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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 FEBRUARY 2019 46-21

                                                  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

         HON. MAPHOSA:  I rise on a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. You will correct me if it is not, I beg your indulgency. My point of privilege is on the matter of accidents with regards especially to ZUPCO buses. We are seeing a lot of accidents in our highways – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can I be able to hear the Hon. Member? Hon. Member, can you proceed.

         HON. MAPHOSA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My worry is these ZUPCO buses plying the highway roads are affordable and most of Zimbabweans have taken this as a privilege and way of living to them.

The rise in the accidents of ZUPCO buses is a matter of concern.  There are not just accidents but they are fatal accidents and we are witnessing deaths. Yesterday as I stood up to try and put it forward another bus had an accident in Beatrice.  I want this House to engage the Minister of Transport to at least give us a ministerial statement on how road worthy are these buses and how are the drivers have been taken on board.  We want to know if they meet all the criteria because it could be the buses, the drivers or the roads. I seek your guidance Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Your point of privilege is on the boundary between privilege and straightforward question. I think you should ask a question to the Hon Minister responsible –[AN HON MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Sit down, you do not dispute my ruling. Sit down!

         The Chair’s ruling is not subject to debate. If you feel that there has been some misunderstanding, you approach the Chair and then we give you that opportunity.

         HON. PETER MOYO: I rise on a point of privilege on the report which was presented to ZIFA by CAF condemning our stadiums this year going forward. It means that we are not going to be able to host any football match in Zimbabwe exept boozers. Only Barbourfields Stadium was deemed to be fit but at the same time Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot play football during the night because there are no floodlights.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. That is a straightforward question and is today. The advantage of asking a question is that you can have supplementary questions – [AN HON MEMBER: Kirsty is not

here.]-

         HON. T. MOYO: I rise on a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of privilege emanates from an issue of national interest. It concerns the recruitment of teachers, especially in the rural areas in districts like Gokwe and Hwange.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. That is a straightforward question Hon Member.

         HON. MUSHORIWA: I rise on a point of privilege and it is in this context. I am a Member of Parliament representing the Constituency of Dzivaresekwa here in Harare. My point of privilege is that in this House and as a generality, people have tended to misname the constituency that I represent. We are called Dziva-re-sekwa and not Dziva-ra-sekwa. So Mr. Speaker Sir, I request that this House together with various Ministries…

   THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, ask a question to the relevant

Minister to correct that.

       HON. NDUNA: My question is directed to the Minister of

Information and Publicity and in his absence the Deputy Minister of Information who is here as it relates to Section 141 of the Constitution on coverage of proceedings of Parliament via the radio in particular. What is the challenge as it relates to transmission and coverage of parliamentary proceedings via Classic 263 and other radio organisations that used to cover the proceedings of Parliament? I am aware that Section 141 provides for making parliamentary processes public through media.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Please ask a straight forward question. Hon Members I want to remind you that matters of privilege must relate to the rights and privileges of the Members they must enjoy in the conduct of their work. Please note that we have wasted a lot of time under misdirected points of privilege.

MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE

   THE HON. SPEAKER: Apologies are noted as follows from the

Hon Ministers:

  1. J. G. Moyo – Minister of Local Government and Public

Works;

  1. O. Muchinguri-Kashiri – Minister of Defence and War

Veterans Affairs;

  1. M Chombo – Deputy Minister of Local Government and

Public Works

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of order arises from the apologies which you have just read out. I have noted that you have read out three apologies. When you look at the benches for the Hon Ministers – Hon. Chinotimba and others who are sitting there are not supposed to be there – have made it appear as if the

Ministers are here. They are not actually here.

    The point which I want to make is and I have raised it before Mr. Speaker – for those Hon Ministers who have neither apologised and who have not attended this session there are sanctions which are provided for in our Standing Orders. It is very clear that in terms of Standing Orders they are in contempt of Parliament. In the past the Chair has promised, and I believe that it is now time, it appears like this august House does not have any teeth. If it does, those teeth do not bite. It is now time for the teeth to bite and for you and us as an institution to actually invoke the powers which are provided for so that all those Hon Ministers who do not apologise, who do not seek leave of absence and who do not attend – there are some Hon Ministers like Hon Kirsty Coventry, I do not remember when I last saw her in this House.

The two Hon Vice Presidents, I know that one was indisposed but it is now a while since he has come back from China, they do not attend Parliament and yet it says Vice Presidents, Hon Ministers are obliged to appear on Question Time to answer questions from Hon Members. I therefore implore the Chair to invoke the powers that are provided for in the Standing Orders and hold those Hon Ministers accountable. That is my prayer Mr. Speaker Sir.

   THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order!  I take note Hon. Gonese and we

will ask the Clerk to get the names accordingly.

         *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Mr. Speaker, my point of order is that the Hon. Member spoke well but the Vice President of his party is also not in the House – [Laughter.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I hear you.

Unfortunately, the Vice President of the opposition party is not a

Minister.  So, your argument does not fall on that one of Hon. Gonese.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

         HON. MADHUKU:  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I want to know the Government policy on school fees increase.  This comes in the wake of conflicting information to schools and parents about this subject.  The other narrative is that Government has totally banned any form of school fees increase whereas the other one says that Government has actually frozen increases in tuition fees except for the other forms of fees like levies, building fund and sports fees.  We noticed that in various schools fees have been increased and before it is approved learners are already sent back home to collect fees.  We already have a lot of drop outs in the schools.  May we know the Government policy? Thank you.

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  This involves two ministries – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  Order!  Do not attract me to send you out.  When I call for order you should take that order.  I was saying there are two ministries involved.  If it pleases the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology, if he can answer on behalf of the education sector.

         THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon.

Speaker.  I wish to thank the Hon. Member for asking a question of fees.  SDG 4 talks about access to quality education.  I of course will talk on behalf of the higher and tertiary education sector.  In the higher and tertiary education sector, we have been able to agree on the level of fees that are minimum to make the university sector be able to run in terms of access to quality education.

For humanities, we have put tuition fees as agreed through the processes at $3500; engineering and sciences at $4000 and life sciences which is veterinary science as well as medical sciences at $5000.  We came up with this to make sure that the minimum which is needed to make universities run is met.  However, we also know that we have to increase access.  So what we have done is to introduce a Government backed loan scheme to improve access.  We also had a private loan scheme which is offered by other banks but for the first time, for universities we have been able to give them operational fees which they have never been given since 2009.  So we started this year to make sure that the fees are actually affordable and make sure that everybody has access to quality education.  I believe I have answered the question to a certain extent.  Thank you.

HON. KWARAMBA:  The Minister has responded according to

tertiary education but he has not talked about secondary schools.  I think parents have problems with fees at secondary schools.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Unonzi ani?] - I have said my name more than ten times in this Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]  On the question of the policy on school fees increase, the policy is that the function of increasing school fees rests with the parents, the SDC and the school administration.  What happens is that if a need to increase fees has been identified, the three parties meet; the parents, the SDC and the school administration.  A budget is proposed, adopted and if they agree on the new level of fees, they write a letter to the Permanent Secretary requesting for authority to raise fees.  That letter should be accompanied by a register of all parents signed, who must also sign the register to confirm their presence.

He has spoken also about people sending children away to collect fees which are not approved. That is against the policy of the Ministry – [HON. SIKHALA:  Inaudible interjection.] - [Laughter.] - If the matter is reported, we are able to charge those people.  Mr. Speaker Sir, where such transgresses are recorded the teacher or the headmaster involved has to be charged by the District Schools Inspector.  I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Hon. Speaker, we have one of the Hon.

Members who is insulting the Minister, that you are dead – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  He insulted you.

HON. TOGAREPI:  He insulted the Minister when he was presenting.  I would request Hon. Sikhala to withdraw the word dead – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Where there is dispute in terms of what is said, we refer the matter to the Hansard then we will make a ruling accordingly.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Mr. Speaker, my supplementary

question to the Minister of Higher Education is that he has responded and talked about money...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Are you talking about money or school

fees?

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  School fees.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You can proceed.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  The poverty datum line in Zimbabwe went up but wages for people who have children that have enrolled at universities have not.  The money that he is talking about, whether the Government will assist or not, we have more than 20 thousand students who will be going to university.  The Government assistance is questionable because in the rural areas, the communities are in need of food.  The timing for the increase in university fees is not correct.  They should increase fees after the harvest.  My question is, did you ever consider the salaries that people are getting?  We are representatives of the workers.  As we stand for someone who is gainfully employed; to get $800 and is expected to pay $5 000 is not practical - [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Prof. Murwira having stood up to respond.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

According to procedure, it was the Minister of Primary and Secondary

Education who was responding.  We had already done away with the

Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education - [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I withdraw my point of order Mr. Speaker

Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa has withdrawn his point of order so you can proceed Hon. Prof. Murwira.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We determined the level of fees based on the minimums and following procedure.  What we are basically saying Mr. Speaker Sir is that we have to have access to quality education.  I also want to talk about whether we increased or we just determined the fees.  Mr. Speaker Sir, our last ordinance of 2019 was in United States dollars.  This is the first time since 2009 that we are putting ordinances of fees in Zimbabwe dollars.  So it basically then means that we can talk about levels of fees not increases because if we talk about increases, we are assuming that we increased it from the United States dollar part but we did not.  We just determined the fundamentals and what we need in terms of quality education.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is easy for us to go and amass in classes that do not have chemicals because we are talking about quality education, that do not have equipment.  That is a populistic approach that can only destroy this country.  So we are in the process of starting an education system that leads to the production of goods and services what we call Education 5.0.  The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development through this Parliament already voted a lot to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.  This is why the fees that we are talking about is reasonable.  I want to thank the Hon. Members for having supported the Ministry in such a way.  If we were not supported, we were not going to have fees at that level at all.  We know Mr. Speaker that education has to be of quality.  Otherwise there is no need to go to class which is not a class.  I thank you - [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You will ask a supplementary question.

