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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 NOVEMBER 2021 VOL 48 NO 9

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 10th November, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have got a list of apologies from Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have sought leave of absence from the House:

Hon. Dr. C. D. G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care;

Hon. Dr. Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce;

Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher Tertiary, Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development;

Hon. M. N Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;

Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services;

Hon. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development;

Hon. J. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works;

Hon. Muswere, Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services;

Hon. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans; and

Hon. Dr. E. Ndlovu, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker. Good afternoon to you Madam Speaker.  I counted 10 Ministers who sent apologies and the Leader of Government Business is not here.   Equally, there is no Minister appointed as Leader of Government Business - again, it has never happened.  The truth of the matter  is that it would be a waste of time to carry on.  If there is anything, can we adjourn and get the Ministers here.  Madam Speaker, we have to be serious about this.  The whole world is watching.  There are only ten Ministers and there are no Deputy Ministers.  Where are they?  The Leader of Government Business is not here.  How can you transact parliamentary business when the Leader of Government Business is not here?  It is beyond the Government Chief Whip.  This is unacceptable, we cannot do this.  The whole world is watching, 10 Ministers; where are the rest?  Madam Speaker, you have the power to tell them to come here now so that we continue or else there is no point for Question time.  Let it be known that Question time was postponed or was cancelled as a result of non-attendance by Ministers.  The country must know that.  We cannot hide this anymore.  We cannot continue, where is the Leader of Government Business?  He is appointed and there was not even mention of the Leader of Government Business. When he is here, some questions are referred to him, today he is not here.  How can they insult this institution like this?  Ten Ministers, absent with leave, the rest did not.  We do not have appointed Leader of Government Business.  How can Parliament transact Question time in such manner?  It never happened before and may it be historic.  There is no point of us proceeding.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, thank you for raising such a valid point.  The Clerk is trying to get hold of the Leader of Government Business and other Ministers.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you.

(v)HON. C. MOYO:  On a point of order.  Can I be guided by you Madam Speaker? Is that the procedure that the Clerk of Parliament has to call the Leader of Government Business as well as other Ministers so that they can come to Parliament for business?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Moyo, it is not the procedure but the Clerk acts under the instruction of the Presiding Officer who will be in the Chair at that moment.

         HON. MPARIWA: In view of the unusual, may I propose that perhaps we adjourn for 10 minutes just to allow the Ministers to be communicated to. We stand guided.

HON. TOGAREPI: With all due respect, looking at the issues being raised by other Hon. Members that they expected some Ministers to be here and they are not here, we already have four Ministers with us who can answer some of the questions. They have come here to take questions and during this time, as Government Chief Whip, I will contact these Ministers to see what could have been the challenge. For those who have given excuses, we should expect that because the Standing Rules and Orders provide for that. I think we will get from the Leader of Government Business, the details why so many of our Ministers are not here. Otherwise, for us to adjourn would be unnecessary if we have Ministers present. I think let us proceed with business – [HON. T. MLISWA: With what? Rules are simple, Leader of Government Business is not here. He cannot appoint somebody, it is the President who appoints. Hazvisi zveku PCC.] – and the rules –[HON. T. MLISWA: It is the President who appoints] I agree with what Hon. Mliswa is saying – [HON. T. MLISWA: It is procedural.] – The issue is, we have Ministers, unless we come here with specific Ministers that we want to ask questions but if it is a day for questions, we have Ministers who can answer questions. They are here; let us allow them to answer questions. I have questions to pose to the Ministers who are here and I cannot be denied to ask my questions while waiting for a Minister who is not here. Those Ministers will come. If they did not come here because of reasons that Parliament feels are not valid, Parliament will deal with that, but at the moment we have Ministers here. Allow those who want to ask questions to Ministers present to ask questions – [HON. T. MLISWA: This is not a ZANU PF PCC meeting. This is Rules, Standing Order Rules. Which rules are you referring to?] – Do we have rules to say the Leader of Government Business must be here? – [HON. T. MLISWA: Leader of Government Business must be appointed by the President. Haasi wekungonhongaka. Tine mitemo. Taku waster time.] –

HON. NDEBELE: I had risen to invite you to make a ruling on Hon. Mpariwa’s statement.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mpariwa, unfortunately we are not adjourning the House, we are going to proceed. Hon. Musabayana will be the Leader of Government Business.

HON. T. MLISWA: Things must be procedural. Leader of Government Business haangonhongwa kunge mukutamba chisveru. The President appoints. Makuita zveZANU PF zvekudzingana muchiisa uyu, aiwa. This House’s integrity is critical. It cannot be turned into a party. Hon. Musabayana vagara apa, sekuru vangu soko, vakunonyengedzana apa. Mangwana tinoenda ku court kuno challenger izvi. I am putting it on record that I will go and challenge these proceedings in court. Any violation of the Standing Rules and Orders, I am going to court to challenge mangwana and I am putting it on record.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, there is no violation of the Standing Rules and Orders.

HON. T. MLISWA: May you read the Standing Rules and Orders so that we are guided by them. Some of us do not know them but once such issues are raised, it is important that the law takes precedence and they are read to us. Which Standing Rules Madam Speaker, refers to the going ons here? – [HON. TOGAREPI: But do we have a Standing Rule that says business cannot proceed?]  The Leader of Government Business is appointed and in his absence, what does the Standing Orders and Rules say and rules must be there.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, can we proceed.

HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, according to which rules of the Standing Orders? That is what I want to know. Clerk, assist Madam Speaker is reading the rules. It is important. She has been doing well and I do not want her reputation to be tarnished over incompetent Ministers.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, Deputy Ministers are Ministers – [HON. T. MLISWA: But who is the Leader of Government Business and who made the appointment?] The Leader of Government Business is on his way but we can have an Acting Leader of Government Business who is Hon. Musabayana. – [HON. T. MLISWA: But can that be done over a phone call or caucus here? What is the procedure because if that is the case, then there is no point having the President appointing a Leader of Government Business?] – [HON. TOGAREPI: But is this the first time?] –

HON. T. MLISWA: No, you cannot get away with it. You need to do the right thing and that is why I am asking the Clerk to cite the Standing Rules. The Clerk has been in this Parliament for a long time and must advise on the rules, we are bound by rules just the same way ZANU PF and MDC are bound by rules.  The Central Committee shall determine from time to time the course of the party outside Congress.  When it is Congress, it is now the Congress in charge and not the Central Committee.  The Politburo is the secretariat of the Central Committee and must rectify its decisions.  I am giving you an example of the Constitution and what it does – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – That is why I am telling you.  ZANU PF has a Constitution and that is why I am referring to all clauses of the Constitution. Here we also have rules.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Mliswa, you know all about ZANU PF and I do not know what you are waiting for.  Come back to the party.

