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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 11 MAY 2022 VOL 48 NO 44
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 11th May, 2022
The National Assembly Met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have received apologies from the following Hon. Ministers:
Hon. Dr. C. D. G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care;
Hon. Z. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs;
Hon. Ambassador Dr. F. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans;
Hon. Dr. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement;
Hon Douglas Karoro, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement;
Hon. Vangelis Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement;
Hon. Prof. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development;
Hon. Barbara Rwodzi -Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. John Chamunorwa Mangwiro - Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care;
Hon. Polite Kambamura - Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development;
Hon. Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi - Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. July G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works;
Hon. Kazembe Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. Edgar Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education;
Hon. Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. Evelyn Ndlovu, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education;
Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; and - [HON. ZWIZWAI: On a point of Order Madam Speaker.] - Hon. Zwizwai, I did not recognise you. We do not stand up for points of order on Wednesday as ruled by the Speaker of Parliament. Hon. Mhona will be the Acting Leader of Government Business. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Zwizwai, what is your point of order?
HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you very much for indulging me after this very long battle Madam Speaker. My point of order is that it is unprecedented that we come in this august House when everybody, including His Excellency, knows that Wednesday is question time and there are no Ministers here to deal with national critical issues that we need to raise at constituency level, at a pressing time when inflation is flying out through the window, when the transport crisis is all over, banking crisis and the issue of the loans which have been raised.
So my point of order Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, is that we defer the question time from today to Thursday so that when the Ministers are available; and that when we summon them and they talk to the President that they make themselves available here to answer to critical issues. The country is burning and we need to deal with that. We cannot proceed with question time here just to be given those common answers, political answers. We need critical answers from Ministers who are responsible. So that is my point of order that we have question time tomorrow Thursday. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, I know very well the procedure of the House. Please take your seat until I make a ruling on the point of order from Hon. Zwizwai – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order Hon. Members!
I hear you Hon. Zwizwai, you raise a valid point of order. It is true that Ministers and Deputy Ministers must attend Parliament on Wednesday to answer questions from Hon. Members of Parliament but we cannot defer to Thursday because Thursday will be question time in the Senate and Hon. Ministers will be expected to be in the Senate to answer questions from Hon. Senators. So we are going to continue and Hon. Mhona will be our Acting Leader of Government Business. I just hope some other Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be joining us as we go.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the ruling but to be honest with you, this is an institution which is critical on oversight and being critical on oversight, there is a lot that is happening in the country. These Ministers are deployed by the President and they have the mandate to address issues of national interest. In addressing issues of national interest, they have got to be present here. It is becoming a circus because just last week, not that I think lowly of Hon. Musabayana, he actually did well as the Leader of Government Business but he is a Deputy Minister and we are now having Deputy Ministers being Leaders of Government Business when they do not sit in Cabinet. Cabinet is supreme in dealing with a lot of issues.
Hon. Togarepi having stood up.
May you allow Hon. Togarepi to sit down? I have the floor. He must respect. He is also a disaster. He is the worst Government Chief Whip ever. I do not know where they found you but I am telling you, you have destroyed this institution, you have destroyed ZANU PF, and you have destroyed the President. You are somebody who vacillates. You are the very same person who brought Grace Mugabe. I do not know how the President could choose you when he knows you are a traitor, the biggest traitor ever. Be careful. You have destroyed our welfare. People are suffering because of you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please may you take your seat. I have heard what you said.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, he disrupts issues and you cannot have him dictating this House. He has failed to do good for his own people. He is a fake war collaborator. He did not even pass the vetting test. Who does Togarepi think he is? Not in this House. Why do you always listen to him? He is a disaster. He has failed to stand up for the welfare of Members of Parliament who are suffering. All he does he is go out with the women in Parliament because he has the resources now, he is like a Minister. He has the package of a Minister. Kuswera uchinyenga vakadzi muParliament nekuti unotora mari yakawanda kupfuura isusu – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please may you withdraw your words.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the words but the truth remains. I have withdrawn the words but I cannot withdraw the truth.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Togarepi, were you standing on a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, order! Hon. Togarepi, please take your seat. Order Hon. Members please. I hear you Hon. Mliswa, it is true that Cabinet ministers must be here on Wednesday to respond to questions from Hon. Members of Parliament. We just hope they are going to join us as we go. Thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I understand that in this House we have privileges but I do not think we have privileges to abuse each other. The issue of ministers coming to this House is in the Standing Orders and Rules and to tell us that there is a Deputy Minister, in the Standing Rules, there is no Deputy Minister, there are ministers – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – So for them… – [HON. T. MLISWA: You cannot defend the Government, he is out of order, haasi Minister uyu, you are not the Leader of Government Business.] – I cannot allow you to mislead us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. T. MLISWA: Who are you?] – I am a Government Chief Whip – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Togarepi, please can you take your seat. Hon. Mathe, please can you take your seat.
Hon. Mathe having remained standing was asked by the Hon. Deputy Speaker to approach the Chair.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order Hon. Zwizwai or I will send you out – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Please do not send me out.] – I will if you continue with that behaviour.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
(v)HON. S. SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What is the Ministry doing about the roads which you have been given, 10 kms to be tarred between 2003 and 2005 countrywide? What about these other projects which are not completed, what is the Ministry doing about that? Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me thank Hon. Sithole for that question. I will try to answer it since he has actually indicated that a specific road is being rehabilitated covering 10kms. It is true Hon. Madam Speaker, that for years, our roads were not being rehabilitated and they are in a sorry state countrywide and for us to do the entire stretch, we have about 98 000 kms of road network in this country. If you look at that, a big percentage is in a sorry state when it comes to our road network and for us to embark on the rehabilitation of the entire country is not feasible.
However, we have started rehabilitating roads in each province and in some cases, it is true that we can start with five or 10 kms. It is better to start now because we were not rehabilitating our roads and I concur with the Hon. Member that it might be 10kms, given the stretch of the road in some cases covering 200kms. However, if we start now, it is better and for that 10kms, we are talking of over USD10million on average. So it is not something small given the fact that we are taking from the fiscus and we are constrained as a nation in terms of resources. I think it is a gesture that must be commended that we have started rehabilitating our roads. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. S. SITHOLE: Hon. Minister, let me put forward which road I am talking about…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: If it is a particular road Hon. Sithole, you have to put that in writing and submit so that the Hon. Minister will make some investigations and come up with the answer. Thank you.
HON. S. SITHOLE: I said nationwide but I was trying to give him the specific roads.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Those roads, the Hon. Minister needs to do some investigations. Thank you.
HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Acknowledging the reality of climate change…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Svuure.
HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement. Acknowledging the reality of climate change and its effect on the rainfall patterns even in this country; what is the Government’s policy in making sure that we fully optimise our water bodies? This is coming from the backdrop that our dams are not being fully utilised, especially now that irrigation is becoming the only option that we have, given the erratic rainfall patterns. What is the Government doing to make sure that we fully optimise our water bodies, in this country for irrigation? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me also thank Hon. Chaplin Svuure for that very important question. Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is true that we are endowed as a nation and must thank God for the water bodies that we have that are close to 10 000. As a nation, we are not tapping into those water bodies, and even the culture of not harvesting water is within us.
Let me appreciate that with the advent of the Second Republic, the Second Republic has accelerated the irrigation development in every province. As we speak, in terms of mechanisation, there is a targeted plan to actually have hectarage under irrigation in every province so that we mitigate the issues of drought that we have witnessed over years. I am happy that there is a plan, and if you would look at Government’s policy, it is that we go the way of irrigating so that we do not rely on the rains that we are given by God Almighty.
+HON. MATHE: Madam Speaker, what measures are in place to alleviate poverty, at the same time secure peoples’ livelihoods through cultivation and irrigation projects?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am. Let me thank Hon. Mathe for that very important question. It is true that we now need to bring it closer to the grassroots so that we educate our people to make use of the water bodies that we have. If you look at the programme that we have, to say each village is going to be having a borehole, not necessarily for drinking purposes but also to have the issues to do with irrigation – you will have your small gardens. This is a noble way Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, where we are saying, we have got our agronomists in different districts who are supposed to partake in the exercise of educating people so that they have self sustenance.
+HON. MATHE: I was not answered Hon. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBRS: Inaudible interjections.] - Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me be very clear on my question. We are aware there are dams and boreholes but Government continues doing that for people. My worry is that our people have not embraced tilling land using their hands without any implements whilst irrigating. What should be done to do that?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am. I think the issue of the reluctance of the community to partake into the exercise of taking advantage of what is being provided by Government comes to the issue of personalities - [HON. MATHE: Inaudible interjection.] – So the humble thing Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Order Hon. Mathe!
HON. MHONA: Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am, I think this calls for - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mathe, please may you listen to the Hon. Minister’s response to your question.
HON. MHONA: Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am, I want to say to the Hon. Member that this calls for moral suasion where we have to support each other when it comes to partaking into the exercises that are being brought by Government. It is a wakeup call to all of us that we need to provide food for this nation, if we have those undesirable elements who are not partaking into the exercise. There is no one who would say if inputs or water bodies are available, then he would deny taking that advantage.
HON. MURAI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Ma’am. The issue to do with climate change is critically affected by gas emissions that also affect our rainfall patterns. I would like to know from the Hon. Minister what measures are you putting in place to make sure that there is reduction in gas emissions?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me thank Hon. Murai for that very important question. Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, the issues to do with climate are of paramount importance. We are here because of climatic issues where we need to protect our environment. I am happy, even if you look at the way we are advocating for tree planting – it is also a measure to mitigate the emissions that we are talking about.
As a nation, we have actually taken a step forward to say let us have our clean environment. We have got the Clean-up Campaign every first Friday of the month. These are also mitigatory factors so that we continue maintaining our clean environment.
HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. When are they going to remove the spikes on the road which are causing a lot of suffering to the traveller and we are losing a lot of lives through these dangerous weapons so that our roads become safe?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me put it clear that having spikes is not Government policy. Government policy is to make sure that there is safety and order when it comes to issues to do with the public, whether we are within the cities or along highways. The idea of having spikes was ruled unlawful by the courts and we cannot say it is Government policy.
*HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that he mentioned that spikes are not Government policy but we have noted that this is a challenge which is culminating in the death of innocent by-standers. What should be done so that the issue of spikes is resolved? We know that spikes are causing a lot of havoc? It has been clarified that it is illegal to use spikes. Policemen and council officers who are supposed to uphold the law are found breaking the law using spikes. What should be done so that the law takes its course? These spikes are costing Government. May you assist us in that regard?
*HON. MHONA: It is sad that we are losing lives as a result of the use of spikes. I am going to sit down with my colleague, Hon. Kazembe so that the issue of spikes is eliminated. I am glad that we have a listening President, President E.D. Mnangagwa. I believe that when we engage His Excellency, he has a listening ear and this is an issue that is going to be taken up.
HON. ZWIZWAI: My supplementary question is that we continue losing lives as a result of using spikes because of malicious injury to property; we have people who damage motorists’ windscreens. On the inauguration of His Excellency, President E.D. Mnangagwa, when the Commissioner General Chihuri was fired – we heard what the Minister said, we need a Ministerial Statement from Hon. Kazembe which answers the following questions: Is the Commissioner General Matanga aware that policemen are using baton spikes; is the Minister aware that spikes are being used on the road; is His Excellency the President aware that spikes are being used and people are dying as a result of the use of spikes?
Last week in Mutare, some people died, including students. You cannot burn the whole mansion when a rat enters the house. Commuter omnibus drivers are not owners of these commuter omnibuses. The owners are pensioners who would just be working for their livelihoods. Passengers are innocent by-standers and have nothing to do with these commuters. There must be a mechanism where all kombis are registered and are known and the routes they are using. Number plates should also be taken instead of risking the lives of people who are in buses and business. Using spikes is risking people’s lives. We need a Ministerial Statement addressing such issues Madam Speaker Maam.
*HON. MHONA: I have heard what Hon. Zwizwai has said and the request for a Ministerial Statement. I am going to take this issue up with the responsible Minister – Minister Kazembe so that he responds to the questions that have been raised. This issue goes back to drivers – they should respect lives and they should not over-speed but observe the law and respect the lives of their passengers.
*HON. MADZIMURE: When the Hon. Member was responding, he left out a very important point. Those who lose their lives are supposed to be compensated. The question is: who is going to compensate the bereaved families?
