members.

CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN MASVINGO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to appraise the House on the measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that children aged between zero and three years access nutritionally balanced food during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): The Ministry has the Village Health Workers (VHWs) trained on community infant and young child feeding counseling.  This training equips the VHWs with knowledge on nutrition for children under five years as well as for pregnant mothers and lactating women.  Besides counseling, the training has also helped VHWs to form mother to mother support where women with children under two years meet to help one another on child nutrition as well as social economic issues.

The VHW is also trained to conduct community screening of malnutrition using the colour coded Mid Upper Arm Circumference tape (MUAC).  With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing is one of the guidelines, the Ministry of Health and Child Care shifted the task of community screening to the family.  Mothers or care givers of children under two years were trained on how to assess their child’s nutrition status using the MUAC tapes by the VHW.

With support from developmental partners, targeted food assistants in most vulnerable districts have supported families with pregnant and lactating women and children under five years.  In terms of general nutrition education, the Ministry has been utilising local radio stations to provide information on nutrition and COVID-19, including infant and young child feeding.  Engagement of National Arts Council for jingles on nutrition has also been done and these are already being aired.

CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN MASVINGO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.  HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether the Government has any plans to construct more clinics in Wards 26, 29 and 30 of Masvingo Constituency considering that some people have to walk for distances as long as 30 kilometres to access health care service.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  In Masvingo South Constituency, Ward 26, 29 and 30 there are already operational clinics namely Musvovi, Nyikavanhu and Chisase respectively.  However, because of the catchment area and the population that is being catered for, there are more proposed sites namely;

  1. Renco Turn Off at Tokwenengudu (Ward 30)
  2. Chikudza (Ward 29) and an additional
  3. Gwatuta Clinic (Ward 22).

COST REDUCTION IN CASHLESS TRANSACTIONS

  1. HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House on measures being put in place to reduce the cost of using cashless transactions.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Madam Speaker - [HON. MADZIMURE: The Hon. Minister of Finance is here, that is not the protocol] – The policy of the Government is to promote financial inclusion and affordable quality banking services to the people.  This is done by the RBZ through bank supervision working together with the banks through the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.  Of concern has been the ever increasing financial charges being levied by banks and financial institutions on cashless transactions.  We have engaged the banks on the matter through moral suasion.

Madam Speaker, given our market based policy on pricing of products, we cannot impose limits on transaction charges.  Banks on their side are also saying the backend platforms that they use for their operations require the scarce foreign currency.  Foreign currency is needed for the procurement of the hardware and software and the payment of licences.  With currency volatility the charges have also been changing in tandem with the rate.

Banks have however taken a position not to impose bank charges on low income groups and pensioners who have gone through the KYC process.  Across all banks, low income KYC clients bank accounts do not attract bank charges.  Charges can be stabilised as a matter of policy when we have a stable currency that is the Zimbabwe dollar.  Also as a matter of policy, we are looking at seeking local IT solution to support banking platforms.  Thank you.

HON. I. NYONI:  My supplementary question is that I have observed that when we pay taxes such as duty, payee, et cetera the bank charges are not there.  My request to the Hon. Minister, perhaps when people are buying goods using the cards on the POS machines, each time you swipe, you get hammered by the banks.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons why people want to use cash.  If the Minister could also look into that so that the use of cards and interbank transfer becomes the norm instead of people carrying hard cash.

HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  If I got the question well, the Hon. Member is proposing that we harmonise the charges when people are paying cash and when they are swiping.  I am not sure if the question is correct?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyoni, please may you come again with your question.

HON. I. NYONI:  My supplementary question is banks fall under your purview, why are you not encouraging banks to review their charges to favourable amounts just like what we do when we pay taxes such as duty, PAYE and so forth.  Madam Speaker, if you have got cash, it discourages you from using the bank card to pay an interbank transfer.  Thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA:  In terms of our interface with the banks, we do encourage our banks to keep the transaction charges at minimum.  In terms of the procedure, before a bank can increase its bank charges, they seek authority from the RBZ but the RBZ is not necessarily there to provide a limit on the charges but they give guidance.  So, in terms of our situation here, the justification that is being given by the banks is the backend platform that they are using to run their system is imported.  So, as long as there is currency volatility, they are bound to increase the charges.  Thank you.

HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is the culture of the banking sector in this country is earning income from bank charges instead of interest rates.  What is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development doing to change that culture so that banks earn from lending to clients instead of arm-twisting poor citizens who send their money to the bank and they have no choice.  They are charging these bank charges without their consent.  What is the Ministry doing to change that mindset?  Thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  It is true that if we check the financials for our banks, a majority of them, 80 to 90% of their revenue is actually coming from bank charges, it is not a good sign.  However, from our engagements, the prevailing macro-economic environment has not been good for our banks for them to be able to lend.  Because of the issue of being risk averse, most of our banks have not been active on lending, as a result, the greater part of their revenue is now coming from financial charges.

However, we have engaged the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe.  Now that we are in a period where we have got relative stability, we want our banks to go back to their original function and this is where we are now and we are engaging the stakeholders through the RBZ and the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and we shall appraise the House as we go.  Thank you.

ELECTRIFICATION OF MADZIMBASHURO BUSINESS CENTRE AND SURROUNDING AREAS IN BUHERA DISTRICT

  1.  HON. DR. NYASHANU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when they plan to electrify Madzimbashuro Business Centre and Pedzisai Primary School and surrounding areas of Buhera District.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  My response is that Madzimbashuro Business Centre will be electrified in the third quarter of the year 2021.  As for Pedzisai Primary School, to supply that school with electricity we need to construct 30 kilometre lines which also supply Mukambirwa Primary and Secondary schools, Mutepfa Clinic and Nyade Primary School.  This will be done in the year 2022 as we have a number of on-going projects in Manicaland Province and considering resource availability.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

         HON. DR. NYASHANU: I hear the Minister Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I hear the Minister saying they will consider electrifying Madzimbashuro to Pedzisai in 2022 but are they also considering that this area is the least electrified in Manicaland?  The Constituency only has two schools which are electrified out of 65 schools.

         HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Yes, we are considering that.  I said Madzimbashuro Business Centre will be electrified in 2021 but as for that other school, we have to pass through the other schools that I have mentioned before, Mukambirwa Primary and secondary schools and whatever.  That can only be made possible if we have got funds.  Our limiting factor is funding but we are considering that.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

ELECTRIFICATION OF WARDS 7, 28 AND 26 IN BIKITA SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.   HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when Wards 3, 7, 26 and 28 in Bikita South Constituency will be electrified.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for the question.  Allow me Madam Speaker to answer the question as follows; Institutions referred to in Wards 3, 5, 7, 9, 26 and 28 will have to be fed from a feeder from Bikita Minerals to Nyika.  This feeder has no extra capacity, hence we propose to build a SWER line from Mukore.  This will be a 31 kilometre line and will pick 9 out of 14 institutions in these wards.  The line will also supply power to Zengeya Business Centre, Primary and Clinic.  Institutions to be fed are Chadya Primary School in Ward 7, Chipendeke Secondary School in Ward 7, Ziki Primary School in Ward 7, Chedutu Primary Shool in Ward 26, Chinyika Primary and Secondary Schools in Ward 26, Mahota Primary in Ward 26, Checheni Primary School in Ward 28, Chibvute Primary School in Ward 28, Mujiji Primary School in Ward 28, Deure Primary School in Ward 26.  Remaining will be Chitasa Clinic in Ward 28, Makota Primary School in Ward 9, Zwabada Primary School in Ward 5, Matezano Secondary School in Ward 3.  These will be electrified later as they are outlaying.  We propose to commence the work on these institutions in 2022.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

         HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, I appreciate what the Minister has outlined.  However, the rural electrification programme has a very concise master plan where the first phase was supposed to be 0 to 5 kilometres from the main line or grid.  However, these days we see some schools or institutions electrified away from what the master plan says.  What determines this?  Is it favouratism, what is it?  Some areas are electrified earlier than others, have they moved away from their master plan?

         HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  REA has not moved away from their master plan but other schools which are further have been electrified. The plan was done long back according to the plan that had to be followed.  I think if there are very unusual cases, then we might need to find out but I think they are sticking to their plan.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

ROLE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COORDINATORS

  1. HON. MASANGO asked the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to explain the role of Community Development Coordinators. 

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHLANGA): I would like to thank the Hon. member for the pertinent question.  Let me first start by explaining that the Community Development Coordinator (CDC) is a Ministry official who is based in the ward and it is our desire that every ward should have a coordinator in the whole country.  The CDC’s role is as specified below:

  1. Identify community needs that should drive development.
  2. Coordinate Ministry programmes and projects that promote women empowerment, gender mainstreaming, community development and SME development at ward level.
  3. Mobilise communities and coordinate programmes, projects and activities being implemented by all Government departments, NGOs and other stakeholders.
  4. Mobilise and facilitate the formation of local women’s clubs for women empowerment.
  5. Promote the development of community development centres, which should serve as village and ward nerve centres for meetings, skills training and marketing of locally produced products.
  6. Promote, coordinate and monitor financial inclusion schemes in communities.
  7. Coordinate training that support community entrepreneurship to enhance community livelihoods.
  8. Facilitate communication in the wards through disseminating information on community projects, SME and cooperative activities and also report information on the same to various stakeholder.

10.Facilitate the participation of communities, co-operatives and MSMEs at local and district level.

Therefore, in essence the Community Development Coordinator is the mobiliser, facilitator, promoter of the social and economic activities that develop our communities.

REHABILITATION OF TEN BOREHOLES IN DETE

  1. HON. MKANDHLA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House -when 10 out of the 13 boreholes in Dete in the Gwayi catchment area will be rehabilitated and

-whether the Ministry has any plans to replace the current electric water pumping system with solar, considering that boreholes in the area are non functional for periods as long as four weeks due to electric faults.

               THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Indeed 10 out of 13 boreholes are not operational.  Currently 4 of the 13 boreholes however, are operational but are unable to meet the demand for water for the Dete area.  The Dete water supply expansion project which is currently ongoing is under the Public Sector Investment Programme and is being implemented by ZINWA.  The funds were not sufficient to meet the scope of works however; ZINWA has now sourced additional funding to complete the project.  The tender process for the pumps has now been completed and the water supply will be augmented soon.

The second aspect of the question relates to ZESA electricity problems and the suggestion that installation of solar powered pumps could alleviate the problem.  Certainly we think that will alleviate the problem however, the initial cost will be higher.  We also expect that the ongoing investments within the power sector will alleviate the problem soon.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

OPENING OF KAMATIVI MINE

  1. HON. MKANDHLA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House whether the Ministry has any plans to open Kamativi Mine which shut down more than 10 years ago.

THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO):  In the Transitional Stabilisation Programme we were mandated to reopen closed mines.  There are plans to reopen this mine and so far investors have been considered and on the ground working there is a massive exploration programme ongoing to increase the resource base and confidence for Kamativi Mine with a target to get the mine operational by the year 2023, so that it feeds into our 2023 milestone to have a 12 billion mining industry by then.  I thank you.

HON. GABUZZA: There is a lot of exploration going on and I am aware that there are two investors who have been there and are doing nothing. There is no exploration, I was there yesterday.  Could the Minister shed light to the nation where the bottlenecks are because we have heard these stories for almost three years now and nothing is happening?  Where is the problem?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  Currently, as I have said, there is an exploration programme which is ongoing.  Exploration is not a one day thing but it is a cost intensive operation and also time consuming.  Some of these activities can take up to 3 or 5 years exploring.  So, I kindly ask the Hon. Member to be patient.  We are getting results through the geological survey of Zimbabwe from the investors with regard to this concession.  I thank you.

         HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, Kamativi is not a new mine it has been running mining tin.  Why would it take 3 years or expensive exploration of a mine whose resources are already known?  Why can the Minister not tell us the exact problem and which minerals are they now exploring for?  If it is lithium, they are just mining the dump which is already there, there is no exploration, it is just taking samples and checking what the ore grade is like.

         THE DEPUTY MININISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA.)  Thank you Hon. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member is just repeating the same question and there is no different answer to that.  The current information that is there at Kamativi is not enough so when an investor comes, he has to gain confidence first so that is the process that they are currently doing.  They have to increase the resources base, the size of the reserve and they have to increase the level of confidence into the resources before they can pump in money. So we have to be patient with the investors and as I have said before, we are monitoring them and we are getting information through the Zimbabwe Geological Survey.  I thank you.

         HON. MADZIMURE: The other question that was asked earlier is the issue of diligence.   An investor came because there was information and he came to invest in the mine assuming that he had got all the information right, the investors must have started mining.  For the investor to say he is going now to carry out exploration then he ceases to be an investor, which is the work that we should have done.   So, can the Minister explain why...

         THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure ask your question.

         HON. MADZIMURE: My question is did the investor come before he could be availed with information on this particular mine that he requires exploration?

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBUMURA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  When investors come into the country we do due diligence on their side and also we avail to them information that will be available that is for green fields.  If there are green fields, then the investor will have to invest in exploration.  For this particular test, the information which was there was not sufficient for the investor to start mining but this process which is currently ongoing is part of the investment drive because there is mining involved so that they can start mining operations with confidence.