HON. SIKHALA:  I do not want to make a supplementary question.  I rise on a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Minister did not answer the question directed to him by Hon. Chinotimba.  Hon. Chinotimba asked him a very simple question, did you reconcile the earnings of the workers and parents in Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the university fees that you have reviewed upwards.  He went on a hunting of quality education but he knows that the role and duty of every Government is to have oversight on Government institutions.  The universities that we are talking about are not private universities.  We are talking about Government universities.  State universities are entitled to a subsidy from Government.  Why did the Minister not answer the question rather than avoid it?  Did you reconcile the earnings of the citizens of Zimbabwe vis-a-vis the current fees increases that you have made at universities?  Answer the question.  If you are not going to answer the question, we will persist on you to answer it - [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Sikhala, do not take over my Chair.  It is only the Chair that can insist.

HON. SIKHALA:  I withdraw.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We took

into consideration the general income of our parents. That is why for the first time, since the late 90s, we have now introduced a Government backed loan scheme.  That alone is evidence that we know the levels of income of this country, again, because we are supporting the bills of the universities.  For the first time, this Parliament voted for ZW$6 million for operation for each university and ZW$10 million for new universities.  This is recognition that universities need to be supported.  I would however be very happy if this august House gives me ZW$30 billion, then we will be able to do that.  However, it is upon this House, the budget that we were given for universities is ZW$1.4 billion, which is according to what the country can afford and the fees are simply supplementing that.

So, we took into consideration the economic conditions and our procedure for determining fees involves committees at universities.  The actual figures that we were given as a Ministry before we discussed on the 10th of January were way higher than what we are talking about right now.  So, we played our moderation role, but the most important thing is, the state of any country is determined by the state of its higher and tertiary education system.  If we need to develop this country, we need to support the Higher and Tertiary Education system and things cost money Hon. Speaker.  Therefore, I am happy that this august House voted for a better budget than last year for my Ministry and we have taken into consideration the money that we were given and that which is earned.  However, the issue basically is; the fees that we are charging, if you could see that we disconnected our fees from a US$ currency completely, they are completely disconnected.  In actual fact, if we were thinking of US$, we are now paying much less, US$190.  So, the issue is, the increase idea cannot be entertained because it is not true.  We just determined a new level based on the Zimbabwean dollar.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to support our higher and tertiary education and we cannot politick with higher and tertiary education.  If we politick with it we are politicking with our future.  Higher education has to be supported with fees and has to be supported by Parliament.  I thank you.

HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: That is the last supplementary question.

HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary Mr. Speaker, though it seems as if we are continuing to hammer on the same question; I just want to seek guidance from the Hon. Minister.

Yesterday, we were talking of a domestic worker who is earning

RTGS$165 and the reason why we are asking these questions Mr.

Speaker is; have you also taken into consideration that this year – I just want to say to the Hon. Minister, if he goes back to ask for statistics, most of the students are going to drop out of school because they cannot afford…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you ask the question.

HON. KARENYI: My question to the Hon. Minister is, can he elaborate how a domestic worker will be able to send a child to university?  Does this mean that this Government is rejecting all those who are domestic workers, teachers or anyone who is earning below $4000 Mr. Speaker Sir?

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order is that, we must have Parliamentary committees which are alive to this.  I must commend the Parliamentary Committee on Health which called the Minister to explain what was going on.  Unfortunately, the horse has bolted at this point in time.  It is incumbent upon any Parliamentary Committee to be proactive and to be able to talk about these issues.  I think it can go before a Parliamentary Committee or a Ministerial Statement can be issued so that we further elaborate.

However, your Parliamentary committees are sleeping on duty.  The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee is Hon. Molokela; he could have invited the Minister to do an inquiry on it.  May you speak to your chairpersons to be alive and proactive, the horse has already bolted –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] – Hon. Mliswa, you raised a point of order and I must respond.  So, can I do so in silence please.  What you said is quite correct but you see, the issues being raised now arise out of the exigencies of the opening of the schools last month.  Therefore, the

Committee could not apply its mind timeously, accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Just a minute.  What is required is that; and you are correct here, the Chairperson and his Committee should take into cognisance the issues being raised and speedily meet and see how best the situation can be harnessed - those for tertiary and primary and secondary education.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon .Speaker.  Hon.

Speaker, for the first time since the late 90s, the Government, through this Parliament has voted for ZW$105 million that is meant for students who might not be able to pay fees.  So, Hon. Speaker Sir, this is exactly the evidence that we took into consideration those people who might not have the actual income to pay for that.  So we have taken everything into consideration because we have two loan schemes; the other loan scheme which requires pay slips has already more than 25 000 students registered.  This other intervention is the first one in 2020 and I want to applaud this Hon. House for having allowed us to start a loan scheme which is government backed of ZWL105 million and we are counting.

We expect this to be continuing, so, yes we did and this is the evidence.

HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker, I take reservations when a person of an Hon. Ministers’ status misleads and not only this House but also the country.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Can you sit down, I have not allowed you - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

 HON. SIKHALA: I have to correct some misinformation the

Minister has dished out to the world, it has to be corrected Mr. Speaker.

The Hon. Minister said only after the late 1990’s; has this Parliament ever passed a budget to support students who cannot afford their school fees at universities?  Mr. Speaker Sir, I do not want to call that statement a lie but it is misleading.  I graduated my first degree in the year 2000; we were obtaining loans and grants from Government. That process reduced whereby students were being given 100% loan.  The loans that were given to university students continued until 2005.  So for the Minister to purport as if he has made an invention from heaven, is misleading the world and is unacceptable.

Hon. Minister, do your research properly, do not mislead this House and also the country.  The loans and grants facility has always been there, it is not his invention.  The truth of the matter is that he must push the Ministry of Finance to subsidise our education in our country the way all others in this august house have made during the 1990’s.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I am sure that the Hon. Minister has taken note of that in terms of the – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order! The accent of the question was on those parents who cannot afford, the underpriviledged and I thought it was this august House that passed the ZWL105 million, that has not happened before.  The issue is that for the first time this august House has passed a vote to take care of parents who cannot afford, including domestic workers.

HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to engage the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  My question is centered on recruitment policy of teachers for primary school.  Recently, we have seen transfers in schools, especially rural schools.  However, teachers are employed at national level and then they are sent to teach in rural school…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! May Hon. Members direct their questions and not make statements please!

HON. KASHIRI: My question therefore is: is it policy that teachers should be recruited at national level or is it provincial or district level?  We have seen teachers being recruited at national level then they are sent to teach in districts.  Can the Minister not decentralise the policy to employ at provincial or district level?  So, is it policy that teachers should be employed only at national level?

THE HON. SPEAKER: You read the mandate of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, you will be so directed.  As a Hon. Member you can advance for amendment of that Act governing the employment of civil servants to suggest that it should be employed at provincial level.  So the onus is on yourselves.

HON. T. MOYO: My question has been asked by Hon. Kashiri but it is a very important issue. What we are witnessing in the schools; last year in Gokwe North, 100 teachers were recruited…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member what is your question?

HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker this is a very important issue that is the one I wanted to raise during a point of privilege…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I deserve to be heard…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Moyo, you humbly said your question had been overtaken. When I ask you to sit down you must sit down, if you repeat that I will ask you to leave the House.

HON. CHINANZVAVANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My

question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  What measures have been put in place to ensure the expeditious disbursement of the TIMB Funds to the relevant Ministry in the Environment department as promised in the 2018-2019 budget so as to help them achieve their set objectives before we are seized with the disbursement of yet another tobacco selling season levy that is before us.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETLEMENT (RTD AIR CHIEF

MARSHALL HON. SEN. SHIRI): The Hon. Member correctly

alluded to the fact that…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member

Chinanzvavana, to whom was your question directed?

HON. CHINANZVAVANA: We are talking of disbursement of

funds, so it is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I want to thank the

Hon. Member for the question.  It is a very important issue Mr. Speaker Sir that these disbursements should be expedited.  We will do everything to expedite them and I think I agree with the semantic import of the question.  I thank you.

        HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

        Hon. Mathe having stood up.

            THE HON. SPEAKER:  I see Hon. Mathe you are very anxious

to contribute, you must liaise with your Chief Whip so that your name appears on the list.  I am guided by the list.

       HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  At our last sitting there were a number of issues talked about in terms of primary and secondary education, but I want to dwell on the issue of where we requested that children whose results were being withheld at schools be given to those children so that they progress with their education.  May we know the position now as to whether that has been done?

         HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  A Ministerial Statement was issued – [AN HON. MEMBER: Uri Minister wechii iwe?] – Ndiri Minister we Independent.  Mr. Speaker, if you recall just before we adjourned Parliament you called the Acting

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Coventry and the

Permanent Secretary was also here for the Minister to issue a Ministerial Statement pertaining to that.  Hon. Members do not read!  A statement was issued on ZBC which touched on that.