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are now hiding behind points of order yet you know that the time for supplementary questions has elapsed.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order, if my memory serves me correct and also when I went outside I recalled - there is a High Court ruling which allowed spikes to be used. These should only be made by the police and not home-made. To me, it is important that we respect the court’s judgement. I think it is important that we defer this until further investigations have been made. I think the Clerk can look into the judgement pertaining to the court saying the police can use spike. So, these questions become irrelevant. I am prepared to put 100 cattle on the table if I am wrong but I have done my research when I went outside. The court order said home-made spikes are not allowed but only those made by the police. We cannot override the courts, we must respect certain judgements by the courts. That is why I am seeking your indulgence on that - unless somebody has a court order which we can proffer but we must respect the courts.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. The Clerk of Parliament will look into that.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also thank Hon. Mliswa for the pertinent issue. What was raised by Hon. Zwizwai will assist us in making a follow up on this issue.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I am going to direct my question to the Acting Leader of the House, Hon. Mhona. The Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees the right to trade, the right to pursue a profession and labour rights. Banking is therefore a protected trade. In view of the recent announcement, is it now Government policy to ban trade, in particular the banking sector? We all know that the core business of banking is lending money to citizens. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Chibaya for his concerns which are of paramount importance. The type of question that has been posed by the Hon. Member is a very particular question. Before I take my leave, it is also good to say that whenever you are faced with a disaster, there are some mitigatory factors which you impose which then violate the standing dictates. In this particular case, ...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister Mhona, order. I am advised here that the Minister of Finance will be coming to this House tomorrow with a Ministerial Statement regarding the matter. So it is deferred to tomorrow. Thank you.
HON. MATEWU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Health. In their absence, I will direct it to the Acting Leader of Government Business. Given the economic crisis that has gripped our nation, there are many psychological health issues and indeed mental health issues that have affected our people in this country, both young and old. There have been a notable number of suicides, a notable number of people murdered and not to mention, a notable number of drug abuses by our youth, mutoriro and the like. What is the Government policy in terms of addressing these health challenges that have gripped our nation? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Matewu for the important question. I do not know whether I would concur with the Hon. Member on the causes of the scenario, the disaster that we are facing as a nation whether the issue is to do with the disturbances that we are witnessing in tandem with the economic issues. The Government policy – if you have been listening to what has been happening, there is an inter-ministerial committee that is superintending over issues to do with drugs. This is the problem that we are faced with as a nation. The issues of the social decadence that we have witnessed as a nation have resulted in some of the issues the Hon. Member is talking about. Because the President is a listening President, he has constituted a committee to superintend over issues that are affecting the nation in terms of drug abuse where we have seen that a number of our school going children are partaking into the issues of drugs, resulting in the same causes that have been highlighted by the Hon. Member. What is of paramount importance is to give time to the inter-ministerial committee so that they then table their findings to this effect. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MATEWU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think it is common cause that the lack of employment in this country, the lack of money for the young people has...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matewu, go straight to your question. Do not debate.
HON. MATEWU: Yes, thank you Madam Speaker. I think it is common cause that the lack of employment that has so much gripped our youth today is paramount and having a massive ripple effect to the extent that our youth are now indulging in drugs. Also because there are no jobs, the economy is in a free fall...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ask your question Hon. Matewu.
HON. MATEWU: My question to the Hon. Leader of Government Business is, it is not enough to say there is a Ministerial Statement or committee. No one knows about ministerial committee in the public. What is the Government policy to address the mental health issues that are gripping our people in this nation? Thank you.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Matewu who is emotional because of the issues. I do agree with him that it is a case where we are losing a number of our able-bodied youth because of drugs. For us to draw a conclusion that what is happening in the society is being aggravated by the fact that he has raised, I think we will be lying to the august House. I had indicated that let us allow the process flow to have the interrogation by the relevant inter-ministerial committee. It is not in the private, it is in the public domain that the public can partake and perform such functions so that they will come back to the people to address the concerns of the people. I am sure these are some of the concerns that the Committee is busy with as we speak so that they give a detailed analysis of what is really happening. I do agree with the Hon. Member that these are emotional issues.
*HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. We are grateful for the job well done on the maintenance of roads. The contractors are taking long to repair the roads. I would want to know what the Government plan is in paying them? They are taking long before receiving their payments which they receive in local currency. How are they going to be compensated because the exchange rate is fluctuating on daily basis?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would also like to thank Hon. Karumazondo for the question. It is true our contractors are being paid earlier or late. I would like to thank the Government for discovering that we are working with contractors and they must be paid in time. Long back, we used to pay them using the rate which prevailed on the day of signing the contract. We now pay the contractors at interbank rate using the prevailing rate.
+HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What is Government policy regarding street kids and other vulnerable children without identification documents. I am asking this because these young people also need documentation like every citizen of Zimbabwe. What is being done, particularly to mitigate the circumstances being faced by disabled people who go around begging?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for such an important question. We are operating now on a directive that came from His Excellency, the President of the Republic to say that no child and no Zimbabwean should be denied access to national documents. He clearly indicated that it should be made very easy for any Zimbabwean to be able to get those documents. The current blitz that is going on where citizens are not paying anything follows that directive. He has indicated that within communities, people should just vouch for the children of fellow Zimbabweans to say these are Zimbabweans we know them, so that they can get those documents. This is where we are now and I think a lot of the leadership in this House will testify that those processes have become very easy and we should be able to cover everyone including children that are living on the streets.
The Ministry currently has a programme targeting mainly the metropolitan areas of Harare and Bulawayo to identify kids to place them in places of safety or to re-unite them with their families. Again, as we do that, we should be able to then facilitate the documentation of these children.
*HON. MUCHENJE: My supplementary question is, street kids are no longer found in urban areas only. Also in rural areas, there are children who loiter around because their parents or guardians died. They will be loitering at growth points and townships. What plans are there to help the vulnerable children in the rural areas?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I think I had indicated that the programme going on with the registration is a nationwide programme. It is helping people, not just children but citizens of this country. It is even easier in rural areas and semi-urban areas because communities know each other better in those areas. So it is a nation-wide problem. Our own programme that I am referring to is not a programme that is focused on national registration but it ensures that children who are on the streets are brought back to safety in two ways. Firstly, we try to reunite them with their families and secondly, if the first one is unsuccessful we then take them to places of safety. As we do that, we also try to make sure that they are documented.
(v)HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Good afternoon to you. I totally differ with the Hon. Minister. People are still facing challenges when taking those documents. They are still chased away to go back and collect whatever is required. Their requirements are still the same and that means the process is still stringent. We are talking about the vulnerable children who do not have all the documentation. If they do not have one or two of the documents required, they are being chased away. People should be able to access those documents without being asked too many questions.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker. What I am aware of is the directive that I referred to earlier on where His Excellency has indicated that even your Sabhuku, Headman or Councillor can just provide the necessary testimony that is needed in order for those children to get documentation. The operational issues that the Hon. Member is referring to can be directed to the appropriate Ministry, which is running this programme of registration and the Registrar General’s office who are actually on the ground and ask if they can make it easier for Zimbabweans to get the documentation. However, His Excellency’s directive is very clear that it should be made easy for everyone to get the requisite documentation.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, my question emanates from the fact that it is 42 years after the liberation struggle but the vetting of the war collaborators has started. Other comrades that were supposed to be vetted are no more. How authentic is this exercise when some of the comrades are long gone? How come we are going for a second round but we have not at all been told of the criteria. There has been an uproar all over. I was in Shurugwi and some of the areas that they have gone to vet, there was no war there. So what are they going to vet? I have some of my friends whom I went to school with who are war collaborators now. How can you allow tax payers money to be wasted like this? Hon. Minister, why are you going on the second round before you have attained results from the first round and how come you have got money to vet the war veterans yet you have no money to give war veterans who you owe money? For those who fought in the liberation struggle you do not have money to give them but you are desirous to give money to criminals who are vetting and not the genuine war veterans who are still suffering. Why have you decided to be so heartless and allowing this vetting exercise to continue at the expense of people who liberated this country who have not been given any money? Hunhu rudzii?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Peter Mliswa for that very important question. Hon Madam Speaker ma’am, this is a very emotional discussion and I will not cause danger by trying to answer it. I will relay the message on behalf of the Hon. Member to the Hon. Minister so that he addresses the concerns that have been raised by the Hon. Member.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Minister for a sincere response and suggestion. I do not think it is good to just extend the message. May we have a Ministerial Statement on how it was done on the first round before going to the second and the criteria used to choose people to vet the war collaborators yet they were not part of the struggle. That Ministerial Statement must come to this House before the second round and it should address issues in the first round. With your indulgence Madam Speaker ma’am, it would please this House.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon Mliswa for the question. Maybe the definition of relay the message was also to put it precisely like what Hon. Mliswa has said. So I will pass on the message for a Ministerial Statement to be tabled in this House.
*HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Hon Speaker ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. Nowadays cooking oil is expensive that we cannot afford it in households. Sugar is also expensive and it is scarce. Things which are manufactured in the country are scarce. What is the Government’s plan or what are you promising us to find on the shelves again, especially the prices which are increasing. Thank you Madam Speaker.
*THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): This is a pertinent issue raised by Hon. Muchenje because it is targeted at every consumer in Zimbabwe. This is an important issue which is causing problems to everyone in Zimbabwe.
Yesterday we met with retailers. Some of the issues are being caused by the exchange rate and others are caused by cooking oil which we import from other countries. This situation is temporary but we are engaging the Retailers Association and the RBZ which determines the rate so that the prices will decrease. Thank you Madam President.
HON. BITI: My question to the esteemed Minister of Industry and Commerce is, we see the prices of basic commodities actually rising in United States dollar terms. I would like to give you an example of cooking oil. Last week over the weekend it was US$4 today it is US$6. So an increase in price in United States dollar terms cannot arise as a result of exchange control manipulation or mismanagement. Prices are going up in United States dollar terms. What is the reason Hon. Minister and what are you doing to address this problem?
Secondly, many of the products are actually locally manufactured by companies like United Refineries owned by Sibusiso Moyo. They are local companies accessing cheap foreign currency on the auction floor but they are still raising their prices in United States dollars. Lastly, you have got certain supermarkets that are now refusing to accept local currency for a locally produced commodity. OK Bazaars for instance is not accepting local currency for a locally produced cooking fat. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for that pertinent question, but his question is very specific and the answers require investigation. It is not possible to give him an answer on specific questions that require facts and figures, but Hon. Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to say today we launched the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Manufacturing Survey and what it shows is that we are on a very strong growth trajectory in the manufacturing sector and the current problems we are experiencing now, I want to believe that they are temporary. We are still increasing our capacity utilisation. Thank you.
(v)*HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. We heard the Minister say this rise in prices of basic commodities is temporary. What does she mean when she says it is temporary so I can go back and explain to the people in my constituency Pelandaba? How many days or how many months is this temporary situation?
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: I said I want to believe that it is temporary because we are in discussion with the Retailers Association. We are also in discussion with the RBZ Governor and Prof. Mthuli. It needs to be investigated.
HON. BITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Can I kindly ask the esteemed Minister of Industry and Trade to provide a Ministerial Statement on the issues of these contradictions in the pricing regime in Zimbabwe, the multi tier pricing system and why the price of goods is actually going up in United States dollar terms? I think a Ministerial Statement could help. I thank you very much Hon. Minister.
*HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: I would like to thank again the Hon. Member of Parliament. I said that needs an investigation. We need to work together with the RBZ Governor and Minister Mthuli Ncube so that we find a way forward and that prices will not keep increasing.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, what is your take on the Ministerial Statement?
HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: Hon. Madam Speaker, a Ministerial Statement will be forthcoming. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, on a point of recommendation.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of recommendation. Hon. Mliswa, please may you take your seat.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, my point of recommendation is that, there are a lot of companies which have received money on the auction floor yet they sell in foreign currency instead of the Zimbabwean dollar. They are supposed to be showing that in their shops. Can you also include those companies so that an assessment is done on whether they have been complying with the foreign exchange rules? This is where a lot of criminal tendencies have been happening in a huge way, so as industry, you know the companies which have benefitted and have also been charging in USD and not ZWL which they used to access USD on the auction floor. That will help us a lot in getting the criminals who are the biggest saboteurs of this economy.
THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Thank you again Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for his supplementary recommendation. The Ministerial Statement is going to be very comprehensive.
(v)+HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, since he is absent, I will direct it to the Leader of Government Business. There are sick people who are supposed to be transported to the hospital – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Repeat your question Hon. Mkandla.
(v)+HON. MKANDLA: I said there are patients who come from local clinics, council clinics who are supposed to buy fuel for vehicles to transport them to district and provincial hospitals. What provisions or plans does the Ministry have to assist these patients?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Mkandla. I did not hear the first part of the question. For those who heard the first part, it was in connection with the availability of ambulances in district hospitals and was it the issue of fuel that I wanted to confirm. Can I ask the Hon. Member to repeat the first part of the question?
Hon. Mkandla repeated his question.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Mkandla and say, surely it is an anomaly that those who are hospitalised, especially from the district hospitals, are asked to participate in the provision of fuel for their transportation to the main hospitals. I want to advise the Hon. Member that there is going to be a very interesting exercise for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe through the provision of ambulances. If they have been following the Ministry of Health and Child Care has gone an extra mile in trying to provide ambulances to a number of district hospitals. I am sure this is an exercise that will mitigate the issues of patients having to contribute towards their own transportation to general hospitals.
HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. The history to the question suggests the effect that the Constitution of this country was consummated 10 years ago but up to this moment, your Ministry or you as the Minister have decided not to enact a law to superintend on issues of 264 on provincial councils and Chapter 4 on devolution. Is it a deliberate ploy for you to undermine the Constitution as espoused in Section 2 of the Constitution on supremacy of the Constitution?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. Thank you for that question. The Bill is with the Attorney General and once it is complete, it will come to Parliament.
HON. CHIKOMBO: I do not see the sincerity on the part of the answer provided by the Hon. Minister. This is the 11th year since we consummated this heroic Constitution. What law are you using to appropriate funds in local authorities if there is no enabling law to do what you are doing? I am sure there is a serious dereliction of responsibility or it is just an issue of incompetence. Is it a matter of trying to sabotage the spirit of devolution as espoused in Chapter 4 of our Constitution?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for that follow up question. According to the Section 301 of the Constitution where 5% is supposed to be put aside to make sure that it goes to the underprivileged communities, we are using that Section to make sure that we use the funds to improve the livehoods of the community. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Hon. Mliswa, I will give you the floor. Order! – [HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you.] -
HON. BITI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the disbursement of devolution funds provided by Section 301 presupposes the existence of an Act of Parliament – that Act of Parliament is not there. How are they distributing devolution funds when that Act of Parliament is not there?
Secondly Hon. Speaker Ma’am, why 11 years after the enactment of that Constitution have they failed to bring a law to Parliament dealing with devolution, Chapter 14 of the Constitution?
Thirdly Madam Speaker, there are court judgments, one of them brought by Hon. Rusty Markham under Norman Markham, compelling them to bring a devolution law within six months of March of 2020. Why are they failing to bring that law?
Lastly Madam Speaker, even though that law is not there, they are already firing Provincial Councils that have not been sworn-in. On what basis are they doing that? Madam Speaker, this is a terrible Ministry, something must be done.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you very much Hon. Biti for those questions. Definitely, we have been working on the Bill. We do not control the pace; it had to go back and forth. We are very sincere in whatever we do.
Of course, there is not yet an Act to disburse the funds but given the situation, these councillors were elected in the last election - they are there. So we are using them to disburse the funds but I hear you that there is no Instrument in place but we had to weigh the options. Do we just keep the money and not develop the communities until that legal Instrument is in place? For sure, the Attorney-General as I said is seized with that Bill, and it is coming to Parliament very soon. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Supplementary question!] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER : What other supplementary question do you expect when the Hon. Minister has been- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, Order Hon. Members! Order, Order, the Hon. Minister has been very clear. She said that the Bill is still with the Attorney-General, I do not think that there are any other points of order or any points of clarification that need to be sought. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – No, she was quite clear, she has very much responded to that. –
HON. MURAI: Hon. Speaker, what I have gathered from the Hon. Minister’s conduct is a D-class prisoner in her. In terms of …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You see a what?
HON. MURAI: A D-Class prisoner from the way she is conducting business in this House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please sit down, and thank you very much. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I said there are no other points of clarification that are needed. This is very clear, the Hon. Minister has responded to the issue of that … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – What other point of clarification do you need when she has already answered? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Members, we are not going to have any other points of clarification. It is unfortunate that we do not have any other. Thank you very much. – [HON. MARKHAM: In the absence of the Bill Madam Speaker, who is distributing the funds?] – [HON. T. MLISWA: She has submitted for the first time that they are acting illegally, and ZACC should be standing outside to get you arrested with your accomplice July Moyo – that is where you should be. I want to call ZACC to arrest you! Mauraya nyika, mbavha dzevanhu! Kuswera muchiba mari naJuly Moyo uko, mabvuma kuti hamhuna Statutory Instrument. Muchapinda mujeri zvamusati mawona!] –
*HON. MUDARIKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. We clearly understand the issue of school fees. Why are pupils being thrown out of school if they have not paid school fees? Does the law allow school children to be thrown out of school for failure to pay school fees?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: You are not connected Hon. Mudarikwa.
*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am talking about the issue of schoolchildren being thrown out of schools. Does the law allow children to be thrown out of schools or not? If the law does not allow that, what measures can we take when school Headmasters throw children out of schools?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, and thank you Hon. Mudarikwa for the pertinent question. Government laws state that school children must not be thrown out of school because of failing to pay school fees. This means that schools that are throwing out school children are violating Government laws. Parents and guardians can report to councillors, and Hon. Members of Parliament in their constituencies so that we know the schools that are engaging in such practices.
I would like to inform the august House that it is not Government policy to throw children out of school for failure to pay school fees. I thank you.
(V)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. ZINARA has now made an electronic cover note in terms of insurance – Third Party in particular. This is a new system from analogue to digital. My question to the Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona is: what is Government policy in terms of policing this new normal of a digital electronic cover note on Third Party insurance so that there is no hemorrhage, and there is no creation of ghost accounts on the platform for the issuance of Third Party insurance? What is Government policy in terms of policing the issuance of the same on the electronic platform?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me also thank Hon. Nduna for that very important question. Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, it is the desire of Government to digitize so that we then move from the old ways of doing business, and try to ensure that we are in tandem with the contemporary way of doing business where we go digital. This is a major milestone in terms of the ease of doing business - if you can actually relate.
We are even going a step further Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am where we want an individual motorist to register from the comfort of their homes so that they do everything electronically. So I want to thank Hon. Nduna that this must be something that can be commended – that we have gone electronic and wish to extend the same function to a number of players so that we make life easier for the motoring public. I thank you.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, in the event that there are ghost accounts created by ZINARA for non-existent insurance companies, what is the position that the Hon. Minister is bound to take as policy because where there is movement of any delinquent behaviour on a computer, anyone leaves a foot print. Whoever is delinquent in terms of creation of ghost accounts that have a way of haemorrhaging Government coffers and the innocent unsuspecting citizens of Zimbabwe is bound to leave a footprint.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Whatever system that we can have, whether it is electronic or manual, you need to ring fence and make sure that you hedge against malpractices. I am happy that my colleague Hon. Nduna may be having other outside information outside this discussion that we are having. If he has got particular instances where he has witnessed such malpractice, I will be very happy to engage him but I can assure him that like any other system, we also have the issues to do with monitoring and evaluation. It is a continuous exercise and if there are gaps, we will continue to improve our systems.
HON. MARKHAM: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. We have noticed an upsurge in green spaces from golf courses to wetlands, to recreational areas which are being sold or rented off on long term leases and particularly change in use. What is Government’s plan with all these open spaces that we have? My issue is particularly in the redundant master plan of urban areas we have, in particular Harare. Can the Minister guarantee us that this land mass is secure in the name of City of Harare?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): I did not get the question. May the Hon. Member repeat it?
HON. MARKHAM: My question pertains to green spaces in urban areas which are being sold or rented off or given off in long term leases to partners. To what extend are the residents in urban areas having their green areas protected by the master plan of the various urban areas? My issue is that I see day after day, golf courses are being taken by developers. Can the Minister explain what the policy is with the master plan pertaining to green areas?
HON. CHOMBO: The policy is for the Ministry to preserve the green ways. But you have said you have seen the proliferation of developers developing these areas. If there is an open area or green area, we go through the change of reservations and that process includes a lot of consultations with the residents around that area. If they do not object to the development that is supposed to be upcoming, we have no way of refusing. We make sure that if it is a wetland, he or she has to have an EIA from the Ministry of Environment. If they have approved all those processes, we cannot deny the applicant. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: I have a supplementary question. In numerous cases, developers are purchasing recreational areas at a very lockdown price because it is the lowest rated property. The purchase of the area, whether it is a green belt or golf course – once they purchase it, they get EMA and City of Harare to approve the change of use and issue a certificate of development and immediately the value of that land goes up more than twenty times. This has been happening in this city but at the moment, I see there are three or four golf courses which are going under the same hammer. The city’s land bank has to be protected. Can the Minister ensure that the master plan is looked at and that we have a certain amount of green area given to us?
HON. CHOMBO: Definitely, we try by all means to make sure that we protect the land. Right now we are re-doing the master plan. It is supposed to be approved very soon. So be rest assured that your concerns are addressed.
We also have a process if there is an application that comes our way, we cannot just deny it. We have set procedures. Once we go through that and the application passes, there is no way we can deny that applicant.
HON. MADZIMURE: As the Minister has said, there is a process that must be taken to get to a stage where the change of use is eventually approved. How is it possible for it to be done in a proper way in a situation like Harare where we currently have an Acting Mayor, Town Clerk, Chamber Secretary, six acting directors and only one substantive director who is the Director of Health? The Committees of the Council are not working because of the directives coming from the Minister of Local Government. How is the population going to be confident that whatever resolution that council makes is a legitimate resolution when there are no officers in the offices of the City of Harare?
HON. CHOMBO: I hear you and agree with you that we have a lot of officers who are facing some disciplinary issues. Right now, all the councillors are there and they are the ones who make council resolutions. For your own information, we have a lot of those officers who are just waiting for approval. Very soon we are going to have a complemented management team.
HON. MARKHAM: The Minister said that they cannot deny a developer. Is the Minister saying that the City of Harare has no right to deny a developer taking over their land?
HON. CHOMBO: We have a processes and procedure to be followed. Once the City Council has a change of reservations application, it comes through our office and we have to go through that process. They can deny or accept that application. They have a right to refuse. We can override it, based on the procedures that would have been followed. We have to advertise for 30 days. Once we advertise, they have to respond and we also respond to them to address their concerns and so forth. The procedure is watertight. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
MEASURES TO DEAL WITH CARTELS COLLECTING REVENUES FROM COUNCIL PLACES LIKE MARKETS
- (v)HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House what measures are in place to deal with cartels collecting revenues from council places like markets which are supposed to be collected by local authorities.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Ministry has never received any complaints from local authorities with regards to cartels. If there are any, the issue should be reported to the police. Councils are well aware of what to do should such situations arise as they are the licencing authority. Thank you.
(v)HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Deputy Minister for her response. Inasmuch as the police might be there, the issue is the council officials are scared to report these cartels because they are politically connected. If they try to report to the police, nothing has been done. How can the Ministry assist the local authorities?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Chinyanganya. As I said before that we have not had any such reports and if the local authorities need protection, they know we are the parent Ministry and they can come forward with their concerns.
PROVISION OF MORE LAND TO GWANDA MUNICIPALITY
- (v)HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House what plans are there to provide more land to the Gwanda Municipality that has a waiting list of approximately above 15 000.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Ministry had acquired two farms Jarz and Dolfontein farms from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement for urban expansion for Gwanda Municipality. The Ministry, Gwanda Municipality and other stakeholders are now working on the planning modalities. I thank you.
(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would want to thank the Minister for such a wonderful response. If it pleases her, in terms of the timelines, when are they likely to complete the modalities that they are working on because the people in Gwanda community need accommodation?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for the follow up question. I cannot give a definite timeline because it involves other Ministries and the local authority but I can assure you that we have it as a priority issue.
REHABILITATION OF ROADS IN KADOMA
- (v)HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the following roads in Kadoma will be rehabilitated:-
(a) Marandu Street;
(b) Parirenyatwa Drive;
(c) Westview-Nyambo Road;
(d) Buffalo Road;
(e) Kerk Street;
(f) Learnard Street; and
(g) Robson Manyika.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Tremendous progress continues to be registered in rehabilitating the national road network through the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme 2 (ERRP2) and to the mantra ‘leaving no one and no place behind’. ERRP2 has reached the four corners of the nation gradually reintroducing the easy of movement of goods and people for social and commercial interactions. Likewise, Kadoma town is also a beneficiary of ERRP2 and all the seven roads being undertaken in year 2022. Madam Speaker, execution of the ERRP2 countrywide is being implemented by four road authorities being the Department of Roads, local authorities, rural district council and DDF. Roads in Kadoma being executed by department of roads and Kadoma City Council, Learnard Street and Robson Manyika Street are being implemented by Kadoma City Council. Earthworks for the two roads have since been completed and the contractor is left with surfacing and drainage works. Competition is earmarked for end of May 2022. The remaining roads are being done by Department of Roads. Delays were experienced in commencing works as the projects had to be retendered after the initial contractors failed to execute the works.
Madam Speaker, allow me to inform you that Parinyatwa Drive and Westview Nyambo Road have since been awarded to Frogmerge Construction Company and site handover done on 7 April 2022 and the works are in progress. The remaining three roads being Buffalo Road, Kerk Street and Marandu Street were awarded to Zinondo Holding. Site handover was done on 5 April 2022 and the contractor has started mobilising equipment to site. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response. The challenge that is facing the city council at the moment is late disbursement of funds to rehabilitate the roads that you mentioned are supposed to be done by the city council. Motorists have challenges in accessing some of the roads. The first phase has been done but there are so many blockages along the way such that motorists are having challenges to access their homes. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that there is timeous disbursement of funds for the rehabilitation of the roads? Also, the ones that have been mentioned that they have been re-tendered, I kindly ask the Minister to expedite the disbursement of funds so that motorists may not be affected in their day to day movements. Thank you.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me thank Hon. Chinyanganya for the follow up questions. Yes, if we have got details, we will also need to move with speed in rehabilitating those roads. I assure the Hon. Member that we will supervise the local authority, Kadoma City Council so that they also move with speed in completing the projects they have started. In terms of disbursements, funding is coming from ZINARA religiously, so I do not think there is an excuse from the council to say they are not getting their allocation. Above all, we will also monitor as the Ministry of Transport and also the tenders that we have flighted to expedite the process so that we partake the exercise. Thank you Madam Speaker.