EXPANSION OF NET ONE MOBILE NETWORK IN WARDS 24 AND 27 OF MASVINGO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1.  HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when the NetOne mobile network will be expanded to the Guwa area in Ward 24 and Nyamande area in Ward 27 of Masvingo South Constituency which currently lack any coverage.

         THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker.  We are expecting NetOne to deploy base stations in the last quarter of the year 2020. Currently, Nyamande which is in Ward 27 is covered by 3 Net One base stations at Renco, Gondora and Zomba.  The Guwa (Ward 24) site was surveyed under the Universal Services Fund and is still awaiting deployment via Net One. I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES IN PLACE IN AVAILING DIAGNOSTIC MACHINES AND SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS

  1. HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House the measures put in place in availing diagnostic machines and services in rural areas.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): So far due to recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) bio-safety minimum standards, decentralisation of machines to rural health centres is being done through a vibrant sample transportation system whereby samples are collected from patients in rural facilities and transported to provincial laboratories that have capacity to test PCR and Antigen test.  Machines have not been placed to lower levels.  However, the antibody test was decentralised to rural facilities and was done at any level of health centres.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN MASVINGO SOUTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to appraise the House on the measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that children aged between zero and three years access nutritionally balanced food during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): The Ministry has the Village Health Workers (VHWs) trained on community infant and young child feeding counseling.  This training equips the VHWs with knowledge on nutrition for children under five years as well as for pregnant mothers and lactating women.  Besides counseling, the training has also helped VHWs to form mother to mother support where women with children under two years meet to help one another on child nutrition as well as social economic issues.

The VHW is also trained to conduct community screening of malnutrition using the colour coded Mid Upper Arm Circumference tape (MUAC).  With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing is one of the guidelines, the Ministry of Health and Child Care shifted the task of community screening to the family.  Mothers or care givers of children under two years were trained on how to assess their child’s nutrition status using the MUAC tapes by the VHW.

With support from developmental partners, targeted food assistants in most vulnerable districts have supported families with pregnant and lactating women and children under five years.  In terms of general nutrition education, the Ministry has been utilising local radio stations to provide information on nutrition and COVID-19, including infant and young child feeding.  Engagement of National

OPENING OF KAMATIVI MINE

  1. HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House whether the Ministry has any plans to open Kamativi Mine which shut down more than 10 years ago.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): There is an exploration programme currently underway to increase the resource base and confidence for Kamativi mine with a target to get the mine operational by 2023.  There are also plans to construct a 20MW solar power station.  I thank you.

FIRST READING

MANPOWER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 2, 2020]

         THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT presented a Bill to amend the Manpower Planning and Development Act [Chapter 28:02] and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

         Bill read the first time.

         Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

  1.          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Mr. Sir, let me start with the introduction.  The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has a mandate to manage water resources for the State and to ensure sustainable development and equitable distribution of the country's water resources to all Zimbabweans at an affordable price.This is buttressed by Section 77 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which states that “every person has the right to safe, clean and potable water”. The country has experienced two consecutive years of drought due to climatic change which has hampered water availability for both urban and rural communities.

Predictions of a better 2020/21 rainfall season have been given by the Meteorological Services Department and this should see a substantial improvement in the current water supply situation. However, even under these circumstances, precautionary measures are continuously required. Cooperation and collaboration between the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and Local Authorities is, therefore, an imperative in addressing the current water challenges faced in the rural and urban communities, now and into the future.

Mr. Speaker Sir, ZINWA currently operates and maintains over 530 water supply stations across the country, mainly serving Small Towns, Growth Points, Service Centres, Police and Defence Establishments, Prisons, Schools and Hospitals. These 530 stations supply 31.5 million cubic metres per annum (93%) against the total demand of 34 million cubic metres per annum of the 32 urban local authorities ZINWA supplies 20. As a water management authority, ZINWA also assists local authorities in the discharge of their functions under the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] with regard to the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction and in particular, the provision of potable water and the disposal of waste water in accordance to ZINWA Act 20:25 Section 5 (e). ZINWA is responsible for providing raw water to all sectors as well as supplying treated water to the small local authorities, which do not have the capacity to do so.

Local Authorities such as Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare, Masvingo, Chipinge, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Chegutu, Chinhoyi, Rusape, Plumtree, among others, have been servicing their areas of jurisdiction with water and sanitation facilities for quite some time now, with ZINWA coming in to assist during crisis periods, at the request of Central Government. This was the case during the cholera outbreak in 2008/09. Local Authorities such as Beit Bridge, Gwanda and Victoria Falls have suggested the take-over of water supply services roles from ZINWA and there is current consideration of these requests. A guiding framework for such recurring requests and operational modalities has been developed.

Water Supply Status and Challenges

  1. Mr. Speaker Sir, besides the drought-induced challenge of unavailability of raw water, urban water supply in most cities is facing additional challenges due to limited conveyance, pumping and treatment capacities, shortage of chemicals as well as power outages. The City of Bulawayo, has mainly been drawing water from three sources: Upper Ncema, Lower Ncema and Mzingwane - until they were very low and decommissioned whilst the biggest dams -Insiza, Inyankuni and Mtshabezi- remain with substantial amounts of water which could last the City up to11 months at 155 Mega Litres (ML) per day. It is unfortunate that the City of Bulawayo has made limited investments in improving abstraction capacity which could have assisted in addressing the water challenges.
  2. Similarly, the City of Gweru has not been able to abstract water from Amapongokwe Dam for many years due to a pump breakdown at the dam. This has limited the City to abstract water from Gwenoro Dam only leading to the declining water levels in the dam currently at 26.5% full. The City of Harare has not been abstracting water from Manyame Dam for the past 10 years due to a broken-down lift pump at Morton Jaffrey until December 2019 when the Government of Zimbabwe intervened. The Ministry is concerned that high water losses in most of the local authorities is due to leakages from old distribution systems. The losses range between 40% to 60% for most authorities and we would implore respective local authorities to address this issue urgently.
  3. Mr. Speaker, Sir, Distribution of Water in Selected Urban Centres

Centres with very Critical Water Supply

Gweru water sources are currently at 33% full and can supply the City for approximately 9months.There is a need for the local authority to manage demand, improve pumping from Amapongokwe Dam and restrict water supply to 45ML per day. As for the medium to long term strategy, the Gwenoro Dam wall has to be raised by 9 metres and a new water source at Lubongo Dam should be constructed to meet the growing demand.

Karoi has 5 months supply left from its combined water from its two supply dams, Blockey and Karoi dams that are at 25% full. There is a need for water demand management by the local authority and for Blockley Dam to be raised, in the medium term.

With the current level of 41% full in Shurugwi Dam, Shurugwi has 8months supply left.Strategies include managing demand, abstracting from disused mine shafts and, in the long-term, to abstract water from proposed Lubongo Dam.

