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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 10 OCTOBER 2023 VOL 50 NO 4

          PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 10th October, 2023

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  The two Honourable Members there!  Do not hide.  Yes you, can you leave the House.  The lady who is looking back, can you leave the House!

          The Hon. Member left the Chamber.

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Section 128 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his or her seat in Parliament, the Member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule.  Section 128 (2) states that the Oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament.  I therefore call upon the Clerk of Parliament to administer the Oath of the Member of Parliament to Gladys Kudzaishe Hlatshwayo, Brian Leslie James, Sekai Marashe and Allan Norman Markham.

          Order, order!  There are additional ones – Hon. Toffa and Hon. P. D. Sibanda.  Please be upstanding.  Where are you?  Order, order!  Can we witness the ceremony with the greatest decorum. We will take the first four first. 

NEW MEMBERS SWORN

HON. GLADYS KUDZAISHE HLATSHWAYO, HON. BRIAN LESLIE JAMES, HON. SEKAI MARASHE, HON. ALLAN NORMAN. MARKHAM, HON. JASMINE TOFFA and HON. PRINCE DUBEKO SIBANDA subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took their seats – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

ISSUANCE OF WIFI AND EMAIL CREDENTIALS TO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that our Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) department will be issuing Wi-Fi and email credentials to Hon. Members. In order to expedite this process, officers from the ICT department will be stationed at the Members’ Dining Room from 1400 hours every sitting day this week.

VACANCIES IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on the 3rd of October 2023, I received a letter signed by Mr. W. Sengezo Tshabangu who signed off as the interim Secretary-General of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) political party notifying that the following Members ceased to be Members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) with effect from the 3rd October 2023. The names were written as follows: Pashor Raphel Sibanda (Cowdray Park); Ereck Gono (Lobengula Magwegwe); Nicola Jane Watson, (Bulawayo South); Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma Mzilikazi); Obert Manduna (Nketa); Mlilo Sitabile (P.R); Jasmine Toffa (P.R); Janeth Dube (P.R); Evidence Zana (Youth Quota); Morgan Ncube (Beitbridge West); Velisiwe Nkomo (P.R); Prince Dubeko Sibanda (Binga North); Bright Moyo Vanya (Lupane East); and Febion Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi (Mabvuku Tafara).

Accordingly, Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe applies as follows as it provides that ‘A seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the Member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a Member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned by written notice to the Speaker or President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it’. The law has indicated in Section (1) (k) and the related previous court rulings on similar matters that they do not require me to adjudicate, but compels Parliament to only action notification upon receipt of a letter of the recall.

Accordingly, the necessary administrative measures have been taken to inform His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act, Chapter 213 as amended.

HON. CHIBAYA: On a point of clarification.

THE HON. SPEAKER: There is nothing to be clarified – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON.  CHIBAYA: On a point of clarification Hon. Speaker.  I want to put the record straight that as CCC leadership, we have not recalled anyone. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, do you want to hear him or not?  So keep quiet.

HON.  CHIBAYA:  Hon. Speaker, I want to put it on record that as CCC, we did not recall any Member of Parliament.  As CCC, we do not have that position of Secretary-General.  Hon. Speaker, we wrote a letter to you on 11th September notifying you that all correspondence comes through the office of our president, Advocate Chamisa.  Hon. Speaker, after seeing those recalls on social media, we wrote another letter again to your office, explaining that as CCC, we do not have that position of Secretary-General.  Hon. Speaker, I do not think it is proper to action or even rule in favour of Tshabangu.  Hon. Speaker, it is not proper to only read the letter from Tshabangu and ignore the letter we left at your office.  Hon. Speaker, I do not think that if anyone wrote a letter purporting to be ZANU-PF secretary-general, you are going to effect that letter. - AN HON. MEMBER:  On a point of order…. -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, order.  When a Member raises a point of order, that Member is allowed to raise the point of order.  That does not mean you have been curtailed, but I want you to wind up.  Hon. Member, what is your point of order?

AN HON. MEMBER:  Hon. Speaker, my point of order is that we are not here to discuss political party structures.

HON. CHIBAYA:  Hon. Speaker, I am aware that Parliament is going through the induction process, so she is still learning.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, in other words, you are saying my ruling to call her to make her point is wrong?  Withdraw that statement.

HON. CHIBAYA:  Hon. Speaker, I am actually supporting your ruling, but it is okay, I withdraw my statement.  In terms of Section 129 of the Constitution, only a party which sponsored Hon. Members to come to this august House has the right to recall its members.  However, in this case, Tshabangu is not a member of our party CCC nor is he our Secretary-General, a post that does not exist in our party.  Therefore, Hon. Speaker, as CCC and as Organiser of CCC, I said earlier on that we did not recall any member. We do not know which party Tshabangu belongs to, but our Members will remain in this august House because we did not recall them from being Members of our party.  Unless Hon. Speaker you want to collapse Parliament and even Government itself, because we cannot allow a situation whereby a person who is not a Member of our party can recall our Members.  - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It must not be political. This is Parliament and not ZANU PF Headquarters – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – Hon. Speaker, I withdraw the last part of my statement - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I stand with my submission that as CCC, we did not recall anyone from this august House. I thank you.

HON. SPEAKER: If you listened very carefully to the last part of my statement, I said I cannot adjudicate on that issue you raised. There is a forum, I go by the letter that I received first and foremost. Thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Ko ya11 September?] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections and shouting 11 September!] – Order, order Hon. Members! Hon. Members, in the letter that I referred to, the credentials in terms of the contact details of this writer and CCC is free to engage that person - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections and singing.]

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I have…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. D. P. Sibanda, please sit down – [ HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

The Sergeant-at-Arms walked into the National Assembly accompanied by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police on duty and ordered recalled C.C.C Hon. Members to go out.  C.C.C. Hon. Members refused to go out. -  saying that -[HON. MEMBERS: This is not police, it is Parliament.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

Hon. Members broke into song.