REHABILITATION OF MAGODO ROAD IN BUDIRIRO
12 HON. MACHINGAUTA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when Magodo road in ward 43, Budiriro will be rehabilitated considering that on 5th May 2021, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works informed the House that the road will be rehabilitated under Phase 3 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Program (ERRP).
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, allow me to refresh colleagues on the modalities and institutional arrangements in the compilation, approval and implementation of ERRP 2. The backbone of recovering our ailing road network, identification of roads for rehabilitation in a given year begins at ward level and escalated to district and provincial level where the projects are prioritised, consolidated and submitted to the ERRP 2 technical committee at national level. The technical committee consolidates the provincial submission into a national programme that is approved by Cabinet for implementation in the given financial year.
Magodo Road in Ward 43 in Budiriro was not included in the province’s roads programme for year 2022. However, after observing the omission, we have advised City of Harare to lobby for additional funding for this road. My Ministry will also lobby the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to provide resources for execution of the project. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
RECONSTRUCTION OF NYADANGE BRIDGE IN HURUNGWE NORTH CONSTITUENCY
- Hon. Gandawa asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Government will reconstruct Nyadange Bridge in Ward 9, Kazangarare area of Hurungwe North Constituency which was washed away by Tropical Depression Anna.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The effects of natural phenomena have not spared our country, especially the road network infrastructure. The deplorable state of our road infrastructure is a direct effect of these floods, depressions and cyclones sweeping through our country. To this end, the Government through the wise leadership of our President, His Excellency Cde. Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa embarked on the structured ERRP 2 to restore the road network.
Phase one of ERRP 2 was directed at emergency works, to restore roads by attending to pothole patching and storm water drains. Phase two was for preventative works that included road refills, regravelling and selective rehabilitation works. Phase three focuses on full rehabilitation, reconstruction and construction of drainage works. Phase four will focus on major bridge constructions and major repairs of structures damaged by earlier natural disasters.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, let me hasten to say Phase one and two were combined at implementation for objectivity and Phase three is underway with remnants of Phases one and two being completed. Thus, Nyadange Bridge in Ward 9, Kazangarare area of Hurungwe North Constituency will be under Phase four to be implemented next year. However, my Ministry will approach the Ministry of Finance for additional funding to undertake the bridge under special projects. Thank you.
RESURFACING OF MKOBA 12 TO MKOBA 17 IN GWERU
- Hon. Chibaya asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House when the Ministry will resurface the road from Mkoba 12 to Mkoba 17 in Gweru.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me also thank Hon. Chibaya for the important question. In the implementation of ERRP 2, my Ministry has encountered non-performing contractors to the detriment of achieving our national goals under ERRP 2. The road from Mkoba 12 to Mkoba 17 was one such road that was graced by non-performing contractor. The contract has since been terminated and the project re-tendered. We expect the road to be resurfaced by the third quarter of 2022. I can assure you that my Ministry is putting a plug to non-performers by blacklisting those found wanting and also tightening the contractor selection criteria. I thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: My supplementary question is on the issue of non-performing contractors. How does the Minister get around the problem where after being blacklisted, the same contractors change their company profiles and retender as a different company. It looks like there is no due diligence done before these companies are awarded projects.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me also thank Hon. Eng. Gabbuza for that very important question. It is true that you would find a non-performing contractor in one province moving to another. Because of that malpractice, we have introduced a log book that we have as a Ministry that we check before anyone is awarded a tender. If one changes, that will be having the names of the directors. In this case, you can only by-pass this vetting exercise if you change directors. If you change the name of the company and the relevant details pertaining to address, you will not be in a position to get a tender again. As much as we are trying to empower our local players in the industry, we have also witnessed the gaps in the procurement exercise where we are saying the lowest bidder will get the tender. In a number of cases, you find that one will then bid without necessary equipment to carry the task at hand. So, we have managed to plug all those to say those who were testing the Ministry, I think it is no longer business as usual and we will not allow even one contractor to have so many contracts within the country where you would find one contractor in one province also appearing in other nine or so provinces. This is now a thing of the past.
*HON. TOGAREPI: I do not know whether this will be a new question but I think it is related to what the Minister is talking about. People who are constructing these beautiful roads omit to fix the roads that they will be using to ferry their materials to the roads they will be fixing. Please Minister, tell us what we should do because our inroads which we use have been equally destroyed during the time that the major road was being constructed and they are so bad and difficult to travel on.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon Chief Whip for the important question. My response to your question is, our policy is that these contractors should restore the area to its original position or better it. If there are any areas that have been left like that after projects like road construction, let my Ministry know. It is not Government policy to go and get materials like sand and destroy the used roads and leave them like that without fixing them. Those are some of the contractual agreements we have with the contractors of our roads. I hope all those who are listening will let my Ministry know if there are such areas so we can reinforce restoration and betterment of places they will be working in. I thank you.
MONEY DISBURSED BY ZINARA TO HURUNGWE RDC FOR ROADS REHABILITATION
- HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House how much money ZINARA has disbursed to Hurungwe Rural District Council for roads rehabilitation for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 specifically for the benefit of Hurungwe North Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Gandawa for a very important question. Disbursements made to Hurungwe RDC in 2019 were to the tune of ZW$667 745, in 2020, ZW$4,361,48 and in 2021, ZW$72,303,612. I thank you.
REFURBISHING OF THE HIGHWAY BETWEEN MAKHADO AND BEITBRIDGE
- HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will refurbish the highway between Makhado and Beitbridge.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Mokone for the question. The section being referred to is from the 221 to 321 kilometre peg at the border post. Under the 2022 programme, the Ministry is currently dualising the section from the 215.7km peg to 221km peg at the border. Plans to upgrade and rehabilitate the section from 266km peg to 270km peg are also in place and it is at procurement stage. The pre-tender site visit was done and we are proceeding to the valuation stage. From 221km peg to 230km peg, we propose to do a reseal on that section which is directly at Makhado. I thank you.
(v) HON. MOKONE: Thank you Hon. Minister for your response. The road that I am referring to is a very important road which is the face of Zimbabwe. So, if it pleases the Minister, may you kindly inform this House when this road will be refurbished? All the tourists from South Africa use that road yet it is in that state.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Mokone for that follow up question. It is true that the connectivity that is brought about by the connectivity of our trunk roads is very important. I want to assure the Hon. Member that yes it is an economic road of paramount importance that it is rehabilitated. We are seized with your concerns and as Government, we are making sure that all our trunk roads are being rehabilitated. I want to assure the Hon. Member that we have started working on this road and we are not going to stop on the designated areas that I have highlighted but we will continue on that trajectory. I thank you.
The Temporary Speaker having called for response to Question 18.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Madam Speaker, on question 18, as much as Hon. Chikwinya is not in our midst, from the Ministry, we did not have that updated Order Paper, so I ask that it be carried forward.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. We need to applaud you for responding to all the questions and for being prepared to answer all the questions - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]- We will defer questions 19 to 24.
SALARIES FOR GOVERNMENT WORKERS AND PENSIONERS
- HON. CHIBAYA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House when the Ministry will reveal salaries for Government workers and pensioners considering the sharp increase in the exchange rate both on interbank and the black market.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Madam Speaker, may the House be informed that the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) met on 28th February and an agreement on cost of living adjustment was signed. Government received the workers position paper to review salaries in light of the current inflation and Government consultations resulted in the review of the salaries. At that particular point in time, US$175 in hard currency was awarded to Government workers and a 20% raise was also given in Zimbabwean dollar terms.
The NJNC meeting will be convened once Government consultations have been finalised for a new review and Government will consider the position of workers and will also put forward its own position.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Chair. I want to thank the Minister for his response but perhaps really I need to encourage or to enquire from the Minister what is actually stopping regular meetings of the NJNC in view of the fact that he says their last meeting was in February 2022 and with the vast movement of prices and the loss of the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, I would encourage that the NJNC meets regularly, perhaps even monthly so that at least the gap between the wages and the prices is not so wide in terms of the time that is actually being consumed before the meeting is convened. It is my humble submission that regular meetings would pay dividends in terms of covering the gap in salaries and the wage degradation. I thank you.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: The meeting that I have referred to resulted in very substantive changes in the conditions of services of the public servants. The most fundamental of which was the awarding of an extra or additional US$100 bringing the United States dollar component of the salaries of the least paid public servants to 175 and that did not touch their Zimbabwean dollar component and then the Zimbabwean dollar component itself was increased by 20%. So it was quite substantial.
We expect that this quarter, there will be another meeting. So it is probably more prudent to have quarterly meetings rather than monthly meetings - we expect this quarter to have another meeting of the NJNC. Typically, what happens is the workers themselves call for a meeting and present their position and then the NJNC is then convened. We have not seen that agitation as of now but as soon as it takes place, then definitely Government’s door is always open for negotiations to take place.
HON. GABBUZA: The Minister indicated that negotiations have been happening but Madam Speaker, the Zimbabwe dollar component, given that it has been seriously eroded and we heard recently from the RBZ that our export revenue has trebled or doubled which means there is now room for maneuvering in the foreign currency component. Is the Minister considering negotiating now in foreign currency given that there has been assurance that our export revenues have increased significantly?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Determination of how the remuneration for public servants is done is not the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare or the Public Service Commission alone. You will appreciate that there are quite a number of other factors that have to be considered requiring collaborative look at things together with Treasury and indeed together with the office of the President and Cabinet and therefore that collective responsibility has to be considered before I could actually say as a Ministry or as the Public Service Commission that I represent in fora such as this, one can then go and say we will be basing our negotiations on the United States dollar or hard currency so to speak. I thank you Madam Speaker.
APPROVAL OF CBA IN THE WELFARE AND EDUCATION SECTOR FOR SALARY SCALES DENOMINATED IN USD
- HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House why the Ministry has approved a CBA in the Welfare and Education Sector for salary scales denominated in USD where the highest paid worker receives US$ 516.31 and the lowest US$216 whilst it cannot countenance this for Civil Servants.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare approved the Collective Bargaining Agreement for welfare and educational institutions because of the following reasons:
- It is a legal right for social partners to negotiate as enshrined in the Labour Act [Chapter 28:01], Section 74 (2) which states as follows;
74 Scope of collective bargaining agreements
(2) Subject to this Act and the competence and authority of the parties, trade unions and employers or employers organisations may negotiate collective bargaining agreements as to any conditions of employment which are of mutual interest to the parties thereto.
It is from this background that the social partners in the sector have negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
- The salaries were denominated in United States Dollars (USD) but payable in Zimbabwean dollars at the prevailing interbank rate. This was done to protect the employees from volatile economic environment and to avoid continuous salary negotiations.
- There was also nothing at law prohibiting the sector to negotiate salaries denominated in USD but payable in Zimbabwe dollars. It is also important to note that several industries have their collective bargaining agreements denominated in USD but payable in Zimbabwean dollars. For instance, Ferro-Alloys Industry, Water and Allied Industry, Mining and Tobacco.
- It is important to note that the Government employees’ conditions of employment are negotiated through the National Joint Negotiating Committee (NJNC) in terms of the Public Service Act while other industries in the private sector negotiate through the National Employment Councils (NECs) in terms of the Labour Act. Whilst these platforms are used to achieve the same goal that is to negotiate salaries for employees, they use different legislation and they are regulated differently.