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, Hon. Mliswa you are correct so we cannot be hammering on the same thing.

    +HON. M. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is

directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  There are farms in the rural areas which were meant to be grazing areas but now they are being issued out as plots.  That is causing a lot of discord out there.  Is there any change of Government policy on this issue? 

   THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER,

CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR

CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI):  Grazing land is allocated communally especially where A1 farmers are concerned.  There is no one who is supposed to be settled on grazing land.  I am aware we have got some cases whereby there are some overzealous lands officers who go on to allocate land without going through the appropriate land committee.  It is mostly at the district level whereby whatever allocation is carried out, it is supposed to be sanctioned by the District Lands Committee.  If that information is brought to our attention we will take corrective measures.

Thank you.

  The Hon. Speaker having asked Hon. Mliswa to take the floor.

     HON. WADYAJENA:  Ndini ndanga ndatangira Tembaka Mr.

Speaker.

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  No! no! Hon. Wadyajena, you do not

address your Hon. colleague by the first name in this House. Please withdraw.

        HON. WADYAJENA:  I withdraw.

    HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you very much Hon. Wadyajena for

that.  Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister is this issue of illegal settlers has been going on for a long time, where you have got politicians - it not only lands officers who were settling people and very much so it was ZANU PF politicians trying to gunner votes.  In his wisdom the President offered this job to a Commander whom he knew very well will take no prisoners on board, what has he done to deal with that?

  HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Firstly, I am

not aware of any ZANU PF officials who have been resettling people outside the normal channels.  However, if the Hon. Member has got evidence to that extend, we will be more than happy to look into the matters.  We have been working with Police to flush out illegal settlers. However, in the process, we have been trying to identify those who are genuinely in need of land and in such cases we have ensured that we find alternative land for those who are genuinely in need of land but those who want to take advantage are being flushed out.  Thank you.

   HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question

arises from the recent trip of the Minister of Finance and Economic

Development to Davos.  I would also want to cover the whole issue.  Would it not be beneficial for this House if the Minister inform us of these policies before he informs the international community, the media and so on?  Can the Minister inform us first on the following issues.  He mentioned that bond notes denominations will be increased from $10 to $50.  He also mentioned a Supplementary Budget, can he give us the Government policy on that and also clarify the issue of the roller meal subsidy to this issue as a policy of Government?

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  Let me first of all wish the Hon. Member a Happy New Year – [Laughter] – First of all, the issue about going to Davos is a forum not for announcing policies, it is a forum for engagement and reengagement, to continue Zimbabwe’s engagement with international community.  That is the first point.  On the specific question about the bond notes, I do not know where that came from.  There is a very clear Monetary Policy Statement which I was actually repeating that at the moment our highest note is five dollars and we will proceed to issue higher denomination notes $10, $20 and maybe eventually $50. It is very clear and that is what I said. But what actually happened was someone – I will not accuse anyone - decided to spin it and then focus on the $50.

What happened to the $10 and $20, I do not know. I have never announced any policy around that issue.

         Let me come to the roller meal subsidy, this is a normal subsidy policy by Government to subsidise the vulnerable. We have been subsidising transport through ZUPCO. We have been subsidising fuel before if you recall and we have decided to subsidise roller meal on this occasion. We initially set it at $50 per 10kg then we discovered that some unscrupulous and sharp people - maybe we have to give them credit as well but unscrupulous nonetheless decided to exploit the gap between the $50 and the current $102 for 10kg and making money out of it. They were also exporting the roller meal. I have seen it in the neighbouring countries and so forth. We decided to close that arbitrage gap by increasing the price as of yesterday to $70 just to close that arbitrage gap.

         We will continue with this subsidy to subsidise the vulnerable. I must hasten to add to that we want to keep fine tuning the model of delivery and move to a targeted system where we target the beneficiary rather than going via millers and other intermediaries. That is where we are going eventually. A subsidy always works best when it is transparent, on the table and when it is budgeted for and when it is targeted. I thank you.

     HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you for the New Year’s wish, I

return the gesture with complications of the new year. I mentioned bond notes but my first question was actually that we as a House should know what is happening first before it goes to the public. The Minister answered that question that it had been spun. The issue on supplementary budget was missed.

The roller meal issue has not been covered. I would like to know where the Minister has been where they are selling this stuff because I have personally been to Chimoio and Livingstone and there is no Zimbabwe based roller meal there in the shops. It could be in the warehouse at the back but I have not seen it there.

He mentioned ZUPCO and I have a problem subsidising ZUPCO to the quantity of 80% and yet basic foods  where people are hungry and you see queues all over you are subsidising to the tune of 25%. I cannot see how you can subsidise transport to 80% and people who are hungry only get a subsidy on roller meal to 25%. I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I thank Hon Markham for those two supplementary questions. On the issue of the supplementary budget, I do not know what the issue is. I think the question I was asked, I think it was Bloomberg News and was whether the budget was adequate or something like that. I responded by saying that ordinarily if a budget is not adequate or we spend beyond what was approved by Parliament, we come back to Parliament for a supplementary budget. That is normal. That is what the question was all about. I do not think there is any controversy about that.

On the issue of the relativity of subsidies, that is a lot of detail. Of course we continue to evaluate the relativity of those subsidies – which one should be higher, which one should be lower, should it be at the right level and in fact the recent review as of yesterday of the roller meal subsidy price is a result of that kind of analysis. If he is saying that we should review the ZUPCO subsidy and other subsidies, we continue to do these things. We may change it in future and we may not but that is normal. I do not think we want to compare one subsidy to another. If you think about it, if the fuel price has increased which it has, it is even more imperative to subsidise transportation for the vulnerable than before. It makes sense to subsidise fuel to this extent.

Hon Markham then makes a comment about the absence of roller meal and he mentioned a specific place. We are aware of the absence of roller meal and our analysis was that this was in part due to this arbitrage opportunity which is distorting supply. We want to reduce that. There maybe other reasons such as simple availability, simple supply but we want to reduce the arbitrage opportunity as a source of this problem. I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA: The issue of roller meal is a very thorny issue in the country at the moment. My specific question relates to the committee set up to look into the issue of roller meal. I just want to understand from the Hon Minister what difference that committee is making in the supply situation of roller meal and what could be the key successes scored so far by that committee.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Again, I thank the Hon Member for that supplementary question. For the record, that committee does not reside in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. It resides in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and it is chaired by the Deputy Minister Hon Modi. I think he would be the best person to answer in terms of the impact, what he sees as progress made by the committee. The intention was to bring order but only he can give an account as how much progress he is making on that. I thank you.

HON. MAYIHLOME: My supplementary question to the Minister of Finance is - whom is he targeting with the subsidy because the subsidy is not clear as to whether he is targeting the entire population of this country? No matter how many times he increases the price, the people with money will go and buy that roller meal. It is like a dog chasing its tail. Who is he targeting because I have never seen a subsidy that is not targeted?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Very good question indeed and that is what I said earlier on, that we want to target the subsidy. You cannot target the whole population. That is not targeting but it is universal coverage. How are we going to get to the target - we have a methodology. So far we have collected names of the vulnerable. We have almost completed City of Harare as an area. We should be able to complete Bulawayo by close of business today. By end of next week we should have collected at least the critical 90% of the names of all those who are vulnerable across the entire 10 provinces. We have the names, date of births, phone numbers and ID numbers. That is how you target because you have to know the customer. It is a KYC issue and we are determined to have this database as Government. It did not exist before. Maybe we needed this crisis to search for this database and that is what we are doing just to make sure that we can target well and there is no wastage.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for

giving me this opportunity to ask my supplementary question to the Minister of Finance. I need clarification Hon. Minister.  You said that –

[AN HON. MEMBER:  Taurisa.] –

         HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Speaker, I think we have to be humane.  We know he is not well and cannot speak the way he used to.

    THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  Can we be humane?  Please go

ahead.

     *HON. MATAMBANADZO:  I heard about the subsidy he was

talking about and the concern that was raised in this House for the

Minister to take into consideration that maize meal is now expensive.  He responded by saying that he raised the prices because he realised the black marketers were actually expensive.  My question is- Minister, if you hear that people are dying of hunger, are you going to further inflict them by killing them?  My suggestion is that when you saw that the black marketers were selling at a high price, was it not right to do for example what you did with the transport situation?  You came up with the ZUPCO project which actually led to a decrease in fares in the private commuter omnibuses.  You fought that situation well but this current development of increasing mealie-meal prices, have you assisted the ordinary person or you have further burdened them?

            HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would

want to thank the Hon. Member.  He spoke with such clarity and I appreciate that.  Let me be clear.  If you speak to the producers of roller meal Hon. Speaker, the cost build up price of roller meal is about $91 for 10kg.  On a cost build up, that is what they are spending and that is what our research tells us.  So, even at $70 which is the new subsidised price, we are still getting the subsidy of $21 per 10kg.  It is quite major.  The cost build up price is $91 and that is what our research tells us.  However, we know that the retailers are selling in the market for a much higher price than that.  They are looking at anything above $105; I hear some are selling at $130, so it is a huge price differential.  We are saying to ordinary citizens, we will support and make sure that you will be able to buy roller meal at $70 but the cost build up price is actually $91.  That is the cost to them.  I thank you.