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I do not want to cause any commotion, neither do I desire to become the subject of attention. I simply wanted to say peaceful words before peacefully exiting out of the House.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I would have allowed you to do that if you had not contested what I told you. Hon. P. D. Sibanda, I hear you. You publicly disowned the ruling of the Chair when I asked you to sit down and you vehemently said you will not sit down and your colleagues joined you.  You started a commotion.  You did not listen when I asked you to sit down.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am prepared to apologise for that Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: I advised you to sit down.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It is unfortunate, you are abusing your left position in this House in that manner, it is quite unfortunate and I do not think that is good for this country at all.  Firstly, you made an injudicious ruling and then secondly, you want to defend that loft position by not allowing me to express my views.  Honestly, Hon. Speaker, that kind of governance should not be allowed especially in Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is quite unfair Hon. Speaker. Unfortunately, you have turned this House into a House of chaos. I have got no obligation to follow any rule of this House.  I am telling you, I am being honest, I am being sincere Hon. Speaker, I have got nothing to lose – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is sad Hon. Speaker that you are contributing towards the downfall of this country.  Apparently, this might be the start of your own downfall Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  I am really sad to say this; that today here in Harare in the Parliament Building, two people from Binga will look at each other and talk in the manner that we are talking now -[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- I never anticipated to get that from you Hon. Speaker.  Your people anticipated something better from you than what we are seeing here, where you are being used by ZANU PF - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

Members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police walked into the House - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

SPEAKER’S RULING

DISORDERLY BEHAVIOUR BY MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITION

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you have witnessed for yourself that after my ruling, Hon. Chibaya requested to explain their position, which was allowed in terms of the identity of the writer of the recall letter. Now, it is not proper that the ruling of the Chair be debated. It cannot be debated because it is final. Anyone who is unhappy with the ruling has a right to approach the various levels of our court system and the issue will then be resolved there.

If the Chair has ruled in a manner that is contrary to the Standing Rules and Orders, then the tribunal will decide accordingly, but we cannot allow a situation where the authority of the Chair is disabused. You saw for yourself when Hon. Chibaya had explained himself, there was Hon. Mahere who wanted to speak and I asked her to sit down and she sat down. Then Hon. Prince Dubeko Sibanda took the floor and I indicated that he should not take the stand and address the Chair. He refused and Hansard will confirm that he said “he will not respect my injunction”.

Now, we cannot allow such a situation where in the end, we had to bring in ZRP, the police force to eject them because they made this House ungovernable and we have lost more than two hours of taxpayers’ money without doing anything. It is therefore my ruling that the Members concerned who caused the commotion for the past two hours or so will not be allowed to sit in this House for the next six sittings and that they will forfeit their salaries for two months. So, I rule – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]. We proceed with business.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

HON. NGULUVHE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move the motion standing in my name that a respectful address be presented to the President of Zimbabwe as follows:-

May it please you, your Excellency the President:

We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament.

HON. TSITSI ZHOU:  I second.

HON. NGULUVHE:  Let me begin by thanking you for giving me this opportunity, to move this motion on the State of the Nation Address that was presented to Parliament by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Cde E. D. Mnangagwa on the 3rd of October, 2023.  Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the Hon. Members of this House for having been elected into this august House.  Secondly, I would like to congratulate you Mr. Speaker, for also being elected once again as the Speaker of the National Assembly.  On the same note, I want to congratulate Hon. T. Gezi for re-election, the re-election for both of you is a result of your suitability and confidence to lead this august House –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

Hon. Speaker Sir, I rise before this esteemed august House to present a motion on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency.  The address exemplified the Government’s unwavering commitment to economic progress and development.  It is a great honour and privilege to be the first speaker to debate on the State of the Nation Address.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my congratulations to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D Mnangagwa, Members of Parliament, and the Zimbabwean people for the successful, transparent, credible, free, fair and peaceful elections.  I would also like to specifically congratulate and express my gratitude to the people of Beitbridge East Constituency for once again putting their faith and trust in one of their own sons as their representative. I assure them that I will fulfill the three main roles of a Member of Parliament, which are representation, lawmaking and oversight, to the best of my ability.  I want to promise them that I will always be there for them, as we say in my vernacular language, ndolivhuwa zwanda mavuni.

Hon. Speaker Sir, I would like to express my gratitude to His Excellency for his bold stance on prioritising development towards vision 2030.  Despite the challenges posed by illegal sanctions, His Excellency has steered the country towards progress.  His commitment to leaving no one behind is evident and commendable.  His consistency and programmatic approach are praiseworthy.

Hon. Speaker Sir, under the leadership of Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, the Second Republic has made significant strides in infrastructure development, resulting in job creation for the unemployed. In my constituency, many of our people were employed in the upgrading of the Beitbridge Border Post and the Beitbridge-Masvingo Road.  The impact of these developments can be seen in the quality of homes being built in Beitbridge.  Additionally, the Pfumvudza programme has greatly increased food production, making many households self-sufficient.

I would like to once again applaud His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for his vision, from the Transitional Stabilisation Programme to the National Development Strategy 1.  His clarity and consistency prove beyond any doubt, his commitment to the people of Zimbabwe.  Despite facing sanctions and misinformation, His Excellency remains steadfast in his dedication to taking Zimbabwe to the land of milk and honey.  He is our own Joshua who will take Zimbabwe to the land of milk and honey despite sanctions, attacks on exchange rate, misinformation and propaganda that the Government is facing.

Hon. Speaker, I want now to dwell on the State of the Nation in brief.  Thank you your Excellency, for a clear and comprehensive legislative agenda.  During the address, His Excellency emphasised the pivotal role of law as an instrument for development.  As Members of this House, it is incumbent upon us to actively participate in enacting laws that enhance the quality of life for our people and contribute to the progress of the nation. In this regard, I rise on a motion to urge this House to expedite the passage of the Youth Bill, as outlined in the 2023 State of the Nation Address.  This Bill is long overdue and will provide a comprehensive framework for promoting the development and empowerment of the youth in Zimbabwe.  With over 60% of the population under the age of 35, it is crucial that we prioritise their needs and aspirations.

Hon. Speaker Sir, while the Government has already shown its commitment to youth development through various policies and programmes, the lack of a legal instrument to hold stakeholders accountable has hindered their effective implementation.  Therefore, the enactment of the National Youth Act is necessary to strengthen relevant institutions, enhance coordination and ensure the successful implantation of youth policies.