- However, it is not entirely true to say that Government cannot countenance the same arrangements for civil servants because we are all aware that since the onset of the year, civil servants are being paid part of their salaries in USD as a way of protecting them from the effects of exchange rate volatility. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
NUMBER OF BULAWAYO RESIDENTS REGISTERED FOR ASSISTANCE THROUGH CASH TRANSFERS
- (v)HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House the number of Bulawayo Residents registered for assistance through cash transfers, particularly for those in Bulawayo Central Constituency
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is providing support to vulnerable households in Bulawayo Province through various programmes, namely Harmonised Social Cash Transfer, Emergency Social Cash Transfers and Cash for Cereals. For the Harmonised Social Cash Transfers, the programme is reaching out to 2 566 households in the following wards, Makokoba (7), Mzilikazi (8), Mpopoma (9), Entumbane (10), Emakhandeni (11), Njube (12), Iminyela (13), Lobengula (14), Old Magwegwe (18), Old Pumula (19), Pumula South (27) and Magwegwe North (29). The wards were targeted based on the poverty profiles. Within the Metropolitan Provinces, 17 684 households are benefitting from the Cash for Cereals from Government. In response to unprecedented effects of COVID-19, the Ministry, in partnership with UNICEF introduced the Emergency Social Cash Transfer Programme to support 3 605 transitory poor households in the following areas: Robert Sinyoka, Iminyela, Sizinda, Old Luveve, Nkulumane (Sekusile area), Gwabalanda and Emganwini. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. How do we fit in as we play our representative role? You are aware of the legislative and oversight but I am worried about the representative. Firstly, how do we fit in these cash transfer programmes as Members of Parliament who represent people? Secondly, if we meet those who are excluded but more deserving, how do we fit in as Members of Parliament for the people so that they can also be assisted?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker, I am not sure that I fully got the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The question was - how do we fit in as Hon. Members whenever we identify any person who is supposed to benefit from the scheme, and if ever we find any lack within the system, are we also supposed to contribute towards assisting and providing names and people who can benefit from this?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. This is a programme that is run by the Department of Social Development, in some cases with partnership from international development partners such as the UNICEF like I referred to but also the World Food Programme.
We try as much as possible to get this programme to operate both on technical criteria for targeting the beneficiaries but if Hon. Members feel that there are people who have been left behind, their best bet is to approach the local office of the Department of Social Development. There is an office in each district of this country where they can indicate those people who have become vulnerable, and the department again where necessary, working with the development partners can then do the assessment and either include this person or tells them that based on their criteria, they do not qualify. So the role of leadership including Hon. Members of Parliament would be to inform the relevant department where they see a situation that needs the assistance of the department. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, in terms of the urbanites who are in the urban areas who were denied rice, especially in Harare and Bulawayo yet in other cities rice was issued in some constituencies like Mutare and Rusape East, what is the rationale behind such a policy Hon. Minister?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, this question is for cash transfer and does not pertain to issues of rice. So may you please put your question in writing? Thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: The Hon. Minister, in his response, said that there are three cash transfers instead of actual food hand-outs. I am simply saying that rice was issued in other cities but was not issued in Harare. Surely there should be a rationale behind such a Ministerial policy.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: As you can see Honourable, that is a new and specific question. Please put it in writing and the Hon. Minister will respond. Thank you very much. Let me also thank the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Prof. Mavima for responding to all the questions.
(v)HON. SARUWAKA: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am. I am not sure whether you treated Hon. Mushoriwa’s concern fairly. Cash or food serves the same purpose –you can be given food or money to buy food. So for you to say that it is a new question because we are talking about food and not cash, why do you not allow the Hon. Minister to respond? I am sure he will be capable of dealing with the question from Hon. Mushoriwa.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much; I think I have already made a ruling on that. The issue was about cash transfers. As Hon. Members, I think it is quite clear that whenever we have a supplementary question, it cannot be outside the initial question. So the initial question was pertaining to cash transfers and giving an example does not mean that is the initial question. I think we need to be very clear about that.
Hon. Mushoriwa was asking about an issue to do with rice which is a different case pertaining to Harare and comparing them to Bulawayo – that is a new question altogether. So for me to be able to make that ruling, it was based on us now diverting from the initial question. I thank you.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
APPOINTMENT OF PROVINCIAL COUNCILS
- HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House:-
(a) when will the Government put in place Provincial Councils as to ensure supervision of devolution funds; and
(b) when will Government complete the borehole projects which were started in Ward 21 and Ward 19 Chitungwiza under the Presidential Borehole Scheme.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Bill is till with Attorney-General’s Office. Once it is finalised in terms of drafting, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works will be able to present it to Parliament. For Ward 19, two boreholes were drilled and only one was successful. It is now waiting installation while the other one was found dry. For Ward 21, two boreholes were drilled and both were successful. They are only waiting for installation. I thank you.
COMMENCEMENT OF THE HARARE-CHITUNGWIZA RAILWAY PROJECT
- HON. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to inform the House;
when will the Harare-Chitungwiza Railway Project commence
- when will the road opposite Unit B Corner Shops in Chitungwiza be refurbished.
- when will Government erect the bus stop station at Diaspora area opposite Unit B Area in Chitungwiza.
- what is the progress regarding moving the Seke Ziko Tollgate to Seke Mabhauwa area?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Allow me to proffer my responses as follows;
- The railway project initiation process being spearheaded by the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The project will go through the following processes;
- The valuation of previous feasibility study that was carried out is scheduled to start on 25 May and is expected to take three weeks up to mid June 2022.
- Preliminary establishment of bill of quantities.
- Final bill of quantities.
- Tendering process.
- Adjudication process.
- PRAZ processes and appointment of the contractor or project implementer.
- Roll out of the project and construction up to completion of works.
Let me hasten to say that NRZ is ready for this project and the timeliness of commencement of works is hinged on the availability of funding of distinguished processes. We will continue to lobby for timely funding through the Ministry of Finance.
- In Chitungwiza, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has taken over five main roads so far, these being Gudza, Kubvumbi, Batanai, Tumba way and Waterland roads. The contractor is already on site and overall progress stands at 21%. During our stakeholder engagement, these roads were the main priority in Chitungwiza as they serve as access roads to Chitungwiza General Hospital from Seke and Zengeza District.
- The road in question is in Unit B (Chibuku Road) which is under the ERRP 2 programme and it is being implemented by Chitungwiza Municipality. The scope of works is pothole patching and we expect the local council to quickly commence work as the councils have already received initial disbursements for routine maintenance from ZINARA. The section being referred to by the Hon. Member is part of the Seke Road extension which passes behind Makoni shopping area to Dema tollgate. That section of road from Chikwanha roundabout to Dema tollgate has been earmarked for dualisation and currently designs are underway for the horizontal alignment of the new road. As we wait for the finalisation of the designs, I will direct my Ministry to work on a temporary bus stop on the diaspora area whilst we incorporate the permanent bus stop on our final road designs.
- The proposed new site to relocate Dema tollgate to Mabhauwa was identified and all stakeholder processes were done. The Ministry has since started procurement processes for the design and construction of a state of the art toll plaza at the proposed new site. We have scheduled to start the actual construction in July 2022.
PLANS TO ASSIST COMMUNITIES FACING HUNGER IN NYANGA
- HON. SANYATWE asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House what Government plans are in as far as assistance to communities facing acute hunger due to poor rains is concerned in the following areas of Nyanga; Fombe Ward 1, Kazozo Ward 3, Katerera Ward 5, Ruwangwe Ward 4, Gotegote Wards 7 and 9, Nyatsanga, Nyamahumba, Munemo, Avilla Renzva Wards 2 and 10, Nyadowa, Sabvure, Bariri Ward 11.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Sanyatwe for the question. May the House be informed that Government is responding to any call made across the country for food assistance and other social protection services like the public assistance and the cash transfer. Calls for food assistance are done at district level through drought relief committees. The committees assess the situation in their districts and submit a request for grain. This season seems to be bad across the country and we wait for crop and livestock assessments and the vulnerability assessments to ascertain areas that are worse off. Whilst we wait for these formalities, we have requested the Ministry of Lands to avail grain for an extension of the programme and upscale to the affected districts. Nyanga District has approximately 40 thousand beneficiaries to be targeted.
CONSTRUCTION OF BASE STATIONS WITH 3G IN MARGINALISED AREAS OF HURUNGWE NORTH
- HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Information Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services to inform the House when POTRAZ, through the Universal Services Fund, is going to construct base stations with 3G in marginalised areas of Hurungwe North, particularly, Mayamba area in Ward 8, Dete area Ward 9, Kachiva and Bakwa area in Ward 22.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. We have a five-year Digital Infrastructure Master Plan encompassing POTRAZ USF, SOEs and the private sector to ensure that we leave no one and no space behind. Scoping for all areas has commenced including Hurungwe District, and will be completed before the end of July, in order to pave way for the construction of base stations. The responsibility for base station construction is for all the players, and will include infrastructure sharing passive infrastructure. I thank you.
GARMENT FACTORY IN CHITUNGWIZA
- HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minster of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development to explain who is running the Garment Factory situated in Ward 21 Unit A Chitungwiza.
THE MINSTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. NYONI): The Chitungwiza Clothing Cluster which was formerly known as the Chitungwiza Clothing Factory is being run by a cluster of men and women who came together for the sake of economies of scale and are supported by the Ministry. The equipment in use was donated by COMESA. I thank you.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 27 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 28 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I would want to understand from the Chair. The reason why we have the Order Paper properly numbered is because the Business Committee is assumed to have sat down and come up with the Orders of the Day.
It has now become the norm that every day we have a situation where Orders of the Day have to be selected for debate. What is happening? Is the Business of the House still sitting or it is now a question of who lobbies the Chief Whip at a particular moment?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mushoriwa. Indeed, the Committee has not been sitting of late. However, what usually happens is that Hon. Members have to also register that they are prepared to debate their motions and this is considered by the Hon. Chief Whip to the extent that even as of today, the only Committee which is ready with their report and ready to debate is that one from Order of the Day Number 28. That is why we are resorting to that.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker but we said that this is an important Committee of this House and needs to sit and deliberate on these issues.
PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B.10, 2021]
Twenty Eighth Order read: Second Reading: Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H. B. 10, 2021]
Question again proposed.
HON. E. NCUBE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Maam for affording me this opportunity to present a report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on public consultations on the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H.B. 10, 2021]
The Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill [H.B. 10, 2021] was gazetted on 5 November 2021. It seeks to amend the Private Voluntary Organisation Act [Chapter 17:05] in compliance with the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) recommendations. Zimbabwe is
a member country to the FATF, an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 with the major objective of developing policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The country was placed under a monitoring programme in October 2018 to ensure the
alignment of laws on Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) to Recommendation 8. The key objective of Recommendation 8 is to ensure that non-profit organisations are not misused by terrorist organisations whether as a way for such terrorist organisations to pose as legitimate entities; or to exploit legitimate entities as conduits for terrorist financing, including for the purpose of escaping asset freezing measures; or to conceal or obscure the clandestine diversion of funds intended for legitimate purposes, but diverted for terrorist purposes.
In terms of Section 141 of the Constitution which enjoins Parliament to ensure public involvement in its legislative process and that interested parties are consulted about bills, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare conducted public consultations on the Bill. This report summarizes the views of the people of Zimbabwe on the Bill.
As part of consultations on the Bill, the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare attended two workshops which were organized by Parliament in collaboration
with development partners; including the United Nations Development Programme, Zimbabwe Institute, Southern African Parliamentary Trust (SAPST) and National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO). These workshops were attended Members of the Committee, legal experts, civil society organisations (CSOs) and officials from the
Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
The Committee also conducted public hearings on the Bill from 28 February to 4 March 2022. In this regard, the Committee was divided into 2 teams which undertook consultations at 14 different venues across the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe. Group A reached out to a total of 907
people physically comprising of: 49% (452) males, 51% (455) females and 7% (65) being persons with disabilities. Comparatively, the public hearings conducted by Group B were attended by a total of 987 citizens comprising: 386 males and 601 females. The aggregate reach
was therefore, 1894 where 44% were male participants and 64% females.
In addition, virtual hearings were conducted on four (4) radio stations namely; Diamond FM, National FM, Nyaminyami FM, and Skyz Metro FM. Furthermore, the Committee received and analysed several written submissions from interested stakeholders.
3.0 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
3.1 General Submissions
The public applauded Parliament for the efforts made in reaching out to gather their views on the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill. However, a call was made to extend the consultations to district level in the future. Participants complained that the Bill was too technical and written in only one language, that is English while some people required the Braille format which made it difficult for them to participate during the public hearings. Parliament was urged to provide sign language interpreters during public hearings to enable everyone to participate, including those with hearing impairments. It was also emphasised that the review of laws be done with a spirit of protecting the country and safeguarding the interests of the citizens. In addition, a call was made upon the Portfolio Committee on Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare to conduct benchmarking visits to other countries before finalising its report on the Bill.
3.2 Highlights of participants views in support of the Bill
Some members of the public supported the Bill stating that PVOs need to be regulated at a higher level since some of them abuse funds from donors for personal gain. It was highlighted that as long as PVOs operate in good faith, sticking to their mandate and transparency they would never be adversely affected by the new amendments. In addition, it was noted that good supervision of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was necessary to stop them from meddling in politics, in particular by supporting political parties. Furthermore, it was noted that some PVOs were diluting the local culture which resulted in moral decadence, hence there was need for regulation. Finally, the Bill was applauded as it sought to curb terrorism which had profoundly affected some countries socio-economically, including those on the continent.