HON. DR. KHUPE:  Madam Speaker, with due respect, the problem that Hon. Members have today is because the Leader of Government business is not here.  Substantive Ministers are not here.  The reason why when we ask questions and Ministers are not around and then the Leader of Government business responds is because he sits in Cabinet.  Most of those issues are debated in Cabinet, so he would know the answers.  Even Cabinet Ministers would know because they debate most of these issues.  Unfortunately, today we have got Deputy Ministers who do not sit in Cabinet and they would not know some of these things.  They would only know what pertains to their ministries.  If there was a substantive Minister, we would be asking questions because we know that he will answer questions authoritatively because he sits in Cabinet.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I hear you Hon. Khupe.  Deputy Ministers are Ministers.  It is written here in the Standing Rules and Orders – the definition of Ministers; ‘Minister means a Minister of Government of Zimbabwe and includes a Deputy Minister’.  Deputy Ministers can also answer to the questions which can be asked by Hon. Members.  These questions are not Cabinet questions but they are on policy.  I am sure Deputy Ministers are able to answer questions on policies of Government.

HON. DR. KHUPE:  Yes, they can answer pertaining to their ministries but overally, they may not know some of the things.  We want Ministers to do justice to questions –[HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Khupe, let us not assume.] – [HON. NDEBELE:  In fact, they cannot answer for another Ministry.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  If you are appointed an acting Leader of Government Business, you can – [HON. MEMBERS:  The Minister of Finance is here and he can act as Leader of Government Business.]-  The Hon. Minister of Finance will be our Acting Leader of Government business - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order.....

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is it again Hon. Mliswa?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, in order to help your work, I shall be moving a motion to hold in contempt all the Ministers who were absent without leave.  May it be recorded?  I will be moving that.  I did not like what you went through today.  You have been doing a good job and you are affected because of the incompetence of Ministers.  Clerk of Parliament, we do not want a story.  Ten ministers did that and the rest did not.  We are going to go by your list unless there is any other list so that each time we come up with this motion, there is something that comes out to say by the deadline, they made the list.

Madam Speaker, you have been doing well together with your panel but now your office is in disrepute because of incompetent Ministers.  May you use your power to deal with them?  Do not feel sorry for them because the headline tomorrow will be ‘Parliament delay question time for 30 minutes because of non-attendance by Ministers’.  I shall move the motion so that you know.  Clerk, I will be coming to your office to collect the list of Ministers who did not proffer their apologies.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I am also going to move a motion that Members of this House read the Standing Rules and Orders so that they understand the definition of officials that we deal with in this House.  I will be moving a motion and if anyone will be found not reading or misleading this House, action must be taken – [HON. T. MLISWA:  Inaudible interjection.] -

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. MUNETSI: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.....

HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, may you protect us from Hon. Munetsi. It has become his habit that he does not wear his mask properly...

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Munetsi, may you please wear your mask properly.

HON. MUNETSI: Thank you very much Hon. Ndebele for reminding me.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  What are the plans for registering births and identification documents (IDs) in rural constituencies? I thank you.

(v)HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I ask that you recognise me after this answer according to your promise yesterday.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: According to my promise yesterday, what did I promise you yesterday?

(v)HON. NDUNA: If I could ask the Minister of ICT…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Alright.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am and thank you Hon. Munetsi.  The Ministry is actually doing that in rural areas although it is being done slowly because we do not have the resources which we are supposed to use.  However, you will find that in rural areas, they are giving out those documents at a very slow pace.  At times we usually get breakdown of machines.  I want to announce that in December, probably we are going to move around the whole country.  We are actually trying to get resources so that we can go out of urban areas to do the registering of those documents.  I thank you.

(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: I thank you Madam Speaker.  If they are not getting resources, why can they not approach Parliament to appeal that they need more resources and Parliament can make the necessary arrangement with the Ministry of Finance?

HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: Thank you very much Hon. Mudarikwa.  I think we do not need to approach Parliament because you know that we are from the Budget Session and we have been promised these resources.  This is why I am saying by December, we are going to do that in full swing and we hope we would have received something.  We have the Minister of Finance and Economic Development here and he promised us that he was going to give us some funds to do that exercise.  However, we are saying for now, if you go to constituencies where we have these offices, they are actually giving out those documents.  I thank you.

HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My supplementary question relates to the issue of sequencing of issuance of national identity cards and voter registration and delimitation exercise.  I see from the press reports or social media, snippets that were seen recently, that both exercises are taking place more or less at the same time.  It certainly causes confusion, particularly in the region where I come from.  I think for the past three years, we have been talking about the backlog on identity cards in the southern parts of the country because of the previous historical situations and that people migrate to neighbouring South Africa resulting in many children and even adults not having identity cards.  So which programme is going to start and when?  Is there proper sequencing with your counterparts in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs?  I know voter registration is not in your purview but there seems to be confusion as to which is starting out there in the constituency.  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Thank you Hon. Mayihlome.  The sequencing, yes it is supposed to be done but what is happening now is that the registration of births is in the process.  If you talk of Matebeleland South, we did a study of the process in Tsholotsho and the machinery and everything was there.  I think when it comes to sequencing, we will do that but I have not heard from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that they have started registering whatever you are saying but as Home Affairs, we hope it will move very well as we have been promised something by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI: We have the Minister of Finance and Economic Development with us.  Is it true that this Ministry has exhausted all the resources that they have been allocated for the current budget period?  If it is true, how are they going to get the money in December because what we are budgeting for is for next year?  Let us hear from the Minister who is with us, have they exhausted their monies?

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Thank you Hon. Togarepi for the follow-up question.  The Ministry has not yet exhausted its 2021 budget and as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage said, we will assist them in further draw-downs on their current budget so that they can meet the demands that are out there.  It is necessary that everyone who needs to be registered and receive their birth certificates do so, so we will assist them and make sure they have the draw-downs and move with speed.  Thank you very much.

(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to find out from the Deputy Minister, what extra measures have they put forward to decongest the registry offices, especially the southern part of Zimbabwe?  We have seen that in towns, the offices are congested every day with no solution.  So what extra measures have they come up with to decongest the offices.  I would like to find out from the Ministry, what extra measures have they come up with?  Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Deputy Minister, did you hear the question?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI):  Me Hon. Speaker?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Yes, you were not listening.

HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI:  I did not get the question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  The Hon. Member is asking about measures you are taking to decongest the offices, especially in the southern part of the country – the Home Affairs offices.

HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI:  Which offices Hon. Speaker Ma’am?

(v)HON. MOKONE:  Madam Speaker, may I take the question again?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Yes, please.

(v)HON. MOKONE:  I was saying to the Hon. Deputy Minister, I would like to find out what extra measures has your Ministry come up with to decongest the offices in the urban areas?  The question was mainly touching on the rural set up but what about the urban areas because the urban areas are always congested, especially the one in Gwanda Town, it is always congested and people are being turned down every day.  Thank you.

HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I think we are going to consult the other Ministry pertaining the decongestion of part of the offices because we are also relying on the other Ministry.  So we are to defer on that one, I cannot give an answer now.  Thank you.

(v)HON. MKANDLA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am and good afternoon Hon. Speaker Ma’am.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.

(v)+HON. MKANDLA:  Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development … - [(V) HON. NDUNA: Inaudible interjection.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Nduna, please may you mute your gadget! Hon. Nduna!

(v)+HON. MKANDLA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  The stray cattle that are roaming around the main roads are a danger to motorists. What measures are in place to stop stray cattle from roaming on the main roads?  We are encountering quite a number of accidents that are being caused by these cattle and as I speak, there are Hon. Members who encountered accidents due to stray cattle.  Thank you.

+THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Madam Speaker, I have heard what Hon. Mkandla said.  She is indicating on the danger that is caused by stray animals that are roaming around our main roads.  The solution is to put perimeter fences that will protect these animals from wandering onto the main roads.  Since she has indicated that this is dangerous, we will ensure that we work towards putting these perimeter fences in earnest because indeed those stray cattle are a danger to human life.  Thank you.

HON. DR. KHUPE:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, my question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Hon. Minister, you advised the nation that Zimbabwe was going to reach herd immunity by October and we are now in November.  In the same vein, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said they had procured enough vaccines. When are we likely to reach herd immunity as a country?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):  Thank you Hon. Chair and thank you Hon. Khupe for the enquiry about when we are going to reach herd immunity.  I must say that by year end, right now we are almost at 40% because the last two weeks we were at 38% and now we are almost at 40%.

In the same vein, we have said as Government, those between 16 and 17 can now be vaccinated and most of them are our Form Four to Upper Six students.  These make a large number of our population - we all know that Zimbabwe’s population is mainly the young ones.  So we are out to vaccinate these young people within the shortest space of time, maybe in the next two to three weeks, we are going to be going to schools to vaccinate them on site.  As usual, our Outreach Programmes are still very effective and they are all out in full force.  We have been holding meetings with Provincial Ministers, PMDs, church leaders, traditional leaders and everyone involved so that we target and reach our herd immunity this year end.

Also the vaccines are plenty-some; we still have enough to get us there.  Next week, we are expecting to receive another million additional vaccines, which means we are on course.  Every week, we have something prepared, bought by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development where we are expecting delivery.  So I implore Members of the House to also go out in full force with us, be it Hon. Senators, Members of Parliament and Ministers, to make sure we achieve the herd immunity that we want, of 60%.  I must remind Hon. Members that this pandemic is likely to be with us until maybe 2023/24.  Other countries have started seeing the fourth wave now, so we are quite familiar that once the fourth wave starts somewhere, definitely it will come to us.  So we want the fourth wave when we have done our best in terms of vaccination.

I want to thank the Hon. Member and want to encourage all Members of Parliament, councilors and everyone, that we all go out in full force to make sure we get vaccination and make sure that we are protected.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, may I kindly request that our Minister of Health and Child Care addresses himself to the question of the booster dose.  What is the policy around the booster dose for some of us who got onto the vaccination gospel quite early?  Are we due yet?

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  As usual, we are a nation that follows science and we will follow science.  We are in the process of assessing people like him who have been vaccinated much earlier to see the level of their antibodies, their humoral immunity to see how far it is with the vaccines that we gave out at the beginning of the year much earlier.

So after this, we will make an announcement to say we may give booster doses or not because we are still going through the data and looking at people who got their vaccines much earlier and see what is happening, then we will make an announcement early to say people can go for their booster doses, but we are still looking at the cases since we need to sit down as scientists.  We have an organisation or an organ, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and our scientists.  We need to look at this before we can make an announcement immediately.  Thank you.

         HON. MANDIWANZIRA:  My follow up question is with regards to what is being referred to as vaccine passports.  May the Hon. Minister clarify to the House and the nation, what is the attitude because my understanding is that if you have taken the sinovac and the sinopharm vaccines, European countries and other countries are rejecting that as vaccination passports?  Could the Hon. Minister clarify what the position is with regards this vaccination passport?  I thank you.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I am sure this vaccine passport thing relates to particular and specific countries.  The vaccine we are using is a vaccine that we assessed as a country through our scientists, our boards and our scientific councils and found that it is authentic.  The World Health Organisation itself has endorsed these vaccines that we are using locally.  Other countries also agreed to use the vaccines that they are using after assessment in their own countries.  In our case, we stand by our vaccination to say it is authentic.  When it comes to passports and crossing of borders, the regulations they have, I am sure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will be in a position to answer about passports much better, but as far as I know, we are using an authentic vaccine approved by WHO.  Our own scientific teams looked at these and were satisfied that we are using a vaccination that is authentic.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  My supplementary question is; may the Hon. Deputy Minister educate us on the third jabs which is being said is a booster.  How necessary is it and are we going to get to the third jab?  Has the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development procured the third jab?  Thank you.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I said about the third jab, in other countries or anywhere else, it is a scientifically reached conclusion that people go through forms of investigations and authentication and making sure we are going in the right direction and when to give these.  So what we are doing as a country, we are looking at those people who got their jabs much earlier to see how much of the antibodies that we provoked by giving the first jabs is still in their immunity.  Their humoral immunity is something that we are still assessing to check whether we should give the third jab now or we can wait a bit.  So we are doing those studies and as a nation that follows science, once we are satisfied that this is the time, we go ahead and give it out.  So people must just be a bit patient while we go through the motion of making sure that we are giving the third jab vaccine at the correct time to the correct time gap and timelines.  I thank you.

         HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Khupe’s question was in terms of herd immunity.  Are we on track because scientifically if we are not on track, then there are repercussions in terms of the third jab?  If you want to do science, then science is time.  So, how sure are we that we will not get to a point where we have been overtaken by events because of the delay in herd immunity because Government must attain herd immunity and then when they do that, then they can go into investigations, but time is critical and these are the repercussions?  Can we start doing science before we attain herd immunity and if any of those who are probably in the light side, have investigations started to see whether the situation is dire or not?

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The concern is whether we are going to get herd immunity.  I said the past two weeks we were at about 38% of our herd immunity.  We are aiming at 60% by year end.  I also said the biggest chunk of our population is with the young ones.  As Government, we have now said those 16 to 17 year olds who are mainly Form 4 to Form 6 are going to be vaccinated together with other adults who have not been vaccinated.

We are going to go out in full force, going to secondary schools,  boarding and day to vaccinate those young ones.  We are also saying we want Hon. Members of Parliament, Senators, church leaders, traditional leaders and everyone of us to make sure we contribute and participate in making sure that we achieve herd immunity by year end.  Efforts are being made to reach herd immunity - 60% by year end if not more because in the near future, very soon we may also start discussing 12 year olds to 15 year olds but these studies and discussions are still going on.  As a nation, before we give these, we talk to the paediatricians who are top specialists in children before we can announce anything.  For now, 16 years to 17 year olds are being vaccinated.  While we are doing this, we are doing things concurrently, checking the validity of the antibodies goes on continuously.  It is an ongoing process.  It is not that while we are injecting people to reach herd immunity we stop investigating science to say how far are the antibodies going.  We started checking about the antibodies and tracking them from day one and we continuously do so.  It is something that is done concurrently.  It is not going to be separated.  We are sure that within a short time, we will know and make an announcement if we are going to start the third jab in the near future.

(v)+HON. MUDAWU: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. What is Government planning to do with regards to uncompleted Government flats in different areas of the country?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  If I got the question correctly, she was asking about what Government is doing about the unfinished Government flats.  I am pleased to say that Government, through the Ministry of Finance has availed resources to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to complete most of the structures that were left abandoned for a very long time.  That is now work in progress and we hope that most of the flats will be completed soon.  You saw recently, His Excellency opened flats in Marimba that were completed by Government.  We are also building some houses in Dzivarasekwa that had also been left for a long time.  That is now work in progress and she should see work happening wherever she comes from if there are any such buildings that have been abandoned. I thank you.