Hon. Speaker Sir, it is worth noting that several African countries have already enacted similar legislation to prioritise youth empowerment and engagement.  Countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Kenya have established laws such as the National Youth Commission Act, Namibia National Youth Service Act and National Youth Service Act respectively. By emulating their example, we can provide a binding legal framework to hold duty bearers accountable and effectively implement international youth treaties, national youth policies and programmes.

One critical aspect that the Youth Bill addresses is the pressing issue on drug abuse among our youth which has become a significant concern in our society.  This detrimental problem adversely affects physical and mental well-being of our young people.  The Youth Bill goes beyond merely addressing the symptoms of drug abuse.  It recognises that youth empowerment is a powerful tool in preventing and combating this issue.

With the enactment of the Youth Bill, we can establish standards, principles and procedures that will guide the implementation of comprehensive youth policies.  The Youth Bill will ensure that the objectives outlined in Section 20 of the Zimbabwe National Constitution are upheld.  Additionally, it will empower the Ministry of Youth to establish various youth boards responsible for addressing youth concerns and facilitating their effective resolution. 

Hon. Speaker Sir, furthermore, His Excellency rightly emphasised on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in our economy. 

These enterprises play a vital role in job creation, economic growth and innovation.  To further support their growth, His Excellency announced a review of the Small and Medium Enterprises Act.  Involving youths in the SMEs sector can be a game changer in turning around the fortunes of the economy.  First, the burgeoning SMEs sector not only enables youth to navigate the challenges of everyday life but also has great potential to create jobs for young people.  This means that this is an area with huge potential.  Finally, the SME sector is fraught with ambiguities where young people are earning a living but giving up on their aspirations due to the challenges in the sector.  Once the review of this Act is done, the ambiguities and challenges are addressed and the potential for youth in the sector is unlocked.

Hon. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe’s banking sector is currently dominated by commercial banks and a few recently established micro finance banks.  To that end, His Excellency announced that Parliament is expected to approve the Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies Bill to provide for the administration and management of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS).  SACCOS are key in responding to the difficulties that SMEs, a considerable number of which are owned by youths, face in obtaining funding.  Through SACCOS, a link can be established where rural small businesses can access credit and costs that are affordable.  This will positively contribute towards improved access to loans and financial well-being of our citizens, especially those living in rural areas.

Mr. Speaker Sir, furthermore, sport is integral to job creation as well as the promotion of healthy lifestyles.  In this regard, the Second Republic is currently developing the Sport, Leisure and Recreation Bill to create an enabling environment for sport and recreation delivery.  Through the Sports Integrity Bill, Parliament is expected to assist in the creation of a regulated and fair sporting environment.  Allow me to note that Zimbabwe has a huge potential of transforming sports into business enterprises that can turn this country into a booming economy.  Members of this august House are aware that the sports industry is a significant source of job creation, offering employment opportunities in various sectors.  From professional athletes, coaches and referees to marketing, event management and facility operations, the industry provides a diverse range of careers.  Given the huge talent base in this country, the Sport, Leisure and Recreation Bill will naturally foster the enabling environment for sports and related businesses in the country.

His Excellency also highlighted the significance of the support and solidarity received from progressive nations during our struggle for political independence.  In recognition of this, the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act will be amended to include Botswana as one of the countries that had transit camps during our liberation struggle.  It is essential that we acknowledge the contributions of all those who played a part in our struggle and this amendment will help redefine the category of non-combatant cadres to include these individuals; this is important.  The improved enumeration of war veterans and collaborators will result in enhanced delivery of welfare benefits and services, payment of disability compensation, military retirement benefits, pension payments along with medical care and access to various other welfare programmes.

Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency emphasised the importance of combating human trafficking.  The National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons has already been launched, but it is crucial that we amend the Trafficking in Persons Act to operationalise this plan effectively.  The Amendment Bill is meant to strengthen the nation’s existing laws on the matter and detail assistance to victims of human trafficking as well as repatriation steps.  It will align with the guidelines of the Palermo Protocol.  On another note, the use of biological weapons during our liberation struggle caused immense harm to both combatants and civilians.  The proposed Biological Warfare Bill will criminalise the use of such weapons, aligning our legislation with the Convention on Biological Warfare.

Mr. Speaker Sir, before I conclude, I would like to touch on specific areas concerning my district and constituency.  I would like to acknowledge that His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, in his State of the Nation Address addressed all the issues that the Second Republic is currently working on.  I am pleased to note that the Government will be allocating more resources towards the devolution and decentralisation programme with a focus on projects that improve access and quality of education, health, roads, water and sanitation.

In my constituency and other areas in agro-ecological regions 4 and 5, there is an urgent need for improved access to water and sanitation.  I strongly appeal for the construction of dams in Beitbridge East to safeguard livestock, especially considering the unpredictable seasons caused by climate change.  It is worth noting that Beitbridge East currently lacks any dams.  Furthermore, I believe that supporting irrigation development, particularly in citrus production is crucial as our environment is conducive to such projects and there are already successful citrus initiatives in the district and across Limpopo.  Additionally, livestock farmers should be empowered and provided with necessary inputs to enhance productivity and add value to their activities.  I encourage the Government to explore investment opportunities in leather manufacturing industries in Beitbridge.  I also propose that the Presidential Input Programme consider including stock feeds and livestock vaccines for our farmers.