3.3 Highlights of participants views NOT in support of the Bill
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) expressed reservations on the enactment of the Bill in its current form into law. There was a general sentiment that current laws adequately regulate PVOs in terms of accountability and curbing money laundering. These include; the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23], Suppression of Foreign and International Terrorism Act [Chapter 11:21], Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act [Chapter 24:24], Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] and Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act [Chapter 9:24], amongst others. Additionally, CSOs indicated that the FATF recommendations no longer mattered as the country had been removed from the monitoring programme. It was also highlighted that the proposed amendments would paralyse civic engagement, compromise independence of PVOs in their operations, especially on advocacy work in line with Constitution. An increase in bureaucratic layers could create
room for corruption due to excessive powers granted to administrative authorities. This could result in the hiking of registration fees beyond the reach of many. Furthermore, it was noted that the Bill reverses the spirit of devolution as it centralizes powers in the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and violates freedom of association as enshrined in Section58 of the Constitution.
4.0 SPECIFIC SUBMISSIONS ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
4.1 Clause 1: Short Title of the Bill
There were no objections to the title of the Bill in all the ten provinces.
4.2 Clause 2: Interpretations
The public noted the following as fundamental amendments which should be captured in the interpretation clause:
- a) The terms “legal person” and “legal arrangement” were considered to be unclear and it was proposed that they be defined to avoid legal uncertainty.
- b) “collecting contributions from the public or outside the country” should be defined in order to comply with the international law of legality;
- c) Section 2(3) should make provision for a risk assessment procedure to be undertaken before designating a type of legal entity as ‘high risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ to misuse for terrorist financing in line with Recommendation 8 of the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).
4.3 Clause 3: Creation of the Office of the Registrar of Private Voluntary Organisations
This Clause creates a stand-alone office of the Registrar of Private Voluntary Organisations which shall be competent to employ its own staff who will be part of the Public Service. There was a view that the Social Welfare Department under which the registration of PVOs is
currently domiciled is not operating efficiently, thus the new Office of the Registrar of PVOs should not be placed under the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare. Concerns were also raised regarding the lack of procedure for appointment of the Registrar and the officers and their roles. Stakeholders noted the need for self-regulation of PVOs with their own Registrar who is independent from the Public Service. Emphasis was made on ensuring that powers of the Registrar do not erode the powers of the PVOs Board. A proposal was also made to review and strengthen the PVOS Board which currently consists of 12
members who are appointed by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, six each from PVOs and Government Ministries. Instead, stakeholders requested that the majority of the PVOs Board members be appointed by PVOs themselves following a set criterion and
that representation of the Executive be minimal on the PVOs Board.
4.4 Clause 4: Registration Fees
The clause amends Section 9 of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act by providing for the payment of a prescribed fee for registration of PVOs. The public noted that:
- a) It was appropriate that the PVOs intending to register approach the Social Welfare Department for direction on areas which need assistance;
- b) Registration fees must not be prohibitive and burdensome for any organization, in particular smaller organisations.
- c) The fee must be equally and fairly employed to all organisations.
- d) The application process should be simple, with minimal documentation required.
- e) There should be clear and limited grounds for rejection, with the ability to appeal the decision.
4.5 Clause 5. Prohibition of Involvement of PVOs in Political Affairs
The clause amends section 10 of the PVO Act by criminalizing PVOs that support or oppose a political party or candidates or finances a political party or candidate. The public indicated that NGOs should not be allowed to aid local communities on the basis of political background.
Some food distribution programmes by NGOs were allegedly used for political campaigning instead of assisting all vulnerable people. Hence, it was necessary to curb such malpractices. However, concern was raised that this clause violates the right to freedom of association provided for in Section 58 of the Constitution read together with Section 67(2)(d). In this regard, it was recommended that the Bill clearly specify what supporting or opposing a political party or candidates entails.
4.6 Clause 6: Re-registration or Amendment of Registration due to Material changes
The clause introduces a requirement for PVOs to re-register where there are material changes relating to the constitution, change in ownership or control or variation in the capacity of a PVO. The public recommended that:
- a) PVOs should not be required to register more than once;
- b) The requirement for associations to obtain permission from authorities before revising their internal management structures or rules constitutes undue interference by the Government in the internal affairs of PVOs.
4.7 Clause 7: Ministerial Powers
This Clause introduces new provisions relating to the suspension of the Executive Committee in circumstances where it appears to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on information supplied to him or her in respect of any registered private voluntary organisation that the organisation has ceased to operate in furtherance of the objects specified in its constitution; or the maladministration of the organisation is adversely affecting the activities of the organisation; or the organisation is involved in any illegal activities; or it is necessary or desirable to do so in the public interest. These provisions are very similar to the provisions in Section 22 of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act, the main difference being that under the proposed provisions the Minister is required to act in pursuance of an order of the High Court instead of making the decision himself or herself. This is in line with the principles of the transparency and accountability and good administrative justice. The proposed new Section 21 (11) provides that any person who makes any false representation to, or otherwise willfully hinders or obstructs a trustee in the exercise of his or her functions under this section; or falsely holds himself or herself out to be a trustee, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 7 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
Stakeholders highlighted that the Bill vested too much power in the Minister which reversed the spirit of devolution and may lead to mis-governance and corruption. It was noted that the Clause bestowed upon the Minister unfettered powers to interfere in the internal management of PVOs. A proposal was made to place these powers on the PVOs Board instead or to make use of readily available institutions such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to deal with transparency issues.
However, some members of the public supported the clause as it empowered the Minister to ensure that PVOs stick to their mandates and do not engage in maladministration. This was in view of the notion that some PVOs diverted their mandates and without regulation this may
disturb the peace, order and good governance of the country.
4.8 Clause 8: Identification, Appreciation and Assessment of Risks
The clause repeals and replaces section 22 of the PVO Act. It provides for risk assessment of PVOs to be conducted by the Minister in cooperation with the Financial Intelligence Unit at 5 yearly intervals, to identify organizations at risk or vulnerable to terrorism abuse. In this regard, stakeholders recommended that:
- a) The risk identification assessment procedure and criteria should be clearly stated;
- b) The Minister must include PVOs in the risk assessment process in line with Recommendation 8 of the FATF;
4.9 Clause 9-11: Civil Penalties
These clauses incorporate section 22A and the Schedule to the Private Voluntary Organisations Act. They make provision for the Registrar to impose civil penalty orders to non-complying PVOs and require defaulting PVOs to pay a fixed penalty amount. Stakeholders recommended that the penalties be proportionate to offences in order to prevent over-regulation.
5.0 COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS
The Committee made the following observations:
5.1 The purpose of registering PVOs through the Registrar is to facilitate accountability and transparency on who does what when and where.
5.2 Criminalising the involvement of PVOs in politics is meant to remind them of their core mandate that is for developmental purposes rather than to support or oppose political parties or candidates or finance a political party or candidate.
5.3 Registration fee is meant to assess or measure the financial capacity of PVOs to operate upon registration.
5.4 The creation of the Office of the Registrar of PVOs is meant to promote sound administration of PVOs, including the maintenance of proper records of registration details and their areas of operation.
5.5 Ministerial powers are meant to encourage PVOs to adhere to their mandates and minimize cases of maladministration.
5.6 The provision for the Registrar of PVOs to impose civil penalties is necessary in order to ensure that PVOs comply and adhere to the Act and the Constitution.
5.7 A majority of the PVOs currently operating in the country are not registered and outside the administration of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
5.8 There was politicisation of the public hearings by CSOs as the deliberately misrepresented information pertaining to the objective of the Bill as they claimed that it sought to ban PVOs. Also, a majority of the CSOs were paying some money to the public in order to influence them to reject the Bill.
5.9 There was a lot of interest expressed by the CSOs as evidenced by their behaviour when they followed the Committee to every public hearing venue and submitted the same contributions as a way of pushing their agenda to reject the Bill.
5.10 Stakeholders complained that the Bill was too technical and written in only one language that is English while some people required the Braille format which made it difficult for them to participate
in the public consultations.
5.11 The non-payment for public hearing venues by the Administration of Parliament in advance compromised the work of Committee.
6.0 COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Committee made the following recommendations:
6.1 The close involvement of the Office of Registrar in the operations of PVOs as the regulatory authority.
6.2 The cancellation of a certificate or licence of any PVO that deliberately fails to stick to its mandate or participate in politics.
6.3 That government Ministries in collaboration with Parliament translate all Bills and Acts into the sixteen languages stipulated in Section 6 of the Constitution to facilitate understanding and effective participation by all stakeholders in the law- making process by December 2022.
6.4 Parliament in collaboration with other stakeholders intensify educational and publicity campaigns on Bills, public hearings and other programmes in both urban and rural areas.
6.5 The Administration of Parliament must make sure all public hearings venues are paid for in advance in order to avoid inconveniences.
The Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare exhorts the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare in conjunction with other government departments to expeditiously implement provisions of the Bill, once passed by Parliament and ascended to by the President. Stakeholders at all levels are also encouraged to abide by the law at all times in order to promote harmony, unity and the development of Zimbabwe.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
Rusape, Vhengere Hall
Masvingo – Masvingise Business Centere
Mutoko – Kapondoro Business Centre
Kariba – Nyamhunga Stadium
Guruve – Ruyamuro Business Centre
Zhombe – Zibagwe RDC
Bulawayo – Selbourne Hotel
Bulawayo – Emakandeni Hall
Beitbridge – Lutumba Village Hall
Gwanda – Gwanda Mishies Hotel
Tsholotsho – Council Offices
Jotsholo – Jotsholo Recreational Ground
I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me the opportunity to debate this Bill. Let me start by thanking our Portfolio Committee for the good report that they have presented. I want to start by saying that this Bill is badly conceived and badly put together. It is unconstitutional in several respects and I will explain to you Madam Speaker its vagueness in a number of clauses…
(v)HON. KASHIRI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Hon Mushoriwa should withdraw the statement that the Bill is out of order. Let him withdraw because the Bill has gone through Cabinet but he has the audacity to come and say it is out of order – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is not obliged to]-
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Civic societies play a crucial role in the development of this country. It does not matter which field they are operating in. They have contributed immensely during the trying times of this country. If you analyse this Bill, you find that the Minister has given himself powers that are ultra vires the Constitution. The powers that the Minister is giving himself contravene Section 68 of the Constitution which guarantees everyone the right to administrative justice. The question of making unilateral decisions without due process is not right.
Secondly, if you read this Bill, the Minister wants to get a lot of power that will go to the extent of trying to usurp the power of Parliament which violates Sections 134 of the Constitution. Making laws is our responsibility as Parliament but if you see the powers that the Minister seeks under the PVO Bill, is to ensure that he comes up with a regulation that may as well change the text of the Act as it stands.
Thirdly, if you look at the Bill, it goes on to prohibit fundraising by trusts - even those trusts that came into being through the registration by High Court. What the Minister now wants to do is to extend his arm to all of them. It is not clear what the purpose of this provision is. Trusts are regulated under a different statute and we do not understand why the Minister would want to abrogate or end up giving himself a lot of powers.
Clause 5 of the Bill is also vague. The clause says NGOs or civic organisations will not be allowed to engage in political activities. The vagueness of it is on the definition of political activities because political activities mean anything to anybody. When the price of bread goes up you say something, it is actually political to someone and to some it is not. If you then look at it, again it violates Section 58 of our Constitution which guarantees freedom of association and it is buttressed by Section 67 which allows people to have the right to form, join and participate in the activities of a political organisation.
The import of this clause is to simply say for instance if you got the war victims association, they can say you cannot venture into politics. You have got Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Union, the one that was joined by Hon. Chinotimba, they can say you cannot. If you look at it, you then understand that the manner in which it is made is actually not properly thought through and this is dangerous as we go forward.
If you analyse Clause 7 as reported by the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, the Minister wants to amass powers to himself to make sure that he can actually suspend the executive committee of an NGO if, in his thinking, the NGO or the civic society is not operating to the mandate. The challenge is that the Minister wants to do an application to the High Court whilst the application has not been considered. He wants to give himself power to unilaterally do that. This is patently unconstitutional because it violates the right to due processes. This again shows you that this Bill was not properly crafted.
If you then look at Clause 8 which has been highlighted by the report from the Committee, in this country, we do have sufficient statutes and legislation that deal with illegal movement of cash to the extent that there is no need for us to hide it through such standards when in effect, we have got an agenda which does not necessarily talk to such standards.
Lastly, when you look at the civil penalties that are being proposed, you come to the realisation that the intention of this Bill is not progressive, it does not intend to build a better Zimbabwe. Whilst it is understandable that in any society organisations, human beings and every one of us has to abide by certain standards, rules and regulations but when we do it, we should do it just like when we do the prayer every time we commence Parliament, that we do laws which are for the good governance of this country. If you analyse the Bill, it was crafted with a motive targeting certain civic societies in the governance areas.
If you then check, this country got independence in 1980 and you will realise that most of our freedom fighters got support from these civic societies and some of them were church run. It is wrong for a party that claims to be standing on the shoulders of revolutionary and liberation legacy to then try to cut the freedom that was bestowed by a hard and protracted Second Chimurenga War that ushered this country in 1980. We cannot reverse those gains. Instead, what we should be doing is to ensure that we give as much freedom as possible to allow these civic societies to continuously move and operate and help the country to prosper.
