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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 MAY 2017 43-61
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 10th May, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
INVITATION TO A BRIEFING BY ZIPAH
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS Executive (ZIPAH) is inviting all Hon. Members to a brief meeting tomorrow, 11th May, 2017 at 1200 hours in the Government Caucus.
HON. NDUNA: On a point of order. I have on your Order Paper, Order of the Day Number 10 and I seek your indulgence seeing that today is private members day that after Question Time, you Madam Speaker, make a ruling that we debate this motion today seeing that some of the issues that are embedded there – today is the 10th May, 2017 and we are nearly half way through the year and they were supposed to be included in the National Budget. There are issues to do with people with disability to which the convention we ratified in 2013 which we still have to domesticate. So, aware of all that Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence and for you to make a ruling that we debate that motion today so that we can make sure that the lives of the people with disability are mainstreamed in the same way that the differently abled are living. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thought by now the Hon.
Member should know how the procedures are done. Anyway the Hon. Member should liaise with the Chief Whips on those issues. That is not the duty of the Chair.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order. My point of order is with regard to Standing Order No. 69 (d) whereby today we have
Question Time and we are supposed to get answers from Ministers.
Unfortunately, as I speak now, there are no Ministers, we hardly have Ministers here. I understand His Excellency, the President is not around hence issues of Politburo or Cabinet meetings cannot be an excuse, so that one is out of question. My question to you Madam Speaker is that if you can advise the House as to who will be the Leader of the House since we do not have the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa neither do we have the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon.
Chinamasa in order to move our business.
Madam Speaker, just to complement my order, we have a challenge in this country as we speak today whereby we have a road which links Birchenough-Tanganda-Checheche which has become so bad and we hardly have a Minister so that he can speak on how we can move forward with regard to that road.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think you have got to follow
the procedures of the House. You were complaining about the Ministers, can we deal with that one first and not the issue of roads at home. Referring to your point of order, at the moment I do not have a list of Ministers who gave their apologies. I have talked to our Clerk and she is liaising with her office that maybe we have a list of those who gave their apologies.
On the issue concerning the Leader of the House, I think not so long ago I gave you the answer that it is the duty of the Chair to appoint a Leader of the House. Up to now you have never heard of anyone who will take the place of the Vice President when he is not here. I cannot go and push the appointing authority to appoint someone.
HON. MUNENGAMI: As Parliament we have got that power.
Honestly, for you to say you cannot go and push the Executive – we have the power as Parliament to make sure that they appoint the Acting Leader of the House at any given time. It is the duty of Parliament through you as our Chair to make sure that we have an Acting Leader of the House.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Hon. Speaker did that and
we are still waiting for the answer. Concerning the Hon. Ministers who gave their apologies. On the list we have, Hon. Mandiwanzira, Hon.
Mabuwa, Hon. Sen. Muzenda and Hon. Prof. J. Moyo.
HON. MLILO: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege that
I have actually earlier raised, I am sure it is a couple of months ago, particularly with regards to the pedestrian crossing that we have along Nelson Mandela that I and other Members of Parliament almost got struck down by errant drivers. I had to lobby it through the Speaker to have the administration, at least to get Harare City Council to erect a pedestrian robot so that we do not lose this gift of life. This gift of life comes from the Almighty God and these are National Assembly Members who represent so many people. In these days of economic hardships, it is difficult to run by-elections, so let us protect these lives for they are worth a lot. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I thought since today is a
Wednesday where we have our question time session, you can give your question to the Minister. Yes, you can bring it to the Chair and I will as well take it to the responsible Minister. However, I will recognise you so that you bring up that question straight to the Minister.
HON. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I totally concur with you in terms of those Ministers who have given leave. However, if you go to
63 (2) of the Standing Rules and Orders, it says “A Minister who fails to attend Parliament without leave having been granted in terms of the suborder 1, shall be in contempt of Parliament. So, are these Ministers going to be in contempt of Parliament? We have come here before, the
Speaker has said he has written to His Excellency about the performance of the Ministers and surely the President cannot be here hence delegates his Ministers to be here to attend to some pertinent issues which are in the country right now.
Rightfully so, the President is not in the country right now, there is no Cabinet and we equally are Members of Parliament who want to go our constituencies and they are equally Members of Parliament who probably have gone to their constituencies too. They are not sticking to their mandate which the President has given them. For how long can we go on like this, being told every time that we have written to the
President? The failure by the President to respond to the Speaker’s letter also reflects to his attitude pertaining to the Ministers. As the Head of
State, once he receives a letter like that, he must be able to zero in on his Ministers and as such there are so many capable ZANU PF Members who can be Ministers anytime, in both sides whether you call them Lacoste or G40 can be appointed to be Ministers by the President. Why has the President not responded to this House which is very important in terms of the functions of Government at the end of the day? Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa,
while I do agree with what you are saying, I think the Chair is also going to follow up on what you have said.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I am
raising a matter of privilege on behalf of myself, other Members of Parliament and the entire population of Zimbabwe who have been short changed or who are being short changed by the public broadcaster.
Last week, on Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017, the leader of the Opposition, Hon. Khupe raised a question relating to Gukurahundi on the difficulties people are having in obtaining identity documents because of people who were killed during the Gukurahundi era. The Hon. Minister of Home Affairs responded that it was a non-issue and then there were follow up questions. It has now come to our attention that the public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Television Company, through its wisdom or lack of it decided to switch off the live coverage at that particular point in time.
In terms of Section 141 of our Constitution, Parliament must be accessible to the Public and it is for this reason that Hon. Chamisa raised that point in this very august House as a result of which we started having live coverage. It is my respectful submission Madam Speaker that it defeats the whole purpose if somebody at Pockets Hill decides at any particular point, that they are going to switch off that live coverage. The whole idea is to have all the proceedings, particularly during question time to be aired live on television.
Madam Speaker, for that reason, I am raising a complaint because someone from ZTV had a merit to say that, it is up to their discretion to decide to switch as and when they deem it expedient. I submit, Madam Speaker that this is a disservice, not just to the Members of this august
House but to the entire country. I want as a matter of procedure that the Chair makes a pronouncement that that behaviour is not acceptable. If the ZTV has accepted that they are going to broadcast our proceedings live, then they must do so.
Other countries have got their own television stations which are run by their Parliaments. Unfortunately, we do not have that but it is an obligation which the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation must take seriously. When they have come, they must, with due diligence, carry it out to its logical conclusion and not to switch it off as they did last week.
I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we will have to use our administration so that we check on what happened on that day then we give a ruling.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. MALACH NKOMO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My
question is directed to Minister Ncube who is in charge of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage. Minister, if we look in the rural areas, they have areas where there are velds – what does the law say on the use of such places? Maybe people pass on, how can people use such velds?
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A.
NCUBE):Thank you Hon. Chair, may I ask the Hon. Member to repeat his question.
+HON. MALACHI NKOMO: Thank you Hon. Minister. My
question is about…
HON. ZWIZWAI: Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister was
sleeping and I was only saying he does not have the right to sleep in this
House but since you said I should withdraw, I withdraw. – [Laughter.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Member,
you are out of order because the Hon. Minister was not sleeping. So you have to withdraw without making statements. Please, go and withdraw.
HON. ZWIZWAI: I withdraw Madam Speaker.
+HON. MALACHI NKOMO: Hon. Minister, I was saying if
you look at the rural areas, we have areas that are lying idle as people are no longer ploughing in those areas. What is the jurisdiction of chiefs so that people can use those areas? What is the Government policy on those areas that are no longer being used?
+THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESEVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON.
NCUBE): Thank you Madam Speaker, I will respond in SiNdebele. Yes, these places that you are referring to are under the jurisdiction of rural authorities. If you have a problem or have some developmental project …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Minister,
I urge you to please raise your voice so that those Hon. Members who are sitting at the back can also hear you.
+HON. NCUBE: The areas that you make reference to, you should approach your rural local authorities and apply to use them. They will tell you what to do - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order may we have
order in the House so that we hear the response.
+HON. NCUBE: The chiefs have no jurisdiction over that land.
+HON. MALACHI NKOMO: Madam Speaker, I did not hear
the Hon. Minister’s response. May he kindly repeat his answer as there was too much noise in the House.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members
you have laughed enough. May we please give the Hon. Minister a chance to response to the question?
+HON. NCUBE: I said that the places that the Hon. Member is making reference to are not under the jurisdiction of chiefs. The people who are in charge of such land are the local rural authorities. He should approach the local authority and if they are sacred places, the elderly will be duly consulted on that. I thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: Madam Speaker, I have a question to the same Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and
Heritage. What is the Government’s policy regarding the payment of allowances to village and kraal heads? Are they all entitled or there are some special selected few?
HON. NCUBE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for the question raised by the Hon. Member. As far as the Ministry is concerned, each and every village head is entitled to an allowance except in situations whereby some village heads may not be registered but as long as the village head is registered, he is entitled to an allowance.
HON. GABBUZA: My supplementary question is, in the event
that the village is not registered but continues to perform the duties of village head, does the Hon. Minister have a programme to ensure that they register and are they going to be back paid for the period that they have been working without receiving allowances?
HON. NCUBE: That is very clear. In the first place and as I have already said that the village head must be registered, in cases where they are not registered, the village head is supposed to approach the office of the local district administrator for registration. After that, the village will be paid his/her allowance. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The last part of the question was whether they are going to be paid for the months that they worked without payment?
HON. NCUBE: Yes, they will be paid.
HON. MAKUNDE: My supplementary question to the Hon.
Minister is that registered village heads have gone for eight months without receiving that allowance. When are they going to be paid the allowances?
HON. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. There could be some communication breakdown in cases whereby … - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, I think village
heads are everywhere. You need to listen and understand the Hon.
Minister’s response but some people are busy talking and having meetings in the House.
I was advising the Hon. Member that maybe in
his constituency or district or anywhere there are some village heads who have not received their allowances. Please, go to the District
Administrator’s office with some written documents to explain exactly how much the arrears are so that the district office will communicate with the provincial and head offices respectively. In turn, we are going to send those to the relevant ministries.
HON. MAKUNDE: On a point of clarification Madam Speaker,
maybe I need to clarify to the Hon. Minister that all the requisite information has been submitted to the DA’s office for the eight months that I am talking about but nothing has happened.
HON. NCUBE: May I ask the Hon. Member to bring the details to my office next week.
+HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you Madam Speaker but before I ask my question, I want to congratulate myself because today is my birthday and I would also want to congratulate all the mothers in this country.
My supplementary question is looking at the remuneration of village heads and chiefs. Hon. Ministers have three cars and all the Hon. Members of Parliament except for those who came through by-elections do not have cars. The Government is supposed to buy cars for chiefs and headmen and now we are heading towards the end of our term. I would like to ask the Hon. Minister when …
Hon. A. Ncube having stood up to respond to the question. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. ZWIZWAI: Hon. Minister, if you stand up again I will raise my voice. So we want to know what Government plans are for our headmen and chiefs to have their cars before this term of Parliament is over. What is the budget required for them to have the cars?
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Zwizwai, the question
that you have asked is not relevant because we were talking about the village heads unless this one is a new person. You must plead with me, otherwise I will not allow the Minister to answer.
* HON. ZWIZWAI: I am pleading Madam Speaker.
Thank you very much Madam Speaker. It is
already something in the pipeline. Let me just assure you that very shortly our chiefs will be given cars. At least we have 226 registered chiefs – [THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: How many?] - 226 chiefs. So, do not worry, if he has – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, address the Chair
HON. NCUBE: Madam Speaker, something is in the pipeline.
We are through with the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development – [HON. MEMBERS: Why are you leaving others out?] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, Hon. Members, the
Minister was giving an answer and you were busy shouting at him. Why were you asking him – [HON. MLISWA: Why is he leaving other chiefs out Madam Speaker?] – How do you know that some chiefs are being
HON. MLISWA: They are not 226 chiefs; there are 2800 chiefs who should benefit.
*HON. MURAI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary
question is that we are talking about the chiefs’ allowances and I have found it befitting that we should talk about the figure as well. Each village head and chiefs are given US$25. I want to ask the Minister, as a Ministry, what do you think the village head will do with that US$25 for the whole month? Do not you have plans to raise their allowances so that they will be able to buy something with that money? – [AN HON.
MEMBER: Pindurai Minister ndini ndirikufaitira masabhuku.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Minister before
you answer, Hon. Members, we have other questions which will backfire on us like the pegging of salaries. Those things require that people sit down; we cannot ask him to answer that now. At the moment, they have gone for 8 months without getting their salaries, on top of that why are you giving them US$25?
Thank you Madam Speaker. Regarding the
allowances of the kraal heads or village heads, they are not being given salaries but they are given allowances – [AN HON. MEMBER: How much?] – it is not for me to determine how much they should be given.
At least they are being given something - [HON. MEMBERS: US$25?] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. In view of students on attachment from various universities in this country, I want to find out from the Minister; what is the policy direction in regards to paying full tuition fees for students who would be on attachment? Parents are having to folk out full fees for students who are on attachment for a full semester or a full year. What is the policy direction towards paying tuition fees during attachment of university students? Are you not thinking of having to cut to at least half the amount because lecturers would not be actually teaching those children, even if there are visits by lecturers to assess and monitor the work of the students on attachment, it will not be as much as the required full tuition to be paid? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you very much Madam Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very pertinent question. We are indeed as a Ministry seized with the matter...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please raise
up you voice.
HON. DR. GANDAWA: I want to thank you and the Hon.
Member for the pertinent question. As a Ministry, we are seized with the matter. The matter has been brought to our attention when we had consultations with the students and we have engaged our institutions of higher learning to ascertain how much it costs, the actual amount it costs to assess the students. They are assessed twice during the year on which they are on attachment. I can assure the House and the Hon. Member
who asked the question that we are attending to that matter and the rightful cost will be charged, not the full fees that we are currently charging. So I want to thank the Hon. Member for this pertinent question. I thank you.
HON. ZINDI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am very grateful for the positive response by the Minister. Further I want to know whether there is going to be consultation with the parents of the students in terms of policy formulation towards that policy direction because they are part and parcel of the people who contribute or pay the tuition fees.
HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
I want to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. The aspect is not for the consultation with the parents like I indicated. The idea is that when the students are on attachment, we want to know the actual cost of the assessment or of the lecturers and remove in actual fact the tuition fees because they are not at the university or at the college. So, we thought when we get that cost, we will then look at it and then implement that policy as it is. Should there be need for us to consult the parents, it is a welcome idea. There is no harm in us consulting widely so that we come up with a policy that is inclusive.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also
want to hear from the Minister because this is a very pertinent issue and it is one of the reasons why people went to the struggle. As Parliament, we were seized of the matter for about two to three years. Do we have a timeframe that there is termination and that we will get the answer to this so that we can evaluate the time that we have? We know that it is the system of Government that takes a lot of time doing their investigations. What is the timeframe and how long is it? When is it going to start and when is it going end because the nation is waiting.