       HON. MADZIMURE:  The Minister seems to be agreeing that

retailers are selling roller meal at an exorbitant price, $100 and above.  All these retailers are known and people do have receipts from these retailers.  Can the Minister not come up with a measure to recover the money from those unscrupulous retailers because if he agrees that is the situation then there is no subsidy at all?  We all buy from the retailers; we do not buy from the manufacturers.  Can he ensure that the money that the retailers charge is recovered?  Also, the names he is saying have been written from Harare, can he clarify where he is getting the names from because we represent the people of Harare.  We have not seen the methodology that was used.  We have not seen anyone knocking at our doors asking for names.  How did he get the names because that is where another problem is going to come from?

         HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  Mr. Speaker Sir again I thank Hon. Madzimure for those two questions.  One pertains to the need to recover the difference between the exorbitant price and the cost build up price, if not the subsidised price.  I do appreciate his frustration with this but I think that will be unrealistic.  I think it might be tantamount to price control and there will be another outcry that this is price control by the backdoor.  As Government, we still believe that the best policy is targeted subsidy; subsidise the person who needs to be subsidised and that is where we are headed.  If in future we need to temper with that, we will deal with it but for now that is the policy that we think is best to deal with the issue lest we be accused of price controls.

         On the lists, we welcome submissions of the list.  In fact, we are struggling to source these lists. It was a combination of speaking to the development partners because some of them have been creating lists and started giving out food in the urban areas.  There is also the analysis from the ZIMVAC report; we have names from that, so it is a consolidation from the information we have received so far from the development partners.  We stand ready to receive any information from anyone that we think is vulnerable within Harare.  We want to create a credible database that will target those who are vulnerable, so we welcome any information.  I thank you.

       HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The

other segment of Hon. Markham’s question related to bond notes and I have got a supplementary question on that.  My question is – Minister, I see you are introducing higher denominations of bond notes which is a signal that there is no going back on the use of the domestic currency.  What is your attitude to the re-dollarisation of the economy?  People are re-dollarising, retailers are re-dollarising, everyone.  The real estate sectors are re-dollarising.  People are charging US dollars.  If you search Hon. Members pockets, they have got US dollars and not bond notes.  How do you vaccinate against the re-dollarisation of the economy which is now a reality.  Thank you.

     HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  I thank Hon. Mashakada for the

question.  Again, I say happy New Year to him.  He has two questions; one is on the introduction of the higher denomination notes. First of all, it is not bond notes for clarification. It is the Zimbabwe dollar, so we are talking about $ZW10, $ZW20 and so forth.  We promised that we were going to introduce more cash into the economy and that is what we are going to do.

 Let me then transition to his second question Mr. Speaker Sir on US dollarisation and so forth.  We are aware of what is going on.  Of course, it is illegal, they must desist from doing it.  Also, we are aware of the other conundrum which is the speed of injection of Zimbabwe dollars into the economy.  The speed is governed by our prudence that we should not flood the economy with the Zimbabwe dollar cash.  We have to be prudent; we have to exchange RTGs dollar for the new Zimbabwe dollar so that we keep the amount of money in circulation the same.  We do not want an excessive growth in money supply which will then cause currency volatility and push up inflation. So that prudence makes us to do things carefully and slowly but in the meantime the economy still needs cash.  We can understand what is going on and that is one of the reasons but we are determined that we have to enforce the mono currency in terms of transactions. We also recognise that we are in transition and that transition will take time but we are injecting the domestic cash to make sure that transition can be speeded up.  I thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Mr. Speaker Sir, mine is a point of order because I have raised a supplementary question to the Minister.  My question on subsidy has been answered but my question on shortage of roller meal has not been answered.  Can we have a statement on the shortage of roller meal.  Thank you.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I

want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to raise a question to the Minister of Mines.  I see the Deputy Minister is in.  My question is what does policy say in terms of looking after artisanal miners? I want to know to what extent they are being protected.  I raise this question because yesterday on television, I noticed that the children were taken to jail because they were termed illegal miners.  I further inquired and was told that the number had risen to 2 000.  Has policy changed since the time we used to operate with President Mugabe and now with President Mnangagwa?  These artisanal miners were bringing in more gold than the big companies.  If the Government allows the artisanal miners to mine, gold will find its way to Fidelity Printers.  Companies closed down because of the economic meltdown and most of the people resorted to mining.  Today the situation has changed, they are being arrested for being artisanal miners.  These people have gone back to the black market because they have become thieves.  They cannot sell to the Government because they do not have licences, so they have gone back to the black market.  That will lead to the collapse of the Government. What is Government?  The Government is us the people but now with what is happening, that is not what should be happening.  I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want

to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he raised in terms of protection of artisanal miners.  Artisanal miners have different categories.  There are those who rush when there is a gold rush.  It can be for a week and they can abandon the place and go to another place where there has been another gold rush.  The other category is the one that is legally registered to mine in the legal way and they stay in those areas.  Amongst the category, there are some who are not honest and they paint that category as unworthy.  We want to protect the lives of the artisanal miners.  In the past months, there was the issue of machete gangs and the Ministry of Home Affairs came in to protect the miners by arresting the machete gangs.  We were latter informed that the artisanal miners were fighting among themselves but we later realised that there were outsiders coming to attack the artisanal miners.  I want to say to the Hon. Member that our policy is to protect our artisanal miners to engage in their activities safely.  The artisanal miners should be licenced for them to be able to mine.  They should go and register and get registration certificates.  Yes, there is a backlog that is there but we poured resources in provinces to clear the backlogs that exist.  So by law, a person cannot mine in an area where he does not have the required documents.  Those who have certificates should be aware that because of the rainy season, the land itself is fragile and mines can collapse.  The young artisanal miners should desist from mining at this particular time because of the rains.  We need to protect the lives of the artisanal miners.  I thank you.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My

supplementary is that I have heard what the Hon. Minister has said.  They want to protect the registered artisanal miners.  Minister, I hope that you understand what I am talking about here and you know about it.  Most of the mines were under the white men and they closed down and you know the artisanal miners are going to those mines.  We requested in this House that they be allowed to go and mine.  The closing of the mines is as a result of sanctions, unless maybe sanctions have been lifted since I have not been around for a while but if the sanctions still stand, most of them are closed.  Their owners are there and they do not allow the artisanal miners to mine or give them registration licences for them to mine.  That is not new to us and that is why I said this.

I received a call.  I have not yet gone to Kwekwe, I do not know who told them I am now here.  They told me that they are being arrested and are unable to mine.  That is why I made that supplementary question to the Deputy Minister Madam Speaker.  Please Minister, you should not forget that the mines that they are managing are being paid for 100 percent but all of them are not operating.  The white owners are not giving mining permits for people to mine.  I thank you.

*HON. KAMBAMURA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.   I want to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. I think in our TSP programme, the President said that we need to reopen all the closed mines.  As a Ministry, we are proceeding to ensure that these mines begin operations.  We have already commenced this exercise and in a few months, you will see other mines opening.  The mines that have been closed down were not closed because of sanctions but there are other reasons and we are looking into it.  As a Ministry, we came up with a ‘use it or lose’ it policy for us to get clarification from the owners of the mines as to why they closed the mines and when they intend to resume operations.  However, if there is no convincing response, the mines will be taken by the Government.  The President is well versed with this issue.

The Hon. Member said that artisanal miners are going to mine the closed mines. That is illegal. They are not even allowed to be seen entering those mines.  If they enter those mines, they will be arrested.  We do not want them to enter into these mines because there are gases such as carbon monoxide underground and this can lead to death.  If one manages to continue mining, the gas has an after effect after they would have come out of the mine.  These miners also explore around the pillars which support the mining shaft from collapsing.  If the pillars collapse, the mining shaft will also collapse.  So, people who are doing that are being arrested.  That is why I said that those who want to mine should do so in registered mines and in a legal way.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  I

think the real question that must be asked to the Minister is not about the young people being arrested, it is the god-fathers of the young people.

Why are you not going for the people who own those shafts?  Hon. Minister, as you are seated right there, in your heart you know the owners of those shafts. Why are you targeting young people when you know that most of them are in your party ZANU PF and they are the cartels which people are talking about.  You know that very well.  In your Ministry, there are others who are alleged to own those mining shafts leading to almost everyone owning a mining shaft – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.

*HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I think we are talking about policy issues and not politics.  My request is that the Hon. Member should desist from talking about corruption issues and if anyone is engaged in corruption, they should be looked at in their individual capacity and not talk about political parties.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.  That is

true Hon. Togarepi.  Hon. Mliswa, if you have evidence of the owners of the mines, I am sure you have heard the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) calling upon the public to bring evidence of corruption that is taking place.  So, let us not talk about organisations but point out the individuals who are doing that.  So, may you please withdraw your statement to say, ZANU PF.

HON. T. MLISWA: Hon. Nduna is before the courts over the issue concerning his mines.  It is an issue that is before the courts and it was him and the Chief Superintendent.  The issue is before the courts – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You asked me to give evidence and I have given the evidence.  Hon. Togarepi was correct and

I further qualify that by saying that Hon. Nduna’s case is before the courts in Chegutu for doing the same.  It is important – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. NDUNA: Hon. Speaker,

I ask for your protection, if I do not get your protection, I can protect myself.  I have not been mudslinging anyone.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Take your seat Hon. Nduna – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. NDUNA: Temba, I think you just need to grow up.] – Hon. Mliswa, it is unlawful for you to speak of cases involving Hon. Nduna in this House because they are before the courts of law.