In line with the Public Health Policy of the Ministry of Health and Childcare, it is stipulated that a primary healthcare facility should serve a population within a 5km radius.  This policy aims at reducing the distances travelled by the sick population and improve overall health.  Therefore, I appeal to the Government to allocate more funds through devolution for the development of infrastructure, particularly clinics and schools thereby reducing walking distances.  Furthermore, with Beitbridge receiving approximately 5 000 people daily in transit, it is crucial to ensure that the hospital, originally built as a district hospital, be well-equipped with adequate medicines, drugs, equipment and ambulances to cater for the needs of all individuals.  Additionally, I strongly recommend deploying specialist doctors to the hospitals.  To better cater for the healthcare needs of the rural population, I urge this House to initiate medical aid facilities to benefit rural people.  I would propose they be called the Presidential Rural Medical Aid Scheme.  This can be established from taxes on pharmaceutical companies and their outlets.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in Beitbridge town, the increased population has resulted in a shortage of adequate schools.  Consequently, unregistered schools have emerged which are not only expensive but also pose challenges in terms of maintaining an appropriate student-teacher ratio.  To address these issues, I propose the establishment of more Early Childhood Development (ECD) schools and low-cost boarding schools at each ward center, which will facilitate a smoother transition for students from primary to secondary education. Currently, the entire constituency has only one boarding school, namely Tongwe Government School. Furthermore, Beitbridge District lacks a vocational training center. Hence, I appeal for the establishment of at least one VTC in each one of our two constituencies.

I would also like to acknowledge the Government’s efforts in combating drug and substance abuse, particularly among the youth. However, special attention should also be given to Beitbridge due to its proximity to the border where drugs are often smuggled. Mr. Speaker Sir, we welcome the opening of the passport offices in Beitbridge. However, through the decentralisation programme, I appeal for the establishment of more central registry sub-offices to issue primary documents for those residing far from town.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Second Republic for the improvements and upgrades made to Beitbridge as a town. I hope that with the commitment to industrialisation and modernisation of the economy, factories for processing our raw materials can be established at our strategic borders. We have a railway and a good road network, thanks to the visionary commitment of His Excellency to upgrade the Harare-Beitbridge and Beitbridge-Bulawayo Roads, making Beitbridge a suitable area for industries. The upgraded border post also presents opportunities. The Government should consider establishing citrus, beef beneficiation projects and power generation in Beitbridge East. This will not only improve incomes and the livelihoods of our citizens, but also decongest larger cities.

Mr. Speaker Sir, road authorities such as DDF and RDC require increased budgets to repair roads which will attract public transport operators. Bad roads have led to some operators pulling out or charging exorbitant fares. The Lutumba to Tshikwalala Road, including the bridges at Lutumba and Bubye River need rehabilitation to enable traveling through to Chief Sengwe’s area in Chiredzi South. I urge the Ministry of Transport to consider fare fees for locals who do their shopping in Mussina when charging motorists at our border. A formula can be developed for Beitbridge residents to prevent misuse by people from outside Beitbridge. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance should promptly allocate a percentage of funds collected by ZIMRA to develop the town.

Lastly, I would like to address the issue of conflict between animals and humans under the Parks and Wildlife Act. Beitbridge is under siege from increased elephant herds which threaten crops and human life. I appeal on behalf of my constituency for more attention and lasting solutions to be implemented.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, I would like to urge the Hon. Members of this august House to support and debate this motion. Let us work together in the spirit of national unity, progress and development for the betterment of our beloved Zimbabwe. I move this motion for consideration and support of this House. Thank you, Tatenda, Twalumba, Zikhomo, Ndolivuhwa, Ngiyabonga.

HON. TSITSI ZHOU: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. My name is Tsitsi Zhou, Proportional Representation Member from Midlands Province. Allow me to ride on all protocols observed by Hon. Nguluvhe. As I am taking the floor for the first time here in the august House, allow me to start by congratulating His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa for his reelection as the country’s President. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Zimbabwe who voted for him. A special thank you to the people who voted for each one of us who is here as an elected Member of Parliament, be it through the Proportional Representation like myself. Indeed, the process involves rigorous screening and voting in our own internal processes.

I am grateful for the opportunity and I also congratulate each one of you including you, Mr. Speaker Sir, on your reelection and the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Gezi, which clearly indicates or evidences gender equality by the Executive. Having said this, I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the congratulatory message to all of us from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, which he personally delivered during the SONA, which he personally delivered in the magnificent New Parliament Building of Zimbabwe. The extended lifespan of the Women’s Quota 60 seats, ten of which are young women and the introduction of the Youth Quota puts Zimbabwe on the global good record of political inclusion of women and youths. This is highly commendable.

Mr. Speaker Sir, as I sat and listened to His Excellency deliver the SONA, I felt challenged and happy to be part of the 10th Parliament which has been charged with responsibilities to make laws that support development agenda of the Second Republic. We have been challenged by the Executive to complete the outstanding Bills left by the Ninth Parliament. I challenge Ministers responsible for these Bills to do their part and also the Tenth Parliament to, in unison, do as expected by both the President, Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Zimbabwean populace.

As I stand here as a Member of Parliament, my constituency, the women from Mberengwa to Gokwe, the eight administration districts of the Midlands Province expect me to perform and I am constantly reminded that I am here to deliver. Therefore, no one should derail these processes. I encourage all of us to understand the vision of His Excellency, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe should be an upper middle income economy by 2030.

I would like to applaud the Government for the positive growth rate across all sectors of the economy despite all odds and this includes the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to single out the growth rates that have been recorded in the mining and agricultural sectors during the past five years. We specifically celebrate these two sectors as they are the backbone of the Zimbabwe’s economy.

The Midlands Province, which is at the center of the nation has vast mineral deposits that include chrome in Lalapansi, Shurugwi, Zvishavane, Mberengwa, Inyala and Neta areas of Mberengwa. Gold is in all the admin districts as well as platinum, and now we have the new discovery of lithium deposits in Mberengwa area of Sandawana. The Government has created a conducive environment for investment and the President is always saying, Zimbabwe is open for business and that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and enemy to none which welcomes all investors who want to invest in Zimbabwe. The improved relationship with the United Kingdom is going to be appreciated and I urge the United States and the European Union to come on board so that there is mutual benefit from abundant resources in the great Zimbabwean nation.

I expect all sectors of the economy to improve as seen in the agriculture and mining sectors. The Second Republic has provided seed and fertilizers at household levels through the Pfumvudza/Intwasa initiative which has seen beneficiaries being able to sell maize to the Grain Marketing Boarding, including the household income. You will agree with me that the Zimbabwean economy will continue to grow in response to the mining and agricultural sectors as the industry is expected to feed into the supply chains of these economic gains.