You should not keep on postponing.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
HON. DR. GANDAWA): I want to thank you Madam Speaker and also want to thank Hon. Chamisa for the question which is very good. It is true that when you are working at least you should have timeframes...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, Hon.
Matangira, and your two colleagues, we are in the House and so please attend to the business of this House.
*HON. DR. GANDAWA: As I have said that we should have a
timeframe, it is true that this is an issue which Government has been seized of for a long time and it should be resolved. We have a Bill that pertains to principles that should govern the operations of all higher education institutions which has been passed by Cabinet. The past two days, the Ministers and the Vice Chancellors are back from outside where they had gone for further learning so that we help in the crafting of this Bill. In the morning we had a meeting with the drafter and so, we have given him two weeks for us to have the draft so that we send the draft to the Attorney-General so that they can write to us and that it is referred to CCL.
*HON. ZINDI: My point of order is whether the Minister is still answering the question on tuition fees in terms of timeframe, because I thought the supplementary was about timeframe, to do with the implementation of tuition fees so that parents will not pay when children are on attachment. I stand to be guided because I am lost.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let the Hon. Minister help
- I think you should be brief when answering.
*HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker...
As Hon. Minister Dokora entered the House, Hon. Members started making noise, mimicking the bleating of goats.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Members. What
is that? Can we have order please? Order in the House. Whoever will continue to say mee, I think I will send him/her out because we are not children but Hon. Members of Parliament.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: I think when Hon. Dokora entered the
House that is when...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It wastes our time for nothing.
*HON. DR. GANDAWA: The Hon. Member thinks that I am lost
but the question that has been asked by Hon. Chamisa is very important.
So, I really wanted to explain that in July we are expecting to bring the Bill in this House. I just wanted to give you the road that we are taking instead of saying that we are coming in July, but as legislators, I wanted to show you the procedure so that Hon. Members will pass the law.
Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. CHASI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question goes to the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. I just want to preface my question by extending a message from my constituency in particular from Jumbo Mine, Glendale, Kanyemba and Mazowe Rural...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think when
you start to make a list, that one may need a written question.
HON. CHASI: No, it is just an expression of people extending their thanks for the food that they received from Government...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chasi.
HON. CHASI: Vanhu varikungotendawoka, haisi mhosva, but my question is that we have witnessed the proliferation of beggars in the streets, at traffic lights - particularly in the leafy suburbs of Harare and the concern is to say what is the response by Government to people with disabilities, especially those who are blind? The major concern is the use of children who accompany blind adults at these traffic lights. In view of the rights that are contained in our Constitution against the backdrop or the rights that are contained in Section 22 of the Constitution vis-a-vis those with disabilities and Section 19 vis-a-vis the rights of children, I would like to know what interventions the Ministry has with regards to those two groups of people? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam
Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question and the issues he has raised are quite important. I would request that he puts his request in writing.
+HON. D. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What is the policy of Government on dispensing of money from Treasury to local authorities, particularly looking at issues of repairing of roads and street lights. I have observed that, as a representative of the people…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, do you
understand what is being said? Can you go close to someone who can help you?
HON. GONESE: I just want to raise a point of order. Madam Speaker, we came up with the new Constitution. We know our official language and up to now I am surprised that this august House has not taken the necessary steps to have simultaneous translation so that whenever someone asks a question in Tonga, Shangani or Nambya and so on, we have somebody up there who is interpreting and we have earphones so that the Hon. Minister can hear at the same time that the question is being asked. I am surprised that three and half years down the line, in 2017, we have not taken the necessary steps to enable us to comply with the Constitution.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Gonese. First
of all, I did not stop the Hon. Member from asking in the language she likes. Secondly, you sit in the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, where I think you agree to do these things on time. You are part of all the procedures – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, can we have order please.
HON. GONESE: Madam Speaker I think that is not fair. These are matters – I hear you Madam Speaker…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are now eating into our
HON. GONESE: I understand but I want to implore the Chair. The Speaker is the head of administration Madam Speaker and I believe that the Chair should take the necessary administrative steps. Those are not matters which are dealt with by the Committee, but by your office - the Clerk of Parliament.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Alright, we will look into
+HON. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Maybe I will
have to start afresh. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. Madam Speaker, I would like to know Government Policy on the disbursements of money or resources which are used in local authorities or residential areas, particularly looking at repairing of roads and street lights. Madam Speaker, I observe that where I come from in Bulawayo Central
Constituency, we have – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, can we
hear what the Hon. Member is saying. I know it is because you do not understand the language.
+HON. D. SIBANDA: We have suburbs where there are rich people and it seems they are preferred when it comes to repairing their roads – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order in the House.
+HON. D. SIBANDA: We have suburbs like Northend, Source town and Trenance where we have middle income earners and when we look at the local authority, you find that they rush to repair roads where the rich live,disregard those who are poor. Their lights are not being repaired. I would like to know what the position of the Ministry is on that. What criteria do they use to attend to matters pertaining to such suburbs? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
CHINGOSHO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the
Hon. Member for the question. First and foremost, on the budget of the Ministry, there is provision that 10% should be allocated to the local authorities. However, the problem we are facing at the moment is that although the budget is out, we are still waiting to get the 10% from the
Treasury – [AN HON. MEMBER: 10%?] –
HON. CHINGOSHO: Yes, 10% of the budget…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address the
Chair and do not respond to hecklings.
HON. CHINGOSHO: So as soon as that money is received I think we will take note of what you have said, as you have pointed out; places where rich people live are the places where services are being channeled and where people are poor, they are not getting the services. We take note of what the Hon. Member has said. As soon as that money comes, it should benefit those who are less advantaged. Thank you.
HON. T. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I hear the Hon. Minister talking about lack of funding. The most surprising thing on roads rehabilitation is that, every time there is the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Robert Mugabe Way is always resurfaced and road markings are put in place. My question is, if you are saying you have no money, where are you getting this money to resurface this road? In the whole of Bulawayo, it is the only road that is being resurfaced when as a country we declared our roads a national disaster. My question Madam Speaker is that; where are they getting the money and why specifically that road?
HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The money that was used when they were preparing for the Trade Fair for rehabilitation was from ZINARA. Special authority was given and the council asked for permission to use the funds to prepare that road.
*HON. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity you have given me. My question to the Hon. Minister is that yes, there is money from Government which should be channeled to local councils but there is a report on local councils by the AuditorGeneral. If the report is negative, does the Government continue to give them the 10%? This is because if the money is given to the councils and they have not adhered to the recommendations of the Auditor-General, will the Government continue giving them money?
For example, Norton Town Council, the Auditor-General came up with her report and one of his recommendations was that the council was mismanaged. So, does the Government continue channeling money to councils like that?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.
CHINGOSHO): Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. I want to thank
Hon. Mliswa for the question. What happens is that policy states that if the council does not abide by the recommendations of the Auditor –
General - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members on that corner. Hon. Ncube and your colleagues, can you please listen to what is happening here because the way you are laughing, it seems as if you are somewhere. I do not want to send someone outside. Can we please concentrate on what is happening in this august House?
HON. CHINGOSHO: Thank you Madam Speaker. Government
policy states that if the council does not abide to the recommendations of the Auditor-General, they are not given the 10% unless they abide to what the report is saying. I thank you.