With water levels at 20% full from Chesa Dam, Mt Darwin has only 1.5 months supply left. In the short term the centre can draw water from Ruya River as releases can be made from upstream dams such as Lilistock. However, the Chesa Dam is very small and cannot last the centre for six months even if it fills during the rainfall season, hence an additional raw water source is required urgently.

Mutawatawa water levels stands at 20% full of supply with only less than 2 months of water supply left. The situation also requires pumping from Ruya River.

Mr Speaker Sir,

  1. Centres with Moderate Water Supply

Bulawayo water sources are at 22% full which can last the City for 11 months. Some of the efforts being made to address the water supply for Bulawayo include the following;

When government intervened in March 2020, Bulawayo was pumping 3ML/day from Nyamandlovu Aquifer. Through government support, an additional 7 ML/day was yielded from Nyamandlovu Aquifer to add to Bulawayo’s demand of 155ML/day. The intervention added another 10ML/day.

  1.           Rehabilitation of 20 boreholes by ZINWA at Epping Forest is on-going and an additional 10 Mega litres per day to the City.
  2.           A total of 42 boreholes are now operating at the Aquifer. The system was also stabilized through the major rehabilitation of the 525mm and 400mm steel pumping mains to minimise water leakages and bursts.

          iii.          Introduction of booster stations by the Government along the MtshabeziPipeline (without duplicating the pipeline) to increase the daily pumping capacity to 25ML per dayfrom 17 ML/ day.

  1.           Government plans are also underway to increase raw water pumping from Insiza and Inyankuni Dams by addressing the pumping bottlenecks along the two lines.
  2.           Meanwhile Gwayi-Shangani Dam has received a disbursement of ZWL$550 Million from Government and the target remains to complete the dam by December 2021. This will provide a lasting solution to the water supply challenges to Bulawayo and the region. Mr Speaker Sir, commendable progress from 37ML/day to 79ML/day, through ZINWA intervention, has been made in Bulawayo. Much more needs to be done and time will tell.

Kwekwe with a combined 25% full from the supply dams has 7 months supply left at 31ML/day. Even though there is enough supply to next run-off season, Greenham Dam needs to be constructed in the medium term.

Chegutu Town with a combined 50% full of supply dams has 12months supply left at 23ML/day, which is enough supply to next run-off season.

Gwanda with a combined 62% full of supply dams has 11months supply left at 20ML/day, and getting water supply augmentation from Mtshabezi dam. The completion of Tuli-Manyange Dam will improve the water security for Gwanda.

Plumtree has 12months supply left at 13ML/day from its source which is at 34% full as is enough supply to next run-off season. However, additional sources need to be developed in the long term.

Chivhu has 11 months of supply at 9 ML/day left from Chikomba Dam which is 53% full in supply dams which is enough supply to next run-off season. Furthermore, Chivhu Dam is expected to be complete by December 2021 to enhance water security for the Town.

Mr Speaker, Sir, Chipinge’s water source Bangazaan Dam is at 98% full and will last the centre for the next 13 months at 8ML/day.

Mutoko’s Nyadire Damat 53% full has 6 months supply left at 4ML/day. However, there is need to monitor demand. In the long-term a new water source is required.

Murehwa water source is currently at 85% full and can supply the centre for at least 17 months at4ML/day.

Mvurwi’s Pembi Dam is at 58% full and has 7months supply left at 5.5ML/day. However, there is ssignificant base flow which is currently flowing into the dam from the perennial river feeding the dam.  More water is also available from the nearby Eastworlds Dam which can be easily constructed and functional in 2 months.

Rushinga with 50% full in supply dams has 17 months supply left at 3ML/day which is enough to supply to next run-off season.

Insukamini with 21% full in supply dams has 5months supply left at 4ML/day.

Mr Speaker Sir,

  1. Centres with relatively Safe Water Supply

Greater Harare water sources are left with 18 months of water supply left at 800ML/day. There is a need for rehabilitation of distribution network to minimise losses (60%). There is also a need to improve management of effluent discharges into the water sources estimated at 145ML/day. Construction of Kunzvi and Musami Dam by 2022 and 2025 respectively is required to augment water to the City by 600ML/day.

Mutare City has14 months at97ML/day of water supply left from the Odzani Dams which is being augmented through pumping from the Pungwe River. Osborne dam can also supply the City if a treatment plant is constructed. The existing sources are adequate up to 2030.

Kadoma has 27 months left. There is need to monitor demand on annual basis. However, the existing resources are adequate up to 2030.

 Although Beitbridge has 3 plus months left, the town has a huge water supply back up from Zhovhe Dam which is at 58.8% full.

Marondera has more than 30 months left at 13ML/day of raw water supplies. The sources are enough to supply to the City up to 2030.

Mr Speaker Sir, Rusape Town has more than 30 months left at 9ML/day, there is need to maintain adequate reserves for the town when releasing water for irrigation from Rusape Dam.

Bindura, Shamva and Glendale has 12 months left from their sources Mwenje and Arcadia augmented by Masembura Dam which is at 60% full. The Bindura Dam is also under construction and is expected to be completed by 2021.

Masvingo and Chiredzi have more than 30 months left at 30ML/day, though there is a need to maintain adequate reserve for the town when releasing water for irrigation from Lake Mutirikwi. The construction of the TugwiMukosi Dam has lessened the burden on Lake Mutirikwi for water releases to the Lowveld. This has allowed storage in Mutirikwi to be mainly reserved for Masvingo town.

Concession, Sadza, Wedza, Buhera, Murambinda, Inyati Mine, Inyati Centre, Bikita, Nyika, Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Mashava and Zaka have more than 30 months left of raw water supply from their sources. There is a need to maintain adequate reserves for the rural service centres when releasing water for irrigation.

Mr Speaker Sir, Gutu /Mpandawana Growth Centre currently has 23 months left at 2 ML/day from their sources.

Mr.  Speaker Sir,

Borehole Rehabilitation

The cumulative number of boreholes rehabilitated since the outbreak of the COVID period pandemic is 3,355 against a target of 9,800 (34.2%).  The numbers of non-functional boreholes continue to increase due to new breakdowns and drying up water sources.

This programme has been supported largely by Cooperating Partners under the Rural WASH project which ended last year, although low cost sustainability measures are on-going. More resources are required to sustain this vital programme and the release of the requested ZW$277 Million from Treasury should ensure that all the non-functional boreholes in the country are repaired.

Borehole Drilling for COVID-19 and Drought Relief

The total number of new drilled boreholes during the COVID 19 stands at 224 boreholes out of a target of 394 boreholes.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the reported numbers of water points drying up are increasing leading to the demand in new boreholes. The increased demand of boreholes calls for the need to strengthen ZINWA through the allocation of requisite financial resources including acquisition of advanced rigs with capabilities for both air and mud drilling as the water table had greatly receded.

