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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 1 OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 40 NO. 6
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 1st October, 2013.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER
CORRECTION OF MEMBERS’ SPEECHES
- SPEAKER: I wish to remind hon. members that the drafts of members’ speeches for inclusion in the Hansard will be forwarded to the members in the House within an hour of the speeches for correction. Members are requested to correct the speeches and return them to the Hansard Department immediately. The corrections should be restricted to grammar and spelling only.
- SPEAKER: Members who speak in vernacular are requested to speak slowly and to make pauses. This allows interpreters to capture and interpret the members’ speeches correctly.
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES
- SPEAKER: May I once more remind hon. members to
switch off their cellphones before business commences. Please, switch off your cellphones.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
*MR. MATIMBA: Before I make my contribution on the motion,
I would like to start by congratulating you, Mr. Speaker for being elected into the Speaker’s post. I would also want to congratulate His Excellency the President for the speech he gave, outlining his expectations in this august House during the opening session.
I would like to make my contribution based on what was said regarding the availability of food and averting starvation in the country. I represent Bikita Constituency which is in Masvingo, a drought prone region because of the low rainfall. As we speak, starvation is rearing its ugly head in my constituency. In his speech, Hon. Kuruneri debated on the importance of the Zambezi Water Project as an important tool in fighting hunger and starvation. This is a long term project. In the meanwhile, as leaders, we should be planning on short term policies to save our people from starvation.
I personally made an experiment at my home by harvesting rainfall from a four roomed house and storing in a tank. I represent Bikita East constituency. The water so gathered was able to water a healthy two and half hectare maize field and I had a bumper harvest. My experiment showed me that if 20 000 people receive assistance in water harvesting using the above experiment, and each one of these households growing two and half hectares of maize, 50 000 metric tonnes of maize will be realised, hence a bumper harvest and a big knock out to starvation.
These are some of the projects which can be used whilst we await the implementation of huge projects. All that is needed by a household is the installation of gutters and tanks. Even if the water stored may be prone to evaporation, the amount is negligible but the harvest is huge. I therefore appeal to all householders with asbestos or zinc roofed houses to install gutters and tanks so that they may even carry agricultural activities in gardens at a low cost.
I will now make my contribution on the indigenisation. The President encouraged that this programme should be treated with utmost importance that it deserves. In my constituency, there is a big organisation called Bikita Minerals which pledged $1 million in 2012 but to date, only $50 000 has been given to the community. I therefore plead with the powers that be to work hard on the implementation of the indigenisation policy. This should not be treated lightly or just a small talk, but, should be implemented fully for the benefit of communities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now turn to the health aspect of the
President’s speech. The President talked of the building of a thousand clinics which may take a long time to construct. Meanwhile, preventive measures should be put in place. In the past, we used to have village health workers working among the people. They had health kits for giving first aid before a patient could be referred to a bigger health institution. This was a very good programme based on the fact that prevention is better than cure.
I will now give praise to our civil servants who were very patriotic and soldiered on through hard and trying times. I was very happy to hear His Excellency calling for the increase of the civil servants’ salaries. These people are hard workers and deserve every dollar of their salary to boost their morale. The President’s encouragement should be implemented by the ministries involved so that it is not just mere talk.
I will now talk about problems facing my constituency, Bikita East. As I stated earlier, this constituency is in the arid regions four and five. The only suitable venture for this region is animal husbandry, which is the rearing of cattle, goats and sheep. Unfortunately, there is an adjacent conservancy there.
Animals from the conservancies include predators like lions which have since killed 600 herd of cattle which are the mainstay of the farmers’ economy. I therefore plead with the Parks and Wildlife and the conservancy owners to keep these marauding predators from attacking villagers and their properties. In these conservatories, we have problem animals such as the lions, elephants and the kudu which are grazers. When these animals get into your field, they destroy all the crops. I may say we are different from Hon. Chinotimba’s constituency which has hyenas which prey on human beings.
In his speech, the President also talked about the importance of the country’s road network. The roads in my constituency were last repaired ten years ago and they are so bad that no bus is prepared to ply these routes. The routes include Chikuku to Matsange and the Silveira Mission Hospital road which has been partially tarred. I plead with the ministries responsible to fully tar this road because this is the biggest referral hospital in my constituency. My request is that this road be completed with the requisite tar. The President commissioned the road and said it has to be completed but up to now, it has not been completed. When people get to the referral hospital, their health will be worse-off because of the road network.
Then we have Mbuya Nehanda Toturwi Road – we are also
requesting that it be attended to. These are roads that assist our people to make their areas accessible. As you know, if the road network is bad, even transport is not available. So, people walk long distances either to the hospital or to go and buy wares for sale.
On the issue of electricity, I have one hospital in my constituency – Chikuku hospital. It is quite big and that is where most people go but there is no electricity - they use candles for lighting. When pregnant women are giving birth, they deliver using candles, in this day and age yet there is an electricity line but we do not have electricity. We have people who travel long distances on foot to access healthcare facilities. We have already started construction work at Marambanika Gate clinic with the initiative of the Member of Parliament and the community. It is now at foundation level; our request is that you assist us in completing the clinic. Both Maranganika and Nerumedzo clinics need to be upgraded.
We also want to trap water in dams – Musaizi dam, if the dam is built, it can assist a lot of families and schools to engage in irrigation programmes. Currently, we have a programme of taking water to the people. We are doing it with the community, Chikuku piped water scheme and it is working out well. We need assistance so that water is accessible to other communities.
Mr. Speaker Sir, with these words, I want to thank my colleagues for their support and surely hope that they will assist us. Thank you.
- HOLDER: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. First of all, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President R. G. Mugabe on his resounding victory. I would also like to congratulate you on your election as Speaker of this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I quote the President’s speech, “The mining sector is poised to play a greater catalytic role in the country.” However, how is this going to be when there are problems being faced by the mines? Government has made the apple tree tall for the small scale miners to reach the apples yet they expect the small scale miners to give a piece to the fiscus. Our mining problems are premised on mining policies that are ‘one size fits all’ policy – whether big or small.
Secondly, the mines and mining administrative issues; Environmental Management Agency and environmental issues is like draining a pool to get fish instead of adding water to the pool then you are guaranteed to get continued supply. EMA is complex and expensive and somehow the requirements defy logic and are non-practical at all. While miners are expected to pay these big amounts before even starting, they face punitive fines. EMA is not involved in any environmental mitigation programmes which makes me wonder what they are really about – revenue collection.
Proposed geo-membranes for slime dams are complex and expensive – they serve no practical purpose. There is lack of clarity on who is the authority in the mining industry enforcing regulations as police, EMA officials, mining officials all descend on miners. It is of no wonder that there are high levels of corruption and bribes.
On gold pricing, the amount taken by Fidelity Printers is 15% comprising of 6% commission; 7% royalty; 2% presumptive tax – it is too high. I equate this to the killing of the hen to extract the egg. There is also the issue of lack of trust, when authorities visit the mines; they already have preconceived ideas that the miner is breaking the law. So, their visits are more of faults and witch-hunting than value adding to the miners.
There is also lack of support in the Department of Mines as it is seriously under staffed. In Masvingo Mining District, there is only one Regional Mining Engineer in the Inspectorate Department and this affects the level and quality of service offered to the miners in the
Mining is capital intensive and has very long payback periods. This has caused some miners to be seasonal miners who only mine when they get some cash and also promote high-grade cheap-to-mine deposits which lack consistency and continuity, whilst paying no attention to environmental issues.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I propose that the above problem should be reviewed through policy legislation. The mining legislation and policy must be revised and simplified sections to cover small scale mining. The policy should be supportive of the investment and encourage the reward.
Environmental impact assessments and environmental management regulations should be simple, supportive of investment and affordable by small scale miners. The levy charged on the Project Cost is too much and should be limited to the cost elements with Environmental Impact Assessments only. Geo-membranes should be recommended in areas that are prone to underground water pollution only. Environmental Management Agency should assist in the procurement of these membranes as they are not locally available. The Environmental Management Agency should have environmental mitigation programmes as their inspectors should give environmental management advice rather than to witch-hunt. The same applies to inspectors from other Government Departments. Their visits should be value adding to the miners and miners should not be afraid of their
There should be clarity on Mining and Mines Inspections and there should be cooperation or the establishment of Mining Inspectorate which inspects the mines once a year and compiles reports, as opposed to numerous inspections by numerous departments for the same things.