This is my view Madam Speaker and I believe strongly that the crafting of this Bill was wrongly done and was done with a wrong motive. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also talk to this report by the Portfolio Committee on Public Service Labour and Social Welfare. What I read from this is that the intention and objective of this Bill is that everyone in civil society must stick to his mandate. Only people who are bent on being lawless, would want to live and do business whether it is social work or non-governmental work in Zimbabwe. They want to do it being above the laws of this country. Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), nobody even the Bill itself, does not dispute that NGOs are a very important part of our society, governance, economy and social services. Nobody doubts and is against that. What we are against is where you find an organisation that comes to Zimbabwe, on a specific request to do a certain line of work in support to the Government of Zimbabwe, deviating from that, starting to do things that are outside their mandate. Nobody would like that. If you go to America today, as an NGO and you involve yourself in the politics of America, they will never allow you to operate. Go to any country, we have evidence everywhere, where NGOs have been used to regime change agents. No country in its rightful senses will allow that.
So, the complaints that we hear from NGOs, we realise that those who are well meaning; the NGOs that have come to Zimbabwe to do genuine work are not complaining. We have only few misguided NGOs who are employed to come to disturb us as a country; who are against this law. If you are a law abiding NGO, who knows very well how you were registered, the objects of your organisation; you will not be worried. If you have come here to do relief work for providing food or supporting disabled persons, you will not talk about politics. So how does that affect you?
Those who do not want to be registered; those who do not want to be supervised on what they are doing, they have got an agenda. They have something to hide. Madam Speaker, this is a welcome development. These people have been getting into our nerves by involving themselves in our politics. We are not talking about politics of a certain political party but all our political parties must never be driven by NGOs. If we allow NGOs to go unregulated, what it means is we will be at the mercy of those who sponsor those NGOs to change our Government when they want; to disturb our politics whenever they want.
So, from the report that I have heard, the caste of this Bill, this is the best law that will serve the interests of Zimbabwe. I want to say to the people of Zimbabwe and those who have been funded and associated with these NGOs with devious activities in this country that we do not need that. We need to be masters of our destiny. We need to do our politics, founded in our people’s views, not taken astray; not being pushed by people who have got money, who fund certain political parties.
We hear specific institutions; specific political parties; specific individuals, they are a clique who have benefited so much out of NGOs and they do not want the law. They do not want the law and anyone who has got doubt that this Bill will pass through Parliament should just forget and smile. The people of Zimbabwe will speak; they have already spoken during the consultations as we have heard and they have said it clearly. Where the law is going to either stifle certain laws, that will be dealt with during the passing of the law but to say a law that seeks to regulate NGOs must not be there; they should come here, do whatever they want; they should wake up organising demonstrations in this country; creating conflict among our people, sponsoring funny political activities at the expense of the mandate because these people apply to say this is what we want to do in the communities of Zimbabwe but when they get out there in the communities they run away from the mandate and start doing things that have nothing to do with what they applied to do.
So, the law has come at the right time. We cannot have a country that is run by an extension of other countries who would want to cause havoc in our country. Majority of those who are crying, those NGOs who are crying today, nobody would doubt their activities are clear, they are regime change agents. They create chaos; they create disharmony and that is what we do not want. That is what this Bill is seeking to cure but all NGOs who are keen to do social work; any activity whether in the health sector, provision of social welfare in any area they have applied and got a licence to do so are very free.
No one would interfere and this law will not interfere with those who stick to their mandate but this law is not going to allow those who come here with a veiled mandate when they know very well that their issues are to interfere with our politics. That must not be allowed and I applaud the Minister for bringing this Bill. I want to thank the Committee for going to the communities and get their views. This law must see the light of the day. It is very critical so that we are truly an independent country; we are a sovereign country. This is not targeted at any political party, ruling or opposition. We are all Zimbabweans and if we need mandate to rule this country, we go to our people but we do not go and hide behind some foreign institutions; some foreign agents who would seek everyday to see us fighting.
All the conflicts that we see in our societies, majority of them are sponsored by these NGOs. They are there, buying people food, beer, drinks, encouraging them to demonstrate and buying them t-shirts. You will see that they have got an agenda. They have now left their mandate, which we respect, that is why we gave them the licence to do that. So the best way - we cannot be kicking them in the streets, the best way is to deal with the law so that we keep them within the rails of what they said they want to do. If they want to come and sponsor political parties, they must say it, first time they are making the application that we are coming here as a political entity to cause regime change; so that we know them than lying to us that they are coming here as helpers, as social partners when they know very well that they are coming here for the politics of our people. They must leave us alone to deal with our politics. If we want the non-governmental organisation, we have challenges like any other developing country, we need the support of non-governmental organisation but we do not want them in our politics. So Madam Speaker, the Bill is very much welcome. The observation by the Committee will be dealt with at the right time when that comes to debate on the Bill, we will deal with that. At the moment, I would strongly say that this Bill has come at the right time. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, we have 12 Members that are rising their hands, so I am kindly asking that you do not repeat what has been said before. Let us try to make sure that we accommodate everyone because everyone wants to speak on this very important Bill. If ever you are going to be repeating something, I am going to call you out of order. So, please make sure you get your points and listen to everyone and let us not repeat points. We want everyone to speak so that we can at least all contribute towards this Bill.
(v)HON. KWARAMBA: Madam Speaker murikungodeedza varume chete.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am going to resort to virtual just now.
(v)HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker – [HON. KWARAMBA: Madam Speaker.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have seen you Hon. Kwaramba, I am going to recognise you. I have been given a list by the Hon. Chief Whip, I am going to adhere to it just now – [HON. GONESE: Inaudible interjection.] – I was responding to Hon. Kwaramba. So may you please proceed Hon. Gonese.
(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I am cognisant of what you have already said about the list. I was not aware I am on virtual that the Bill is being debated now, however I am ready to debate. Looking at the time, I believe that this is a very important Bill, we are on the Seconding Reading of the Bill. I am prepared to debate tomorrow, so I just wanted that confirmation that the debate on the Bill is not going to be concluded today whilst I am late to speak. I am alive to the fact that you have got a list, so I will defer my contribution to tomorrow or to whenever before the debate is adjourned as long as the debate is not concluded today. I am ready to follow the rules that you need and some of us will debate on a later day, may be tomorrow or any other day.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I will not be able to confirm anything of that sort. We have got 39 Orders on the Order Paper and it is beyond anyone’s control. So, to be honest with you, I cannot confirm that.
(v)HON. GONESE: I am simply saying that debate is not going to be concluded today because there are so many of us who want to debate on the Bill.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am sure the debate will continue before the Minister responds as we go because the Hon. Minister is not here- [HON. MEMBERS ON VIRTUAL: Inaudible interjections.] – I can recognise you, you are 12 – [AN HON. MEMBER ON VIRTUAL: My hand is up Madam Speaker.] – Order please Hon. Members on virtual, I have seen all of you, the twelve of you or else you have added up, I will recognise you all. Hon. Mpariwa, please proceed.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank you and we are sorry for giving you a hard time. I want to thank the Hon. Chairperson, Hon. Ncube of Public Service and Social Welfare Committee on the issues that were raised during the public hearings on the PVO Bill. I want to thank her because it was a massive Bill and there were a lot of things that were said and quite a number of issues were very pertinent.
Madam Speaker, please allow me to say this Bill is saying that it is aimed at fighting terrorism and to ensure that the players stick to their mandate and not infringe in territories that are not theirs or to put on jackets that do not belong to them. In my view, the issue that came out of the public hearings which I am a member to Madam Speaker, you see that in Zimbabwe we have those vulnerable groups that require assistance from the private voluntary organisations and these are impartial, they do not belong to any particular group. There are groups of vulnerable people who are unable to survive without assistance because a private voluntary organisation is there to augment the work of Government. As they do that, they reach an agreement with Government on the kind of service that they will provide. If they say that they are coming to assist the orphans, their mandate should be focused on assistance of orphans. If they say that they are going to be assisting vegetables, gardens and herbs in rural areas, they should stick to their mandate.
I think that is what the Bill is talking about. I understand that Madam Speaker, as I look at the Bill and speak, I think this Bill was supposed to look at the negatives in terms of the relationship between the PVOs and those who want to assist us to augment Government efforts. It should be more like corrections like what happens in schools. If we take everything, the good and the bad and we throw in the dust bin, that will not help us in anyway. In my opinion, it affects our livelihood because we do not have the required funds to assist the vulnerable groups, the children, the aged and women even in urban areas. My request is that as we go through the clauses that were mentioned by the Chair on the rights of the people in the Constitution, we will be able to sift and come up with a good Bill. Zimbabwe is always in the media for the wrong reasons. We should not be found wanting and continue this image of appearing in the media for wrong reasons because we will have failed to look at this Bill in terms of the way it assists the vulnerable.
We are not saying the Minister should not bring this Bill but we are saying it should address the negatives. Sections 57 and 58 should be considered when we get to the Committee stage where we will look at the Bill clause by clause. So my request is that when we interrogate this section, we should not destroy our Constitution that we were able to draft in 2013. The Bill should be aligned to the Constitution. So I am saying let us take note of Section 58 and 67 when we get to the clauses. I appeal to you Hon. Members to seriously reconsider those sections so that we do not divide our 2013 Constitution because of a law we want to come up with. This is just a piece of law which cannot override the Constitution but should be cascading from the Constitution. I would like to see this law complementing what we agreed to in our Constitution. Zimbabwe should not be castigated for breaking its own Constitution because of this law. If there is a law to ensure eradication of corruption or theft, we already have those laws in place. We have the Public Finance Management Act and ZRP can arrest criminals. So I do not see the reason why this law is said to be pushing for accountability because laws to enforce that are already there and they are in their respective jurisdictions. Madam Speaker, you are a member in some of these committees such as APNAC, APNOD et cetera. These were put in place through the Speaker’s Panel with the knowledge that accountability should be looked at to avert corruption. So I am not seeing how this law will be like coming from the Ministry of Labour. Just yesterday we were saying there was theft at the Ministry of Labour. COVID funds that were supposed to assist the sick were stolen. Today we have a Bill that has been brought by the Ministry of Labour talking about accountability yet that is where corruption took place. I cannot understand where this Bill is leading us Madam Speaker. It looks like this Bill is pointing at someone or something so I think the Bill should be specific so that it does not take everything that has already been taken care of. I see loss of hope (kurasa mbereko nekufirwa). If there are specific people who have done wrong, they should be dealt with head on and not close the doors for others needing assistance.
Then on the issue of Private Voluntary Organisations, most employ Zimbabweans, meaning there was a lot of employment creation. When we had our public hearing, we were actually given the employment percentage which is about 22% employed by NGOs. We have specialists who actually go out to other countries. They have PVOs who are here so our Minister should take note of that. We are talking of education, medication, food as well as people’s welfare. Government needs assistance from others as it cannot do everything on its own. We have institutions like UNDP, and World Food Programme coming in to assist because if we experience hunger, we cannot sustain ourselves without the assistance of others.
I would like to conclude by saying those who will be doing wrong, if approached, I do not think they will fail to appreciate. Even oxen can be made to do the right thing in the field even when they want to stray. Have we failed in this instance? I would like to know how many are errant so we can see if they are more than the ones doing the right thing. So let us go clause by clause supporting or removing some of the things in the Bill brought by the Minister. I think it is easy for us to see clearly those things that belong just like you visualise the difference between Dynamos and Highlanders by their attire. I just do not want us to close shop because of a few individuals. It means we will have failed and will be the laughing stock of others. We had done very well and we need to maintain that and not be seen not to follow our own constitution. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v) *HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to this debate on the PVO Bill. Firstly, I would like to say this is a very important Bill but I heard that it is too technical so I think all languages should have been used to enable people to understand what is being said. This will enable them to also participate from a knowledgeable point of view rather than just hear PVO which they do not understand. PVOs do their work in this country. The only problem is that some of them are not registered with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare as is required. How then can they do their work if they are not registered and not known? Zimbabwe is a country that stands for itself but for those who want to assist us, we expect them to do so, guided by the laws of Zimbabwe and they cannot operate outside the laws of Zimbabwe. We are not saying we do not need their assistance; we need it but they should stay within their mandate. They should not be involved in politics. We see them stationed in Binga, Kariba, Mutare and all we want is for them to stick to their approved mandate and refrain from interfering in politics. We are not saying all NGOs are bad because we have some that we have never heard interfered in politics. We heard some were following Komichi and saying pasi na Komichi and were also paying people money to say what they want to hear. The Committee did a splendid job and I think this is a good Bill because Zimbabwe is facing many challenges. We do not want NGOs to interfere with what does not concern them, especially politics. They should do their work which they registered for. There are NGOs in Binga, Kariba and Mutare but what we expect them to do is that they should stick to their mandate and desist from involving themselves in the politics of the land. I think once they do that then we can work with them, and we know the different mandates of the various NGOs because in Zimbabwe we also have local NGOs. We have never heard them involving themselves in politics. They are supposed to be non-partisan and they should assist everyone despite political party and execute their mandate diligently.