 In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to remind this august House that nyika inovakwa nesu vene vayo.  Let us in unison be reminded to be patriotic and build our great Zimbabwe.  God bless His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.  God bless you all.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, your confidence as a fresh person is encouraging.  I think the others should take after you as well.  Congratulations also for having been appointed the Deputy Chief Whip.

HON. DR. MUTODI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Allow me to add my voice to the debate on the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency the President, Cde. E.D Mnangagwa on the Official Opening of Parliament.  Mr. Speaker Sir, let me acknowledge firstly, that we accomplished a credible, free and fair election which ushered not only himself, but also the Members of this august House.  I would like to congratulate the President on his victory during the August 23 Presidential Elections.  The elections have ushered in youngsters from our communities and this gives us confidence that this Tenth Parliament will be a fascinating period and the nation stands to benefit from the debate that will come from these young and energetic MPs. 

His Excellency touched on the issue of food productivity and he said that his Government was going to provide at least 35 000 boreholes to enable agro-based activities in various communities and at village level.  This commitment by His Excellency is plausible as it will also deal with the cholera outbreak that has been witnessed in areas such as Buhera, Zaka and Bikita constituencies where I was also elected. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, Your Excellency also touched on the issue of the mining sector growth which he said had grown from $2.8 billion to $12 billion over the period 2017 to date.  This is commendable as it is proof that the Second Republic has bolstered Zimbabwe as a favourable investment destination in the agricultural and mining sectors as witnessed by the growth percentages and trajectories.  The growth trajectories in the agriculture and mining sectors will guarantee job creation and increase per capita incomes and generally our Gross Domestic Product.  It will also ensure that Zimbabwe is not over populated as we continue to generate resources at a faster rate compared to the rate at which our population is growing.  This is a commendable effort from the Second Republic.  What is now required is to ensure that the Government develops a stronger currency so that our incomes are not eroded due to exchange rates driven inflation and other inflationary pressures. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the President also touched on devolution which he said his administration will increase resources towards and decentralisation of programmes.  The issue of private cities is of major concern in most developing countries which are called low income countries.  The effort by Government to ensure that more resources are allocated towards devolution will curb rural to urban migration, usually people migrate from rural areas to capital cities, being Harare and Bulawayo, thereby putting pressure on basic amenities.  This commitment by His Excellency will enable this country to overcome problems associated with urban setups.

Coming onto the legislative agenda, His excellency quoted several Bills which will be tabled before this august House, all of which seek to ensure that we conform to the dictates of our own Constitution which we have generated ourselves.  We also operate under the international best practices.  Of interest are the Competition Amendment Bill, the Economic Empowerment Bill, the Standards Bill, the Sugar Production Bill as well as the Technical Regulations Bill, which will promote government industrialisation, efforts and competitiveness of our local industry.

The SONA also touched on a broad spectrum of sectors, how the country was going to deal with issues such as housing and healthcare provision, participation of youths in community development projects, the welfare of workers and pensioners.  This is proof that His Excellency, President Mnangagwa is giving this country an opportunity to enjoy a people centered government which listens to the concerns of the public.

Lastly, I wish to thank His Excellency for his commitment to ensure that Zimbabwe continues to support the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty which protects human existence by discouraging nations from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.  His Excellency has given confidence to Zimbabweans that Zimbabwe will continue to support a peaceful resolution to conflict globally and the cooperation of nations for relative and not absolute gains.  Zimbabwe will therefore continue to oppose the acquisition of hegemonic powers by powerful states, cold war, in order for the world to achieve international peace and security. This peace is the bedrock of the war and wars that are happening in the Gaza Strip where the Hamas and Israelite armies are fighting for territorial control.  If one of these countries had been given access to nuclear weapons, it would mean that the human existence was threatened in that part of the world. 

Back at  home Mr. Speaker Sir, the President‘s mantra - nyika inovakwa nevene vayo should be supported by every Zimbabwean and every MP as this gives us the opportunity as Zimbabweans, to contribute with our own minds and efforts to the development of our own country such that the generation that we are going to pass on this country will be proud of us as people who worked tirelessly to ensure that Zimbabwe was a better country to live in.  I thank you.

          HON. SHAMU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to contribute my thoughts to this very important debate. May I Mr. Speaker, take this opportunity to congratulate you, having been retained as the Speaker of Parliament in this great country called Zimbabwe. In saying so Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to also convey the same message to your deputy, including those that are deputising here.

          Mr. Speaker, let me thank Hon. Albert Nguluvhe for moving the Motion on His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for the State of the Nation Address and extend the same expression of appreciation to Hon. Tsitsi Zhou for seconding this very important motion.

          Mr. Speaker, the legislative agenda set by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and indeed, Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is most welcome. It indeed guarantees the revolutionary people of Zimbabwe that we are on the right path – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] We would like to ensure that following our achieving political liberation, we have been indeed, able to carry the revolution to its logical conclusion, which is the emancipation of our economic liberation. The law identified for review resonates very well with Zimbabwe’s Economic Development objectives and indeed, the Vision 2030.

          In my contribution Mr. Speaker Sir, I will examine a few of these laws beginning with the Climate Change Bill. The Bill aims at facilitating and encouraging the development of low carbon emission technologies. Indeed, Zimbabwe is part of the global village and must develop technologies which enhance economic development while giving impetus to matters related to climate change adaptation and resilience. These technologies can be harnessed from our local innovation and industrialisation drive. For example, vehicles can be equipped with environmentally friendly mechanisms such as the catalytic convertors which can be manufactured in Zimbabwe because we have platinum in abundance.