Fidelity Printers and Refineries should offer incentives rather than endless commissions and royalties delivered on gold. The Statutory Government arms and departments like ZIMRA, NSSA, EMA should not view miners as law breakers but as sources of revenue and must help in nurturing the industry through a supportive rather than vindictive approach.
Government, through the Ministry of Mines, to make available, through a vehicle which we used to have, like DDF, for provision of mining equipment which small scale miners can hire for a fee on production or share basis. This will assist in consistency in mineral production and will earn Government some revenue.
- MAVHENYENGWA: This afternoon, I would want to start
by congratulating the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His
Excellency, Robert Gabriel Mugabe for his resounding victory in the 31st
July 2013 Election. I would also want to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker Sir, and your Deputy for your election to lead this august House. May I also take this opportunity to congratulate my colleagues for being elected to represent the people of Zimbabwe in their respective constituencies.
This afternoon, I would like to add my voice on the Presidential
Speech which set the tone of the business of the First Session of the
Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe. I represent Zaka North Constituency in Masvingo Province. The President in his Speech, touched on a lot of problems being faced by most rural Zimbabweans especially those in Zaka North. My constituency, in particular, has no source of wealth other than agriculture which is communal as there are no A2 farms.
The rain season is just around the corner and already the communal farmers are restive as they do not know where they will get their inputs for the approaching farming season. The President, R. G. Mugabe highlighted the need to assist farmers who have suffered for the past five years in which the Government failed to avail inputs. I hereby urge the responsible authority to avail inputs before the rains.
Farmers need to plant with the first rains as the rain pattern is no longer predictable. The ministry concerned should also consider small grains as some parts of Zaka North receive very little rainfall. While the President talked about dualisation of highways, I urge the Government to seriously look into the rehabilitation of rural dust roads which are in a very poor and bad state.
In Zaka North Constituency, people walk for long distances to get transport as most transport operators do not ply the DDF rural roads due to their bad state. I urge the Government to equip DDF which maintains these rural roads so that our communities can be assisted. I have some of the very bad roads in my constituency such as Chivata, Muroyi, Jichidza, Baramanza, Chigwagwa and Ngwere.
There is no development which can take place if road network in an area is poor. This subject needs serious planning and attention. Zaka
North Constituency’s working class is mainly civil servants who are teachers, health workers and others. Our President talked of improvement of civil servants conditions of service and remuneration. This move by the President should be applauded. The rural civil servants are disadvantaged in many ways as most benefits such as stands, loans, etc, are normally accessible by those in towns. May the Government consider the plight of rural based civil servants and reserve stands, loans and other services for rural based civil servants. To motivate the civil servants, there is a need to avail funds for projects which can improve the livelihoods of these workers, especially the rural based ones. The projects should be extended to our poor people who we represent so that they can get money to pay for the fees of their children.
The state of Government buildings at schools, clinics and AREX centres are in very bad state. They have been neglected for long and now need urgent attention. I made a tour of Zaka North Constituency which I represent and noted that our civil servants in the rural areas are heroes as they soldier on under very bad conditions. I urge Government to relook at the amount of CDF with a bias towards raising it so that some of these problems may be attended to by hon. members.
For Zaka North Constituency, I have 33 schools both primary and secondary, one referral hospital, and 8 clinics – which all need attention. There is a problem of drinking water at these institutions and the community at large. If DDF is equipped and funded well it can ease this water shortage by drilling more boreholes.
The President talked about health matters which include availability of drugs at health centres. Rural clinics are empty. They do not have drugs. They need to be restocked with drugs. People in Zaka
North are still walking for more than 10km, contrary to the Ministry of Health and Child Care policy. On the planned 1100 clinics to be constructed by Government, I would urge the responsible authority to consider the plight of Zaka North Constituency Wards 4, 5, 6 and 11 who walk for very long distances in difficult mountainous paths to access health facilities. This situation is not good for pregnant mothers, children, old people and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Zaka North receives very little rain and has incessant droughts. The Government should hasten the planned construction of small dams to enable small scale farmers to irrigate their crops. The Nhema
Irrigation Scheme in my constituency need to be constructed as planned. The ground breaking ceremony was done by the Vice President Mujuru, but work has not yet started. The three chiefs in my constituency namely Chief Nhema, Chief Nyakunhuhwa and Chief Ndanga, are ready and willing to give land for small scale irrigation schemes which can assist a lot in alleviating hunger.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am happy that the President talked about Zimbabwe Livestock Drought Mitigation Programme to assist farmers in drought prone areas to save their livestock. Zaka North is one of the drought prone areas. People will be happy if they get this assistance and save their cattle, which is their source of livelihood. Mr. Speaker Sir, with this contribution by Zaka North Member of Parliament to the
President’s Speech, I would want to express my faith in the new Government set by the President and believe that it will quickly articulate programmes asserted to by the Head of State. I thank you.
- L. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to express my profound and sincere gratitude and appreciation for His Excellency’s Address which gave us direction on the social and economic path to be followed during our parliamentary deliberations. I would like to join other hon. members in congratulating the President on his election as the Head of State of our sovereign country, Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is also my honour to congratulate you on your election as the Speaker of this august
The object of my presentation is to respond to His Excellency’s Address. I would like to give a clear picture of what constitutes my constituency in terms of its geo-physical location, socio-economic status, the challenges it faces and the aspirations of the people of Mwenezi West. It is a stronghold of the revolutionary party as evidenced by the ever high electoral statistics since independence in 1980.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Mwenezi West constituency lies in climatic region five bounded by Mwenezi River which houses Manyuchi Dam and Bubi River to the south. The constituency is drought-stricken because of the unreliable and erratic rainfall patterns. As I speak now, people are scavenging for food because of the recurrent drought. The soils are a spread of, or combination of loamy sandy clay soils suitable for small grain production such as millet, sorghum, rapoko and cash crops like cotton and groundnuts. Part of the constituency is home to Nuanetsi Range, Malangani, Tacola conservancies and Sabot Acqua
Culture, supporting a lucrative crocodile project. The vegetation is of
Savanna type, dominated by Mopani trees, a source of protein rich for Mopani worms, macimbi, for human consumption or selling to earn a living. The Manyuchi Dam and other resources noted are an opportunity for development if properly utilised.
On Agriculture, Mr. Speaker Sir, the status of farming in Mwenezi West which I represent, is a gloomy state as the constituency is seriously affected by adverse weather conditions and recurrent droughts. Good rains are experienced at least once in every four or five years. I was particularly moved and encouraged when His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, stressed the need to empower our farmers through strategies which can avert our country from developing an over reliance on hand outs from donors, the donor syndrome. These wise and helpful words from the Head of State should be taken seriously. Manyuchi Dam, which is one of the biggest dams in the country, is a potential source for developmental projects. It can guarantee food security if properly utilised. It can assist people of both Mwenezi East and West to be selfsufficient. Despite His Excellency, the President’s call for increased irrigation agriculture, Manyuchi dam has not been fully exploited. It is just a death trap for people and their livestock because of crocodiles.
It is my humble submission that a very big irrigation scheme could be an engine for food security. Applications for Magomana Irrigation scheme were made ten years ago but nothing has been done to assist the people and to develop the district which relies on the Grain Marketing Board. The GMB depots are in Midlands and Mwenezi East constituencies. Mwenezi West has many medium sized dams which only need pumps and pipes for irrigation purposes. Now that the Government has realised the indispensability of irrigation farming, the Ministry of Agriculture should expedite the establishment of a big irrigation scheme in Magomana area adjacent to Manyuchi dam.