*HON. B. DUBE: On a point of order. I want to seek clarification from you Hon. Speaker.  Is Parliament for Hon. Mliswa alone because the opportunities that he is given to speak are so many.  We all stand up for supplementary questions but you always pick Hon. Mliswa.  Since we started this session, Hon. Mliswa has asked so many questions and everyone else is told that there is no time.  Is this a strategy for him to be popular?   This is because we realise that what he says does not even make sense, so may you please give us equal and fair opportunities for us to make our submissions.  I thank you.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have heard you Hon. Member.  Hon. Mliswa, I have given you an opportunity but you are not asking the question.

HON. T. MLISWA: I am also putting a complaint to you that, do not just look at a list given by political parties, I am an independent

Member of Parliament, I have nobody who represents me…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I know that very well Hon.

Mliswa. Please ask your question.

HON. T. MLISWA: The question that I now ask the Minister is that; what is the Minister doing in terms of the ‘lose it or use it’ policy that is there?  When companies are not using the mines, they are taken from them because the delay in using that law is making people become illegal miners.  What are they doing about pushing the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill which will be able to take care of artisanal miners?  Those are my questions.

HON. KAMBAMURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  We

have started this process – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  Order

Hon. Mliswa.

HON. KAMBAMURA: Hon. Speaker Ma’am, we have already

started the process of ‘use it or lose it’ policy.  We have started compiling all those mines which were closed or are not being used to capacity.  There are some mines which are bringing zero returns every month and they are keeping their claims through payment of inspection fees.  We are calling owners of such claims and mines to come forward and show cause why they are not producing, failure of which the Ministry is taking over all those claims and giving them to people who have capacity.  On the Mines and Minerals Bill, this is work in progress.

As I am speaking right now, Ministry officials and the Attorney General’s Office are deliberating on same issues.

Unfortunately, the Bill did not come to Parliament as we had promised last year.  After going through it, we came across some other issues that needed attention, the Mines and Minerals Bill should be in sync with the Finance Act, the Environmental and Management Act, the

Criminal and Codification Act- it should be in sync with all those other Acts.

         So we are working on the Bill so that it can come to Parliament once it is done, I think by end of April it would have been done.

    +HON. R. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker, firstly, this

House should know that there are disabled persons present in this House.

I had my name listed but I was not being recognized.  Moving on to my question; it is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and in his absence, to the leader of the House.  What is Government policy on the Bulawayo, Matopo via Mapisa road; there are many potholes on this road and it is too narrow.  A lot of accidents occur on that road; what is Government policy on that road so that it can be fixed allowing people to travel safely.

         The officials from Ministry of Transport just put sand without cement.  I think they should put cement when repairing those roads.  As it is, it is raining; there are potholes throughout from Bulawayo to Maphisa.  May the Government assist on that?

         HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order! Hon. Dube is being tribalistic, He is in Gweru, and the people of Gweru who voted for him are Ndebele and must know that he is tribal – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.]-

     THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa order! You are

disturbing the House, may you please go out! Hon. Dube may you

please take your seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.]- Order, order!  Hon Mliswa may you leave this House.

     Hon. Mliswa having been ordered to go out was escorted by

Sergeant-at-Arms

        HON. DUBE: Madam Speaker…

       THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Dube, I did not

recognise you, you are not supposed to be standing there. I did not give you the floor so I am sending you out of the House.  You have to follow the procedures of this House; we have procedures in this House.  May you go out – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

Hon. G. Dube was escorted out of the Chamber.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, if I understood, the Hon. Member’s

question pertains to a specific road and how the road is being repaired.  I suggest that the Hon. Member puts that question in writing so that the relevant Ministry can respond to the specific issues pertaining to the narrowness and how the road is being repaired so that a comprehensive response can be given.  I thank you.

         Questions with Notice were interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ASPINDALE SUBDIVISION A AND B LOCHNIVAR STANDS

  1. HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Local

Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain to the

House –

  1. How the Aspindale Subdivisions A and B of the Lochnivar

Stands 48, 49 and 50 were done, considering that the title deeds 1523/61 were with CARRES Limited;

  1. who the current holder of the title deeds is,
  2. to confirm or deny whether Marimba Residential Properties solely hold any Title Deeds or Deed of Transfer No. 3928/96,
  3. to further elaborate how the Deed of Transfer dated 11th June, 1996 was issued on 25th March, 2003, in the absence of relevant documentation from the Marimba Residential Properties Limited,
  4. to also clarify the procedure used to change ownership in view of the fact that affidavit used to apply for deeds of Transfer was amended, a situation which in not legally acceptable,
  5. to further clarify the circumstances surrounding the remaining extent to Salisbury Park of Lochnivar measuring 80,7875 hectares registration number 3934/96 dated 7June, 1996, issued on 28th March, 2003, which has been made reference to in the affidavit that was issued for the application of the Deed of Transfer 3928/26 Stand No. 48, which is 100,313 4 hectares,
  6. to confirm or deny whether Marimba Industrial Park Properties Private Limited or Marimba Residential Properties Private or Limited are registered with the Companies and Deeds Office and if the Minister could shed more light on how the Deeds of Transfer were issued to a non-registered company; and
  7. assuming the land in question was industrial, to explain what procedures were followed to change it for residential purposes and if the council restoration could be produced for the same.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. M. CHOMBO): The response Madam

Speaker for questions (a) to (e) is that the Deed Office is the responsible authority.

  • The response is that as for the remaining extent of Salisbury Park Lochnivar, it is a private owned land belonging to Marimba Residential Properties. The land has no approved layout plan.
  • The company registration issues are to be answered by the Registrar of Companies which is under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and

Parliamentary Affairs.

  • The City of Harare is still to supply us with the responses. I thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE: If I heard the Minister correctly, they are confirming that there is a company called Marimba Residential Properties but it is a fact that in the records of Zimbabwe there is no such company which is registered. So, how is the Ministry dealing with an entity that is not registered? How is it entertaining a company that is not registered but that has already sold massive land?

Aspindale Park – that company does not exist. There is no Marimba

Park. There is no Aspindale Park. There is no Marimba Residential Properties. It is not registered anywhere, meaning it is not even paying taxes for the land it is selling. How is the Ministry entertaining a non registered company in Zimbabwe?

HON. M. CHOMBO: Thank you for the question Hon.

Madzimure. As I stated, it is for the authority which is the Registrar of Companies to give us a specific answer if the company is registered or not registered. I thank you.

HON MADZIMURE: Can the then Minister promise that they are going to get an approved layout plan for that particular stand which the company has already constructed structures? Can the Minister promise that they are going to avail in this House a plan that has been used? If

the plan is not there, why has that company been allowed to construct in an urban area?

HON. M. CHOMBO: You can write that question and I will do the research and respond.

HON. MARKHAM: Could the Minister also clarify in the same issue because it goes right across the City of Harare; identify the land as to whether it is council land, private land or State land. The records show that State land always ends up in the hands of land barons.

HON. M. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon Markham. That question is

specific and I would appreciate it if you can put it down then I can do the research.

WITHDRAWAL OF OFFER LETTER FOR STAND NO. 48 IN

ASPINDALE PARK TOWNSHIP

  1. HON. MAZIMURE asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House:-

  • the circumstances on how the Offer Letter for Stand No. 48 in

Aspindale Park Township relating to subdivisions A and B which was allocated to two cooperatives namely; Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo, Wadzanayi and two others were withdrawn.

  • what remedial measures have been put in place to address the challenges faced by more than 1300 families that were affected by the compulsory acquisition of the resettlement area;
  • why the Ministry approved a layout plan HOE 22 following the July 2006 Operation Murambatsvina for resettlement and institutional stands through its approval circular No. S. I. 730 and
  • to further elaborate why the Ministry received US$600 000 from the cooperative members as payment of the intrinsic value of the land and regularised the resettlement.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. M. CHOMBO): The offers were

withdrawn because they were erroneously issued on land that was not acquired and handed over to the Ministry of Local Government by the acquiring authority which is the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water,

Climate and Rural Resettlement. I thank you.

HON MADZIMURE: Supplementary question. I just want to inform the Minister that the withdrawal issue went to court and on two occasions the Ministry of Local Government lost the case. The latest was last week when Leopold Takawira which is one of the cooperatives approached the courts contesting the withdrawal and the courts confirmed that the offer letter still stands and it is valid. That is the situation. Can the Minister explain why they cannot provide evidence which shows that land belongs to an individual? Why can they not pull the title deeds and present them so that the matter is brought to finality.

Here, we are talking of a place where 2000 households are already there.

The company that is being said to own this land is Marimba Properties which I have said is not registered. Secondly, the place is being given to Billy Rautenburg for free, for nothing. He holds no document. If the Ministry can prove me wrong they must bring the documents here to prove that land belongs to that individual.

       HON. M. CHOMBO: As stated by Hon Madzimure, it is a case

which is before the courts and the lawyers are seized with the matter. We cannot discuss a case that is before the courts.