HON. BRG, GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, in relation to the distribution of farming inputs to resettlement and communal farmers.  What is the position regarding the vulnerable families who cannot dig Intwasa holes?  What is the position regarding transportation of grain inputs and their conveyance to the ward centres?  Transporters out there are refusing to carry that grain because of the rates that Government is paying them.  They are now asking communities and families to contribute towards transportation. We had communicated that all transportation is going to be paid for by Government.  So it is giving conflicting statements and messages to the communities out there. Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mayihlome for a very important question.  I want to start by saying that the Presidential Pfumvudza Input Scheme is a Presidential Scheme that the President is giving out to households to ensure that they are food self-sufficient.  The President went on to ensure that GMB is given sufficient money for transportation to ensure that the inputs are transported to various wards collection points where households can pick them up and carry them to their homes.  That issue has been addressed.  Indeed, there was an issue whereby transporters were disgruntled by the amount of money that they were being offered to ferry the inputs.  GMB was given some more funding through the Ministry of Finance and they have since raised the fees by 50%.  Rest assured, going forward, you will see that most of the transporters will be carrying the inputs to ward levels.  I do not think the 50% is sufficient to cushion them.  I do not think we have had anything has risen by more than 50%.

Thirdly, Madam Speaker, as regards the issue that some individuals were being denied inputs like those that are not able to satisfy the requirements of Pfumvudza, again that has been addressed the President stressing that it is his scheme which he wants everyone who qualifies to benefit must be given those inputs.  As a result, that requirement that you must have five plots has since been waivered.  All those households that were getting those inputs prior to the introduction of that policy are now able to access the inputs.  I hope the Minister of Agriculture will issue a statement to ensure that all the confusion is clarified.  Let me assure the nation that transportation has been availed and that all the inputs will be distributed to all the households that are registered.  I thank you.

HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Now that the Leader of Government Business has said the Minister should write it, this week Agritex Provincial Officers have been writing letters to District Agritex Officers saying anyone without Pfumvudza/Intwasa holes must not be given, in contradiction with what the Head of State and President and Commander-in-Chief is saying. So this is the conflict we want clarified so that people out there know the truth. So, which is which?

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank Hon. Mayihlome for his second intervention, it is very correct - that has been happening. This Monday, I had the occasion of going to Murombedzi with the CEO of GMB and officials from AREX, indeed that has been happening. It is something that we are investigating so that we ensure that all the officials get the correct message as to the distribution of inputs.

HON. KASHIRI: I wanted to find out from the Hon. Minister if the money has been released by Treasury to GMB. It looks like on the ground GMB, does not have money to pay the transporters. Secondly, the transporters are saying if there is provision of diesel they would assist in carrying the inputs to the farmers. Can the Minister at least provide diesel for transporters to carry the inputs to the farmers while they are sorting the case or they can actually balance it out?

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank Hon. Kashiri for the follow up question. I indicated that money was released by Treasury and I am aware that last week, a further $350 million was released to GMB for transportation of inputs to ward level collection points. So, that has been sorted out. I am also aware there was disgruntlement as regards the amount of money that the transporters were getting. Again, that was solved by the 50% increment that was done. My appeal to Hon. Kashiri is that the transporters can approach the Ministry of Transport given that they are doing an essential service with a special dispensation so that they can also be considered for the Z$ fuel. As Government, what we have done is, we have satisfied the requirements of what the transporters were saying. We increased the fees that the transporters were charging. We ensured that money has been released to GMB so that they can ferry the inputs to ward collection points. I thank you.

*HON. SEWERA: I want find out in connection with seed, are you aware that those people who are under the Command Agriculture and were cleared by GMB that they do not have arrears but when they submit their documents or files to CBZ, CBZ says they are still in debt yet GMB says you have cleared. So we have so many people whose papers were returned and have been asked to pay money to clear the debt. It therefore means most people will not be able to engage in farming activities in time as the rains are upon us. What has Government to do with such a case?

*HON. ZIYAMBI: The question that Hon. Sewera asks pertains to the issue between the farmer, the bank and GMB with regards to the money that is retained by GMB according to the instruction given by the bank after a farmer has sent grain to GMB. That is a difficult question for me to answer for it requires the farmers to go to GMB and CBZ, and show them what their contracts say and how much was then deducted. Otherwise, I do not think we will be able to give a satisfactory response in here. I was also a victim but when I went there and showed them my documents, we came to an agreement and the issue was solved.

HON. T. MLISWA: Minister, are you aware that there are instructions from ZANU PF not to release inputs unless a ZANU PF official sign? I say so because I know ZANU PF does not do that but there are people now using the name of the party. It is important that you come out and make it very clear that it is not the position because it seems as if the inputs scheme is being politicised yet these are public funds that we voted for here. I therefore urge that a Ministerial Statement be issued so that these inputs are not politicised. There are presidential inputs for all Zimbabweans and GMB managers are scared to release them because they are saying tinodzingwa, mayouth emusangano ari kuuya.

Not only that, there are some of us legislators who are willing to give free transport to our farmers but again, there seems to be a group of rowdy youths who then demand money when these inputs are being offloaded. Can you also make sure that the police accompany these as Hon. Minister of Home Affairs is here because it would help? It is not giving the party and the Government a good name? Makoronyera anyanya, ndipo pavanowana mari muzita remusangano. Musangano ndouziva hauna mbavha, asi vanhu ndivo mbavha. I know the party and it is not corrupt but people are putting the party’s name into disrepute.  Clear the party’s name by making an important statement.

* HON. ZIYAMBI: When I first stood up in this House, I clearly articulated that this programme is called Presidential Input Scheme.  It does not need mediators.  It involves the President, GMB and beneficiaries who are the farmers.  GMB is given the list by villagers who are the farmers and councillors.  There is no politics in that.  This scheme does not need anyone to assist.  No individual politician or any ordinary individual is expected to come in-between.

GMB should take inputs to wards in the country and then farmers collect from the wards.  Farmers should know that there is a Presidential Scheme so that they are able to farm.  It is a Presidential Scheme, I repeat.  If there is a councillor who brings a lorry and wants to assist farmers, that is not allowed – no one is allowed to be part and parcel of the programme except for GMB, the President and the farmers.  GMB and AREX officials are the only ones who are allowed to be seen being part of this process.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Given the economic situation prevailing in the country, what is Government policy with regards to the number of delegates from Zimbabwe attending an international conference?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Attendance at a conference is by invitation.  If you have been invited, it means you have a part to play.  Everyone who goes to a conference has an invitation.  If you do not have an invitation, you are a stranger and you will not be allowed in.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  Can the Hon. Minister explain to us – the Conference held in Glasgow, Zimbabwe sent a delegation of about 130 people and yet other countries within the region sent far less or even 10% of that number. What justification for us as a country was there to send such a large delegation given the economic situation that Zimbabwe is in?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, I request that Hon. Mushoriwa, since he is very privy to the specific people that attended the conference – may he forward that information and also a comparative list of the other countries that he is referring to and I will respond.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  I will bring that information tomorrow but I am not sure in which format it should be in.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Any format will do Hon. Member.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands and Agriculture.  What is Government policy on contractual conditions that farmers have? Where are we going even if we do not have contracts and the limit on hectarage that is being contracted between the 2021-22 season are as low as 31?  I understand they have been reduced to five hectares in the rural areas. In rural areas, they do not have farms that are that big but because of the Pfumvudza Programme, the harvest improved. What are farmers going to do because of the nature of contracts?  Those who have paid their bills with CBZ and those that have not are just the same – where are we going?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Government came up with documentation that allows big and small farmers or those who are into commercial farming not to rush to Government to ask for inputs but to go to the banks or source own funds if they are able to do so in order to go and farm.  On the issue of going to the banks, the Government gave itself up as the guarantor so that when our farmers go and apply for loans, the guarantor is the Government.  If the farmer fails to pay, the Government will pay.  So the Government policy is to support the farmer by ensuring that the environment of obtaining loans becomes flexible as the Government will be acting as the guarantor.