On Health. Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency talked about the need to amend the Health Act in order to reflect the provision of health services to the people and to treat health care as an alienable right for every Zimbabwean citizen. This is commendable but, Alas! There is no single hospital in Mwenezi West. The resettlement areas which cover about 60% of the constituency do not have a single clinic, yet they are former white commercial properties which can easily be converted into clinics to alleviate the plight of the people and to curb the spread of diseases like malaria and water borne diseases which are prevalent in resettlement areas. A sad situation obtains as many cases of maternal delivery deaths and complications are reported. The Government should speed up the setting up of clinics at the following establishments or homesteads; Bubi River Ranch Homestead, Mateke, Chovelele, Barberton, Tigerbeg, Malumba, Nandis etc. The buildings are there.
What is needed are nurses and drugs only.
On Education Mr. Speaker Sir, while focus should be placed on the teaching and learning of science, engineering, technology and mathematics, the curricula should merge theory and practice. It should reflect the current socio-economic order. Secondly, a lot should be done in the resettlement areas to construct decent model houses and standard classrooms fitted with electricity to enhance the teaching of technology, computers and science. It is regrettable that most of the classrooms and teachers’ huts are still thatched establishments of pole and dagga. It is my conviction that a poorly paid worker, resident in a small hut which cannot accommodate his/her bed and a chair cannot be professionally effective to execute his/her duties when the morale is dampened. Mwenezi West does not have a boarding school. Boarding Schools are needed at Maranda, Dine and Nikita Secondary Schools.
Mr. Speaker Sir, corruption corrodes the whole morale fibre of the nation. The misuse of public offices for personal or private gains or for the benefit of the holders of the offices should be dealt with sternly.
Roads. Transport and Communication
Mr. Speaker Sir, it was pleasing to note that the Government would continue the upgrading and dualisation of the national roads infrastructure. There is also great need to clear, regrade and resurface most of the gravel roads throughout the country and to open new gravel roads in the resettlement areas to support the Land Reform Programme.
The resuscitation of destroyed economic infrastructure like Manyuchi, Makugwe, Goloni, Chipwe, Munyamani bridges will increase the accessibility and connectivity of the constituency. There are only two cell phone base stations in the constituency which is about 355 kilometers long by 85 kilometers wide. Seven more boosters are needed to cover the whole constituency. Some areas like Chovelele, Mazetese Barberton, Tigerberg, Chirindi and Mangwerume rely on
NetOne from Mberengwa District. Areas in Mateke depend on Chiredzi South Constituency. The establishment of an information technology centre is very necessary at the constituency centre which is Maranda Service Centre for improved communication.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this is the subject that underpins the dignity of humanity. The current regrettable and gloomy status of the nonavailability of a growth point, banking services, G.M.B, vocational and administrative centres as well as other social amenities, seriously affects peoples’ desired social and economic plans for development. Most of the services are accessed from outside the constituency as if Mwenezi West is a satellite constituency of the surrounding constituencies. There is need to upgrade Maranda, Dine, Vongwe service centres into growth points status.
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency, the President spelt out the unquestionable significance of the programme which, if properly, implemented, can ensure that our people can become masters of their land or significant stakeholders in the running of their national economy.
In the true Pan Africanist spirit, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, said “Political independence without economic independence is like half crossing the bridge”. As we are now more serious about crossing the last part of the bridge in order to realise total independence, it is incumbent upon us hon. members, the Government and the responsible Ministries and authorities to ensure that the programme is fully supported with policies. There is need for monitoring mechanism to make sure that it spread its wings to all the districts such as Mwenezi, Chiredzi, Binga et cetera.
The programme should not only target urban areas. The people of Mwenezi West, Mr. Speaker Sir, need economic empowerment through the provision of soft loan schemes, community share ownership trusts- re-stocking of livestock and small to medium sized projects. There is need for the establishment of a vocational training centre and common facility centres to assist the youth and the women to acquire the desired life skills. This can result in self-employment and ownership of businesses and companies.
The small to medium size enterprises have a big challenge in transforming the informal sectors into properly regulated sectors for increased tax revenue and for peoples’ social and economic development.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker Sir, for meaningful and sustainable development to be realised, there is greater need to rehabilitate old economic infrastructures like dams, roads, bridges and boreholes throughout the country. This will stimulate development and transform the economic terrain while removing such negative tags of being labeled ‘food importers’. The Government should fight tooth and nail to lure our talented skilled and educated sons and daughters in the diaspora to come and develop the nation.
The upgrading of service centres to growth points and town status where banks can be located, providing loans to farmers, the youth and women can help effect development and lower unemployment statistics.
In Mwenezi West Constituency, more irrigation schemes are needed upstream Mwenezi River to complement the current Dine and
Chizumba irrigation schemes in order to fully utilise the Manyuchi Dam. A wide spread water and sanitation programme through borehole drilling and dam construction is needed for the benefit of the people and their livestock.
Our committed, hard working and patriotic civil servants should be well remunerated while their working conditions at institutions such as schools, clinics and administrative offices are being capacitated through better accommodation, water and electricity supplies. This reduces the brain drain to other countries and people will use their expertise to develop their own country and to promote the indigenisation programme.
Finally, I wish to thank all hon. members for their patience in listening to my presentation so that together, through social cohesion and unity of purpose, we can develop our people and country. I thank you.
*MR MATANGIRA: Firstly, I want to congratulate you on your election as the Speaker and the Presiding Officer. Secondly, I want to congratulate the President of the country, His Excellency, President Robert Mugabe for being elected President of the country.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone in this House and that God saw it fit for us to represent the people of Zimbabwe in Parliament where everything for the development of the country should take place.
The reason why I have stood up is that as a new Member in this House, I want to support what the President said. I want to thank him because all he said affects the people of Zimbabwe which is what we
Firstly, I want to look into the issue of hunger. Hunger in Bindura South is an issue because there are sandy soils and because the economy was bad in the past five years, there were no inputs and people were not farming on time and they were not harvesting anything. So, they could not get anything for their sustenance.
I also want to mention that the constituency is composed of farms and those in resettlement areas. What I request from this august House is that it is not only in my constituency where people were resettled, but I want this august House to know that when talking about A1 farms, people were settled in farms where there were tractors which did the cultivation. Now, there are no tractors and so, we need tractors in those farms. Farming inputs are also needed because the President of the nation said that, there is climate change and the weather patterns have changed.
When rain falls, it no longer follows the normal pattern but it rains for a short period so that the people in the communities can farm.
However, considering the short period, people are not able to cultivate and farm within the given time. So, they should get tractors, rippers and disk harrows and if possible, in every ward, there is need for a tractor. Not for free and not from the Government, but people should learn that when the ward gets a tractor or a disk harrow, if it costs US$25 000 for five years, these people should be able to pay back.
Then the President of the country talked about inputs. In my constituency, Bindura South, we sat down and agreed that if every household would get at least two bags of Compound D fertiliser and Ammonium Nitrate (AN) fertiliser, not for free, but for them to pay back after the harvest. Those in the farms also should be given more and if they get about four bags of Compound D and four bags of AN so that they are able to farm at least one hectare. People should be encouraged to farm food products to ensure that there is food security because we cannot be seen importing food when we have the land.
The President also talked about irrigation schemes that these should be increased in number. In my constituency where I come from, there are so many dams that can count up to about seven. We have Acadia Dam, Masembura Dam, Mudotwe, Mubhinzi, Guhwa Dam and there are so many of them. We have three rivers which flow throughout the year. Mubhinzi is in our area, Mazowe is in our area, Mupote is in our area but the irrigation schemes are not there. So, we are requesting that the irrigation department should help us to construct irrigation infrastructure so that people can farm and that we can water our food products and then get our inputs.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the President also mentioned the issue of livestock production. Livestock is the wealth of the African person. We all went to school because of the livestock and in the constituency where I come from; there are very few dip tanks. I request in this House that we should lobby and advocate for the building of more dip tanks because you will find out that three wards are sharing one dip tank. So, it is not everyone who is able to take the cows to that one dip tank and by not taking all those cows to the dip tanks, it affects the health of the cattle and we also request that the relevant dipping chemicals be made available.