Treasury has disbursed ZWL$20 million to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for the drilling of 80 boreholes in the most urgent needed schools in order to assist with their reopening. ZINWA and DDF are leading the drilling efforts by the Government with ZINWA covering 3 provinces and DDF the rest. Deployment has been made this week and the intention is to complete by end of November 2020.

Other Interventions for COVID-19

Some 40 piped water schemes were rehabilitated by Government during the COVID -19 period across the 8 rural provinces.

6.0 In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, we have entered the most precarious phase water –wise being the driest phase of the year and following two years of successive droughts. While we continue the hard work on improve the water supply, we look forward to a predicable better rainy season, we must continue to use the available water sparingly. Collaboratively we will win. I thank You Mr Speaker Sir.

         THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please may we allow the Hon. Minister to read another Ministerial Statement since they are interlinked and then we can ask questions of clarification later.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

CLIMATE-PROOFED PRESIDENTIAL INPUTS PROGRAMME FOR THE 2020/21 SEASON (PFUMVUDZA)

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR.  MANGWIRO): Madam Speaker, the climate proofed Presidential Programme has been baptised Pfumvudza/intwasa indicative of the new shoots on a tree and this happens ordinarily in August/September period and this brings hope as we prepare for the season and as we celebrate the past season.

 1.0   Background and introduction

1.1         Madam Speaker, the Pfumvudza Programme has been adopted by the Government as a measure to address the problems of low productivity, low production and low profitability of farming which continue to negatively affect the food security situation in the country. Because of the low productivity and low production, the country has become a perennial net importer of cereal grains amounting to USD800 million annually. This increases pressure on the fiscus to source foreign currency for grain importation which could be channeled to other productive sectors of the economy if we produced sufficient amounts for our country. The Pfumvudza concept is an attempt reverse, this insalubrious state of affairs.

1.2         The low productivity has been caused by a number of factors, among them poor agronomic practices, poor soils, the impact of climate change and failure to approach agriculture from a business perspective by both farmers and our extension system.  Climate change impacts are characterised by poor rainfall seasons, prolonged mid-season dry spells, very high temperatures during the growing season and the early cessation of the rains.  Thus, the adoption of the Pfumvudza concept which is based on conservation agriculture principles will help climate-proof agricultural production, and in particular the food production sub-sector.

1.3         The adoption of the Pfumvudza concept also addresses other production related issues.  As the concept applies conservation agriculture principle, it is one way of reducing soil loss (soil erosion) in our arable areas.  It also assists farmers to increase productivity, thus getting higher yields from small areas.

1.4         Madam Speaker, the Pfumvudza Programme targets particularly the smallholder farmers who are most vulnerable to the calamities and vagaries of climate change.

1.5         The Pfumvudza concept aims at ensuring food, nutrition and livelihood security at household level. This Pfumvudza Programme, is the flagship programme in the implementation of our Government’s Agriculture Recovery Plan. The programme requires that each farmer establishes three plots: two plots with cereal crops (maize and/or traditional grains), one of which will provide for the farmers’ food self-sufficiency, and the production from the second plot will be sold to GMB to contribute to the National Strategic Grain Reserves and raise household income. In the process, we are also commercialising smallholder farming in Zimbabwe. On the third plot, farmers in the high potential areas will receive soyabean seed while those in the low potential areas will receive sunflower seed that the farmer can sell-off to earn income.

1.6         Under the Pfumvudza Programme, the Government will provide through the Presidential Inputs Programme inputs to 1.8 million smallholder farmers who are all expected to have done holing out of their plots and mulch collection in preparation for the season by end of September 2020.

1.7         Each household is supported with a standard input package to produce one tonne of cereals and 0.2 tonnes of oil seeds (sunflower or soyabean). Expected total output shall therefore be 1.8 million tonnes of cereals and 360 000 tonnes of oil seed.

1.8         This model intends to address household food security as well as the commercialisation of smallholder farming in Zimbabwe.

1.9         The inputs will be issued in a package that provides seeds, agricultural lime, basal fertilizer (1x50kg bag), top dressing (1x50kg bag) and Fall Armyworm control pesticides.

2.0         Programme Targets

2.1    Targets have been set for provinces based on their household populations. These targets have been communicated to Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution. It therefore follows that each province will produce at least 250 000 tonnes of cereals and a corresponding 45 000 tonnes of oil seeds. The national production is expected to be 1.8 million MT of cereals and 360 000MT of oil seeds, both sufficient to meet human consumption requirements for a year.

3.0         Progress on Implementation of Pfumvudza Programme

3.1    All the 5 294 Agricultural Extension Workers and Agricultural Extension Supervisors across all provinces have been trained on the concept.

3.2         A total of 3 255 378 farmers (1 483 195 males, 1 772 183 females) have so far been trained by the extension workers as at 4 September, 2020 and the training of farmers is a continuing programme.

3.3         Extension workers are expected to train, track and monitor the farmers until harvest. This is dubbed the TTM Extension Service Approach. So far, 525 439 households have prepared their Pfumvudza plots.  Farmer training and establishment of Pfumvudza plots by the farmers is work in progress and we are targeting over 1.8 million households by October 2020.

3.4         Soil samples taken for analysis stand at 43 635 as at 4 September, 2020 of which 13 756 samples have been analysed.

4.0         Timelines of Operations

4.1    The key preparatory activities for Pfumvudza (holing out and mulch collection should have been done in July and August).  We urge farmers who have not done so to expeditiously work on this before the end of September in readiness to plant with the first planting rains.

4.2         The distribution of inputs has started and the anticipation is that this should be completed before end of October 2020.

5.0         Expected Programme Impacts

5.1    Increased productivity and production (at least one tonne of grain from each household).

5.2    Household and national food self-sufficiency plus surplus.

5.3         Reduced impacts of drought.

5.4    Livelihoods improvements.

  1. Programme Publicity

6.1         Series of radio, T.V and digital media programmes are being aired nationally and are ongoing.

6.2         Pamphlets, videos, information disks have been produced

6.3         Each school of the 9 000 rural schools should establish 10 plots of Pfumvudza.

6.4         TTM Approach - each extension officer is given a target to train, track and monitor at least 350 households.

6.5         Engagement of political and traditional leadership, civil society and other partners has been initiated to harmonise approach and ensure successful implementation.

6.6         The tertiary institutions within the Ministry have also been engaged to set up demonstration plots that can be used for learning purposes by farmer groups.

6.7         Each agricultural extension worker will establish a Pfumvudza demonstration plot in his/her working area and is given a target to train, track and monitor at least 350 households (no upper limits)

6.0         Way forward

7.1    Farmers who have not started are being encouraged to start holing out and mulch collection and have their plots ready before the rains.