HON. MANDIPAKA: My question goes to the Deputy Minister
of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. It is my considered view that politics and political stories in the media have overshadowed developmental stories. I want to find out from the Minister whether Government has a policy on media content both in print or electronic that is biased towards developmental stories rather than politics. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION
AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MATHUTHU):
My apologies to the House for the devilish attach I almost went into. I thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question. In media, there is no policy which prevents anybody from speaking to the media on any issues except if they have been vetted by the system which will not allow scandalous issues to be publicised or spoken about. There is no policy really but the editors are supposed to ensure that whatever is put on print or electronic media is decent for the population of Zimbabwe so that even the children who watch television and those who have access to our newspaper can consume that product without getting polluted in their minds.
Although we encourage freedom of speech in this nation, we would encourage that the media, that is print and electronic would concentrate issues which are developmental more than issues which destroy the nation. I thank you.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Minister for your answer.
My supplementary question is that, is it possible for Government to put a law that enforces the media to report on development when there is no development. The other thing that is important is that on our radio stations, there are programmes with a lot of sexual content which are being aired. I have names of radio stations which are airing such programmes. Are you aware of such programmes because they are polluting the younger generation. Some children stay up late with radios in their bedrooms wanting to listen to such programmes. Are you in the process of removing such content?
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I was trying to follow what the Hon.
Member was saying because I am not very articulate in Shona. I think I understood and if I did not, he will correct me. Allow me to talk in English. We have the Censorship Board in Zimbabwe which deals with issues which are scandalous to some extent. Yes, we have freedom of expression but your freedom of expression should not encroach on other people’s freedoms.
You mentioned that some radio stations are publicising obscenities. It is unfortunate and I wish I had an opportunity to get which programmes are obscene and I would be pleased if the Hon. Member can favour me with that information. I know that there are some programmes which deal with relationships in homes – [AN HON. MEMBER: Chakafukidza dzimba.] - like the one the Hon. Member is mentioning. What I was getting at is that the purpose of such programmes is to try and build homes. Some controversies at homes comes about because of the issues to do with those things - [Laughter.]- because this is an Honourable House I do not want to touch on sensitive issues which I will be charged on. However, I want to assume that it is to try and build homes, try to fix squabbles amongst couples and ensure that we have a happy nation.
On the aspect of development – development is up to what an individual thinks is development. I am sure everyone in Zimbabwe is aware that we have so many progressive programmes which our Government has passed out to the nation. If you go out to the rural areas, people are busy in their fields as we speak, after the very good rains, which we received from the Almighty, people in rural areas and some in peri-urban areas, embarked on agriculture and they are reaping their harvest and I think that is developmental. We have various programmes which have been offered by Government departments from different Ministries which people can take. The Minister of Higher Education was talking about issues in their Ministries and so on and so forth. I heard some Hon. Members jesting with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education saying mbudzi, which is development – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – yes, according to me. A home without mbudzi is not a home. Thank you.
HON. PARADZA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. In 2014 and 2015, there was hype when a panel of media inquiry went around the country soliciting for views from people and a thick report was produced. The report has not been debated or implemented and we have not heard anything concerning that report. What has happened to that report?
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I think the
Hon. Member is referring to the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) report, the 600 something paged document. We are yet to hold an Indaba with all stakeholders who participated when the teams led by Nyarota went out into the country to gather views on how we can improve our media space. Thereafter, we will bring some proposal to this august House so that we come up with a proper instrument which will guide the media.
HON. MAJOME: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. I am
encouraged to hear the Hon. Minister indicating that the Government has a policy that recognizes freedom of expression and allows all manner of views to be heard except those views, that content that is obscene. My question to the Hon. Minister therefore is that, given the case, what is the Hon. Minister and her Ministry doing to ensure that there is coverage of different voices or put in a different way; are our views as opposition political parties and thoughts obscene and therefore is that why they do not receive equal and unbalanced coverage, particularly on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and State owned media. Are they obscene and therefore banned because of that?
HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I do not
remember myself referring to obscenities from the opposition parties, from my response. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Majome, can you repeat
your question so that the Minister understands what you have asked.
HON. MAJOME: Madam Speaker, my question is that the Hon.
Minister indicated that content that is censored or barred from the media, is that which is obscene and that generally all other content is allowed. Therefore, my question is that does the Government consider views, opinions and content from and about opposition political parties to be obscene. I asked that because it is generally not covered particularly in the state owned media like in ZBC. So, is it because maybe Government views those views as obscene because she said that only that which is obscene is censored? So, the view is our opposition views are considered as obscene and therefore not covered in the media why? HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: Like I said earlier on, I do not think
news from opposition parties is obscene but nevertheless there is a lot of other media besides the so called State owned media, we have Daily
News, News Day, Zimbabwe Independent and others. Now, people in Zimbabwe are going on line, they are reading digital news. So, what I know is that if you invite ZBC to your programme, they should come and cover your event. Maybe if the Hon. Member can inform us of an incident when they invited the ZBC team and they did not come –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Mnengami,
please, we have other Hon. Members here present not yourself only. HON. SEN. MATHUTHU: I have seen some news by the
opposition; I have seen the President of the opposition on news, even other Hon. Members on news. Like I said, if the Hon. Member can favour us with an instance when they invited ZBC and were denied coverage.
*HON. SEREMWE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Hon. Mupfumira. There is an increase in the number of disabled persons at the roadblock intersections. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that these disabled people are removed from the roads? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order please. Hon.
Members, the Hon. Minister will respond to the question.
HON. MLISWA: On a point of order, may I just correct the Hon.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes you may.
*HON. MLISWA: They are not called disabled people but
people living with disability challenges.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, it is
people living with disabilities. I think our Hon. Member has helped us. – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Mutseyami, surely help him Hon. Munengami because this time you are controlling your colleague.
*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERIVES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Madam Speaker, I want
to thank the Hon. Member for his question but this question was asked by Hon. Chasi, so I will respond to it during the Oral Answers to Questions With Notice session.
I concur to the correction because we do not refer to people as things but they are referred to as peopled living with disabilities. We should respect others and not refer to people living with disabilities as things. It is just a point of correction but the Hon. Member’s question will be answered in conjunction with Hon. Chasi’s question.
HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would
have loved to refer my question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development but now that the Leader of the House is here, I will refer my question to him.
Hon. Vice President, revenue performance for this quota went down by 18.2% compared to the fourth quota of 2015 revenues which also constitutes the worst since 2013. What measures have you put in place as a Government to address this disturbing reality because without revenue, this country cannot move forward? I would like to know the measures you have put in place with reduction in revenues. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Wakaenda kuEngland ukauya nemarii!] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Member – [HON. MUNENGAMI AND HON. MUTSEYAMI: You did not respect our VP, we also do not respect your VPs!]- - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, I am grateful that the Hon. Vice President of the opposition has asked that question. May I say that these things happen that in some quota, we fail to meet the projected revenue inflows. Generally, the first quota of each year, the inflows are lower but they increase during the second, third and fourth quotas of the financial year. It is not a surprising issue that the inflows during the first quota were low.
Secondly, I am sure you are aware that the economy, during the fourth quota last year, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development informed the country and the nation that he had lowered the GDP growth of the country as a result of constraints in the economy.