Yes, we have been promised that we will get inputs and we have hope that we will get the required inputs and if we get these, our country will develop especially in manufacturing. If you look at the industry, you will find that it manufactures using raw materials from the farms. If you look at David Whitehead and other manufacturing companies, they get their raw materials from the farms and Lever Brothers also have their products made from soya beans, which is produced on the farms. So, what we are waiting for are the inputs and we are also waiting for drought relief maize.
Looking at the issue of transport Mr. Speaker Sir, the constituency where I come from is a constituency that is close to Harare but the people are having problems in accessing different areas because of the poor road network. We have the Nyava-Denda Road that comes from Pondwa. It is tarred from there to Bindura. That road has too many loose stones that can be used to ensure that the tarred road is constructed. In 2002/2003, that is when those quarry stones were put and they have been kept there for eleven years. We are requesting that this road now be tarred because the quarry stones are there. I do not think it is so expensive because we have coal in Hwange.
Then there is a road from Masembura at Manhenga to Hora, this road is not accessible at all. You cannot travel on this road. We request that this road be attended to. It links with Goromonzi North. This road is quite bad. Since 2008, the road network is so poor that even a wheelbarrow cannot move along that road. Those who farm in those areas in Jingwa – Masembura area use scotch carts trying hard to maneuver their way through the bad road network. My request is that these two roads be attended to so that the people can access various areas.
I want to go to the issue of education. Bindura South Constituency has secondary and primary schools but in some of the wards, people have to walk for about 20 km. Children cannot walk 20 km. Then we look at the issue of abuse of the girl child, where there are such distances they experience abuse on their way to and from school. For a child who is in Form Three or Four, you will find that those boys and men who are at the local bars actually end up abusing these girl children, who in the end get pregnant and drop out of school. We are requesting that each ward gets a secondary school. We have mentioned and requested this before.
We tried to address the problems with the little that we got by trying to construct a school using the resources that we were given by the Government. For example, if I managed to get a farm and build part of the school from the money that I get after selling the harvest, then the Ministry of Education can takeover and build a school. As a constituency that is in the rural area, we have one secondary school called Nyava.
We are also requesting that if we can have Mudotwe Secondary School becoming a boarding school. Those in the constituency and close by can also go to that school, then it can be upgraded and have A’ level status to ensure that children can learn within their community. Parents do not have money to send their children to Fletcher or Bradley because the fees that is being charged is beyond their economic means as they have not been getting anything for the past five years.
Again, on the same issue, the children in rural areas that are in upper six and are passing have challenges. We are requesting that they be given grants. Bindura has a university. If these kids could be given grants for them to attain their degrees and they can be bonded and can come back to assist others thereby giving back to their communities, then people can admire this programme.
Coming to the issue of education and health, Mr. Speaker Sir, we have teachers who work at the schools that I mentioned. They have medical aid schemes. They face challenges in that sometimes they go to the clinics or hospitals within the constituency and they are told that because the clinics work under rural councils, the clinics do not accept medical aid. It means the teacher has to use $10 to get on the bus and go to Bindura where medical aid is accepted and $5 to come back. Probably it is just a headache where he could have been given aspirin or paracetamol. We are asking if it is possible that the Government should assist so that the clinics in the rural areas can accept the medical aids.
On the issue of health, I want to thank the President of this country through the Ministry of Health that he said he will be able to give us one thousand clinics. This should be appreciated because in the past 5-years no clinic was built. If you have been promised a thousand clinics the initiative is now upon you as a Member of Parliament to ensure that you build a clinic in your constituency then the Ministry of Health can also come in.
I also ask, through this august House, that every ward should have its own clinic. If the ward has two clinics, then we need one to be a referral clinic where people can be given tablets and then go away. This year we want to farm and we do not want people travelling long distances just to get Paracetamols because it means they do not have time now to work on their farms.
Last but not least, I want to touch on the issue of mining. In my constituency, there are two big mines; Freda Rebecca and Trojan Nickel Mine. We were lucky to have a Community Share Ownership Trust with
Freda Rebecca and the President gave us a Community Share Ownership
Trust. We were thinking that if it is legal, the Community Share
Ownership Trust was in theory $10 million, but maybe through this
House, if the farming inputs are difficult to get, the Community Share Ownership Trust be used as guarantee so that farmers can get inputs such as Compound D fertiliser. That money could be used as collateral or guarantee so the farmers can pay $5 each in order to get fertiliser to do their farming.
At the same time, we have been saying that here in this country we have so many minerals that are not processed here in Zimbabwe. In my constituency, they are there. Through this august House, we are of the opinion that our minerals should be processed here in Zimbabwe so that the by-products can be used here in Zimbabwe. This will assist our country in creating employment.
Lastly Mr. Speaker, I want to talk of the respect and dignity of this
House. We all came here and made our own oath with the Bible and we told the whole family and the whole country that we, in God’s name have been chosen by the people and we will represent the people as has been chosen by God. We will be people who will ensure that the President elected by the country is for all of us. So, I urge this House to be united and have unity of purpose and fear God. I am requesting Mr. Speaker Sir that in this House we should agree. Ancestral spirits are there but the liberation of this country came through martyrs such as Mbuya Nehanda and Lobengula. Those were the first martyrs and then came those that died for this country, the liberators.
This country should be given respect by the people who say they serve the Government of Zimbabwe. We should work together and united we will succeed. I once said in this august House that the reason why we have conflict is because we will be heading towards elections over who will lead but when the person elected is there, we need to compliment each other so that we can develop as a country. We should not be there to downgrade one another. I read in the Bible that Aaron was saying that Moses had married in Africa. He did not know that he was downgrading God. So, I am saying, let us call pastors now and again to come here and preach to us and remind us what a country is and to understand that the country is run as a result of God’s will –
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Can the hon. member address himself to the Presidential Speech. There are two vehicles that are blocking other vehicles in the parking area, Third Street. These are ADA 3304 and it is a pick up. The other one is ADA 3293 and it is a white Ford. Can the owners of those vehicles please remove them and ensure that they are not blocking other vehicles. Thank you.
Can the hon. member continue?
*MR. MATANGIRA: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank you and I would want to end off by saying that we are here because of those who died and we should unite for the development of our country. I thank you.
*MR. MAPIKI: Firstly, I would want to thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir for your resounding election. I would also want to congratulate the President for his resounding victory and also, the hon. members in this House for their election. I would want to start by saying dust to dust, if you were elected by the people you need to go back to the people.
I wanted to talk of what President Mugabe said. He talked of Mbuya Nehanda and Lobengula who said their bones will rise and this has happened. This has reflected that their bones have surely risen in terms of the wealth of the country. What touched me most was the issue of mining. This issue of mining really touched me. I am from Shamva South and there are so many minerals there. We should have legislation that enables us to mine. If a child is caught with 2 ounces of gold that cost $10, he is given a ten year term in prison but we are saying the resources belong to his forefathers. I am saying that we need to look into this legislation so that we can benefit from our resources.
I would also want to look at the issue of the value addition that was mentioned by the President. We are saying as we mine, we should add value to our minerals so that we can see our success. Then, I want to look at the issue of the diamonds. Here, rough diamond is $60 per carat but once polished it is used to make rings, a carat for 440 can produce 2 rings. We find that a ring costs $5 000 and yet it uses one carat. So, we are saying, they are getting $10 thousand for each carat that they have paid for $60 or $40 there.
In other countries they employ about 6000 in such companies mainly people in that area but here in Zimbabwe we are crying foul over unemployment, we are failing to employ our own people. I am thinking that we need to put our heads together. Lobengula and Nehanda said their bones will resurrect but did not say will rise against each other but here in Parliament let us not rise against each other and do what the people expect us to do. The issue of wealth and indigenisation that we are talking about is the core of development. We need to talk of value addition on our minerals if we do not then there is something definitely wrong with our minds, we need to address that issue.
We need to also look at the cutting and polishing of diamonds. We have one college that is in Mount Hampden for them to do a course in identification and selection of diamonds they need $750 and to do a 6 month course on polishing of diamonds they want $4 500. This is not affordable to the rural parent because people cannot afford that. Such laws need to be addressed if we are to develop.