If there are serious problems inhibiting farmers from farming, that can be directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement so that it can be rectified.  Communication has been given to the rightful banks to say if farmers have failed, we are the guarantor as Government.  However, we encourage farmers to pay back what they owe after harvesting.  Some of these farmers are evading payment through cheating. For example a farmer would give his nephew 30 tonnes of maize and pretend as if it were his nephew’s harvest to evade stop orders during payment.  So we encourage the bank to make follow–ups to their clients before they can approach the guarantor for repayment.  It is not for free and the only free inputs given to farmers by the Government is the Pfumvudza inputs.  Command Agriculture is based on business and farmers are expected to pay what they owe.  Our request to farmers is that all those involved in farming should be in a position to pay what they owe in terms of what they would have been given as assistance.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is: the people whom we are talking about have paid and were supposed to have received contractual forms for farming.  They have not received anything.  Nationwide, I do not think it is only in my province, I do not think people got these contractual forms.  This was a very good programme if the Government says it was guaranteeing all the farmers.

As black people, we have leant that after being assisted, we should pay back what we owe.  Even in the rural areas, they submitted a lot of grain to GMB.  Yes, CBZ failed in some areas.  What is the Government saying concerning farmers who have not yet received contract forms regardless of the fact that they paid and cleared their debts?  In addition, the farmers are buying all their inputs in US$...

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, these are now two different questions.

*HON. MATANGIRA: My question is what is the Government doing about those who have not received forms but they paid up their loans.  I think I am done.  Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Matangira.  His second question was specific.  There are some farmers who paid their debts but they have not finished paying.  If we have a number of those people who are paid up, they should approach the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to look into it.  However, what I have answered on the first question is that we now want our farmers to be commercial farmers, they should be business minded, work within that mindset.

We have created an enabling environment where a farmer can actually approach the bank and get assistance.  For the other issues he mentioned, maybe we need to look closely into what is happening so that it is rectified before we approach this coming farming season.  I thank you.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Is the Minister aware of the interest rates that CBZ is charging on farmers?  They are actually acting as loan sharks; they are using black market rates.  How will the farmer be able to repay such loans with such high interest rates, whether they have a contract or not?  Are you aware that 30 tonnes of fertilizer is being charged ZW$3 million?  Is the Leader of Government Business aware of this?  He is in possession of evidence to this effect.  It is not only fertilizer Madam Speaker, this also includes seed and agro-chemicals and for a farmer to be able to return the money borrowed from CBZ as financial assistance, it means the price of maize grain should be pegged at $80 000 per tonne.  Will the Government be able to purchase maize from the farmer at that price or people end up thinking that it is better for Zimbabweans not to do the farming?  I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Hon. Chinotimba showed me the documents he is referring to and it is not a new case to me.  Yes, I spoke to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development is also aware.  We are interrogating that issue to work out on the price modalities so that the farmer can execute farming activities well.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

(V)HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question goes to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Madam Speaker, I wanted to find out from the Hon. Minister, in view of the power shortages we are currently experiencing in the country, what is the guarantee that industry, particularly the mining sector is going to have power continuously without stopping production?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am and I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very interesting question where the Hon. Member is seeking a guarantee over an unforeseen circumstance.

Let me attempt to answer it in two parts; the first part being that Government is on a drive to ensure that we have new sources of energy.  We are going into solar sources of energy, we are building new stations in Hwange and we are adding new ones.  Mindful of the fact that the new turbines that we are using were built a very long time ago and they are now susceptible to breakages, if that happens, it is the one that we are using.  You cannot stand up and definitively give somebody a guarantee that you are driving an old Peugeot 404 and you say that the guarantee that I give is that you will get to Harare and you are coming from Chegutu even when it has broken down – that guarantee cannot be given.

What we are doing as Government is, we have expanded our power generation capacity in Kariba, we are building new power stations and encouraging individuals to come up with independent power stations that feed into ZESA.  So we have a medium term plan but the long term plan is to build new and efficient power stations so that we will now be able to definitively answer that question to say, even if these units break down, we have so much back-up and we will be able to ensure that our industry will continue uninterrupted.  I thank you.

(v)HON. MUDARIKWA:  My supplementary question to the Hon. Leader of Government Business is that Hon. Kashiri specifically referred to the mining industry which is paying electricity in foreign currency.  What it means is, they have paid electricity in foreign currency but they are not guaranteed to have electricity and yet the importation of electricity from neighbouring countries is paid in foreign currency.  It is selling something to somebody, he pays and then you do not supply.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am ndichitenda vaMudarikwa.  Madam Speaker, these are two unrelated points.  It does not mean that if you pay in foreign currency, you have a guarantee of supply should a breakdown occur. Paying in foreign currency for mining companies only guarantees that if we are importing, we will then allocate what they pay to ZESA so that they can import that portion of electricity.

We must also be mindful that as we speak, in South Africa, Zambia and the region as a whole, they are also having power shortages.  So the issue really is to holistically look at our energy sector and admit that we have old power generation units that need to be upgraded to an extent that once we have done that, we will be rest assured that should this unit breakdown, we have so many back-up.  At that particular stage, we will be able now to definitively say that the probability of all our units breaking down is 1% but at the moment because of the age of our generation units, they breakdown randomly and you cannot definitively say once they breakdown, I am guaranteeing that this particular unit will be able to power us through while this one is being worked on.

So my answer still stands that, yes we are requesting our miners to pay in foreign currency so that we can pay for our imports but at the moment, the whole region is experiencing power shortages and that payment does not then translate to a guarantee that they will have continuous power supply.  I thank you.

(v)HON. MUDARIKWA:  Supplementary Madam Speaker!

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You are only allowed to ask one supplementary question Hon. Mudarikwa.

(v)HON. MUDARIKWA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  What is the position of Government on the implementation of Constitutional Amendment No. 2, especially on the election of youth Members of Parliament under the youth quota?  I notice that we have already implemented some of the provisions of Amendment No. 2 except the youth quota.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  - [Laughter] -Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am laughing because he is asking a question that he already has an answer to. When the General Election comes that particular provision will be implemented.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  On a point of clarity Madam Speaker!  It might just be a question of diction Madam Speaker.  What I wanted to check with the Hon. Minister is; when are we going to implement the youth quota?  Is it before the next General Election or now before the elections?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. This is a proportional representation election and it cannot be applied in retrospect.  So my initial response was; when we are going to the next General Election, we will now have party lists being submitted to ZEC for the 10 Proportional Representation seats for the youths in the same manner that we present the 60 proportional representation seats for women and those from the Senate.  So this is a provision that will be applied in 2023 when we are going for general elections.  We cannot use it for a by-election because when we did our general elections, there was no provision for that and we cannot apply it in retrospect.  I thank you.