When we go for public hearings they pay people money to speak. That is where we have a challenge. They pay people to bring their issues to the public hearings. So we are saying that is what we do not want but we want to thank them for the work that they have been doing because Zimbabwe is faced with so many challenges. If we face a PVO that then interferes in politics, then we have a challenge. If they want to tell people what to do, inciting them not to adhere to what the Government is saying, then we have a problem. In conclusion, I want to say that the PVOs should be registered. Why do they fear registration and yet there is freedom in this nation?
(v)+ HON. MKANDLA: I would like to add a few words as a Member of the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Committee. Looking at the PVO Amendment Bill Hon. Speaker, let me start by thanking the private voluntary organisations that work well with the Government of Zimbabwe.
In Zimbabwe we have our own programmes and it does not mean that the coming in of PVOs means that we were not doing anything. Madam Speaker, if you visit someone’s home you are expected to knock and be accepted as a visitor and you would have to abide by the laws of that particular home. I am talking about PVOs. When coming to Zimbabwe, there is need that PVOs abide by our laws. They must be registered and observe the laws of the land. It is true that not all NGOs and PVOs adhere. Of course, some are doing a good job by facilitating school fees and food security, but you find some unregistered NGOs who oppose the Government. At times you find that one PVO might be having different mandates and different NGOs falling under that particular NGO.
Madam Speaker, they come nicodemously, they start photographing orphans and vulnerable children then they go to beg for monies from resource providers. Some are now rich because of such monies. We have churches Madam Speaker which are doing the same. They go around collecting monies for food and other things. At the end of the day they divert the funds to their friends and relatives yet this is money which is supposed to benefit vulnerable people. We heard Hon. Speaker that in Guruve there are some who were providing relief and went as far as Tsholotsho. In Bulawayo there was commotion when some disseminated the wrong information, information that Government was trying to ban NGOs.
Hon. Speaker, we have some campaigning. There are some leaders who are found in different councils, administrators who allow NGOs and individuals to work within their districts even when the Social Welfare is not aware, but the prudent thing is that people should comply with Government directives and the law. It is not right that NGOs come and then pretend to be the owners of Zimbabwe. Indeed, we have many political parties in Zimbabwe.
Madam Speaker, what I am saying is that this Bill reflects what people want. They aired their views on what they want to be in the Bill and what they do not want to be in the Bill was alluded to. It is important that we work together with NGOs. Madam Speaker, thank you for affording me this opportunity.
(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to first start by thanking the Hon. Chairperson for such a wonderful report and I would like to also add my voice to this report that she presented.
Madam Speaker, let me start by saying that it is not the whole Bill that actually needs to be revisited. Some clauses of the Bill are welcome in the society but others are not. In that regard Madam Speaker, allow me to give two schools of thought. I will highlight where the Bill is not okay and where the Bill is okay.
Yes, as the nation of Zimbabwe we have laws. We need to regulate anything that happens in our country. There is no one who can come to Zimbabwe and not get regulated. Maybe let me also look at the role of civil society. Civil society is there to act as the watchdog of the Government. It is there to keep the system of checks and balances to the Government of the day. So as such, the NGOs who actually think that this Bill is not good are saying that the Bill gives too much power to the Minister and they are saying that the Bill will stifle their operations.
Why are they saying that the Bill will stifle their operations? They are saying that the Bill will stifle their operations because of the stringent measures that it brings along. So in that regard they are telling people that the Bill has come to actually close the NGOs and I do not blame them as I actually explained that they think that because of the stringent measures, they are going to find it hard for them to operate. They are going to suffocate and thereby close. The NGOs are so concerned that they followed us everywhere which shows that something was not right because if everything was okay they were not going to follow us everywhere.
I would also like to talk about the implications of this Bill. Madam Speaker, as I have indicated, it is not all the clauses of the Bill that are not okay, some clauses are okay but these are the indications of accepting the whole Bill without actually taking out some of the clauses. If we accept the whole Bill as it is, it will mean that a lot of people who are employed by these NGOs will be retrenched or rather will lose their jobs because most NGOs will close. It will mean that the girl child and the boy child will be affected because I hope you know that most of these school children get payments from these NGOs.
It will mean that the girl child will also have problems with sanitary wear because most of these NGOs are actually helping the girl child gets sanitary wear, then it will also mean that youths in particular suffocate because I am sure you know that most of these PVOs are actually helping our youths in various societies. The people who are living with disabilities will also be disadvantaged because it will mean that there are now few NGOs in Zimbabwe which can actually help. Some of these NGOs, when they go, it means that when we face a national pandemic like the one we are facing right now, COVID-19, it will mean that there will not be any NGOs to assist the Government. These NGOs actually assist the Government with humanitarian aid.
Madam Speaker, as I indicated, the Bill gives a lot of power to the Minister and it should target the sitting NGOs that are anti-government or that are causing problems in Zimbabwe. Clause 2 of the Bill should be amended to make room for a risk assessment process that requires extensive consultation with the civil society. The other issue is that to do with the self-regulation of PVOs. These PVOs should be regulated by the Government but the Government should not be strict on them. I just wanted to add my voice because if I speak at length, others will not get anything to say. I thank you.
(v)HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity. I belong to the Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and I was part of the team that travelled around. I will quickly go through my observations and what I think about the Bill. Let me begin by saying this straight off, that when visitors take the relish that the family should feed on, then the head of the house coughs to assert his authority. This is how I will put it.
In Africa, courtesy is a human right and everyone deserves to be granted that respect in the highest possible form, especially when they are in their own home such as we are in Zimbabwe. In Swahili there is a proverb that says Inkamu hluku mbili, hluki yathatu ndipei jembe. Simply interpreted, it means treat a guest as a guest for two days and on the third day, give him a hoe so he can go and till with others. Put simply, when a visitor stays for long, they have to abide by the laws of the house or in this case, the laws of the country. This is the same with Zimbabwe, it is not an exception. There have been endeavours to hoodwink Zimbabwe into thinking that by removing it from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) where it has been put on the grey zone for a long time, it will be enticed to drop down its attempts to get the PVO Bill through.
However, there are a few things that I want to highlight. On the 7th of March, 2022, there was a tweet by Melanie Robinson, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe which was designed to sound very innocent and ordinary yet it was very deep and pregnant with political messages. By the way, diplomats do not just communicate. When diplomats speak, we must listen very carefully. Let me try to dissect this statement for a better understanding of the hidden message; Mrs. Melanie Robinson mentioned two distinct processes and entities on the FATF and the PVO Bill which are very paramount. The two are not related in any way if you look at them from a distance but they are being mentioned in the same sentence by a high ranking diplomat of a very powerful vested former colonial master. This on its own should alert us to begin to think deeply on this matter. To a non-critical mind, the mentioning of the removal of Zimbabwe from the FATF grey zone list should be reason to celebrate, the way she wants us to believe.
Again, to the uninitiated, the removal of Zimbabwe from the FATF grey list is supposed to be a cause for celebration, indebtedness and reciprocity in the Government of Zimbabwe to the extent that we should compromise on the proposed PVO Bill. However, let us try to unravel the relationship between the removal of Zimbabwe from the FATF grey list and the PVO Bill. Zimbabwe was put under economic sanctions in 2002, 20 years ago for reasons that primarily include the country’s participation in the Operation Sovereign Legitimacy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) like many of us may remember and many other issues that Zimbabwe decided as a country to go through. Their sponsored rebels in the DRC were defeated as a result of Zimbabwe’s participation. One of the concerns of the Western power in Zimbabwe is that Zimbabwe has largely withstood consequential economic sanctions and we have continued to weather the storm. The country has been largely immune to these economic measures; I think we are all aware of this issue.
The Western powers are led by USA, they are on their own turning economic sanctions against Zimbabwe; when Zimbabwe take measures to amend its Bills and in particular the PVO Bill, I do not understand why it has caused so much excitement – [HON. NYATHI: Inaudible interjection.] -
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nyathi.
(v)HON. SVUURE: Can I proceed Hon. Speaker?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, you can proceed.
(v)HON. SVUURE: Thank you. I was saying the excitement that this Bill caused even for some of us who travelled around is suspicious. You begin to wonder if it is just about the PVO Bill or something else. I want to quickly mention this, that this FATF in the 1987 creation of the Group of 7, the G7, most industrialised nations which initially have nothing to do with Zimbabwe, it was created to combat money laundering activities among those countries. However, before anybody knew it, it was extended to that of policing the world financial markets including Zimbabwe itself. It was a tool to monitor financial transactions in and out of the country to detect and combat illicit financial flows. It then became a convenient tool to snoop in to Zimbabwe’s economic finances. This is important and we must take note of it. Financial mechanisms enable the country to prevail over Western economic sanctions for this long. The FATF which I mentioned was then granted similar powers to those of IMF which supervises and scrutinise the world financial system through its targeted Central Bank.
What is the story with the FATF that makes it a condition for abandoning the amendment of the PVO Bill? I will quickly try to go through this – I have already done an analysis of why Zimbabwe really needs the PVO Bill and I will mention it as I draw to my conclusion. The Private Voluntary Organisation Bill is to date, the biggest threat to USA imperial regime change agenda in Zimbabwe, we must take note of this. Outside the Land Reform of course, it is one of the reasons why the USA Embassy in Zimbabwe went into an overdrive to justify the extension of the sanctions in March, 2022. When they say Zimbabwe poses extraordinary threat to US’s Foreign Policy, they refer to such instruments and processes as the PVO Bill and the Land Reform Programme – these two cannot be separated at all.
Let me explain quickly. It is important to point out that of the three thousand plus PVOs Madam Speaker Ma’am that operate in Zimbabwe, close to 90% of them are USAID funded – it is very critical to make this analysis. The United States International Aid Agency is a United States Foreign Policy extension that is operated, some of you may not know, by the CIA under the tutelage of some other power who is mandated to extend United States influence worldwide through the use of soft power. So when Zimbabwe begins to amend its laws to suit its conditions at a particular time, I do not understand why and how this should worry the external people.
In the United States, the United States had used a multitude of NGOs as financing conduits for clandestine operations in Zimbabwe that include training of anti-Government activists – we all know this, unless we are naïve, funding of opposing powers, and financing of civil unrest in Zimbabwe. Those who take a close look at the goings on in this country would have noticed that most civil unrests were and are sponsored through such funding, and through NGOs as we may want to call it. So through their illegal activities of funding some power pressure groups, the United States has consistently …
(v)HON. S. BANDA: On a Point of Order Madam Speaker Ma’am. My Point of Order pertains to Standing Order Number 54 which states that the Speaker may, in his or her discretion, suspend business time, this also being read in conjunction with Standing Order Number 53, which states that other than Friday, The Speaker must make sure that business closes at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock. I was hoping that Madam Speaker may want to call for an extension, at your convenience of course Madam Speaker Ma’am, seeing that there are a number of Hon. Members who still want to debate. I thank you.
(v)HON. SVUURE: I stand guided Madam Speaker.
HON. MAVETERA: May you please conclude Hon. Svuure because of our time.
(v)HON. SVUURE: Thank you Madam Speaker,
HON. MAVETERA: It does not suffice Hon. Banda, it does not suffice in this circumstance. Thank you. You may proceed Hon. Svuure.
(v)HON. SVUURE: I will just try to be short but I would have said more Madam Speaker Ma’am but because of the point that you raised, I will try to draw my presentation to conclusion.
This is why I think the Bill should be adopted anyway. The Bill should be adopted precisely because it is the country’s best foot forward in combating illicit financial inflows, and potential financing of terrorism. It is therefore the best bargaining tool against western aggression, sanctions, and regime change agenda pressures. The PVO Bill is what Zimbabwe needs at this particular time, especially going into the season that again I should not mention because I assume we all know it. During which funds will most likely begin to flow to incite violence, proper anti-Government activities, and even financing of terrorist activities within the borders of this country. So the passing of the PVO Bill is just about the best thing to do in this season. Some of the activities that will be financed through PVOs in just the same way as the west is smuggling in mercenaries in many countries that we see on television and other forms of media.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am one of those who vehemently and vigorously advocate for the passing of the PVO Bill as has been proposed by the Hon. Minister. I am strongly in support of the amendment of this Bill for the good of this country. This country should have sovereign right to change laws in a manner that suits it at any given time. Zimbabwe at this given time has seen it right and proper to amend the PVO Bill – it should be allowed to do that. The PVOs should abide by the laws of the country if they are genuine, and want to operate in Zimbabwe. They should just leave if they feel unhappy and constrained in one way or the other – they are visitors, and this is not their country. When conditions are no longer suitable for them, they must just leave, and find another country to operate from – this is my view.
This far Madam Speaker Ma’am and again for the sake of time, and giving others chance, I thank you for the time that you have given me.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 12th May, 2022.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Five Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.