On the issue of Small to Medium Enterprises, people are complaining that there are no big industries and I am saying that we need to support our children, only then can things improve. If you look at the urban areas, there are people who are selling vegetables and those selling tomatoes, instead of the council building areas for them to sell their wares; you would find that the council is not aiding them but arresting them. What it means is that for people to become wealth, we need to improve on our legislation. If it means that the people in the small to medium enterprises need adequate places to sell their wares then that should be looked into.
Yes, we took the land but it also gave people in the areas periurban land. The prices for these stands should be affordable so that people can sell their wares at reasonable prices. We in the rural areas are poor and cannot raise so much money such as US$4 per square meter, but we are saying that is the property that we need and that is the inheritance that we leave for our children. The fees charged should not be exorbitant, so we hope the councils will reduce this and come up with a payment arrangement
On the issue of SMEs, I went to Uganda where resettlement was done a long time ago. Farmers carry their wares on scotch carts at night from farms that are closer to the road. They ended up acquiring machines to process raw materials such as bananas to make yoghurt and baby food. Lorries ended up coming to order these from Kampala. Likewise, here transport should go to Shamva to order things which would have been produced and processed there. We need to ensure that we represent the people.
On the issue of infrastructure, we are requesting that there should be laws such that there are cheaper stands. If it is for flea markets or for machines, it should be reasonable. If there are ministries that deal with
SMEs – there are agreements that are signed with other countries like
India-Zimbabwe for example, on the machinery for polishing diamonds.
We are advocating that people in the rural areas be given knowledge on what the various ministries are doing so that if it is importing machines, it has something to do with value addition, it should be duty free. Once tax is levied, it becomes expensive so we need to consider some of the legislation in place. We have MOUs on importation of certain machines which people should know. Some of this legislation was put during the Smith Regime so that we would not develop.
On the issue of housing, we should have cheaper houses. Those at growth points are facing challenges because they are being charged $4 per square metre, it is too expensive yet the Government will have availed that land. You find that we in the rural areas are not even able to get a stand there but those in the towns are the ones who have money and they come and buy. The gap between the rich and the poor is then widened. I am saying that as we craft legislation, we should also consider how people earn a living in the rural areas and the informal traders who are being chased after by the police everyday- because that is their source of livelihood. We need to consider that.
On the issue of agriculture, I heard others saying that agriculture is a challenge especially in Masvingo. I am saying Masvingo should not be a hunger stricken area. We have an agreement with Brazil where we can get irrigation equipment. We are saying that we have machines that we have. If we drill boreholes with these machines, we can have Solar Powered Submersible Pumps. These are the ones that transport water and if we see that the water table is deep, we drill further and then we organise families in 20s so that they can go on 20 hectare farms. They can then engage in horticulture. They can then produce vegetables and sweet potatoes and we can make flour or biscuits, thus adding value.
We can then export these processed foods to South Africa than to take the money that we have and order goods from South Africa and we bring them here. It means we have given all the money to South Africa and our country cannot develop. I am challenging Members of Parliament from Masvingo, Bulawayo or wherever that there is a programme that was done by the outgoing Government that imported graders and bulldozers inputs from there. We should also organise so that we get the rigs that drill boreholes and then at least we organise our people to get into irrigation and horticulture in order to improve our food security.
The issue of our economy does not need complicated mathematics but simple village mathematics. So that is the issue that I was looking at in terms of agriculture. On the issue of irrigation infrastructure in Matebeleland - people should also engage in food production and not only look at livestock production by drilling boreholes that are 160metres to engage in irrigation. Those who are in cattle ranching should also look at the dairy farming. They should take the cattle hides and engage in manufacturing. This can be done by SMEs who use the leather to make shoes. No one will come here and tell us what to do. We have to do it. 60% of people who are employed in this country have been employed through SMEs. We need to support them through funding, knowledge and adequate skills. We need to start off by empowering our children because India is creating employment of about
6 000 people for each diamond bought in Zimbabwe. Then it means that here we need to look into our legislation and find a way forward. If we can create 3000 jobs for each diamond it is not a bad start.
On the issue of indigenisation, I was thinking that companies that are coming to invest here, besides being charged a certain percentage – in Shona we say that kudya chemuzvere kubatamwana. So we are saying the social responsibility on these companies should develop the area by building clinics. They are not building clinics for health care or drilling boreholes for us to get clean water but we are allowing them to get our minerals. So I think that legislation needs to be reconsidered. If EMA has recognised that their social responsibility is not being done, it should be shown. Mr. Speaker, this is why I am saying that we need to unite. The bones of mbuya Nehanda should resurrect on the issue of empowerment and wealth.
On the issue of education, when we grew up, there was what was called F2. We were empowered with skills. When a child comes from school, he should employ at least two people but if a person has been empowered in terms of skills – there should be more practical subjects such as agriculture and mining as a subject because we are saying our country has resources underground. We need value addition of minerals as a subject so that at least if a child fails academics and passes practical subjects, he is able to sustain himself. Our pass rate, I was made to understand that it was 15% - so we need to find out what exactly we want. We are saying that only 15% of the children are passing, which means it is 15% gold and 85% junk. We are saying our education has a challenge and the issue of adults who have degrees from Japan where they cook soup from dog meat; we do not want to employ them because we do not cook such soup. We want people with relevant skills such as cutting and polishing of diamonds. So that is the target. We need to look into that. When we look at the issue of indigenization without addressing the legislation concerning this issue, then we are not doing anything.
When we have engaged in farming, we should consider the prices on our own. We should process our own raw materials. MOUs should be signed. Long back we knew that a person from school should know how to do woodwork. These days we look for builders to build a school but, there is Building as a practical subject at that school. When building a school, we should not even look at the issue of labour because the children are there and we should be utilizing the skills that the children have. Pupils in Grade 7 in China can manufacture an AK47 rifle. What are we doing here in Zimbabwe? So, I think that it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
On the issue of health, we must be honest with each other here. We want the Members of Parliament in this country to inform us what they have done for them to come here and say that we cannot have 10 000 clinics. What I have done in Shamva South is that we have a resettlement and rural area. I have managed to move around and converted the white men’s houses into clinics. I have 16 wards and 10 wards already have clinics that are ready to open. Two have already been opened using those white men’s houses.
I sat down with parents and we agreed that 80% of the inputs will come from them because Council gave us water and the community made 100 bricks to construct a clinic. We are saying, when you go back to your constituencies, you need to sit down with the community and build clinics because in my area, the issue of clinics, yes it is a bit of a challenge but I have strategies that I hope to employ.
*MR. SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, you are speaking on health issues and there is a motion on health issues on the Order Paper. I am asking that you go back to the motion. Thank you.
*MR. MAPIKI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. On the issue of farming, In Shamva South in Mashonaland Central, we have realised that cotton does not pay but we realised that there were others who have machines for ginning the cotton. So, those with the ginning machines can do the ginning for us and we pay for that, then we are able to sell the lint and then have oil from that cotton. That is what we have done in terms of agriculture. We are also thinking of having another partnership with Glendale Spinners so that the farmers can benefit. In that way Mr. Speaker, this is what I have noticed. I request that Parliament should look into this because we cannot be cry-babies like what Mr. Gono said.
So, I want to say that we represent the people and I want to go back to the people. Let us not fight each other because Mbuya Nehanda said one day her bones would rise and not that they would rise against each other. So let us do our work as Members of Parliament.
*MR. R. MAWERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate you for being elected as the Speaker. I would also like to congratulate His Excellency for winning the elections. He won with a resounding victory and won by 61%. You will find that it is a year of sixty ones. Morgan Tsvangirai turned sixty-one.
I was very much pleased when the President discussed about the progrramme which he started by laying out the rules to be followed in the making of laws in the country. He talked about the promotion of agriculture in the country because agriculture is the mainstay in the country’s development and also determines the direction which the people will follow in their lives.