  HON. MADZIMURE: The courts have ruled. There is no case

before the courts. Marimba Properties has tried to apply for a jointer and they failed to do so. So the courts have ruled. Can the person who purports to own the land withdraw from that land and stop harassing the rightful owners who were given the State land by the State.

  HON. M. CHOMBO: If the courts have ruled, we abide by the

court judgment and it is a matter of effecting it. I thank you.

HARASSMENT AND INHUMAN DIGNITY OF LAW ABIDING

CITIZENS BY AN UNREGISTERED COMPANY

  1. HON MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House;-

  • why law abiding citizens have been subjected to harassment and inhuman dignity by a company that is not ever registered in Zimbabwe and yet it wants residential stands for the same purpose;
  • why alternative land is not being offered to the company if it is the legitimate owner of the residential property under operation.

HARASSMENT AND INHUMAN DIGNITY OF LAW ABIDING

CITIZENS BY AN UNREGISTERED COMPANY

  1.   HON. MADZIMURE asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House;-

  1. why law abiding citizens have been subjected to harassment and inhuman dignity by a company that is not even registered in

Zimbabwe and yet it wants residential stands for the same purpose;

  1. why alternative land is not being offered to the company if it is the legitimate owner of the residential property under operation.

THE DEPUTY MNISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND

PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, registration issue of the company is to be confirmed by the Registrar of Companies.  On the second question on why alternative land is not being offered to the company if it is the legitimate owner of the residential property under operation, Madam Speaker, the Ministry has no alternative land to offer the company.  Thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE:  I think this question falls off because the Minister has conceded that if the courts have already ruled then those people are rightful owners.

ISSUANCE OF TITLE DEEDS TO MBARE RESIDENTS

  1.   HON. CHAMISA asked the Minister of Local Government

and Public Works, how far the Ministry has gone in terms of facilitating the issuance of title deeds to residents of Mbare, i.e. Majubheki, Tagarika, Magaba, Shawasha and Matapi.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Madam

Speaker.  The City of Harare has not made a decision to convert from rental to home ownership in respect of Shawasha and Matapi because the facilities such as bathing and toilets are communal.  In regards to Tagarika, Majubheki and Magaba, the council gave the residence options to purchase which were subsequently withdrawn in December, 2018 due to the fact that the residents failed to clear their service charge arrears which was one of the conditions of the offer to purchase.  Over 2000 residents were offered the option in the city and only 41 were able to take up the offer. Thank you.

FORMALISATION OF HATCLIFFE CONSORTIUM SETTLEMENT

  1.   HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government

and Public Works when the Ministry would formalise the Hatcliffe Consortium settlement which has been in existence for the past ten years and to further explain when the settlers would get their title deeds.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has made submissions to the Attorney General’s office with the intention to declare Hatcliffe as a development area in terms of the Urban Development Corporation Act.

The Attorney General’s office is finalising the matter and the area will be speedily developed once declared a development area. The settlers will get title deeds once they have paid servicing costs and land intrinsic values to the UDCORP and Ministry respectively in full and also when they complete construction of their structures to the satisfaction of the respective local authority.  Thank you.

         HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Madam Speaker. On the issue of

consortium, I have three issues.  Firstly, there has been a recent land audit done by the Government of Zimbabwe and that audit report has not been availed to us.  Secondly, this is all State land.  The whole planning has been done by the State.  This makes it unavailable to anyone who wants to see where the roads, water, sewer and electricity go.  The part that irritates me most is that most of that land was allocated to land barons or developers who have not put a meter of water, sewer or electricity.  The developers are still on the ground forcing people to pay.  The Minister in her reply, said we are forming a special zone which I agree with.  I agree totally with it but it has been going on for ten years.

The people on the ground are still paying the developers.

My biggest concern is this Madam Speaker, last year in a special planning budget, we budgeted $73 million under Local Government for special planning of which that covered 6000 stands to be sorted out in consortium.  That money was diverted to sort out the subsidy last year, which was unbudgeted for ZUPCO leaving us dry.  This year we are not even in the budget.  So, the people are still carrying on.  All I am asking for and I agree totally with Government’s position is, please let us do something.  Let us do something, we are not doing anything.  Thank you.

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Markham. I am glad you recognised that the audit was done, the audit by the Uchena Commission is online and anybody can access it.  My Ministry is going through the audit report and we are going to implement what has been recommended.  Thank you.

SELLING OF STANDS BY DEVELOPERS IN UNSERVICED

AREAS

  1.   HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works–
  1. why developers have been allowed to sell stands, evict people and demand payment when they have not even serviced the area;
  2. what the Government is going to do about the non-existent

utilities.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Developers have not

been allowed to sell stands and evict people.  The Ministry stopped developers from doing any activities especially in Hatcliffe North, through the appointment of UDCORP so as to sanitize the area and to ensure development that is proper and more transparent.  The Ministry further issued a moratorium in the press that informed the general public to stop making any payments to both land developers, to sell stands and evict people under such circumstances.

The Ministry is in the process of reviewing all MOUs with developers so as to enforce provision of services. In extreme cases, withdrawal of the MOUs will be done and the area will be declared development areas.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Minister for a frank answer. My supplementary question is, can the Ministry, along with UDCORP come and meet the residents on this issue because what is said in the House and what is on the ground is different.  Thank you.

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  What we have

said is what is supposed to be done and the law enforcement agencies are the ones who are supposed to enforce the law.  Thank you.

COMPLETION OF DUALISATION OF THE ROBERT GABRIEL

MUGABE AIRPORT ROAD USING THE HARARE PROVINCE

ALLOCATION

  1. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to inform the House why ZINARA completed the construction of the dualisation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe Airport Road using the Harare Province allocation yet Auger Investment had been paid.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO):    It is my pleasure to inform this august House that the issue was dealt with as a result of a Cabinet directive for funds to be availed for its completion because the road had taken too long to be finished.  However, further clarity can be provided by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development who are the parent Ministry of ZINARA.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Madam Speaker, the issue is being evaded.  Auger Investments were paid by land in Borrowdale.  Then ZINARA came along and they were paid again.  This is double dipping.  So my question is a major problem.  However, I will withdraw the question because it is being handled under another angle.  I thank you.

REIMBURSEMENT OF CONNECTION FEES TO RESIDENTS OF

MABVUKU-TAFARA AND HARARE NORTH

  1. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to inform the House what the

Ministry is doing to reimburse the connection fees for the residents of Mabvuku, Tafara and Harare North who were expected to get a rebate for a period of four years following the passing of a council resolution to that effect and to further elaborate why the Harare City Council has only partially reimbursed such amounts and ignored some areas within the constituencies.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, indeed council resolved to reverse the connection charges for the four years in retrospect for residents of Mabvuku and Tafara.  However, for other areas that had equally been affected, council relied on information from engineers who would trace the distribution pattern and establish the number of months or years for which reversals would be effected.  In other words, any other areas included in this arrangement, we are at the discretion of the city engineers based on traceable evidence within the water distribution system.  It should also be noted that the issue of reimbursement or reversal is a process that cannot happen overnight and due diligence in the interest of protecting public resources should be exercised all the time.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you

Hon. Minister for your plan.  For a point of clarity, the council resolution was passed when I was a councillor six years ago.  The issue covered Mabvuku, Tafara, Borrowdale and Hatcliffe because they were not even on the pumping station list from Morton Jaffray to get water for four years.  It was agreed that the connection fees for all four areas would be refunded to the residents.  It was done partially, they got 48% of what they should have gotten but in Borrowdale and in parts of Mabvuku, they left out areas where they did not credit the residents.  It is not a monetary thing, where they have to pay back the money.  It is a matter of just crediting the bills for the correct months.  I have the summary should the Minister so require.  Thank you.

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  As I said, there are going to be reversals but we are now relying on the engineers to give us the information so that the reversals can be effected.  Thank you.

HON. JAMES CHIDAKWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I

wanted to know from the Minister if there is a timeframe since the resolution was passed in 2014 and it is now six years down the line.  Do we have a timeframe of the reversal of the monies?  Thank you.

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Honourable.  I would be able to give the timeframe once I have referred to the Harare City Council.

CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING ACQUISITION OF

NEWMARCH FARM IN BORROWDALE

  1. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to –

  • inform the House the circumstances under which the

Newmarch Farm, in Borrowdale within the city limits was acquired and developed without the authority of the owner;

  • elaborate how the outline plans from the city passed from the original owner to the developer without compensation; and
  • explain how the developer was chosen and to further the protocol used since the incumbent had neither experience nor investment for the infrastructure.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, Newmarch Farm now called Carey

Crick was acquired by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Climate and

Rural Resettlement which is the acquiring authority.  The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing develops on properties that have been acquired and handed over by the Ministry.  The acquiring authority which is the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement can best respond on how the property was acquired.

Madam Speaker Maam, the developer applied for land and was allocated after meeting the Ministry’s requirements.  The developer has so far completed servicing of the area.  May you further be advised that the Ministry adopted the developer approach by then following the chaos and failure of housing cooperatives to achieve proper housing delivery that is accountable.  Thank you.