Recently, he has already upped both as Minister of Finance and
Economic Development and also under the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund (IMF). Country teams have indicated that the economy has now grown and the growth rate has now grown by another 1.6 or so beyond our initial projection. We should be happy now that the projections have gone beyond what we were producing before and not concentrate on the constraints that happened in the past because we shall never return to the past but continue to deal with the future. The future, currently in terms of the economy is bright.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My supplementary question to the Hon. Vice President is, you indicated that the Hon. Minister and other institutions reported a higher rate of growth but we continue to see queues everywhere in the streets. Queues that are caused by shortage of funds, we see banks struggling to discharge their obligations due to excessive borrowing by the Government. How do you intend to deal with those challenges that the economy is currently facing so that we alleviate the economic problems that Zimbabweans are facing?
HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The
growth of the economy is not determined by the length of queues in towns although - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – That could also be indicative of constraints and problems in an economy. What determines the growth in an economy are the statistics that are gathered in relation to various sectors of the economy as they grow. In this particular incident, the major growth was registered in agriculture and mining.
These two sectors of the economy have been able to drive the growth of the economy. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, the supplementary
question is coming from Hon. Khupe as the one who originated the question.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I have got a point of order Madam
Speaker. I believe …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is now a point of order?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Yes, I said on a point of order Madam Speaker. I believe that the Hon. Vice President did not attend to my question. My question was, how does the Government intend to deal with these challenges which are symptoms of an economy that is in problems and he did not touch on that.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Which means that
supplementary question was not supposed to come in because we want to deal with what Hon. Khupe was asking. Hon. Khupe, please proceed.
HON. KHUPE: Thank you very much. I would have loved the
Vice President to respond on this one. Madam Speaker, the Hon. Vice President alluded to the fact that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, may we have
order in the House please?
HON. KHUPE: The Hon. Vice President alluded to the fact that there is a bright future but according to the Global Competitiveness Index report, Zimbabwe has been ranked at 126 out of 139. How then can you say there is a bright future when we have been ranked so low?
Hon. Vice President, you also spoke about agriculture yet there are several other pillars of the economy which determine whether an economy is performing or not like the technological, infrastructural development, health and primary education. So, how then are you saying this economy is performing without looking at all these pillars of the economy?
HON. E. D. MNANGAGWA: Madam Speaker, the issues that
the Hon. Member is raising are issues of fact that we have challenges in all those sub-sectors of the economy. I have not said that every sector of the economy is registering growth – I have not said so. I indicated the areas which have registered growth and impacted on the overall picture of the economy in a positive manner - that is what I stated.
The issue of the fact that Zimbabwe is very low in ranking would now be improved with the positive indicators in the economy that have been identified not only by our own statistical office but also by the World Bank and the IMF. So, this spirit of positivity is what we must embrace as a nation. I thank you.
HON. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Hon. Vice President. You talked about the projected growth, would you also attribute command agriculture to that projected growth? Secondly, I did hear you talk about command mining, is it also part of your vision in command mining to ensure that growth does get to what Government expects?
HON. MNANGAGWA: Madam Speaker, the current command
model relating to agriculture is not limited to agriculture. Where the command format lends itself to any sub-sector of the economy, we are at liberty as a nation to adopt it if it can bring positive results. It does not mean that we require specific sectors and say this model shall fit in mining, manufacturing or infrastructure – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members on my right,
please behave yourselves.
HON. MNANGAGWA: If it does fit, we shall adopt the model
but adjust it to meet the demands of that particular sub-sector of the economy if we feel it can fit and improve the thrust of economic growth in that sub-sector. I thank you.
HON. MUZONDIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.
DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I seek to move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by 10 minutes. In saying so, I want to indicate that I have consulted with my counterpart the ZANU PF Chief Whip - [THE HON. DEPUTY
SPEAKER: Just shorten it.] – Yes, I just wanted to indicate that there was that consultation.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. MUZONDIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. Minister, may I know what Government policy is regarding the employment of ward coordinators and which Ministry they fall under? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Madam
Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I assume she is referring to ward coordinators for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development. The normal recruitment is through the Public Service Commission.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. Hon. Minister, what is Government policy regarding the processing of school fees for those students who are under STEM vis a vis the opening of schools because as of now, those STEM students are not being allowed either to get into schools whether they are boarder or not. What is Government policy regarding the late payment of school fees to the relevant schools? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVEOPMENT
(HON. DR. GANDAWA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The policy with regards to payment of the fees for students that are on STEM is that schools submit the invoices to ZIMDEF which in turn will pay the full fees. I am aware of the issue that he has raised. There are certain schools that have not received the fees to date and I am sure the matter is being attended to. I think by tomorrow the fees will have been paid for those schools that have not received the fees. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Minister for the answer. What happens to those students who would have come for their school education because they are not even allowed to get into the school premises even though they are supposed to be in school?
HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I
am sure we should be able to attend to the matter because we were not aware that there are students that were denied access to the schools. I want to thank the Hon. Member for bringing it to our attention and it will receive due attention. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MLISWA: My supplementary to the Minister is, with the school kids coming in there is certainly a new curriculum which is there. What has his Ministry done as a line ministry to ensure that the teachers are trained because Hon. Dr. Dokora’s vision has been accepted by Cabinet but the line ministries should also accept that. What has your Ministry done with the training of teachers so that they can be able to teach those kids?
HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I seek
your indulgence for the Hon. Member to repeat his question; I did not get it clearly.
HON. MLISWA: Hon. Minister, kids are coming back to school, there is a new curriculum which is there. What has your Ministry done as a line ministry in order to support Hon. Dokora’s new curriculum because his Ministry is not responsible for training the teachers? What have you done as a Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to augment and support his vision?
HON. DR. GANDAWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
It is indeed the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development to train the teachers and we work in collaboration with our sister ministry, the Ministry of
Primary and Secondary Education. By adopting the new curriculum, it automatically means we have to look into the curriculum of the teacher training colleges. We are actually in the process of refining the curriculum of the teacher training colleges to have specialised teachers that the Hon. Member is raising. It is a pertinent issue and it will receive attention. There is a process that is currently running for a teacher capacity development which is already in process and there are five universities that have been assigned which are working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to address the gaps that were caused by the change of the curriculum while the long term process of training the teachers in the colleges is being looked at. Thank You Mr. speaker Sir.
HON. R. N. S. MAWERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Hon. Dr. Dokora. Hon. Minister what is the Government policy on distance between schools to the other?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON., MARUMAHOKO):
Order Hon. Mawere.
HON. R. N. S. MAWERE: I say so because every house in Harare has become a school. You can go to Hillside, you see a house inscribed enrollment Grade 1 – 7. How many people does a house carry?
That is my question and the distance as well. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I
want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that has been raised –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):
Order in the House Hon. Members.
HON. DR. DOKORA: I noticed that whereas in the biology of human species, we do not ordinarily emit sounds coming from the animal kingdom, but I could be mistaken for thinking otherwise especially on the right side of the House. I hope they are well. Anyway, the Hon. Member raises the question and asks about the optimal distance between household and the child school. For the primary school, the radius is 5 kilometres and for the secondary school, the radius is 10 kilometres. However, it is common knowledge and we have presented matters here in the House that we do have a deficit which we have now set out to try and correct and those measures are in place.
To the second aspect of the question which says that almost every house in Hillside has turned into a school, I think this is a matter for administrative measures that should be taken, because schools or school entities should be formally registered. If there are illegal establishments in those areas, quite clearly, I would be grateful to take the list to the Secretariat of the Ministry to deal with those matters. I thank you.
HON. R. N. S. MAWERE: Hon. Minister, does your Ministry have the mechanism to make a follow-up on these illegal entities of schools?