If you follow what happened in the previous election, decisions were made through the stomach. We need to work through institutions which have to be improved and these include ARDA which needs to have an effective leadership. During the past years, we used to purchase every agricultural product from ARDA. You would get milk, potatoes, food. Therefore, we now call upon the responsible Minister, Dr. Made to treat it as a matter of urgency to resuscitate the viability of ARDA. Zimbabwe is not supposed to be importing food from other countries because it was once the bread-basket of the region.
We had areas like the Middle Sabi, the Halsted Trust; it was the mainstay of agriculture in the country. May you please reinstate the status of ARDA so that we have people who are well fed and will lead to the development of the country? I am sure, if people are given inputs so that they can be self-sufficient, this will lead to the development of the country. We are not supposed to be relying on donations and donors.
Let me now discuss roads. I represent Mutoko East Constituency which is on the periphery of Zimbabwe on the boundaries with areas like Nyanga. The roads are in an appalling state. If you visit areas like
Nyamuzizi, we find that there are no bridges because during the Smith era, this area, Nyamuzizi was earmarked for a game park. But, as a
Government of the people, we have since resettled people in that area. Therefore, since we have changed the land-use, let us now put the necessary infrastructure for the benefit of the people. We find that in each rainy season, people are swept by the waters of the un-bridged
Therefore, I plead with the ministries that be, that let us construct and repair bridges in these areas so that people have access to roads and carry on with their businesses instead of getting people who will move from that area into that area and look like people who are going into a foreign land. We find that also feeder roads into these areas also need to be bridged. I remember last year, we had a school child who was swept away by the flooded rivers. Therefore, through the Government, and the Ministry of Transport, please, give assistance, we do not need to have casualties of children being swept away by rivers. The children are the future of Zimbabwe; we need to take great care of them.
Still on agriculture, Mutoko is a horticultural area – we plead with the Government to render support in this area especially in the construction and setting up of industries so that we add value to these agricultural products. In the same manner, we will also be creating employment and our people will benefit more because when they bring their produce to Mbare Musika they lose. We also have people with mango fruits that they bring to companies like Innscor in Harare. I believe that these products should be processed in our area as people will benefit and get more profit. As a result, when these people bring their produce to Harare, they get little from their sweat and agriculture.
Therefore, I plead with the Government to support my people in the Value Addition Programme.
In this august House, we heard some august Members who asked what psychomotor is. Let me now explain – psychomotor is a hands-on tool because it has to do with what happens in tertiary institutions. What we are saying is, when we talk of pyschomotors – we do not have any college in our area so that we use psychomotor, which is the development of human beings. So, that all these people, who will be working in the cannery factories will be doing so from a psychomotor institution. I, therefore, plead with the powers that be – let us work towards the improvement of our institutions.
I am not going to discuss health because I have been advised by Mr. Speaker that it is scheduled in future debates. We need roads so that people can be ferried to hospitals. In my constituency, we only have one big referral hospital called Nyamuzuhwe hospital. We depend on donations from the Italians; we have a road that is less than ten kilometers – the road is very short. People that go to All Souls Hospital reach the hospital in a worse-off state and sometimes they die on the way. Therefore, I plead with the powers that be to help us to repair this road so that our patients can be ferried comfortably.
People suffering from liver cirrhosis have problems in travelling along such roads. Let us repair our roads so that all people live a good life. We will find that when the roads have been repaired, the institutions will perform to the utmost because we cannot air lift people for a ten kilometer distance. I plead with the Minister of Transport, that even if it means gravelling the roads – please, let us do that.
This is my plea, cry and request. Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution.
*MR. MATAMBANADZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, may I start by
congratulating you for being elected to be the Speaker of this august
House. May I also thank the President for winning resoundingly in the 31st July elections. As a result, the whole country is very happy because our country was being destroyed as our enemies had devious plans but His Excellency, through his intelligence and tact, managed to regain the status of the country and return it to its rightful owners – the black people of Zimbabwe. The percentage he has is what I will call 90%.
Mr. Speaker, I come from the Kwekwe Central constituency which is situated in the Midlands Province. I plead with this House to sympathise and empathise with me on the Kwekwe Central constituency because of the following deplorable conditions that should be rectified.
This area is very important as it is the center of our country – geographically, it is central. Even visitors from abroad such as China,
Russia and other countries will prefer to see the geographical center of Zimbabwe which is Kwekwe and assess its position and status - the reason being that it is a very rich area naturally because it is rich in minerals and gold.
We also have the biggest mine – the Globe and Phoenix Mine which is a very popular place internationally. The President also emphasised the importance of this area and said it is going to help in developing the country; just as Zambia is developed through copper; Botswana is developed through diamonds and South Africa through its other minerals - the Zimbabwean economy is developed through gold. Unfortunately, our gold is not properly handled just as Zambia would go down in development if it does not handle properly its copper. I promise you that I work on my documentation and chart the way forward on the mining and adding value to gold after holding meetings with the gold miners in my constituency.
I managed to hold a meeting with one of the companies with the biggest iron ore mines in the country called ZISCO Steel. As you all are aware, ZISCO Steel closed down just like Globe and Phoenix Mine and we have no steel. Yes we know, we had problems five years back but as of now, I think, we are in a position to rebuild our mines and development starts from Kwekwe.
Lancashire Steel is a subdivision of ZISCO Steel and since Lancashire Steel depends on ZISCO Steel – we cannot divorce the two. I had discussions with the management at Lancashire Steel and they told me of their plans. My meeting with the management showed that they need subsistence in the development of the mine. I am glad to report that we were in agreement in most of the issues that we discussed. They informed us that the company can be independent from ZISCO Steel as
ZISCO Steel is going to be run by Indians since they won the tender. But, the Indians have not had time to implement their development policy ever since they won tender. So, we do not know whether the Indians are going to develop ZISCO Steel but Lancashire Steel is saying that they are able to take the developments on their own.
In their report to me, they advised that all their equipment is in good order – equipment from manufacturing bolts, wire, roofing nails are all manufactured at Lancashire Steel. Talk of any wire product that we use in our farms such as fence, we find that they are manufactured at
Lancashire Steel. They manufacture even the smallest wire such as the one which we use in our offices as staple pins, which shows that this company is a very important company in our country.
In the last five years, this was looked down upon as an inconsequential organisation. So many people lost their jobs as a result and some people died of hunger because they did not receive any salary. Some of these workers have died of starvation. When I held my meetings with them, I realised that I have a great job to perform ahead as a Member of Parliament responsible for that area.
This company, as I stated before, has enough equipment, all they want is to be given an amount of US$4m. This will be enough to resuscitate this organisation. You will find that they even told us that given this amount of money, they can work and do without the ZISCO Steel which is struggling and they will be able to meet the needs of the country. ZISCO Steel was supplying different kinds of iron and steel and they were selling it to Lancashire Steel. Lancashire Steel would then make out the required products by the industry and the people of Zimbabwe.
They are looking forward to receiving US$4.6m from the market after they have done their research and this could be increased depending on the value addition of the products. We thank the President for such a speech because we have lots of equipment and merchandise. Let us work together with our President and resuscitate these machines and these organisations.
We have some workers who were retrenched who are still alive and 300 of these workers have gone for 36 months without receiving any salary. I have, as an individual, sourced for foodstuffs for these people and I cannot sustain them alone. Therefore, we need to resuscitate this institution so that these people can receive their salaries and live a normal day. We also need to look at other ways of assisting this institution.
We also have another company in Kwekwe which is called
Steelmaker. It is owned by Indians. This company is benefiting millions and millions of profit through its works. What they are telling us about how this company is benefiting is that it is into buying scrap metal and melting it and manufacturing the iron and steel products such as angle lines, beams and window frames. They manufacture these from the scrap metal and they get their orders from ZESA.
During my discussions with them I talked to them about the iron and steel and they said they could resuscitate the blast furnaces which are used in the manufacture of steel. Like I promised you before, in the near future, I will give you full details on the resuscitation of these blast furnaces but the price quoted is not more than US$2.5m.
During our meeting, we agreed that if you are buying a tonne of billets from Turkey – they said they buy it for US$500. We also buy the scrap metal for US$100, so the total amount of money used is US$600. What that means is that through using this Steelmaker Company, we will be able to assist in the resuscitation of ZISCO Steel. They also told me that after they have made a profit of US$4.5m, Government will also benefit 15% from that money. In that manner we will receive enough finances to pay for the salaries of civil servants.