          Mr. Speaker, we already have universities with well-developed science and innovation hubs. In Mashonaland West, we have the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Bulawayo - the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) which can contribute to the industrialisation drive. Local talent should therefore be utilised for this in line with the mantra Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          Mr. Speaker, the Economic Empowerment Amendment Bill is the key as it speaks to our country’s development through value addition and beneficiation of our abundant natural resources. Our creative input is essential so that we include provisions that address unemployment especially among the youth; poverty and stop the ever-rising cost of living. In other words, Mr. Speaker, the law must lay a framework for creating such tenable alternative livelihoods. I personally am very encouraged that His Excellency the President, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa has set the pace by appointing young Ministers and Deputy Ministers in key ministries – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

Turning to the Electronic Transactions and Electronic Commerce Bill, once again it is also very key. We need to assist Government efforts to do away with, or reduce the use of physical paper money by identifying the efficient fair and sustainable ways of transacting electronically. This takes away the needless fluctuations in transacting rates formatted by unscrupulous members of our society who hold money or get involved in dodgy business practices that create fake demand for currency. At the end of the day Mr. Speaker, the new Bill must restore and build market confidence for attracting new investments into Zimbabwe.

          The Sugar Production Amendment Bill is worth mentioning in the context of economic development. Sugar is key as a household product. It has, in recent years, assumed greater importance because of ethanol which is blended with fuel, making it economic for motor vehicles and industrial use. This whole area of sugar production, its export and blending needs redefining and proper regulation because sugar is now a strategic product.

          In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has spoken much on industrialising and modernising the economy as well as transforming our infrastructure in order to improve incomes and livelihoods of our people. As Parliament, we need to embrace the code from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa to ensure that our Bills and laws do serve our people. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. BVUTE: Mr. Speaker, may I begin by congratulating you on your re-appointment to this august House. May I also extend the same to Hon. Tsitsi Gezi. In the same spirit, I would like to congratulate our President, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa on his re-election. It was an illustrious victory, that has ushered this Parliament and ushered us into office as well. I would like to comment on the State of the Nation Address.

          I begin with devolution. I was very encouraged to note that he has continued in the same realm of ensuring that funds are equitably distributed across Zimbabwe.  In his first term, we noted the impact that he had on smaller communities when they had the ability to harness and control resources at local level.  It is our wish that as he continues on this drive, a lot more localised development will occur in arrears that had otherwise been forgotten.  We have noted with particular happiness that Zimbabwe has become self-sufficient in the field of wheat production.

This can only be attributed to His Excellency’s policy that is localised and encourage the farming of wheat in Zimbabwe.  In that breath, I noted in his speech, he has indicated the desire to continue to invest significantly in agriculture.  This can only place and pivot Zimbabwe at the center of agricultural production.  The climate agricultural programme Pfumvudza has proved not only to be a success, but has proved to be an instrument of alleviating poverty.  He enunciated in his speech that his Government will continue to support it and more importantly will continue to encourage the development of smallholder farmers and progressive development into agricultural zones that are not only small in nature, but corporatised by virtue of creating small scale business in the various villages that they have been earmarked for water development. 

I noted with particular interest, his mention of the mining sector, for many there is a belief that the figures spoken are not necessarily those that reflect what is on ground. As Member of Parliament for Goromonzi North, I can effectively and efficiently say that we house the largest lithium mine in Zimbabwe which speaks of His Excellency’s vision to ensure that the mining sector continues to grow, not only grow, but continue to provide the inputs that are required to provide jobs to our people –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

To date Acadia Lithium mine has employed no less than a thousand people in my constituency, that speaks of development and that speaks of His Excellency, the President’s vision for our nation. His Excellency, the President also spoke about the state of our economy.  I noted Hon. Mutodi mentioned the vagaries of the estranged, I think given his desire to continue to target inflation and more importantly to control Government spending money released on to the local market;  I am confident that this Government will continue to succeed in beating inflation, but we created an environment that will allow for the prosperity of our people.

On the various Bills that he indicated as part of our legislative agenda, of particular interest to me as one who participated in sport and saw the value of sport and its ability to not only harness communities, bring about development but more importantly, allow for the circulation of money.  It goes well that part of our legislative agenda is to ensure that sport is placed in its role of importance as a medium for growth and development –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- His Excellency, the President spoke in his speech, about the need for Zimbabwe to be developed by its own people and various speakers prior to me have eloquently said “nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”.  I can attest that there is no greater mantra that has been bestowed upon us, than that of us believing in ourselves and our ability to change our fortunes, but more importantly, to work together to ensure that every single Zimbabwean has the ability to contribute positively to Zimbabwe. It is my hope that this Parliament will take on that mantra and every single one of us will be an agent for change and development in our constituencies.  Noting and remembering given the sanctions that exist in Zimbabwe, it is imperative that each and every one of us is at the forefront of ensuring success in various areas that we have been given to lead. 

The events of this afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir, in which you had to deal with an unfortunate situation, speak of the need for all of us to be re-educated on the need for patriotism, but above all, on the need for us to ensure that country comes first and our people’s needs must come first.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I trust and believe that this august House moves forward, adequately and eloquently carry on the vision of His Excellency the President and ensure that our people arrive at the promised land which is a better Zimbabwe.  I thank you for this opportunity to speak Hon. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Bvute. I was looking for a script from where he was reading and I became convinced that he must be a witchdoctor – [Laughter] - because I could not see it. Well done for raising the banner like your colleagues who have spoken before you. This is much appreciated and I am sure the Chief Whip is very happy about the standard. 

HON. S. SITHOLE: Sorry Hon. Speaker, I will speak tomorrow.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, we should dwell on what we uphold is the virtue of humility. I am happy that you want to keep the banner high.  So, I agree you will speak tomorrow.

HON. NDUDZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, good afternoon.  Mr. Speaker. Perhaps before I add my voice to the remarks already made by my colleagues in this august House, it is perhaps most befitting that firstly, I congratulate His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe on the occasion of his reelection to continue as the President of Zimbabwe, the Commander-in-Chief and the head of the Government and the Head of our nation in what in my respectful view perhaps will pass as one of the most free, fair and most peaceful election on planet earth –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-. Mr. Speaker Sir, in the same vain, it is most befitting that I also congratulate you and indeed the Hon. Deputy Speaker and Members who were duly elected to be part of the 10th Parliament of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

 In respect of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) as presented by His Excellency to this august House, allow me as a representative of the people of Wedza North Constituency, a largely rural and agro-based constituency, to dwell on just but one aspect of the presentation by His Excellency. It relates to the agricultural productivity that has phenomenally grown in our nation to a point where Zimbabwe is now self-sustainable in terms of food production.