7.2         Soil sampling and analysis is being vigorously pursued across the country.

7.3         The Pfumvudza Programme like all other agricultural programmes requires a robust and a well-capacitated extension provision system for technical training, tracking and monitoring.  Through support from His Excellency the President, Dr E.D Mnangagwa, a total of

  1. 5 000 motor-bikes will be availed to frontline extension staff.  Delivery of these has started with 414 having been delivered to provinces as at 4 September, 2020.  Training of agricultural extension workers in motor-cycle riding is ongoing with 284 so far trained and 139 tested with 129 passing the test. The other batches of motor cycles are being shipped into the country.

7.4         Additionally, an agriculture-wide robust and cost-efficient Agricultural Information Management System (AIMS) shall be launched to assist with area and yield monitoring from December 2020 onwards.

7.5         With these interventions and a predicted better rainfall season, we expect to morph our way out of the perennial food insecurity situation. I thank you Madam Speaker. I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  Hon. Members, you may now ask questions or seek clarification from the two Ministerial Statements.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I would like to seek clarification on Pfumvudza.  I would want the Minister to be specific on the standard pack that a farmer should receive as to what each farmer is going to receive.  The problem that we have had before is that you would hear people saying that they are going to give a 50kg bag of compound D, 50kg top dressing and probably 10kg seed but a farmer would receive probably one of the three and you would have done nothing.  I have got evidence to that because I also have a village home.  I have asked a question at one time as to what had been given to the ward where I reside.  That was another problem.

I come from Ward 10 in Zaka North and with regards to extension officers, there are only houses that have since been vacated.  There is no Agritex officer that I have seen in that area.  The people are doing the Pfumvudza Programme on their own. No one is supervising. Even the distribution is also not supervised though it has not started.  I have asked and there is no mechanism to do that.

The issue of monitoring all those things that have been given to our farmers is very poor.  It is probably because of the absence of the Agritex. What is the Ministry going to do about that?

On water, here in the cities, it is now common knowledge that the piped water is not coming from the tapes anymore.  Our people are now relying on boreholes. Members of Parliament repair these boreholes but there are no spares and no team from DDF that is responsible for doing that.  As far as Harare is concerned, the solution lies purely on building another water body that will have fresh water flowing into that like the Kunzwi.  I did not hear the Minister talking about that because that is the problem that we have in Harare.  For now, those are the issues that I would want the Minister to clarify.

*HON. NYABANI: In Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe and Rushinga, there is plenty of water in Mazowe River. What plans does the Minister have so that this water can be used for irrigation?

HON. BUSHU:  I would like the Minister to clarify the Ministry’s relationship with DDF particularly in the provision of water in the rural areas mainly related to boreholes and small water dams?

HON. M. M. MPOFU: I did not hear much reference to the rural water challenge by the Minister.  We have got a lot of boreholes which are not functional and our tank dams have dried up.  Some of the dams need scooping and there is no machinery.  We have been contacting the DDF offices and they are saying they do not have spares and transport in some cases.  We have been supplementing using our meagre resources to help people to buy leather cup cylinders.  We would like to hear what interventions he is going to do on the rural people because they are suffering.  They walk long distances and have to wait up to night fighting to get a bucket of water.  There is a serious situation in the rural areas.

HON. K. PARADZA:  I just want the Minister to clarify in terms of irrigation development in our farms.  There was this programme of Pedstock to improve irrigation.  Is this programme still ongoing and are there also plans by the Ministry to extend these borehole schemes to the farming community because of these droughts sometimes these dams dry up and so forth.    Thank you.

HON. GABBUZA:  Madam Speaker, I listened to the Minister.   I am sure when you say Pfumvudza in Binga, it is meaningless.  It has no meaning absolutely.  I am sure there are clever guys who can try to locate this programme into the other communities because if you talk of Pfumvudza, I was trying to imagine what it is all about.  Just the name itself has no relevance to people in that area.  I am sure the same with the Shangani and the Kalanga.  I am sure we must try to culturally decentralise these programmes so that they have relevance to the local people of all tribes in the country.

Secondly Madam Speaker, I hear the Minister saying the Gwayi-Shangani Dam will be ready by 2021 to alleviate the problems of water in Bulawayo.  It has taken years and years to do this programme, but to hear that the 90% scope of works remaining will be done in a year, by next year 2021, it will be interesting to know if the Minister has plans because I have always passed through there and the people are not even aware of the relocation programmes.  The dam is going to affect a lot of villagers but if it is going to be ready next year and people do not know where to go and there are no programmes on the ground, where is the basis of that supposition that it will be ready when people are not even aware.  Thank you.

HON. C. MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My first question is on the leakages which the Hon. Minister alluded to.  Is there a deliberate plan or schedule to say maybe by four, five or six months we will see all the local authorities having maybe tried to ameliorate those leakages?

The second question is on the money, the $500 000 000 which has been released towards Shangani Dam.  Of course we thank you for those funds but how much money is needed and I did not hear what is going to be done by the $500 000 000.

The third question is on the percentage increase of mega litres from 37 to 79.  Indeed this is more than 100% but if you go on the ground, people are still in the same situation.  Have you gone, Hon. Minister, maybe on the ground to see whether that translates to practical rather than the theory figures of the increase of more than 100%?

Then on the Pfumvudza concept, Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister said we are expecting to have completed the mulching by 15th September which is very soon and if you read the booklet, he said mulching is key. I did not take the page number and for the past two years, we have been receiving first rains around mid – December up to early January.  So when are we expecting maybe to have our first rains this time around?  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  My points of clarification to the Hon. Minister relate to water that comes from the rural district council, the rural communities, in this case particularly some constituencies like Umzingwane. You find that literally all the water in the dams goes to another province and Umzingwane gets very little of that water and the rural communities along which the pipelines pass do not have even portable water.  The previous arrangement when the water was still controlled by the urban councils was that the dams would pass over to rural district councils after 50 years, but when ZINWA took over, those agreements were kind of pushed aside and forgotten about and now rural communities have remained in that same situation which was there 50 years ago, no water, but they watch water going to Bulawayo and yet all that water comes from there.  The Government even constructed Mtshabezi Dam, that is a ZINWA controlled dam.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please may you ask your question Hon. Mayihlome.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  The clarification is what benefits are the rural communities from where the water comes supposed to get?  Then on the issue of Pfumvudza, I know some Hon. Member here touched on professionalisation of Agritex, but my question is what measures is the Ministry going to take to also change the mindsets of the farmers so that this input scheme or the allocation of Presidential inputs is not a perpetual thing?  Somebody is weaned off after a period of time; changing their mindsets to become business like so that there is better utilisation of national resources.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

*HON. SHAMU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the issue addressed by the Minister of Agriculture when he said the seed for agriculture under Pfumvudza would be distributed in October.  Areas of Nyatanga and Neuso in Chegutu are areas that if we delay to give people the seed, they cannot harvest anything because the areas are swampy.  So what are the plans so that the people in these areas receive their seeds early, not to wait for October.