I plead with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, together with Government, to give me enough support in the resuscitation of these institutions because I know that if we work together, especially in this time whereby we have no problems, we may have development in our country and constituency.
I will now turn to the education sector in Kwekwe. I had a meeting with students who are on attachment in various universities and technical colleges. They told me that at the colleges where they are, their parents are failing to pay for their fees because the fees are so high. The balances which they owe the colleges are now up to about US$2000. If these students are given the chance to write the examinations without paying the fees, they are not given their results.
Therefore, I would want to give assistance to these students in these colleges. Some of my colleagues were telling me that the amounts I am talking about are very little but I know that the adequacy of the money is relative. If these university students are supported, they will be employed and when they are employed, the country will develop.
We need to look for a method whereby the university students are given a chance to receive free education and when they are through with their education and working, they will make some repayments towards these school fees. I think this will be much better than having students drop out because the parents have since failed because the only way they can get their money is by vending, which I think does not raise enough money for the school fees.
May the ministry responsible for these students assist them with the payment of school fees and these students will make their repayments on completion of their studies. That is my contribution on university education and the payment of school fees.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (ENG W. MZEMBI): I move that the debate do now
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd October, 2013.
DETERIORATION OF THE HEALTH DELIVERY SYSTEM IN
Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Health Sector in Zimbabwe.
Question again proposed.
- NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I realise the need to introduce myself. I am Anele Ndebele, Member of Parliament for Magwegwe. I am still learning the ropes Sir. This is my maiden speech. I intend to take full liberties that come with that maiden speech. I will waiver the right to read because I have noticed that the most convincing and the most persuasive debates have come from those that have spoken off the cuff. I will do so Sir. Let me congratulate you Sir, for your election to that seat. I realise our different political persuasions do not necessarily detract from the fact that you also come from Matabeleland like I do. –[HON. MEMEBRS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker Sir, I believe it is true that you come from Matabeleland Sir.
- SPEAKER: Order, order. May the hon. member sit down? Hon. member, some details are not essential for the debate. Please carry on.
- NDEBELE: I raised it Sir because I was going to come round to say I plead with you to take seriously the exhortations that came from the Vice President, that you use your seat to develop your home area. From an elevated… –[HON. MEMEBRS: Inaudible
- SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member, with all due respect, please address the motion.
- NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker Sir. Like I said, I am learning the ropes. This is undoubtedly …
- SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Chinotimba, order. The hon. member has indicated that he is new. Can you please accommodate him?
Thank you. Please carry on.
- NDEBELE: Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank Hon. Labode and Dr. Mataruse for moving and seconding this motion respectively. I realise that this is a very important motion to either side of the House because the issues of health really affects all those that voted us into Parliament. Let me begin by raising it to the House that the state of good health is not just the absence of diseases and infirmity but it also requires that we speak to issues of physical, emotional and social well being. To those that have made a profession of coming to Parliament every five years, you would appreciate that to get here, you need a healthy electorate.
So I anticipate no heckling when it comes to debating this motion from either side of the House. The Health Care crisis has three dimensions, Mr. Speaker Sir. It answers to the issue of access, cost and quality. Let me begin by speaking to the question of access. In my Constituency Magwegwe, I realise that it is important to speak of areas where one comes from. We only have one clinic and this is a council institution and it has to provide for more than 20 000 households. I am sure that on its own, means the delivery capability of this institution is over-weighed by the number of people that have to go to this centre for medical attention. Coupled with these issues or problems to do with under-staffing, this means that in spite of the question of having some people travelling very long distances to get to this health centre, there is also the question of a workforce that is not well motivated.
The question of attitudes comes in there. I have realised that
Government is no longer giving grants to council clinics like the one in Magwegwe. I urge the authorities to re-introduce the issuing of grants to council institutions such as the one we have in Magwegwe because they are really struggling. Apart from the 20 000 households that I spoke about, they also have to see people that are coming in from rural areas. They come in from rural areas because in their areas in some cases, in resettlements, there are no clinics at all or the clinics are experiencing shortage of drugs.
So it will be of great help if Government re-introduced grants to council clinics. Still on council clinics, I realise Mr. Speaker Sir, that in Bulawayo, we do not have a district hospital. It would be ideal if Government could avail resources to support establishment of at least one district hospital that can be run by the Local Authority. The district hospital which then refers them to a referral hospital such as Mpilo or
U.B.H. So, it will give a lot of relief to the referral hospitals, if Government could avail a grant to build a district hospital.
Let me come to the question of costs Mr. Speaker, Sir. User fees are a deterrent to most peoples’ health seeking behaviours. I have in mind the cost of X-rays. X-rays are extremely expensive for those that have been laid off from the industries in Bulawayo; US$15 is unaffordable to a lot of people. This is rather too steep. The Ministry needs to provide for social protection measures such as the removal of health services, user fees for specific vulnerable groups would come in hand. I am thinking of vulnerable groups such as the under fives, pregnant women and also those who are above 65 years.
Mr. Speaker, I notice that there is a conflict in terms of policy. There is a disconnect Mr. Speaker Sir, between what happens on the ground and what is purportedly Government policy. We believe that user fees have been waived for the elderly and pregnant women but the situation as it occurs on the ground Mr. Speaker Sir, is that people are still asked to pay user fees. Pregnant women still have to pay at hospitals. We have seen really ugly incidences where in order to get their monies, hospitals are engaging debt collectors. This is traumatic to families that live in just under a dollar. So, user fees are still too high and we need that policy disconnect addressed.
Then there is the question of quality. Health infrastructure, as has already been spelt out by others before me needs rehabilitation. Most hospitals in Bulawayo, including the clinics that I was talking about in Magwegwe were built so many years ago during the Smith regime. If you talk about UBH for instance, the problems that UBH is facing are too numerous that sometimes we might be overwhelmed not to do anything about them. They have plumbing problems. The plumbing needs total overhaul, the flooring is deplorable. As you visit the sick people, you see the rodents coming out from the floors. To think that is a hospital, it is deplorable. The elevators, they just have one working. I know the problems that I am spelling out here cut across right through the country and represent the rather bleak picture that characterises the health sector.
The internal roadwork within the hospital is deplorable. Water reticulation is down. I know they bought two pumps but they still need ball valves, they still need a tank. They experience very low water pressure when there is water rationing in surrounding areas. New buildings are required. There is congestion in the surgical wards and the school of nursing. There is also a shortage of accommodation for staff and I believe a resident got burnt down, the incinerator is very old. The problems are two numerous when it comes to staffing Mr. Speaker Sir. Doctors have 63% in post; they do not have a Padiatrician. The nurses, its 71% deployment, pharmacy have 63% and health information officers they have only 20% deployment. All this speaks to the difficult situation that our health sector is currently experiencing.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it will be unfair for us to raise problems and never suggest any solutions. I believe if Government could step in to help with the procurement of essential drugs including ARVs. This would help a lot because HIV prevention and mitigation is struggling under the circumstances; there is a shortfall of ARVs. Also required for the benefit of the under fives Mr. Speaker, are nutrition supplements. I know under fives, doctors would agree require vitamin A. I know breastfeeding mothers also require nutritional support.
I know the Ministry itself needs to step up its nutrition and counseling. It also needs to step up its surveillance for potential areas of malnutrition. I urge the Minister of Health to step up efforts in this direction but how is he going to do this? Like I said, I see the need to realign certain laws that currently govern the old sector to the new Constitution. I am thinking the Public Health Act also needs a bit of ticking, the Health Services Act. It has been mentioned before that we need to establish a national health insurance scheme. So, if that is going to work in conjunction with already existing insurance schemes, I believe we may need to establish an authority to manage medical aid associations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, questions were raised around an increase in non communicable diseases; we are talking about diabetes and related diseases. The world over, non communicable diseases are on the rise and these require urgent attention from the Ministry of Health. Perhaps this House may need to consider sourcing funds to support the health sector with regards non communicable diseases from VAT, roads funds. This House may also consider a cell phone tax. I believe it is unknown how much effect cell phones will have on us with time. I also want to think air time taxes will also help to fund health interventions. There is also the unexploited or yet to be exploited public-private partnerships. I believe all these interventions might help the ailing health sector. Mr. Speaker Sir, with this submission, I also move that this House sets a Commission of Inquiry into the health sector as it requires urgent attention. Thank you Sir.