HON. DR. DOKORA: I am grateful that the Hon. Member has made this follow-up question. In the middle of 2016, when we presented our new structure that will assist us in the mainstreaming of the updated curriculum, we sought and were granted 305 posts that relate to school supervision by the Public Service Commission through the line Ministry of Hon. Minister Mupfumira. So, we have decentralised our key personnel to the 72 districts and instead of being headed by a District
Education Officer, they are now headed by a District Schools Inspector. The inspectorate behaves totally differently from what an education officer would have done. So, we have the teeth and we can set about correcting the anomaly.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: I am very happy Hon. Speaker that finally the Leader of Government business in Parliament is here. We have a total number of 47 Ministers in Zimbabwe and I have checked with my register, we have not had more than 7 Ministers coming into the Chamber. I am saying this in the context of Deputy Ministers to the number of about 24, making it a total of 71. If you look at the turn-over of our Ministers, we do have Ministers who are regular in their attendance of Parliament and we must appreciate them.
We have the likes of Dr. Made, the Vice President, Hon. Mnangagwa being one of them, Dr. Dokora, inasmuch as we have issues, he is also very consistent. We also have Hon. Mupfumira and Hon. Chidhakwa and others come at times. I just want to say we are raising this to the Leader of Government to say as Parliament, is it not possible to say this is our last call and our last request to Ministers to being in attendance. Next time Hon. Vice President, we are going to move a motion and it is going to be a by-partisan motion to say that those who are not coming to Parliament as Ministers without leave, in terms of Section 107 (2); we are going to invoke the powers that are within Parliament of Contempt of Parliament.
We are aware Hon. Vice President that the Speaker has written to the President and you have made representations in Cabinet. So, may this be known and may this be understood, because we are not happy as Parliament on account of absenteeism by a number of our Ministers consistently, in terms of not attending Parliament. Having said that also is to inquire from the Hon. Minister of Mines when the Ministerial Statement which he promised on the missing $15 billion is going to be presented to Parliament. That $15 billion is haunting us everywhere. It is almost like a bad spirit or an evil spirit. Are we able to be clear to the nation what has happened as regards that $15 billion? Thank you Hon.
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE,
LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON.
MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I understood that the Hon. Member was presenting a point of order which requires a ruling from the
Speaker. However, I can reply. I am happy that Ministers are in. Some Ministers are not in the country and some are engaged elsewhere but the crop of Ministers are in the Chamber is adequate to deal with any policy issues, in particular when two Vice Presidents are in. I do not think there is any inadequacy in relation to the issues of policy. So Mr. Speaker, I believe that it was a point of order which the Hon. Member raised which possibly you can make a ruling.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me say
that the issue of the $15 billion is an issue of the work that is being done by the Auditor General and the Auditor General and the companies that have been appointed have not yet told us what the outcome of the investigations were. Therefore, it is not yet time for me to bring to this House a report on the $15 billion and I entreat the House to be patient. I think from the Auditor General’s perspective and her team of people working, it is a matter of great detail. Whatever they do must be such that it is unassailable at law, because if it is, she could also be sued for presenting information that is improper. The companies also that have been given the work to do would want to do their work in such a way that it is unassailable at law. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MLISWA: I think the issue that Hon. Chamisa brought up was a Ministerial Statement and he can issue it by saying that the
Auditor-General’s report is at the issue. What is wrong with issuing a statement? This is an issue which the nation must know and the
Minister can equally say that there are investigations going on and the Auditor-General’s Office is seized with this matter and therefore, we shall inform you when the – why can he not issue a statement pertaining to that because the diamond industry is being run like a mafia and it continues to be run that way – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – we need him to issue that statement so that we can hold the Auditor-General accountable.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you and I want to thank Hon…
HON. MLISWA: The point of order is not for the Minister to respond, it is for you the Chair to respond to what I have said. In this regard, I have guided you in saying that you can tell him to issue a statement. It is either you tell him or you do not. We are a House of rules.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I am actually
finalising a Ministerial Statement on the first quarter of 2017 on the mining sector. In doing so, I will also include matters to do with the diamond sector, specifically to do with the question that was presented in this House by Hon. Members of Parliament. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My point of order
is with regards to clarity with the Minister. There is a question in this
House which I asked the Hon. Minister about three months ago and the Hon. Minister pointed out that he was going to give a response. The question is with regard to the State of the Nation Address, which was done by His Excellency, the President. His Excellency pointed out that a US$100 million loan facility was given to the artisanal miners and it has produced a situation whereby we have no production of gold. However, the truth of the matter is that not even US100 million was given to artisanal miners. My question to the Hon. Minister then, which he said he was going to do a research was, who gave His Excellency the information that, US$100 million loan facility was given to artisanal miners, leading to him giving a statement to the nation on something which never happened. Somewhere somehow, there is an Honourable someone who lied to His Excellency that a US$100 million was disbursed. What happened? To this day, he has not given an answer.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister do you have an
input to the point of order that has been raised.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: No Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My question is not to do with the Hon. Minister as a person. My question is to do with accountability with regards to the Hon. Minister as a line ministry to account as to who informed the President falsehoods. This is because the President pointed out clearly in his State of the Nation Address, that a US$100 million loan facility was given to artisanal miners, which resulted in more production of gold when it never happened. So, who gave information to the President to that effect? The Hon. Minister must clarify. We cannot just say the Minister stands and says ‘no’. For how long will that no last, because the public has to know? Zimbabweans and the tax payers must know. Who took the US$100 million?
HON. CHIDHAKWA: Hon. Minister of Mines, I think it is important that you take note of the point of order and then you bring an appropriate answer to the House.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
RECOURSE TAKEN BY FARMERS WHO HAVE NOT
BENEFITTED FROM PROCEEDS PUT TOWARDS THE
PURCHASE OF TREASURY BILLS SINCE 2007
- 1. KANHANGA asked the Minister of Finance and
Economic Development to explain to the House the recourse that may be taken by farmers who have not benefitted from the proceeds that were put towards the purchase of Treasury Bills since 2007.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT
(HON. CHIDHAKWA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr.
Speaker Sir, I have been unable to get the import of the question posed by Hon. Kanhanga. Accordingly, I respectfully ask him to clarify his question so that I can give a proper response to him.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your answer is not very clear
because this question is a question with notice, meaning that the
Minister has been informed and your office has been given this question. Now, I do not seem to understand what you are saying when you say that it is not very clear. I do not know whether you said it is not very clear because I was actually attending to somebody. You want some clarification?
HON. CHIDHAKWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the question refers to the purchase of Treasury Bills since 2007 and refers to proceeds. In discussion with the Minister of Finance before he left, we were not able to establish what that means in terms of its benefit to the farmers. How you relate the farmers and to the proceeds of the purchase of Treasury Bills, that is what the Minister of Finance and Economic Development asked me to seek clarification on from the Hon. Member so that whatever answer we give to him will take into account the two issues that are contained.
*HON. KANHANGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The year that we are referring to - 2007/2008, tobacco farmers had 5% being taken from the tobacco they were selling. Others got some rebates but some of us did not get it. That is why we are asking this question. What was the procedure? Some got the rebates and some did not, it is like the Treasury Bills is the money that you use and it has to mature and we should get it back. I hope I have clarified my question.
HON. W. CHIDHAKWA: I do now understand the issue and I
think that it is an issue of the rebate that was supposed to come to farmers including the Honourable Member of Parliament. I want to discuss with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development so that we can resolve the issue. If one part of the farmers benefited from a reimbursement, surely another part of the same grouping should be able to benefit from a rebate. I seek leave to allow me to speak to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to sort out the matter. I thank you.
