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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 12 JUNE 2024 VOL 50 NO 59

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 12th June, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

           ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to recognise the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery, of a Parliamentary Delegation from the House of Representatives of Indonesia headed by the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Corporation.  They have visited Parliament of Zimbabwe to foster and promote parliamentary relations between the House of Representatives of Indonesia and the Parliament of Zimbabwe and to explore more bilateral, economic and social cultural cooperation.  You are welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have with me a list of Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have sought apologies from the House.  Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. K. D. Mnangagwa, Deputy Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. T. Machakarika, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training; Hon. B. Rwodzi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. T. Mnangagwa, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Hon. O. C. Z. Kashiri-Muchinguri, Minister of Defence; Hon. T. A Mavetera, Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. P. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. Prof.  A. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. S. Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development; Hon. T. Moyo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. A. Ndlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. R. Modi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. V. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and Hon. D. Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: I have a point of privilege Madam Speaker.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.  Please note that during the life of the Ninth Parliament, in our Fifth Session of the Nineth Parliament, we did a budget and in that budget, there was an allocation which was done for CDF.  That CDF was never disbursed up to today…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami, I thought maybe your point of privilege was about the apologies.  We can not take time on a Wednesday –[HON. MUTSEYAMI: I am not doing a point of national interest, I am doing a point of privilege, neither am I doing a  point of order.  Madam Speaker, with all due respect.] -  Please go ahead.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. During the life of the Tenth Parliament, in our First Session, we had a budget and in that budget, we agreed on a budget for CDF allocation and up to today, that CDF allocation has not been disbursed.  It is my prayer to the House…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mutseyami, I am being advised by the Clerk, I was right when I said you are not allowed to rise on a point of privilege on Wednesdays.

          HON.  MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I think you have heard the issue.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I did not hear it.   

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

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of order emanating from where?

          HON. MUSHORIWA: From the announcement.  Madam Speaker, Wednesdays generally, there is supposed to be a Question and Answer Session. From the list that you have actually indicated, you have indicated nine ministries which are not represented.  We know that looking at the front bench there, I think there are about three or so ministries which are adequately represented.  I think it is only fair that you advise the House which ministries are available today.  Secondly, I think Parliament needs to also do an audit because we have perennial Ministers who have got more than eight weeks without setting their foot in this august House on Wednesday and they are avoiding answering questions.  That is unfair.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mushoriwa, your point of order has been noted.  I will announce the ministries that are represented. Hon. Chief Whip, may you help me with a list of Ministers who are present.

          HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, you also mentioned Minister of Primary and Secondary Education who is here. I do not know who gave you that list.  Where that list came from, is it just a repeat of the list or it is actually coming from those ministries?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was given this list by the Secretariat.

          HON. TOGAREPI: Secretariat, we have noted that the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is here.  It is indicated that their issue is not there.  Let me do the list now.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mhona is the Acting Leader of Government Business.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  According to Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, a road accident occurs in Zimbabwe every 15 minutes, with at least 150 people dying every month.  Such accidents are attributed to reckless driving, inadequate enforcement of traffic laws and the use of defective vehicles.  What measures has the Government taken to reduce the incidents of road traffic accidents in Zimbabwe?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma'am.  I rise on a sad note that indeed, what the Hon. Member is saying is worrisome.  A s I speak, last night just before night, we also had an accident along Nyamapanda Road where we lost seven precious lives, where a kombi had a tyre burst and it hit a tree.  We lost seven precious lives on the spot.