- SPEAKER: I must congratulate you for mastering confidence in your first speech.
+MS. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Firstly, I would like to thank Hon. Labode for moving this motion. I would also like to thank those who contributed towards this motion. A lot of things have been said, that I would have loved to speak about. I would like to talk about Mpilo Hospital and what is happening there. What happens there is very disturbing especially for people who live near the hospital and also those who get attended at Mpilo Hospital.
If you have a look at the name Mpilo, you will realize that the name gives you hope, that when I get attended there, I will be helped.
However, what is happening there is very disturbing as I have said. As you have read in the newspapers, there is corruption in the hospitals. In the past days, we have read in the newspapers that at Mpilo Hospital, a lot of money is being wasted and those doctors are charging people privately and pocketing the money that people are expected to pay before they are operated. Even the elderly who are pensioners are also expected to pay.
These are some of the issues that the Government has to look into. We cannot expect pensioners to be paying at the hospital. Doctors are also not expected to do that in a hospital where people are supposed to be helped.
Another issue that I want to point out is that since 2009 to date, fake receipts have been used at Mpilo Hospital.
- SPEAKER: Order hon. member, the interpreters are saying you should speak slowly so that they interpret for you properly.
+MS D. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would also want to say that when you hire these interpreters, you should take those who are very familiar with vernacular languages so that they can also be able to interpret members’ speeches properly for the Hansard Reporters.
Mr. Speaker, I was still speaking about the issue of receipts. It is sad to note that billions of dollars were lost at Mpilo Hospital. This money was taken away from orphans and the elderly people who use the hospital. It is very sad that there are people who are using fake receipts yet they take that money for their personal use.
I would like to commend the Committee on Health to look into this issue. Again Mr. Speaker, we all know that every Government has Government Auditors. I want to know what these Government Auditors do if they do not look into such issues and if they do not audit such big institutions like Mpilo Hospital. What then are they doing if they are not looking into such corruption?
I also want to talk about the issue of supervisors. I wonder what they have been doing whilst people were using these fake receipts. Government Auditors together with the Committee on Health have to look into this issue properly. I represent Bulawayo Central Constituency and Mpilo Hospital is next to my constituency. It is a referral hospital, and people in my constituency use it as a referral hospital and I also use it. The standards at Mpilo Hospital have gone down and it is not even being cleaned.
Others are saying it is now the opposite of what it was meant to be. Instead of giving hope to the people, it is now the opposite. It is now a death hospital. The workers are saying that, they do not have enough blankets and enough machines. They are complaining a lot yet they know that they use other people to get these things while those funds are later on used for personal use. The Government, as I have said, should really have to look into this matter.
I am also saddened by the fact that there are young people who are taken at Mpilo Hospital to be trained as nurses. However, this process is not being done in transparency. We have realised that these trainees are mostly from other areas like Masvingo and Harare, which is not
Bulawayo or Matabeleland. We would want people from Bulawayo Constituency and Matebeleland in general to be the major trainees at Mpilo Hospital.
We have also heard that these trainees or students are expected to pay a lot of money which some of these students do not even have since some of them come from poor backgrounds. They are meant to bribe in order to get places for training. This is the corruption that we will not accept. We do not want this to happen. Most of these monies are used for personal use instead of it being used in Government institutions. This august House has to look into this issue.
Again, Mr. Speaker, the issue of having students coming from other provinces where they speak other languages which are not Ndebele has caused communication breakdown especially considering its even the elderly who get help from Mpilo Hospital. Most of these nurses who come from other provinces do not have the passion for that hospital, they are only there to distract and destroy. They only come to the hospital to do corruption and then go back to their own provinces. Each and every person should serve a community where they come from because they understand that particular community, the language spoken in that community and the way of living of people in that community.
The other challenge that we have is that of doctors. Some of the doctors come to the hospital drunk. You remember that there is an hon. member who talked about breathalysers in Parliament and we need breathalysers for these doctors as well so that we can find out if some of these doctors are sober before they attend to patients. …
- SPEAKER: Order! order!
+ MS. D. SIBANDA: In most cases, we realise that as leaders we plead with the people to vote for us so that we lead them. However, we do not bother ourselves to look into the health issues for those particular people. In order to lead someone, that particular person has to be in good healthy. Health is a right for each and every person. Good health is not about a government doing a favour to the nation, but it is the people’s right. It is there in the Bill of Rights.
I am standing here saddened by the things that are occurring at
Mpilo Hospital. They need a lot of things like boilers, staff accommodation for both nurses and doctors who do not have accommodation. They also need a pharmacy and tablets. We do hope that the Government will look into this issue as well. We do hope that corruption will be looked at as well.
In conclusion Mr. Speaker, I would like to plead with this august House as well as the Government and the responsible ministry to look at the issue of Mpilo Hospital so that the standards are raised. Mpilo Hospital used to be a good one yesteryear. We hope that it goes back to be a hospital of hope. As I speak today, no one would agree to be admitted at Mpilo Hospital. As leaders we need to look into this issue.
Again, as leaders of Zimbabwe, we need to respect the people that we lead. We need to appraise their standards. We need to make sure that we are leading a healthy society. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I move that
the debate be now adjourned.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 2nd October, 2013.
ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, hon. members; I rise to congratulate you Mr. Speaker Sir on your recent election as Presiding Officer of this august House. As a former Speaker myself, from 2000 to 2004 and as the newly appointed Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I fully appreciate the challenges and opportunities which come with the esteemed but demanding position of Speaker of the National Assembly.
Mr. Speaker Sir, as you rightly pointed out in your acceptance speech, the post of Speaker is an honoured position that should always be occupied by men and women of ‘outstanding ability’ and
‘impartiality’. I must point out here that the notion of ‘outstanding ability’ entails thorough knowledge of the principles of law, law making, legal precedence and parliamentary procedure while ‘impartiality’ connotes fairness and ‘presence’ of mind in decision making. I am thrilled to note that all these qualities are inherent in you as testified by your sharp and incisive intellect, sound legal training and practice, patience and long experience in governance.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the just-ended 7th Parliament, which was in effect a ‘hung Parliament’, meant that it was not always easy to debate issues and pass Bills as no Party could effectively implement its policies in accordance with its election manifesto. Now that ZANU PF Party won a landslide in the July 2013 Harmonised Elections and commands a comfortable majority in both Houses, I believe that it is now possible to debate and enact the legislative programme and policies outlined by His Excellency, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde. R. G. Mugabe on the Official Opening of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe.
The nation awaits the fulfillment of the promises we made to them during the election campaigns with bated breath. Indeed, the task of superintending over and ensuring robust and constructive debate around these issues without denigrating and usurping the powers of the Executive and the Judiciary lies in your able hands.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I especially want to congratulate you on a mature, logical, lucid, well-researched and unequivocal acceptance speech wherein you pledged to guide the business of the House in a professional and dispassionate manner without fear or favour. I further commend you for promising to protect freedom of speech in the House, of course, subject to the strict adherence to and respect for the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Standing Orders and any other relevant statute. As you rightly pointed out, ‘while the minority will have their say, the majority will have their way’.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I take this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations to the Hon. Mabel Memory Chinomona for being elected Deputy Speaker of this august House. I believe that you will complement each other well in balancing the National Assembly’s separate and joint Constitutional mandate with the Senate, which is of making laws for peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe.
Finally, Mr. Speaker Sir, may I once again congratulate you on your election to the post of Speaker. It is a well-deserved appointment for a man who has seen it all from being a District Administrator,
Provincial Governor and Senator, Lawyer, Businessman and the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission.
I thank you.
The House adjourned at Nineteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.