I do not know if you will allow me Madam Speaker, I wanted to raise another issue.  Last week I raised an issue which I was told I would be given the reponse this week about Government policy on Horticulture and I have not received any response.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, kindly allow me to thank the Minister for the two lucid statements.  I am happy with the work that the Minister says is happening at Epping Forest, but my quick point of clarification is, the Hon. Haritatos will attest to this; I keep asking this question. We are owed four boreholes per constituency.  Is it possible, Hon. Minister, that as soon as your drill rigs are done at Epping Forest as they drive through Bulawayo, they help the 12 constituencies with those four boreholes per constituency so that they do not come to Harare and have to come back again?

The other question has to do with your relationship with DDF as asked by Hon. Bushu.  My main concern, Hon. Minister, if you could raise it maybe with the President’s Office since DDF is housed there, the two drilling rigs for DDF from where I come from, that is Matebeleland North and Matebeleland South have been in Harare for more than three months for service.  I believe from the officers on the ground, all that is required are just valves and change of oils, if you can assist with that Hon. Minister.

         I am grateful that on the question of Agritex officers, you certainly have your finger on the right spot Minister when you say they need capacity building, particularly in the area of horticulture.  You know, we are young farmers, we attempt to change from the ways of old that our grandparents used to follow but you visit Agritex officers, you realised that they have absolutely no energy and knowledge to assist you even with simple things like drip irrigation.  I hope the capacity building of these officers will move quickly from the Pfumvudza concept to the area of horticulture, if you may indulge us Hon. Minister in your response.  There was a question from Hon. Shamu last week, if at all as a nation we have a horticulture policy.  Thank you Madam Speaker.     

*HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I kindly ask the Minister to explain to us the programme on mechanisation by John Deere.  Hon. Minister, do you not think that what the banks are doing is sabotaging a good programme.  Up to this day they have not showed us how the tractors will get to the farmers so that they are able to use the tractors this season.

         +HON. SPARE SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker, for the sake of my community I will use my mother language.  I was listening to the Ministerial Statement, you left out the issues of small dams, maybe some might have been overtaken by events.  The water must be taken out of the small dams in the rural areas because cattle do not have anywhere to drink water and there is no water for people.  For the reason that these small dams which are too many in the rural areas, I want to talk about Mzingwane Dam in Matabeleland South and Insiza. In Insiza Dam, it is much better because it has got two streams other than Mzingwane which has got one.  Mzingwane passes the water to Limpopo but the Government took measures to put one dam at Bhophoma Ward 1 District to Gangabezi up to date there is no dam which has been built there.  The water is still passing via Limpopo.  May you please take note of that.

         The dams are Mzingwane Dam and Insiza, Mzingwane has got one dam.  There is need to get water from Limpopo to Mzingwane.    

HON. SARUWAKA: Thank Madam Speaker, what mechanisms have they put in place to protect communal farmers from syndicate transporters working in cahoots with politicians or Agritex officers to rip communal farmers by overcharging on transportation of the free inputs and fertilizers.  What mechanisms have they put in place so that our communal farmers are not overcharged by arranged transporters?  My experience has been that farmers are not allowed to make their own transport arrangements. The arrangement is such that if they do not want to pay that transporter, they will not access the inputs.  What mechanism have they put in place to protect our communal farmers?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank the Hon. Members for the interest they have exhibited in the urban water update from their very insightful questions. I also wish to thank them for the various questions relating to Pfumvudza from the concept, the cultural aspect and everything.  Some of the questions have been repeated so I will try and group those as I attempt to answer Madam Speaker, if that is allowed.

The Harare water supply can only be solved once we have fresh water from Kunzvi.  I think we need a dual approach because if it is manmade, it should be man-unmade.  The pollution in these dams is unacceptable but simply moving to another water source and say we are resigning this, perhaps it is not the entire solution.  I think we need to reduce and eventually eliminate pollution in our rivers and into our water systems.  The standard pack has been distributed, the monitoring and evaluation - yes, that is an aspect that we need to look at and the resources will be availed appropriate.  There was a question that was repeated in terms of ZINWA and DDF relationship. The role of the Ministry is in two aspects in terms of the Water Act and the ZINWA Act.  The Ministry manages all the seven catchments in Zimbabwe through catchment and sub-catchment councils.  ZINWA’s mandate is elaborated in the ZINWA Act and also provides the technical capacitation for the catchment councils.  So it is to manage Zimbabwe’s water resources judiciously.  The role of DDF as we have seen is an implementing agency and not a management agency.  I think there is a clear separation.  In terms of the finer details of the operation of the two on the ground, I think they ought to cooperate and collaborate in order to complement their efforts so that some of the parts becomes bigger than the whole.

There was an issue that water bodies are available in Rushinga and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP).  I thank the Hon. Member for that.  We are crafting a Statutory Instrument on irrigable water bodies in Zimbabwe.  That Statutory Instrument will allow the Ministry and Government to identify all the water bodies on farmland and elsewhere, bring that into production and put that into context because there was also an issue relating to irrigation.  The irrigation strategy that we are developing is to bring into production 350 000 hectares in the next two to three seasons.  That will entail rehabilitation of the idle 45 000 hectares on farms but also identifying green belts in the lowvelds of the Southern part of the country, the likes of Bulawayo, Kanyemba and many others.  That is the bigger strategy.  So, we will be there in UMP and Rushinga and you will get assistance.

There are no functional boreholes when we have boreholes drying – we have had two consecutive seasons of below normal rainfall and so the water table has receded to an extent that many boreholes are drying up.  However, we hope that with an expected normal to above normal rainy season, that underground water charge will be restored and we will be in a better position.  In the interim, ZINWA on our part, we will continue rehabilitating boreholes and I think our teams are out in the provinces and they can be contacted accordingly.

There was an aspect from an Hon. Member relating to irrigation development and the pedstock facility.  The pedstock facilities are available through the banks and the term sheet is being finalised so that farmers can access that at an affordable interest rate and at a tenor that is suitable to the risk profile that we find in agriculture and many more programmes along those lines will continue.

There was a suggestion that we must extend borehole drilling to farms, we take that.  There was an aspect by an Hon. Member to say, Pfumvudza is meaningless in Binga and the cultural context is lost, I take note of that.  We just engaged one of the universities to try and translate all these into various languages and I hope that when it is done then the meaning will be restored.  My apologies for that, we will be able to catch up and do the right thing.