          Given the numbers that we have in our country, for us to continue having - precisely it is about five deaths per day which actually comes to 150 per month. I have given a thirty-day calendar month and we cannot continue. We are just talking of fatalities, we also have those who are maimed, injured and who will then be hospitalised. Some are breadwinners and not only that, but the burden to the dependent beneficiaries and even to the fiscus is big. In monetary terms, we are talking about three percent of our GDP and we will be looking at closely around USD406 million per annum that we are losing towards those who are hospitalised. Madam Speaker, we cannot continue, even one life is precious and so dear to us. The measures that we are taking through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, we have done massive robust campaigns, but I think it is actually falling on deaf ears. The race comes from us. On the behaviour of our motorists, you find someone driving against oncoming traffic in a dualised section. This does not need any awareness. Any sound person would know that these are not road regulations. I wonder, the Police has been calling against that kind of driving. Those who know the mushikashika kombis, you see someone akarembera kuseri kwekombi. Hon. Madam Speaker, some on their phones and the worst thing would be someone urinating standing at the bumper which is disgusting, at the end of the day. You wonder what sort of culture we are embracing as a nation. This calls for a holistic approach not only from the Executive, but from all of us so that we embrace this culture of dignity and respect of the sanctity of life. This will enable us to know that whenever you are using a road, you do not feel safe whether you are on the right side, someone will be drunk and driving from nowhere, hitting those who are innocent. I think where we are now, awareness alone cannot deter and mitigate what we are witnessing, which also calls for a robust road enforcement.  We will do it together with my counterpart, the Minister of Home Affairs so that visibility of Police on our roads is something that we also need to enhance in terms of the traffic management systems where we are going digital.  We must also have punitive measures on those who are violating our road regulations.  It is quite sad Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am, last week I had to attend another very sad incident where two buses collided just along Mutare Road. Again, it was due to human error where a truck driver had to cut one of the buses.  Unfortunately, the truck driver abandoned the truck and ran away. 

          Madam Speaker, it comes back again to the people of Zimbabwe. We cannot continue having these numbers.  My humble plea, even to the law enforcement agents is that as we partake in the exercise of manning our roads, we must do it with diligence. 

          HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Madam Speaker, using cellphones whilst driving is one of the major causes of accidents again.  What is Government doing to make sure that drivers do not talk and text whilst driving? I thank you.

          HON. MHONA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I also want to thank Hon. Zhou for the question.  It comes again to the issues of enforcement.  We cannot do it because where there is human interface, at times we have problems.  As a country, we are moving towards a system, together with the Ministry of Home Affairs, where we will be putting cameras in each and every street at very strategic points and ticketing without the human interface.  If you commit a crime when driving, the message comes on your phone and the ticket is issued at that particular moment. There will be no human interface because at times you tend to negotiate with our law enforcement agents.  If we go digital, we will mitigate such interventions.      

          HON. MAKUMIRE:  Thank Madam Speaker.  My question is concerning the steps that are being taken by Government to stop unroadworthy vehicles from plying the routes.  Also what is delaying implementation of Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023, which I think will go a long way in reducing the road traffic accidents?  Thank you.

          HON. MHONA:  Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker, let me also thank Hon. Makumire for the question.  The point that he has raised, indeed, with the advent of Statutory Instrument 118 of 2023 which became effective on 1st January, 2024 where we are mandating public service vehicles to have gadgets of speed monitoring, this exercise is ongoing.  Above all, Hon. Madam Speaker, like what the Hon. Member has said, we cannot continue – even the moment you have these gadgets, we will have those who continue to misbehave.  You witness that they tamper with some of these instruments and gadgets.  Above all, what is important is as Zimbabweans, the moment you start driving, you must know that you are not using the road alone.  One must take cognisance of the fact that there are other road users that need to be respected.  This is something that is missing Hon. Madam Speaker.   We are not respecting each other as we drive, hence having these high rates of accidents.

 I think like what the Hon. Member has said, we will continue enforcing that those gadgets are in place and above all, we have the Statutory Instrument in place, mandating the age limit.  For those who are driving public service vehicles, we have advocated for 30 years and above.  I know others were advocating for 35 or 40, but others were saying 50 years. We cannot have such a law where we say those who are only above 50 will drive.  We are saying 30 years for now, I think this will be in sync with other SADC countries, for instance Zambia, Malawi where we will be synchronising those who drive within our roads.  We want to move in that regard, we are also advocating for self-regulation of associations so that those who come into our roads will have to go through an association so that those associations are accountable in the event of a mishap.  Thank you.

          *HON. NYABANI:  Hon. Minister, many accidents are caused by cars which are just parked haphazardly.  You find that there is no order on the roads.  What plans do you have in terms of enacting a Statutory Instrument which prohibits slow moving cars from taking the inner lane instead of concentrating on the left lane?  Most accidents come as a result of people who try to overtake where they cannot overtake.  Those cars which are slow moving should take the left lane. 