(v)*HON. MADZIVA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  What is Government policy on buildings that are not being renovated in the central business district such as painting or any other such related attention?  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question but it is not clear whether the Hon. Member is referring to local authority buildings, hospitals or schools.  Which buildings specifically?  I am lost because right now the policy says wherever there is a report for the renovation of any building, the Ministry of Local Government is supposed to attend to that but maybe the Hon. Member should specifically refer to a particular building that is really dilapidated so that we can see how we can handle that.  I thank you.

(v)*HON. MADZIVA:  Supplementary question Hon. Speaker.  I would like to refer to the urban areas.  If you go into urban areas or city centres, you will see a lot of buildings that are dilapidated, some of them almost falling and that is what I am trying to refer to.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  The Minister is asking which buildings are they.  Is it public infrastructure or private buildings?  Be specific which buildings you are referring to.

(v)*HON. MADZIVA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am referring to private buildings.  Can they not refurbish or renovate those buildings so that they are up-to-date with what the President is referring to, by saying urban centres should be upgraded.  I thank you.

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have grasped the Hon. Member’s question.  It is a very good question.  Our urban areas should be very beautiful and buildings should be presentable, also they should be beautiful.  So we will ask the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to look at local authority by-laws so that they ensure that the buildings are maintained well and are presentable.  Yes, that is a very good question and I would like to thank the Hon. Member because indeed, our urban areas should be presentable and your buildings should also look good.  I thank you. 

(v)HON. GANDAWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  It is in relation to discussions that we at one time underwent to unlock value to our 99-Year Leases.  I want to check with the Minister how far we have gone in that discussion.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, as the Hon. Member alludes to, indeed discussions are underway as regards to the bankability of the 99-Year Leases.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement are doing that.

Over and above that, currently we have a facility where Government is giving out a guarantee to banks so that farmers can use the agro-yield facility from CBZ to access loans. So while negotiations are underway, there is also another window to use to ensure that farmers access funding.  I thank you.

(v)HON. M. M. MPOFU:  I asked a question that has not been responded to Madam Speaker.  I directed my question to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  So you still need the response Hon. Mpofu?  Maybe if you can then repeat the question so that the Leader of the House would be able to respond.

(v)HON. M. M. MPOFU:  No, my question is directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.  The Minister has promised us village information centres, especially in my constituency in Silobela in 2019.  Up to now, he has not done anything.  I wanted to know the position where he is with these projects.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

         THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mpofu, that is a specific question.  You were supposed to put it in writing if it is relating to Silobela specifically, unless if you were going to be asking a policy question. May you kindly put it in writing because it is a specific question?

Questions without Notice were interrupted by the HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

UPDATE ON THE OPERATIONS OF THE ZIMBABWE INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (ZIDA)

  1. HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce to give an update to the House on the operations of the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) taking into consideration that ZIDA is expected to play a major role in the implementation of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

THE TEMPORARY SPEAEKR: The question is redirected to the relevant Ministry which is the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): ZIDA, as the name suggests, is an investment development agency and that is what it is that they ought to drive.  They are driving foreign direct investment into the country but also facilitating local investment into the country.  They have developed guidelines on how investors can approach ZIDA in terms of company registration and all the documentary requirements including the different stages of whatever is being requested.

ZIDA is also in charge of the Act that governs the special economic zones, these are zones that allow investors to enjoy certain incentives around tax rebates, tax holidays so that they could then improve on their rate of return as they invest.  So, they are playing their full role and I can assure you that they have done an excellent job so far in bringing forward projects for approval by Cabinet.  Usually, the internal processes are such that the technical committee that approves these projects after processing is chaired by the secretary for Treasury and then is brought to the Ministry of Finance for final signature and for eventual submission to Cabinet.

One of the exciting projects to show that they are making a contribution is the development of the Pomona waste dump which will become a bio-gas producer, electricity producer and just help clean up the city.  Once that project is successful which is a public private partnership between the local Government and foreign investor, it can then be rolled out to other cities as well.  I am just highlighting one of the projects that will add value coming from the work of the ZIDA; they are playing their full role in terms of investment promotion.  I thank you.

(v)HON. NYONI: My supplementary is on the processing of documentation for new businesses. Can the Minister comment as per any marked improvement and also the issue of decentralisation of ZIDA offices.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for that follow up question.  Yes, indeed there has been a marked improvement in the speed and efficiency of processing of documents by investors.  We also have a project under the ease of doing business and ZIDA is involved in that working with the Ministry of Justice as well to move to electronic system in terms of deeds search in terms of company registration.

So basically, while working on an electronic system for company registration for deeds search, this is a project for deeds search.  This is a project under the ease of doing business overall of all Government projects led by the Minister of Justice.  ZIDA is involved and I chair the Committee for the improvement of the ease of doing business conditions.

In terms of decentralisation of ZIDA, it is working on that already to decentralise its offices to various key places within Zimbabwe such as Bulawayo, Mutare and others.  I thank you.

DISBURSEMENT OF DEVOLUTION FUNDS TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES

  1. 3. HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House how much of the devolution funds has been disbursed to local authorities to date.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): The amount so far is to the order of 7 billion ZWL and our target is about 14 billion by year end.  So we are pushing hard to get there but we know that the full target in the budget was 19, 5 billion ZWL but due to both cash challenges and absorptive capacity at the local authority level and procurement challenges; those 3 factors impact the speed of disbursement of devolution funds.  We think the best we can do by year end is about 14 billion but I must hasten to say that although that is below the budget target, devolution funds are making a huge difference on the ground right across the board, whether it is schools, clinics or roads.  We will continue to allocate good resources as we go forward.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister.  If I look at this question, it needs us to give the details. So, I think it will be good for you to be able to bring the report so that it can be recorded in the Hansard. Again, so that there is a projection which we will also be able to evaluate how much money has been disbursed, how much is left and how much is lacking. I thank you.

OPERATIONS OF THE VICTORIA FALLS STOCK MARKET

  1. HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to appraise the House on the operations of the Victoria Falls stock market and the number of companies that have been registered on the stock market so far.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange had been launched - so far there are two listed companies.  There is SEDCO as well as Cabenga.  SEDCO, seed company, we allow it for our agriculture and then for Cabenga, they are involved in gold and in the crocodile farming business and so forth.  Both of them are strong companies.

                  We are expecting a third company to come on board, which is New Caledonia, which again is a gold company which mines out of Matabeleland South, Blanket Mine but it also services on the New York Stock Exchange.  We expect more companies to come on board over time.  If this goes according to plan, we are targeting companies that are mainly forex earners in terms of their business.  We want them to use foreign exchange to raise foreign currency capital as well as they expand their businesses.

So in the case of New Caledonia, this will be the first IPO, Initial Public Offering on both VFEX and ZFC considered together is the first kind of IPO in a very long time. So this is a positive development indeed and we expect this stock market to follow, going forward regarding investment, both into our economy and into the region.  I thank you.