There was an aspect for Gwai-Shangani linkages with ZINWA, specifically the 500 million and what additional amounts would be required to complete that dam – very substantial amounts and we have commitment from Treasury that we will be able to get the balance that is required to work in a business unusual manner to ensure that the project is completed by December, 2021.  There were associated aspects relating to the participatory aspects and whether communities have been sufficiently sensitised to enable them to begin the preparations for translocation.  I think that will be happening at the appropriate time.

There was an aspect by an Hon. Member relating to the increase in capacity from the 37 mega-litres per day to 79 mega-litres whilst we in the Ministry think we have made substantial progress.  I did say that much more needs to be done and certainly much more needs to be done for the community in Bulawayo to be able to see the difference.  We said that the demand is 155 mega-litres per day, so we are only barely there.  Soon we will be able to get there and collectively we must.

Mulching, the timing, the first rains when do they come?  Well Madam Speaker, I wish I could wave the magic wand and know when.  We hope that the Almighty will bless us with rains and science has spoken that we will have normal to above normal rainy season.  We can only expect that rains will be with us from November onwards.

There was an issue of water from Umzingwane from an Hon. Member, saying that the pipeline passes through communities and the community is not benefitting.  ZINWA used to operate for a given time and then hand-over to communities and that is not happening.  This water then goes to other provinces.  I think as we look at this irrigation Statutory Instrument, it compels us to be able to utilise the water bodies so that the locals within that area benefit and I look forward to working with this constituency and this community to ensure that, that is actualised.

There was an issue that in some of the areas there are some constituencies in Chegutu which quickly get soaked and they would rather have seed early.  I want to also answer the question of distribution of inputs and that some of the inputs might not be complete.  We have deliberately not distributed seed at this stage because it is a biological product.

There having been noise coming from online virtual transmission.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  May you please mute your gadgets.  Hon. Chipato, may you please mute your gadget because we can hardly hear what the Minister is saying.

HON. DR. MASUKA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the aspect relating to Chegutu is perhaps unique but I was indicating that distributing seed to smallholder farmers at this stage was not advisable because seed is a biological product and may deteriorate. We want to distribute that closer to the rainy season.  In terms of those input packs that are not complete, it is something that we need to look into because we thought that this year we were better prepared than most years.  We have delayed distributing the seed pack.

There is an aspect relating to the rigs, that why can they not pass through and do the 12 constituencies there.  It is something that perhaps within the Ministry we will be able to look into and respond back to the concerned Member.  There was an aspect again coming through about ZINWA, DDF - mthat the DDF rigs have minor repairs to be done in Harare.  We work with DDF and we complement them. We can only find out so that we can get these rigs to do what they were manufactured to do.

There was an aspect about the capacitation of Agritex in particular in relation to horticulture.  We are in the process of developing a Horticulture Development Policy and I have seen a draft of that.  However, in preparation for that, the Ministry has made some very good progress in connection with consolidated various horticulture bodies and under the Horticulture Development Council. That is now in place and we are beginning to work with them to come up with a Horticulture Development Policy that will then lead to the Horticulture Development Strategy which is part of the broader Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy where we want to move from $5 billion to $8.2 billion.

         Then there was an aspect by an Hon. Member relating to a sad situation that we see throughout the country where all these small dams have now been silted, what could be done and why we cannot focus on the smaller dams.  Yes, the de-siltation exercise, a massive one for that matter has to be undertaken.  We are in the process of developing an irrigation strategy that will answer some of these and I am sure Hon. Members will be excited when they eventually see how it touches on their specific areas.

Then there was an aspect lastly relating to Pfumvudza and these syndicates that are likely to overcharge the households.  It is something that we want to more clearly study.  We have said that we will distribute these to collection points.  We wanted that the distribution be done as transparently as indeed possible and with it comes the transformation of Agritex from an extension advisory wing where they opt to go to certain households and opt not to go to certain households to a dedicated Business Advisory Unit where it is mandatory for an Agritex officer to visit their 300 to 350 households and be able to get a database of that.  If they are motorised physically because we are getting 5000 motorbikes and a thousand or so are in the country, it means that once you change their mindset, change management is important so that they become business advisors. It means that they will be able to visit all these households and ensure that these inputs are distributed.  It is our collective responsibility as Hon. Members to ensure that these inputs are distributed fairly, equitably, transparently and that they are used for the intended purpose.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

         THE TEMPORARAY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Minister for all the points of clarity that you had to respond to.  I would like to thank the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement for the two ministerial statements; one on the State Oo Water Supply in Urban Areas and the other one on the Adoption of Conservation Agriculture Concept on Maize and Traditional Grains, Pfumvudza / Intwasa.  Thank you very much Dr. Masuka.

         HON. TOGAREPI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, but the Minister did not answer the issue of Government programmes that are being done to help agriculture grow but are then delayed by other stakeholders who are facilitating those.  We are very concerned with those movements, especially the John Deere one as well as the loan that is going to come to smart agriculture from banks.  All these things, are they really complementing Government or these guys are just looking at how much they will make out of them.

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Chief Whip.  You were a bit out of order because I had not given you the floor and we had already concluded.  So, I am going to indulge the Hon. Minister since it is a pertinent issue but I am sure we had concluded.  Hon. Minister, we indulge you so that at least you can respond to that.

         HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  This is a very pertinent aspect because agriculture is about timeliness and planning is critical.  The mechanisation programme consists of the John Deere Programme, the Belarus Tractors and has components to do with the irrigation side but specifically for this tractor programme, the term sheets now have been agreed upon and the banks will begin to disburse and farmers will pay 15% deposit.  The initial aspect was the misconception that farmers would pay this in US dollars whereas farmers sell their produce in ZW dollars.  The clarification is now out and farmers will pay in ZW dollars at the prevailing exchange rate.  So that facility has now been activated and I urge farmers to begin to access that through the various banks.

Regarding the climate smart agriculture, Command Agriculture or as we prefer to call it in the Ministry, National Enhanced Productivity Programme (NEPP), we are finalising tomorrow the modalities with the bank.  We had a very progressive meeting last week and we think that by mid-September farmers will begin to collect their inputs.  However, farmers can now register because Agritex is in the processs of doing so.  We have said that those farmers that have already supplied the requisite amounts of maize to GMB will not go through the rigorous screening processes again because those are already in the Agritex bank databases.  So, those would automatically go on to get their inputs.  However, new farmers and those that have not repaid their loans will have to go through the screening process.  So, my expectation is that although there has been a delay because ordinarily from an agricultural perspective you would want your mechanisation, your inputs to be ready by end of August.  I think that 15 September is still a good date if the expected rain season starts sometime in November.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  This brings to the end the two ministerial statements by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

         On the motion of HON. TOGAREPIseconded by HON. PARADZAthe House adjourned at Twenty-Eight Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.

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