REMEDIAL MEASURES TO COVER THE GAP ARISING FROM

THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE CHINESE LOAN

  1. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House the remedial measures the Ministry has put in place to cover the financial gap arising from the withdrawal of the Chinese loan.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, negotiations to have the funds released under the $144 million China Exim Bank loan facility continues to be held.  In the meantime, however, council is channelling devolution funds disbursed from Treasury towards water infrastructure upgrades.  Also augmenting these funds are the usual PSIP loans.  Council is also dedicating funds from its other revenue streams towards water programmes.  Furthermore, council continues to engage with a number of potential funders to invest and partner in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, noting the need for huge capital outlay to rehabilitate, repair, replace and upgrade plant and equipment which has either gone obsolete, has not been periodically maintained or no longer meet the demand of the current urban populations.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My

supplementary question is a concern on the Chinese loan.  I understand what the Hon. Minister we have an issue, when we are talking of Hatcliffe the loan that is being currently negotiated takes the water to the existing post, which is enough water for 20% of Hatcliffe.  The existing needs another 7/8 kms of pipeline and another 4 mega tanks.  However, this is not being included in the loan, it is absolutely essential if there is going to be any formalisation of any loan that this is included because it will help coordinate the whole issue under special development zone under UDCORP if the money is included in the network.

At the moment, Hatcliffe has not had water for four months, that is a high density suburb, very prone to cholera because there is no health facilities and the services that we have there are only for 20% of the population.  Thank you.

HON. M. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  We

disbursed devolution funds to all the local authorities and we requested that they proritise the water and sewer reticulation and I will look at the plans that Harare City Council have if they include the Hatcliffe area.

Thank you.

MAINTENANCE OF DONATED BOREHOLES

  1.   HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to inform the House whether the

Ministry would intervene and maintain the donated boreholes which the Harare City Council appears to be having challenges maintaining as only 18 out of 27 boreholes are functioning.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. M.

CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  In total, Harare has over 140 community boreholes dotted around the city and mainly concentrated in the western suburbs.  40% of these boreholes are working and the council is in the process of procuring spares for those which are non-functional in order to commence repair works.  In the coming week, it is hoped that repair work would have commenced.  It should be noted though that, the most sustainable way of managing boreholes is to ensure that they are community run.  Thank you.

HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, the issue of boreholes is a burning issue.  The geography of Hatcliffe pertains to the council but the council is responsible for approximately 35% of the area of Hatcliffe.

Therefore the council’s answer is that they are responsible for those boreholes which are about 12.  The whole of Consortium relies on boreholes and is under developers who have done nothing.  The boreholes have all been donated, they are now broken and no one is fixing them. The only time a borehole gets fixed is if I or the council gets involved.  The community run boreholes is fine but as you know, community run boreholes also have problems because when people are looking for cash and are hungry, it does not always work.

The other area where there is serious concern is Hatcliffe

Extension.  The extension area is under council but it is non developed council land with no title deeds.  So, all those boreholes are only being partly being serviced by the council.  The problem comes with the land that is State land, who fixes those boreholes because people come for that water?  The issue is very simple; the developer is not doing their job.  Thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.  I get where the Hon. Member is coming from but it looks like we are now running like a council.  I think the issues that are being raised, especially when he raises supplementary questions, he is talking about council activities.  I do not think that this House should deal with that.  That is where he comes from, they run those councils, can they deal with it at that level.

HON. M. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Water

is a necessity and as I said before, the devolution funds which have been channeled to the local authorities have to prioritise water and sewer reticulation.  I will implore the local authority concerned to do likewise.

I thank you.

MEASURES TO ENSURE RESIDENTS PAY OUTSTANDING

WATER BILLS

  1. TSUURA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House on the measures being taken by the Ministry to ensure that all residents pay the outstanding water bills.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. M.

CHOMBO): Madam Speaker Ma’am, the President, in the just ended Local Government Investment Conference (LOGIC), which was held in Bulawayo highlighted that residents should pay up for services that are being rendered to them by their local authorities.  Local authorities should also come up with initiatives that promote residents to pay their bills.  For example, what the City of Mutare is doing to say, as you pay, you automatically qualify for winning competitions.  I thank you.

ZUPCO BUS PROGRAMME FOR SILOBELA CONSTITUENCY

  1. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Local

Government, Public Works and National Housing to inform the House when Silobela Constituency is expected to benefit from the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) buses programme in view of the fact that the current bus fares charged by the conventional buses one way are beyond the reach of many members of the travelling public in Silobela.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. M.

CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I only have answers

to the questions which I have answered.  I will take the rest next week.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister will bring the answer on question number 29 and other questions next week.  So, we are deferring those questions from question number 29 to question number 32.  You may approach the Chair Hon. Minister if you have something to say.

The Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and

National Housing (Hon. Chombo), approaches the Chair.

Hon. Members having been speaking on the top of their voices. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMPLETION OF MBIZO ROAD

  1.   HON. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House when the Mbizo Road Section 10 of 18 whose tarmac was removed for resurfacing in July, 2018 could be completed.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, the

contractor engaged to do the rehabilitation of the road, N-FRASYS (Pvt) Limited under Tender Number RKR/KK01/2018 failed to execute the work and the contract was subsequently terminated on 9 April, 2019. The termination was done in order to reflight the tender for the work. A new tender was flighted in August 2019 and preliminary tender evaluation results were sent to PRAZ for final evaluation and tender award recommendation.  A contractor, Masimba Construction was recommended for award of the tender by PRAZ.  The project is however stalling due to delays by ZINARA in releasing funding for the road rehabilitation project.

NAMES OF DIRECTORS OF A COMPANY WHO WON TENDER

TO RESURFACE ROADS IN MBIZO

  1. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public to inform the House the names of the Directors for the company which won the tender to resurface roads in Mbizo but failed to complete the work.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, the

names of the directors of N-FRASYS (Pvt) Limited are Bulukani Scotch Masola and Tinashe Darlington Nhete.

REASONS FOR NON-COMPLETION OF RESURFACING OF

MBIZO ROADS

  1. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works and National Housing to state the reasons why Mbizo Road resurfacing has not been completed for the time when the tenders were awarded to date.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, the contractor who had been engaged to rehabilitate the road failed to execute the work resulting in the contract being terminated.

MEASURES TO COMPLETE RESURFACING OF MBIZO ROADS

  1. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House the measures being taken to complete the resurfacing of Mbizo roads and to state the expected dates of completion, particularly Maunganidze Road.

     THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Madam Speaker, a new

tender to rehabilitate the road was flighted in August 2019 and preliminary evaluation was done at council level.  Further evaluation of the same tender was done by the Special Procurement Oversight Committee of PRAZ. The committee has recommended that the new tender to rehabilitate the road be awarded to a different contractor at a value of ZWL$2,268,432,31. Council is now waiting for the release of project funding to enable the works under the tender to be expedited.

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY

SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

REPORT ON MAJOR EMERGENCIES: BINGA FLASH

FLOODS, CYCLONE IDAI RECOVERY AND TSHOLOTSHO

HOUSING PROJECT

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,

PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO): Binga District in Matabeleland North Province, Nsungwale Area under Chief Sinakoma experienced heavy rains which resulted in some threatening floods.  The flooded area is a meeting place of four, rivers namely Sibwambwa, Sikaanda, Namapande and Manyenyengwa.  Due to the heavy backlash, all the 34 families in the flood plain were marooned and 1 person lost his life. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Action taken

  1. The District Civil Protection Committee was activated and rescue of all the marooned was done through the Sub-Aqua Unit from Fair-bridge in Bulawayo on the morning of 11 February 2020.
  2. The District Civil Protection Committee has directed to intensify their assessments until they ascertained the actual number of people affected and confirmed figure is 34 households.
  3. The Civil Protection Department has dispatched food and nonfood items, including clothing and blankets to Binga. The international Organization for Migration (I.O.M) has mobilised tents as well as food and non-food items which have already been dispatched to the affected community in Binga.
  4. The District Civil Protection Committee is to continuously monitor the general health and condition for those with chronic illnesses who are being provided with medication. Welfare of the people for possible outbreaks of waterborne related diseases is also being monitored.  Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is replenishing the department of civil protection budget to cater for travel and subsistence expenses for the responders.

Long term recommendations

  1. Undertake a deliberate replacing of all settlements in flood plains. This might entail the relocation of the affected families like what the Government successfully did in the Tsholotsho District.
  2. If resources permit, there must be a robust rural housing delivery programme to address the issues of sub-standard materials used.
  3. Capacitating of all civil protection organisations such as the Air Force of Zimbabwe, sub-Aqua Unit and Department of Civil Protection with all weather equipment in order to timeously respond to the vagaries of climate change. For instance, one helicopter was dispatched yesterday but it could not proceed from Gokwe North because the weather did not permit.

On the Sub-Aqua, we only have four points in Zimbabwe which is Chikurubwi, Buchwa, Changazi and Fairbridge.  Fair Bridge is one which is close to Bulawayo so sometimes the response time is increased.

However, there were two other disasters that happened in the

Nkayi and Kwekwe districts. On the 10th of February 2020 at about 1500 hrs, a Harare bound ZUPCO bus driver lost control of the bus which had developed a mechanical fault.  In an effort to avoid a head on collision with an oncoming Honda-Fit, the bust swerved to the extreme left.

However, the Honda-Fit still rammed into the rear right tyre of the bus. Three occupants in the car died on the spot, the bus went on to hit a big tree and further collided with a stationary minibus killing two people on spot while two others died in the bus.  Two more people died on admission to hospital bringing the total to 8.