DUTY ON IMPORTED BOOKS
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Finance and Economic
- To explain why the Ministry is imposing duties on imported books by promulgating Statutory Instrument 115 of 2015, in contravention of Government’s undertaking as a signatory to the UNESCO Florence Agreement on importation of Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Materials not to apply customs duty or other charged on books, publications and documents which are not used for advertising purposes;
- To indicate to the House whether or not the Ministry is aware that these duties charged on imported goods have had the consequence of increasing the retail price of books and affecting the viability of publishers and authentic booksellers in the country.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA) on behalf of THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): (a) Hon. Members will recall that in the 2015 Mid-Term Policy Review Statement, I indicated that capacity utilisation in the printing and publishing industry had declined, mainly due to an influx of cheap imported printed products, lack of access to affordable funding and obsolete equipment, among other challenges.
The intention however, was not to levy duty on textbooks, since the local industry does not have capacity to produce all ranges of textbooks, especially for higher and tertiary education.
I, therefore, proposed to levy duty on selected finished products in respect of which local industry has built capacity such as cartons, boxes, sacks, bags, exercise books and printed cards, among others.
Consequently, Statutory Instrument 115 of 2015 which provides for duty free importation of textbooks was gazetted on 23 October 2015.
- With respect to the second leg of the question, as already indicated, the retail price of books could not have increased due to the levy of customs duties since it has been waived. Please refer to Statutory
Instrument 115 of 2015.
Whereas the local industry has capacity to produce textbooks for use in primary and secondary education, these are, however, imported. Consequently, some local publishers have relocated to neighbouring countries due to low volume of business.
HON. MAJOME: My supplementary question is that while I have
noted the Ministry’s noble intention not to prejudice the publishers of textbooks, is the Hon. Minister aware that by failing to define exactly what a textbooks is in that Statutory Instrument, it has the effect of customs officials also giving an embargo on textbooks that are not available in the country. Is he possibly going to investigate to find out this because if he does just say that is not happening when in fact on the ground that is happening, it does continue to cause problems? I thank you.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: My knowledge of the Customs Tariff
Handbook is that it is divided into tariff sub-heads and the tariff sub heads will define the specific items that are listed under that particular head. If indeed the tariff handbook and Statutory Instrument 115 of 2015 do not coincide, I think it should be adjusted to reflect what the policy position as taken by Government should be. Allow me to pursue the request by Hon. Majome and make sure that there is agreement between the policy position as taken by Government and the tariff heads as contained in our tariff sub head. I thank you.
REHABILITATION OF MANYUCHI BRIDGE IN
- HON. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to inform the House, what steps the Ministry is taking to rehabilitate the Manyuchi Bridge below
Manyuchi Dam and the Chipwe Bridges in Maranda Area which link Mberengwa, Mwenezi and Beitbridge in Matabeleland South.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A.
NCUBE): Firstly, the said bridges are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development which is better positioned to respond to this question. What I can confirm is the condition of the roads. The said bridges are in Mwenezi District which is in Masvingo Province and not Matabeleland South. Manyuchi is a road that was washed away and destroyed by Cyclone Eline long back and has therefore become impassable. The stretch falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Likewise Chibwe Bridge was washed away by the rains during the Cyclone Eline period resulting in the area also being impassible as it links Mberengwa, Mwenezi and Beitbridge. I thank you.
MEASURES TO ALLEVIATE THE PLIGHT OF KRAAL HEADS
- HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage to inform the House which measures the Ministry is putting in place to alleviate the plight of Kraal Heads who are required to travel to nearby towns to withdraw the twenty five dollars that they are entitled to, resulting in them using as much as ten dollars transport and paying five dollars in bank charges leaving them with very little money or nothing as they have to travel twice due to cash shortages from the Mhondoro - Mubaira Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF NATIONAL CULTURE AND HERITAGE
(HON. A. NCUBE): I would like to acknowledge that the matter raised by the Hon. Member is indeed critical and merits urgent attention. As you may be aware, the village heads used to get their allowances at their respective station as cash from the District Administrator’s Office. However, due to the cash challenges, the District Administrators can no longer access cash from the banks to disburse to the village heads. In January 2017, the Ministry was instructed by the Accountant General to pay village heads allowances through online platforms.
Following the above instruction, the Ministry has engaged mobile service providers namely Net One, Telecel and Econet so that the village heads were given the opportunities to choose the service provider of their choice. The process is now at an advanced stage and some provinces like Midlands and Manicaland are already implementing the system.
MEASURES TO ASSIST PEOPLE IN AREAS WITH INADEQUATE
- 14. MUDAU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to inform the House on the measures the Ministry has put in place to assist people in areas where there was inadequate rainfall and to further elaborate on what Government intends to do as a way of assisting those who lost their crops to wild animals such as elephants.
*HON. MUZONDIWA: On a point of privilege! There is a door that has loosened from its hinges that is posing a danger to Hon. Members. If possible can it be removed because it is hanging. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Mr. Speaker.
The Ministry has always been reaching out to food insecure households across the country despite there being a declaration of State of
Emergency. The Ministry is actively and strategically deployed in all
the provinces, in particular the rural areas to mitigate the plight of our citizens. In areas where there has been inadequate rainfall, the food deficit mitigation programme is covering those.
I urge the Hon. Members to ensure that the affected family data is captured by the department of social welfare in that particular district. A fully fledged inter-ministerial committee is present to administer food distribution. We are also encouraging affected families to involve themselves in food for work programmes, particularly those able bodied people and other beneficiaries. We only give the disabled, the chronically ill and people living with other disabilities and the elderly, food without need for work.
On those who lost their crops due to wildlife attacks, my Ministry is coordinating with the Minister responsible for wildlife to ensure that the data is accurately captured and affected families are placed in the food deficit mitigation programme. Measures are also being put in place to ensure that the elephants do not cause further harm to human beings. Ordinarily, my Ministry has in place, the public assistance programme for the various vulnerable groups. The beneficiaries after assessment are given the public assistance programme. Our conditions are always open.
HON. MAONDERA: Hon. Minister, is it your policy that those people who are getting paltry NSSA pension are not eligible for food assistance?
HON. MUPFUMIRA: Ordinarily, the people we give food
assistance would be elderly, the disabled, the chronically ill and the child headed families under normal circumstances. However, this year, because of the draught, we have extended to include able bodied who might be in the group you are talking about, those people receiving paltry pensions, they will be included but we expect them to do food for work programmes in their areas. Thank you.
HON. MAONDERA: Hon. Minister, are you aware that your officers in the department of social welfare are turning away people if they are once verified on NSSA pension in various districts, particularly in urban areas.
HON. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank
the Hon. Member, I am not aware that our officers are turning away people who are on paltry pension but as I said, we have an assessment in progress which identifies those people who are definitely in need of assistance. If there are any officers who are turning away people who are eligible, I would kindly ask the Hon. Member to ensure that it is brought to our attention.
*HON. MUPFUMI: In Manicaland, there is no food that has been distributed even to those disadvantaged people. So, what is Government policy with regards to food assistance to everyone whether in the rural or in urban areas because there is no food assistance that came to my constituency.
*HON. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Like I said earlier on, under normal circumstances, people who are given food aid are the elderly, the chronically ill, the disabled and child headed families. However, this year, there was drought, so we even extended the programme into urban areas because the food mitigation programme which was there was only touching the eight rural provinces but because of drought, we extended to urban areas.