          Your Excellency, I wish to applaud the policies, programmes and all the measures that have been put in place by the visionary leadership of His Excellency and his Government to make sure that of all things as Zimbabweans, we fully utilise the natural resources that we have; land, water and human capital to ensure that as a nation, we are not dependent on anyone else for providing our people with their food requirements.  In particular, records have been broken in the production of cereals, mainly maize and wheat.  In my respectful view, it is incumbent upon the ministries established by His Excellency, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance to ensure that they continue to provide material support to our farmers so that they remain  motivated and have sufficient incentives for them to continue to produce for the nation.  In particular, as and when our farmers deliver their harvest to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and to the other markets, it would be important to make sure that arrangements are in place so that they are promptly paid for them to be able to continuously farm and produce for the nation and make sure that they make that contribution to the growth of our economy. –[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          Additionally, it is my view that there is need to support our farmers with the necessary infrastructure, particularly the road infrastructure so that there is ease of access to the markets.  Often at times, we have farmers who are excellent in their production, who produce perhaps what may compete and stand out when compared to what comes out in any part of the world.  However, sometimes farmers struggle to access the markets because the infrastructure may not be as good as the produce that the farmers would have produced for the nation.  So, one hopes that everything would be put in place to make sure that the livelihoods and good efforts of our farmers are rewarded by the measures that are put in place to support this good work and efforts.

          In conclusion, I also wish to add the little weight of my voice to the applauses that have been given by my fellow Hon. Members to the vision as enunciated by His Excellency.  When the history of this nation shall be written for future generations, if there is one thing that will conspicuously stand out in the message that has been packaged and delivered to the nation by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa, it is the clarity of thought, clarity of trajectory in terms of how we can build our nation.  It is on the firm mantra of nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.  We are masters of our own fate.  The responsibility to build Zimbabwe for ourselves, for our children and for future generations, lies squarely on us and on our shoulders.  We must spare more resources or effort to make sure that we run with everything that we have to bring that vision of His Excellency to fruition.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I am sure all of us will be encouraged to do what he has encouraged us to do.  Tiite zvinodiwa nenyika yeZimbabwe.

          HON. MUDUMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Allow me to congratulate you for being re-appointed and re-elected to this august House.  It is my first time here and the first contribution.  I would want to congratulate the Hon. Members here for being elected to represent our people and our constituencies.  Allow me to also congratulate our great leader, ubaba President Mnangagwa for being re-elected to be the leader of this country and leading our Zimbabwe to glory. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          An Hon. Member having passed between the Speaker and the Member on the floor.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member, you cannot pass between the Chair and the Member on the floor.  You can wait until he finishes, or if it is urgent you can come this way.

          HON. MUDUMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to reflect on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by His Excellency, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, firstly on the Youth Bill.  We have been facing the scourge of drug abuse in our constituencies.  It is our hope that this Bill is going to address a plethora of challenges and empower our young people to be masters of their own destiny through the various empowerment programmes that the Government is going to initiate. 

I would also like to appreciate what the President said concerning the 35 000-drilling project for 35 000 villages.  We believe that this is going to address the key challenges of our rural population, particularly in Masvingo North, which is mainly agro-based and is in need of water.  We need to irrigate our lands and create sustainable business practices for our villagers back home.

          I would like to reflect again on the Bill focusing on small to medium enterprises (SMEs).  We have seen other countries like China developing through its SMEs which have become exporters and producers.  We hope and believe that through our President’s vision, we are going to see our SMEs, particularly the youth and women being included in the financial system.  We have seen that a lot of our people have been excluded from the banking sector, financial systems of our country because sometimes it has been difficult to just open an account for the rural population. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like also to comment on the agriculture production.  Our President has got a great vision and we have seen mainly in our constituencies that we are now self-sufficient in terms of maize and wheat.  I would also want to request Government to further consider increasing the number of depots for easier access for our rural folk so that they can easily sell their produce to their nearest G.M.B.  This has the net effect of decreasing their overheads, which will then remain reasonably low.  It is my clarion call that we should have more depots in my constituency of Masvingo North.  I thank you.

          *HON. NKANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My name is Andrew Nkani, I represent Chakari Constituency in Mashonaland West Province. First and foremost, I would like, on behalf of my constituency, to congratulate you Hon. Speaker as well as to thank you for affording me the opportunity to also contribute to the pertinent motion raised by Hon. Nguluvhe, seconded by Hon. Zhou, on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa. 

Chakari Constituency has sent me as its emissary to convey our congratulations to His Excellency the President for his resounding victory during the just ended August harmonised elections in which he did very well nationwide. Chakari vows that it will never leave the President until the end of time. 

          Secondly, I would like to thank His Excellency the President for the peace that prevailed before, during and after the elections.  We are still enjoying that peace.  In his keynote address during the State of the Nation Address, His Excellency the President placed a lot of importance on agriculture, which ensures that the country has bumper harvest which is critical for the sustenance of food security and the general security of the nation.

          We have had three consecutive years of bumper harvest and we have become self-sufficient in maize and wheat production because of the programmes of His Excellency the President.  The President has introduced the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme which has uplifted the lives of the majority of the rural people.  Whilst still on the same programme, Hon. Speaker Sir, we have a perennial problem of the delay in delivery of inputs to the farmers. This has led the farmers to pool financial resources so that they can pay transporters to ferry the inputs from the GMB. The delay is occasioned by the Ministry of Finance’s failure to timeously pay the transporters. A question then arises - is there payment needed for people to pay for the transportation of these inputs?  The answer is no, but the farmers will resort to this pooling of resources together in order to expedite delivery of the inputs. On this point, I appeal to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Investment to timeously pay the transporters so that inputs are quickly delivered to the farmers before the onset of the rainy season. 

          Hon. Speaker, we have another challenge in that it is not all the farmers who are relying on the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme.  As I speak, there are farmers who have not yet been paid by the Grain Marketing Board for their produce.  This problem will hinder the progress that has been made in the agricultural sector as all the farmers will be looking forward to payment in order to sustain themselves and their families.  The same challenge is being experienced by COTTCO; we constantly hear an outcry in our constituencies about the delay of the payment to the farmers.