(v) HON. I NYONI: If I heard the Minister clearly, he indicated that at the moment, there are two companies and there is a third that is also going to be listed very soon.  Can he inform this House, has the stock market been trading?  If so, what volumes and is it a clear indication, considering that there are only three companies that are there now that this has a future or not?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  I assure this House that the stock market has a great future indeed.  So if we have this number of companies being in new exchange, it is really a beatable record and there is trading on the Exchange.  Just looking at the quality of these companies, if I will be buying these companies, certainly when I get a bit of money, I will – Cabenga is a quality company.  Look at SEDCO, it is a quality company which also has a strong foreign ownership from French investment and indeed, New Caledonia is a global company. It is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.  Then Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, in the near future, you will see volumes speak out.  We are determined to make sure it works.  More recently, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding through the Exchange and the Dubai Gold and Commodity to strengthen the commodity side, especially the hard metals.  Whether we are looking at chrome, iron ore or copper, we want these to be quoted on that Exchange so that it then becomes a hub for these hard commodities as well; the US dollar priced commodities.  I thank you.

         (v) HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to find out from the Hon. Minister of Finance, why is it that we do not have any of our parastatals that are earning foreign currency, not registered on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange?  I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you very much.  We are currently having discussions with management of one our parastatals in the mining sector, which is to list on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.  It is my hope that we will be able to do so within the next three months.  There are mining sectors and they are earning foreign currency.  So this is going to happen.

POLICY REGARDING AGE OF CONSENT TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain:

(a) What the Government policy is regarding the age of consent to sexual intercourse considering that the  promised alignment of the (Criminal Law Codification and Reform) Act with the Constitution has not yet been tabled before Parliament.

(b)    Whether or not the inconsistencies with the Constitution of the Act of Parliament as evidenced by the one that provides for an age of consent lower than the age prescribed in the supreme law of the land do not create confusion.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Tsuura for the question. Madam Speaker Ma’am, regarding the first part of the question, the current legal position as referred in Section 70 of the Criminal Law Code is that the age of consent to sexual activity is pegged at 16 years.  That is the law.  There is no international convention or treaty which provides for the age of consent to sex.  So let us just be clear from the start that we do not have a standard age of consent across the board.

         Our Constitution is also silent on the age of consent.  However on Section 78, it sets out the age of consent to marriage at 18 years.  It is necessary that I point out that there has never been in our law, a direct equation made between marriage and indulging in sexual activity.  So it has never really stated that this is the age you must indulge in sex and we equate to age of marriage.  It has never been in our law.  That practice has never been there and we must not do so because marriage involves and requires more from a person as there are life commitments to consider including personal or proprietary and psychological as well, and we still stand by the position that 18 is the age of consent to marriage.

We do however, implore parents, custodians and guardians to educate and teach the children to refrain from sexual conduct at a young age.  We cannot however, transfer this responsibility to the State, police and judiciary unless the sexual conduct involves matters such as rape, indecent assault and obtaining facts through inducement.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, there are proposals that the age of consent to sex should be raised to 18 years.  Raising the age of consent to 18 years creates inevitable consequences.  These include criminal records for children and a bar to access sexual healthcare.  Dr. Labode can allude to that.  Children are already engaging in sexual activities among themselves or with older people.

The age of consent being fixed at 16, recognises facts which the law cannot dictate.  The facts are that at the age of 16, most children are mature, beyond their age nowadays and are already sexually active.  Raising the age of consent to sex to 18 means children below the age of 18 having sexual intercourse will be criminalised.  This results in children getting unwanted criminal records.  So, our position is that as parents, guardians and society, we must teach our children morals as opposed to abrogating our responsibility to the State, to say criminalise this conduct.

In addition, Madam Speaker, our prisons will be filled with young children who will now be labeled as criminals for consensually engaging in sexual activity.  Our judicial system will be clogged with these matters, resulting in resources being diverted from the real sexual crimes and other serious criminal offences.

If having intercourse becomes a criminal offence yet children are already indulging, this will deter these children from accessing sexual healthcare, since trying to access this healthcare is tantamount to admitting that one is guilty of a sexual offence.  These are issues which need to be resolved but my Ministry will not make a unilateral decision without consulting.  There shall be consultations with stakeholders and the general public so that we can take steps on age of consent to sex.  However I repeat, let us deal with issues of morality as a society and not transfer that responsibility to our criminal courts.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, on alleged inconsistencies between the Criminal Law Code and the Constitution, let me hasten to say there are no inconsistencies between the two.  The Constitution does not provide for age of consent to sexual intercourse.  It provides for the age of consent to marriage in Section 78, which is set at 18 years of age.

I would also like to make it clear that there are laws against rape and indecent assault.  And there are laws against obtaining sex by inducements such as using money, bribery, et cetera where such are considered criminal offences and offenders will be rightfully charged.  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

POLICY REGARDING CURRENT RECRUITMENT OF HIGH COURT JUDGES

  1. 11. TSUURA asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House what Government’s policy is towards the current recruitment of High Court Judges considering that pronouncements attributed to the Honourable Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on some of the disciplinary challenges in the judicial system stem from the recruitment process and to elaborate on whether the citizens should expect another constitutional amendment.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am for the opportunity.  I want to thank Hon. Tsuura for the question.  Let me start by indicating that Government policy on recruitment of judges is as provided for in the Constitution.  The Constitution provides for the appointment of judges in Section 180. It is the supreme law of the country which is binding on the State.  The Government will not stray out of the confines of the supreme law. I urge the Hon. Member to familiarise herself with that which gives us a clear guideline on what to do.

As for the disciplinary challenges that might be occurring at the High Court, those cannot be attributed to the appointment process.  If there are disciplinary challenges, the Constitution makes provisions for what should be done.  I must also add that every system, you find that there may be challenges in terms of discipline but it does not mean that you need to go back to the people and change the Constitution.  You follow what is there to ensure that you will instill discipline using the relevant provisions.

I refer the Hon. Member to Section 187 of the Constitution, which clearly lays out grounds upon which a judge can be removed from office - among others, incompetency, inability to perform functions, gross misconduct. This is done by the President acting on the advice of the JSC. He sets up a tribunal to look into the question of the removal and he will act on that particular recommendation.

I believe that our laws cover all the areas that the Hon. Member asked in terms of appointment procedures and disciplinary issues. As a Government, we do not have powers to circumvent appointments and disciplinary procedures as they are laid out in the Constitution.  I believe that whatever utterances that were attributed, they must be read within the confines of our law and the Constitution and interpreted likewise.  Definitely, we do not have any amendment that may be said to be coming on our way. Thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

 

CONSTRUCTION OF DONGAMUZI RURAL HEALTH CENTRE IN LUPANE WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. M. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when the construction of the Dongamuzi Rural Health Centre in Lupane West Constituency will commence considering that annual budget allocation have been provided over the year and yet no work has been done to date.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): A private contractor had been secured to start work around mid-October 2021 but the Public Works Department advised the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Matabeleland North Province, not to engage a private contractor as the department is going to do the construction.  Up to now, the Public Works Department has not commenced construction of the said clinic.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care, Matabeleland North Provincial Director, will submit a full report on the matter.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day, Number 1 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 2 has been disposed of.