I have once given a Ministerial Statement but I will explain again how the food aid programme is being conducted in the provinces. There is a Drought Relief Committee that is chaired by the Provincial Administrator that involves a number of ministries and local leadership in those provinces. The Provincial Minister oversees that committee on how the programme is progressing and the others are the secretariat. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services caters for the vulnerable. It is the Provincial Ministers who have complete oversight of the programme.
I can give an example because I once responded to a similar question. For example, the issue of rice, all the provinces received 1 750 tonnes of rice that was supposed to be distributed being headed by the Provincial Minister and Provincial Administrator. My department comes in as the secretariat only because we cater for vulnerable people. Some Provincial Ministers did not ensure the success of the distribution programme as it was supposed to be conducted across all the constituencies with the identification of all the vulnerable people. You can ask me that of the normal social welfare but this now involves Provincial Administrators and they are responsible.
I was being assisted to engage all the Provincial Ministers on how they can distribute by the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage, Hon. Ncube. We deal with challenges on an individual basis but the best approach is for the Provincial Minister, Provincial Administrator and provincial heads to sit down and identify the beneficiaries of the food. I thank you.
HON. T. KHUMALO: The Hon. Minister said, if I heard her
well that she distributed and allocated the maize then the distribution is done by the Provincial Administrators. My question is, if she allocated that rice, how then does she evaluate in terms of who benefited and who did not? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hausi Minister nyarara!
HON. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and I want to
thank the Hon. Member. What happens on a weekly basis is, I need a report of what is happening in all the provinces and districts hence reports are compiled. I am assuming from the ward to the district to the province and those figures are fed into the Department of Social Welfare. Based on those figures, we will assess and see how many people have benefited in all the provinces. The details can be availed to the House because we are given registers of beneficiaries from the distribution. I thank you.
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. At some point in this august House, the Hon. Minister made an undertaking that she was going to visit Mutasa South Constituency to witness the food distribution in order to ensure that food was not being distributed in a partisan manner.
Earlier when I spoke to Hon. Saruwaka, the Member of Parliament for Mutasa South, he advised that the Hon. Minister has not been to Mutasa South Constituency. May the Hon. Minister inform the House as to why, after she had made an undertaking, she did not go there?
HON. MUPFUMIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank
the Hon. Member for that question. I am sure you all appreciate the fact that the Minister cannot physically be present in all the constituencies, districts and wards. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – However, the Minister, through her Ministry officials sent a high level delegation comprising of my Deputy Minister and Provincial Principal
Director to Mutasa to find out … - [AN HON. MEMBER: No one
went!] – I have got reports and I know that happened Mr. Speaker. I could not be there physically but my Deputy, Principal Director and other officials went to investigate because certain allegations had been made – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – The report is there, and I came through my officials and Deputy Minister. I thank you.
*HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you, in terms of provisions of
Section 69 (d), Hon. Saruwaka had a programme to which he invited the
Hon. Minister to. The Hon. Minister acknowledged that she would attend the programme and because I was an interested party in the distribution of food in Musikavanhu, I also attended the function.
Hon. Minister, you were not there and even the officials and the Shadow Minister that you are talking about did not attend because I was there attending the function. Where did they come from Hon. Minister?
– [AN HON. MEMBER: Minister ndewe Government!]-
*HON. MUPFUMIRA: The Minister belongs to the Government,
it is true but when I reported I did not say I attended the function that was arranged by the Hon. Member of Parliament. When I received the invitation, I resolved that I would go to the district but I ended up delegating my Deputy, Principal Director and other officials to go and investigate and find out what had happened. Our findings revealed some challenges that were there and were then rectified. I did not attend their meeting but I said I sent a team instead to investigate. I thank you. –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Pursuant to Section 56 of the Standing Orders – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – We are a House of rules and I would like us to stick to the rules. Pursuant to Section 56, provisions of Section 37, we must be 70 and we are not 70. We must take the business of this House seriously especially when Ministers are here to respond and the Chief Whips must do their work. Unfortunately, I am not whipped but I am here and I actually whip myself. Why can they not whip others? As a result, I am therefore lifting the Standing Orders based on Section 56 (1) Mr.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order in the House. We have
got the required quorum in the House, so the business of the House should continue.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
POLICY ON WITHDRAWAL LIMITS FROM BANKS
- 2. CROSS asked the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development to explain to the House the current domestic debt of the Government in terms of Treasury Bills, Reserve Bank Overdraft and any other domestic liabilities or loans and to further give an estimate of the interest being incurred on these liabilities.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA) on behalf of THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
(HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, on the 11th April 2017 I gave a detailed Ministerial Statement on Treasury Bills. I am sure I covered all the issues being raised by Hon. Cross.
POLICY ON WITHDRAWAL LIMITS FROM BANKS
- HON. MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the government policy with regards to the withdrawal limits from banks by clients who are not civil servants considering that some women are sit and sleep all day by the banks.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. W. CHIDHAKWA) on behalf of THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, on the 4th April 2017, I gave a detailed Ministerial Statement on cash shortages and queues at banks. I am sure I covered all the issues being raised by Hon. Mangwende.
INITIATIVES TO MOVE AWAY FROM HARMFUL CULTURAL
PRACTICES THAT AFFECT THE GIRL CHILD
- HON. MNANGAGWA asked the Minister of Rural
Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage to inform the House on the initiatives and efforts that have been made to date by the traditional and community leadership to move away from harmful cultural practices that negatively affect the future of a girl child.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF NATIONAL CULTURE AND HERITAGE
(HON. A. NCUBE): Chiefs network with Government Ministries, developmental partners, schools and Community based organisations in discouraging harmful cultural practices against the girl child. They conduct community meetings to urge parents to afford all girl children the opportunity to go to school for example campaigns held in Nyanga District of Manicaland Province. They institute stiffer penalties against perpetrators. They advocate for eradication of early child marriage at ward meetings. Of late village heads have been incorporated into Village and Community Child Protection Committees.
However, Chiefs are requesting for authority to preside over criminal cases involving girl child in order to be more effective. Thank you.
PLANS ON FOOD AID TO DESERVING HOUSEHOLDS
- HON. MPOFU asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House what plans the Ministry has put in place to continue providing food aid to deserving households considering that the current food aid programme is coming to an end.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Mr. Speaker, the
Ministry has always been reaching out to the food insecure households across the country, despite there being a declaration of state of the disaster drought period.
My Ministry is guided by the results of the Crop and Livelihood
Assessment which is religiously conducted every year by the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. These results will also be complimented by those produced by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee which will determine the number of food insecure households requiring assistance each year.
Let me emphasize that, my Ministry’s mandate is to offer social protection to the vulnerable of the society and these include the food insecure households. Therefore, let me assure you that as soon as the results of the aforementioned assessments are produced, my Ministry will immediately embark on a nationwide food distribution programme under the usual Food Deficit Mitigation Programme to those who would have been identified to be in need of food assistance.
Therefore, Hon. Members, be advised that it has been and will always be my Ministry’s mandate to provide food assistance to food insecure households after the production of the assessment reports by the
Crop and Livelihood Assessment and the ZIM VAC.
Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
TABLING OF VALUE FOR MONEY REPORT
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA): Mr. Speaker, by way of
background, the office of the Auditor-General is mandated to conduct routine value for money audit. I hereby seek your approval to table the Value for Money Report on the Management of National Pension and other benefits schemes, Statutory Instrument 393 of 1993 and Accident
Prevention and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Scheme, Statutory Instrument 68, of 1990. I thank you.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. MUPFUMIRA), the
House adjourned at Eight Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.