          As I speak, Hon. Speaker, there are farmers who are not yet paid by COTTCO but are expected to go back to the fields this season.  We urge Treasury to timeously pay COTTCO so that our farmers are able to go back to the fields.

          On the issue of water, His Excellency the President said that 35 000 boreholes should be drilled throughout the country.  Nothing of that sort is taking place in Chakari.  We thank His Excellency the President for remembering that his children are entitled to clean potable water.  On making inquiries, I was informed by DDF that the rigs had not yet been paid for in order for them to carry out this assignment.

          I will now talk about devolution.  Devolution is the power that has been given to local governments so that they look into programmes that should be carried out in their areas. Five percent of this amount comes from the National Budget which should be given to these local governments. I believe that 20% of the budget should be set aside for devolution so that the leaders that are in those areas can quickly look into the problems that need to be addressed in certain areas of their jurisdiction.

          We have the issue of roads in the rural areas, it is my view that the devolution funds should be increased as alluded to by His Excellency, the President and this will go a long way in ensuring that local authorities can quickly repair and maintain rural roads. At the moment, we have problems especially in my Constituency in Chakari, on the road from Golden Valley to Sanyati, you will find four or five vehicles that have their springs broken. The road was in the budget three or four times, but up to now, nothing has been done about that particular road. If devolution funds are to be increased, the local residents would quickly go and do the work because we use the road on a daily basis.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, there is the issue of CDF funds. The CDF funds should be increased especially in rural constituencies. Let me say that in our African culture, if one has purchased a plough, he or she has a right to use the plough before it is borrowed by someone else. It is in the rural areas that more votes are being harvested. A lot should be given to the rural areas – [HON MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          In conclusion, we have a good programme where the President has introduced ZUPCO buses that came from Belarus and other countries. These buses are breaking down and they are only being used in urban centers. We are only seeing them in the urban areas. We once spoke about it in this House, but we were told that there is need to manufacture buses that are suitable for rural terrains because the ones that had been purchased can quickly deteriorate if they are in the rural areas. I would like to propose that before they manufacture buses that are suitable for the rural terrain, these ones that we have should go and depreciate in terms of value, whilst servicing the communal lands. Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon, Member. Well-spoken vernacular language. What a joy to listen to. Why are you not clapping hands for him? It is a good rendition of how vernacular language can be used. It helps us support the need to use our vernacular language such as Ndebele, Kalanga or Venda.  If we have the recognition of our mother tongues as your headmaster, I will be very happy indeed, but as you debate, do not refer to me as Hon. Headmaster.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE ON STANDING RULES AND ORDERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Section 151 (1) of the Constitution provides that Parliament must appoint a Committee to be known as the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders for purposes of supervising the Administration of Parliament, formulating Standing Orders, considering and deciding all matters concerning Parliament and exercising any other functions that may be conferred or imposed on the Committee by the Constitution or by Standing Order or any other law.

          Section 151 (2) of the Constitution provides that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders must consist of the Speaker and the President of the Senate and the following Members of Parliament: the Deputy Speaker; the Deputy President of the Senate and two other Ministers appointed by the President; the Leader of Government Business in each House; the Leader of the Opposition in each House; the Chief Whips of all political parties represented in each House; the President of the National Council of Chiefs; two Members who are not Ministers or Deputy Ministers, one being a Senator appointed to the Committee by the President of the Senate and the other one being a Member of the National Assembly appointed by the Speaker.

          In terms of Standing Order No. 14 of both the Senate and the National Assembly Standing Orders and the provisions of Section 151 of the Constitution, I therefore, inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders shall consist of the following;

          DESIGNATION                             NAME

  1.      Speaker - Hon. J. F. N. Mudenda
  2.      President of the Senate - Hon.  M. M. Chinomona
  3.      Deputy Speaker - Hon. T. Gezi
  4.     Deputy President of the Senate - Hon. Rtd. Nyambuya
  5.      Minister of Finance - Hon. Prof. M. Ncube
  6.      Minister appointed by the President  - Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri
  7.      Minister appointed by the President : - Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa
  8.      Leader of Government Business - Hon. Z. Ziyambi

National Assembly.

  1.     Leader of Government Business  - Hon. Sen. L. Matuke

Senate

  1. Leader of Opposition -       TBA

National Assembly (CCC)

  1. Leader of Opposition – TBA

Senate (CCC)

  1. Government Chief Whip -  Hon. Togarepi

          National Assembly (ZANU PF)

  1. Chief Whip (CCC) -  Hon. Chibaya
  2. Chief Whip Senate (ZANU PF) - Hon. T. Muzenda
  3. Chief Whip Senate (CCC) -        Hon. N. Mlotshwa
  4. President of the Chief’s Council – Hon. Chief Mtshane Khumalo
  5. Member appointed by the Hon. Speaker – Hon. P. Zhou

18     Member appointed by the President of the Senate– Hon. M. Bimha

          National Assembly

19     Member ZANU PF               - Hon. K. Musanhi

20     Member ZANU PF               - Hon. P. Moyo

  1. Member ZANU PF - Hon. F. Bhuka
  2. Member CCC - Hon. S. Mahlangu

SENATE

  1. Member Chiefs’ Council - Hon. Sen. Chief Charumbira
  2.  Member ZANU PF              - Hon. O. Hungwe
  3. Member Chiefs’ Council - Hon. Sen. Chief Ngungumbane

26      Member CCC                       - Hon. J. Timba

          The above list complies with the requirements of Section 151 (2) of the Constitution as read together with Standing Order No. 14.  Thus, the above Members are duly elected to serve in the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders.

INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE CSRO

 I also wish to inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will have its inaugural meeting on Thursday, 12th October, 2023 at 1000 hours in the Senate Chamber.  All Committee members mentioned above are expected to attend. 

Just a reminder, please be punctual for the seminar tomorrow so that we can start early and finish early and quickly move to this august House.

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

          HON. MAPFUMO: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 11th October, 2023.

          On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. MAPFUMO, the House adjourned at Thirteen Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

 

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