HON. KARUMAZONDO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

*HON. CHIBAGU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to applaud the President for the current lifestyle we are living.  In my Constituency Mbire, I am enjoying the great job that the President is doing.  Right now we are counted amongst people.  Firstly, he constructed and repaired roads, right now irrigation schemes are being constructed so much that the youths who were idle and busy stealing are now settled and working properly.  There is irrigation at Kanyemba and our youths are working getting some remuneration, no matter how much they are getting.  They have become responsible people living their lives from what they earn.  There is irrigation at Mushumbi Pools that has been set up which we have never witnessed since we were born.  Right now it employs more than 100 youths and they are happy working there.  That means the President has people at heart.  Whatever the President is doing is from God, he is a man of God.

I would also want to add that as it stands people of Mbire are very happy and enjoying life.  We applaud the coming of Pfumvudza/Intwasa agriculture smart programme.  We did not know about harvesting maize, but right now we are having good harvests.   That includes crops like tobacco, sorghum and other crops.  If you go to GMB Mushumbi, you will realise that there is bumper harvest.  If you go to Kanyemba right now, you are able to see progress on youths.  We used to witness idle youths just loitering but right now there is improvement in youths in our area.  We now have doctors such Christmas Kachasu who is now leading the council.  That shows that there is a lot of development taking place.  Ever since we got our independence, the President has put Mbire on the map.  We used to struggle but our lives have improved.  If you look at Guruve, there is Eureka Mine which is now in place and those who used to live like vagabonds have since become responsible citizens earning livelihoods through working as well as irrigation schemes that are sources of livelihoods.

Looking at mines, there is a lot of improvement and people are benefiting from them – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – I have my mask on, please stop disturbing me.  Right now Eureka Mine employs a lot of children.  The rate of criminal offences has stopped including the drug abuse such as marauzani and other elicit liquors.  All these things have since stopped; children can now go to school.  Their lives have become orderly.  That shows that the President is God sent to lead people.

I would like to thank the President for the Pfumvudza programme.  All the Doma people have joined the programme.  We are tilling our fields and there will be plenty of food.  All the schools have been renovated including Mushumbi and Kanyemba.  Our children are now interested in learning as opposed to what they used to do – they used to go for hunting and collecting wild fruits (masawu).  That shows that we are an independent Zimbabwean nation.  Our roads have been graded from Mbire to the Zambezi River and we are now paying less for the ZUPCO buses that are available.  What else would you need?  The President did a very good job.  There is no divide and rule.  He unites everyone.  I would like to thank the President for that.  As Members of Parliament and representatives of people, we would like to thank him very much for accepting our messages.

The First Lady is also very much appreciated because she also interacts with people.  All those people who used to run away for fear of being labelled as inferior or primitive are now able to interact publicly with people.  We are ripping benefits from mines and agriculture.  I have nothing more to say except to thank His Excellency very much.  I thank you.

         (v)*HON. TSUURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on the President’s Speech on the State of the Nation Address raised by Hon. Mutambisi and supported by Hon. Moyo. I would like to refer to infrastructure development, especially roads. I am very happy because if you look at the state of our roads, they had become so bad that vehicles would break down but now most of our roads have been rehabilitated, including the roads that lead outside the country such as Masvingo but we still appeal that if possible, may the roads in the rural areas be rehabilitated.  That would be a very splendid thing because in the rural areas, some roads are still inaccessible. So if they are repaired, that would be a great improvement. In urban areas, some people had lost their houses but right now houses have been constructed by the army and nurses have benefited from that. If people continue to get houses constructed for them, it will become easy for them.

I would also want to look at Pfumvudza/Intwasa, many people really appreciate that programme as it is a very good programme. I request that the programme be continued because there are some people who need such assistance. If there could be a way of ensuring that the vulnerable remain beneficiaries of that programme, I wish there could be a way of assisting them to dig those holes because they are not capable of doing so.

With regards to the health sector, the whole world was faced with the COVID pandemic, so the Government did very well in mitigating the pandemic. I hereby request that the Government continues treating people but I would like to refer to the hospitals and other health centres that need attention. They need refurbishment and we also need to have more medical centres so that people can easily access health facilities near them. May the facilities be well staffed?

With regards to transport, we know that our trains had stopped moving for a long time but right now, they have resumed and we have a lot of buses though they are not yet enough. We know that more are coming and it is a good thing to note that we have ZUPCO, both in urban and rural areas. We also know that we had very few aeroplanes but the fleet has been increased. So if only our country could continue on that trajectory of development so that we can continue living peacefully with our neighbours.

(v)*HON. MADZIVA: I also want to thank His Excellency, President E.D. Mnangagwa. I want to thank him for the job he is doing in the country. I want to thank him firstly for the Mbuya Nehanda statue. We are very happy for honouring the spirit medium of the country. This shows that the President is very committed in returning the dignity of the country. I also want to thank the President for the refurbishment of the Robert Mugabe International Airport. Right now, it meets international standards.

Within this short period of time when His Excellency, Cde. E.D. Mnangagwa has been in charge as the President of the country, he has done many developmental projects like farming where people are being given inputs. We thank him very much for committing himself to build the country. We want to thank him for rehabilitating the roads which were in bad state for a long period of time but now the President is on the road to refurbish these roads. There were many potholes in the roads but the roads are now in a good state and people are no longer complaining.

We also want to thank His Excellency for availing ZUPCO buses to ferry people from one area to the other. He is a hardworking man who does not sit in the office but takes his time to go around monitoring all the projects being done and implemented within the country. The President at one point travelled from Harare to Gutu by road and from Masvingo to Rutenga by road in a bid to assess the state of the road network in the country.

I also want to thank the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa who took her time to teach the girl-child on issues to do with nhanga, gota and growing up. The kids now understand the family set up and our cultural heritage in the country. The First Lady does not select areas but she goes to all areas working with women and chiefs in uplifting the livelihoods of all the people. I have mentioned a lot of programmes being done by His Excellency, Cde. Mnangagwa. Thank you.

         (v)HON. S. SITHOLE: I want to thank the Head of the State and Government, Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, our President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa on the SONA he delivered.  Madam Speaker, on infrastructure development of roads – I would like to thank the President for that one. The President also emphasised that dams should be built around the time (Technical glitch).  Road infrastructure is where people have access (Technical glitch)

Our President has been trying even on sanctions which are imposed on our country Zimbabwe for the issue to be finalised and he has said that any project which has started is supposed to be completed.  I hope that people from Insiza South will have that facility for that road to be completed.

I would like to thank the President for the ‘Pfumvudza’ Programme that he put in place.  He emphasised that transporting of inputs to the beneficiaries will be free..  This programme is aimed at beefing up our food security.

Where I come from Insiza South, there is a dam called Mzingwane. From Mawabeni up to Limpopo, just driving straight to Limpopo, there is no dam. I think that issue should be looked into so that there is a dam here and it will benefit not only Insiza or Gwanda.  We will be hitting two birds with one stone.

On corruption, the President said everyone should play a role to eradicate corruption.  We must put a law which will stop corruption.  Do not quote me wrong – neither can we forget what people have done, then we say let us put laws and these laws will say when we do corruption again we are going to cut one hand. I think when we put laws which say no to corruption, I think the corruption will stop. (Technical glitch)

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

HON. NDEBELE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 11th November, 2021.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. S. SITHOLE, the House adjourned at Twelve Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

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