72 passengers were injured and admitted to Kwekwe General

Hospital.  Furthermore, 52 people were injured in Nkayi district when a Gokwe bound bus hit two cows and landed in Tsananga River.  The injured are being attended to at Nkayi and Mpilo Hospitals.  We invoked Section 32 (C) of the Civil Protection Act Chapter 10, 06 of 1989 which enables assistance to be rendered in the form of RTGS$2500 per deceased victim.  Further assistance for the bereaved and injured is being sort from the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe.  More vigilance on the road is very imperative.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Hon. Minister for the report.  I just want to raise two questions for further clarifications particularly on the Binga floods.  We appreciate what Government has done in terms of rescue but we still have a challenge of five wards that have been cut off because of the damaged bridge, severely damaged road and five wards even linking up to Gokwe cannot link up with the main center.  What effort is being done to correct that?

Secondly, when you look at some of the problems that we have, we seem a Civil Protection to react only when there is a disaster.  One of the major problems with this flood is the fact that the bridge itself which was damaged has not been inspected.  We have always complained, it has never been repaired. Already it was half destroyed, and the floods only pushed it off.  There are many such bridges, I have gone under seven or so bridges in the district, most of them can collapse at any time, it seems there is no inspection.  Why are we not able to do these inspections and repairs before disaster strikes?

HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.

My point of clarification is related to the issue of the structure of the Civil Protection Unit.  These are at  district level and provincial level, people who are mobilised when there has been a disaster. Why not have structured posts in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, trained experts and have the logistics for such reaction to be properly earmarked to respond to such emergencies?

When disaster strikes, usually we start begging.  We do not have the capability to mobilise these resources on our own.  The Ministry should consider having a formal structure under the Ministry staffed by technical experts who will keep their stocks ready because this country has not seen the last of civil disasters.  We had Cyclone Idai last year, this year we are having Binga floods and we have Corona-virus that is in the horizon. It is about time that we have structures to respond to these emergencies.

Perhaps, the point needs to be hammered home that the departments that assist the Ministry of Local Government should be properly equipped for response because the Sub-Aqua team may not have the equipment, the logistics and so forth since they do not deal with these that all the time.  The Air Force as well needs to have that capability of night flying, rain weather flying and so forth.  We need to address this thing wholesome.

   +HON. M. M. MPOFU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to

seek clarification from the Hon. Minister.  What is the qualification of those who are paid by the Civil Aviation on disasters?  Two accidents happened, one occurred yesterday of a combi where two women died and the other one was a truck that ran into a cart and killed two people.

So, we want to know the criteria used by the Civil Protection to pay?

Thank you.

  *HON. TSUNGA:  Thank Madam Speaker.  The issue of civil

protection is a pertinent issue.  It seems as if as a nation we do not have systems in place, especially for early warning to ensure that people are prepared for disasters such as floods and other disasters so that we can quickly react to such disasters.

         Madam Speaker, I want to give an example of Cyclone Idai.  Up until now, people have not yet been resettled because of the floods that took place there, but we are told that there are new floods that are actually happening there.  These are totally new disasters before we deal with the old one.  What we need is to have artificial intelligence that enables the different Ministries that deal with such disasters to raise awareness to the public on such eventualities.

         Bridges have not been reconstructed in Chimanimani and Chipinge.  We understand there is a bridge that has not yet been completed but has been affected by the rains.  So what it means is that the quality and standard of the workmanship is questionable.  My appeal is how far have we gone in terms of coming up with early warning systems in order to raise awareness to the public on impending disasters.  Also our reaction on such disasters is too slow and sometimes when it is done, the work that is done is substandard.  So the quality of work should be monitored and it should be sustainable.  I thank you.

 HON. T. MOYO:  May I start by thanking the Hon. Minister for the Ministerial Statement.  I also want to appreciate the efforts that were done by the Government to assist people who were marooned because of the effects of the four rivers; the area is surrounded by four rivers.  I need clarification on relocation.  May I know if it is the first time that this area has experienced that huge water body which has affected the 34 families?  If it is the first time, there is an issue of inertia whereby assuming that these people have been staying there for many years, they may want to resist relocation.  What efforts are you going to put as Government in trying to educate them on the need to move?  Are there efforts in place that have been mooted to ensure that people should be relocated?  Thank you.

  *HON. CHIDAKWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to

thank the Ministry for the quick response on the Binga disaster.  However I want to give emphasis to Parliament to say that if we look at the budget for the CPU the budget is very little, considering the challenges that we are facing in terms of disasters.  There is the issue of climate change so I think we need to increase the budget for the CPU.

The other issue is the issue of raised by one of the previous speakers on Sub-Aqua Units.  They are very few Sub-Aqua Units.  As a country we need sub-aqua units in each and every area for us to respond to disasters promptly.  That will limit the number of deaths that are incurring because of such disasters.  Let us have sub-aqua teams dotted around the country for prompt assistance.

   *HON. TOGAREPI:  I want to thank the Government for the

response on the Binga Disaster.  I think we have learnt from previous disasters so I see an improvement in terms of Government response. My request to the Minister is that we have the ZUPCO buses that are assisting in transporting the public.  Has the Minister thought about the issue together with her colleagues on governing the speed of these new buses?  On roads we find that these buses are over speeding. We may lose these buses if nothing is done in terms of the speed limit through governing and not speed limit that is determined by the driver.  I thank you.

         THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON.

CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank all the Hon.

Members who have contributions towards my Ministerial Statement.  We have put in place a structure and our structure is using the traditional leadership.  We agreed that that will be the best structure, especially in the rural areas because everywhere we have the traditional leaders, the Chiefs, headmen and so forth.  So we have strengthened those structures to be the first point of reaction whenever a disaster occurs.

         Madam Speaker, just to re-emphasise on that, on the Binga issue, the Government through POTRAZ has acquired 17 cellphones and we have sent them to the 17 Chiefs in Binga, we have also acquired seven cellphones from POTRAZ and given them to seven District

Administrators in Matebeleland North and seven District Administrators in Matebeleland South and two PAs for Matebeleland North and Matebeleland South.  We have also engaged them to try and improve on the network, especially the boosters as you heard that they had to travel long distances to report this disaster.  So we are strengthening the traditional leaders on the ground as a first port of call whenever a disaster happens.

      Madam Speaker, we have systems whereby Civil Protection

District reaction teams which can be activated if any second a disaster happens and so we have improved that district response committee to take it to the sabhukus through the traditional leadership.

The bridge in Biriri had not yet been commissioned, so it might be that it was hit at the wrong time when the rains came, but I still have to investigate further on that one.

There was an issue that was raised on the incompletion of the Cyclone Idai and the Tsholotsho Project.  We did not have enough resources but I would want to respond to the report that on the Cyclone Idai, Treasury has availed $20 million of the $78 million required for the construction of the 220 housing units initially for those living in tents at Westend farm.  The Government will use in-house capacity to construct the houses.  The approach to be used will be highly labour intensive and the houses will be built at Westend farm, Chayamiti area and each household will be allocated a 6 000m2 stand.

On Tsholotsho, we also have building materials in the form of bricks, river sand, pit sand and roofing materials.  All have been mobilised and are enough to build the houses.  In the 2020 budget, if you notice an amount has been set aside for the construction of the outstanding 60 housing units and to date, 254 of the 314 houses have been constructed.

Also, thank you Hon. Chidakwa; if you look at the request that we had in the last budget for the 2020, it was sort of like shot down because when the Cyclone Idai disaster happened we requested heavily to be equipped as CPU but when the funding came to the debate we did not get the allocation that we requested and as such, we come back to this august House to try to push for funding to make sure that our CPU is fully funded.

         Yes, we had not inspected the bridges in Binga but we have a team, the District Coordinating team on the ground.  We have requested that they stay on the ground and give us a full report on what should be done, what went wrong and so forth.  So I will be able to give you the updated report once I get the full details from the team on the ground.  I thank you.

       HON. TOGAREPI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

 THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Honourable?

   *HON. TOGAREPI:  The Minister omitted something as she was

clarifying.

         HON. CHOMBO:  I am sorry I had left out the issue of the ZUPCO buses.  We have also noticed that trend that maybe some of the accidents that are happening are due to speeding and we are currently considering trying to put speed limits whereby a driver cannot go beyond a certain set speed and that is one of the items that we are considering to try to reduce the accidents on the road.  Thank you.

FIRST READING

FOREST AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 16, 2019.]

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the

Forest Amendment Bill [H.B. 16, 2019.]

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

FINANCIAL ADJUSTMENTS BILL [H.B. 19, 2019.]

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the

Financial Adjustments Bill [H.B. 19, 2019].

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

FIRST READING

NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY BILL [H.B. 20, 2019.]    THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the

National Prosecuting Authority Bill [H.B. 20, 2019].

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam

Speaker, I move that all Orders of the Day be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 32, has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESENTATION OF THE EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL

[H.B. 1B, 2019] AS PASSED BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Madam President, I move the motion

standing in my name that this House resolves that the Education Amendment Bill (H.B. 1B, 2019) as passed by the National Assembly on 27th August 2019, be presented to His Excellency the President for assent and signature in accordance with provisions of paragraph 6 of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on disagreement between Houses.

        Motion put and agreed to.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House

adjourned at Twenty Four Minutes to Six o’ clock p.m.

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