          *HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Nyabani.  Indeed, it is true there are some who move slowly in our highways, some will be on their phones but the law is clear, those who go for their lessons are told to maintain the left lane when they are moving slowly.  Even where there are dual carriageways, it is clear that those who want to move slowly should take the left lane.  This again reflects on the fact that there is no courtesy in our roads.  Some people do it deliberately, they move slowly in the inner lane, you end up wondering whether they enjoy seeing people being congested behind their cars.  The police indeed should issue tickets to such dangerous drivers. We are going to engage the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe so that people understand that those cars which are moving slowly should use the left lane.  Where there is no dual carriageway, for example along the Beitbridge Highway, there is an option to go to the left shoulder where there is a fire hydrant line.  Drivers who cross into South Africa know that when you are not speeding, you should take the left lane.  I thank you.

          *HON. TOGAREPI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I wanted to ask the Hon. Minister whether they should come up with a point system where when someone commits an offence, then points should be deducted and can result in the endorsement and the subsequent taking away of a licence because some people drive whilst drunk and commit different offences.  Coming up with such punitive laws will act as a deterrent.  I thank you.

          *HON. MHONA:  I would like to thank Hon Togarepi, the Chief Whip of this House.  I concur with his suggestion which is in line with the vision of our Ministry together with the Ministry of Home Affairs.  Those who listen to the news know that we announced that we are going to be working with a certain company.  His suggestion is going to be applied and the point system will be applied until a motorist is no longer allowed to drive because of loss of points.  When that law comes to this august House, we would need your support because the law is passed by this House.  I thank you.

          HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, since this question has got more supplementaries coming with it and considering that we are losing a lot of lives in this country, according to the Standing Rules and Orders, could you not extend the number of supplementary questions?  I thank you.

          HON. MANGONDO:  I second.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  We can take some three more supplementary questions.

          HON. MANGONDO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma'am.  In view of the fact that we are losing hundreds of people every month and even a bigger number of people who are maimed on our roads, what is Government doing in terms of ameliorating the suffering of families that would have lost their loved ones, specifically to deal with the issue of establishing a National Road Accident Fund?  I thank you.

          HON. MHONA:  Thank you Hon. Mangondo for that very important question.  Surely, the burden cannot be on the fiscus alone, we can come up with this fund.  This august House has even been advocating for this very special fund.  As a Ministry, we have started the process where we have tabled before Cabinet and now it is under the Committee on Legislation so as to perfect the piece of legislation.  I am sure you will be seeing it coming again and we will work closely with our Parliamentary Committee on Transport so that we have a road accident fund.  What is important is, who is going to administer that fund and that is before Cabinet.  We are witnessing that at the end of the day, the burden is purely the medical institutions where we are having dependents paying bills on their own.  So, the advent of this fund will ameliorate a number of challenges as posed by the Hon. Members.  I do concur that this is the right trajectory for us as a country so that we continue to see how we can fund this very important road accident fund.  Thank you for that Hon. Member.

          HON. CHIGUMBU:  Madam Speaker, most of the accidents that we have witnessed can be eradicated by implementation of smart management systems.  What is the Ministry doing to make sure that where there is need for cameras or intelligent systems, they are implemented to eradicate these accidents?  Can the Minister apprise the House in terms of how far they have gone in implementing those solutions which have been proven to be effective in reducing and eradicating road traffic accidents?  I thank you.

          HON. MHONA:  Let me thank Hon. Chigumbu for the very important question.  Maybe he missed part of my answer when I was attending to one of the questions.  Let me reiterate, since it is a very important question; since it is an enforcement matter, we are working very closely with the Home Affairs Ministry and last month they had a partner that they did broadcast, known as Vitronics from UAE which is coming to work with us in terms of smart transport solutions.  I am sure that it is also going to encompass the issues of cameras and deduction of points as alluded to by Hon. Togarepi.  So, these are some of the mitigating factors that we are going to be having.  But above all, it will then enhance the issues of enforcement which we are lacking.  It is going to allay fears of those corrupt tendencies where we are going to reduce human interface and machines are going to be doing a lot of the work in terms of enforcement.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHOKURURAMA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am and good afternoon to you. Thank you for affording me this opportunity to ask a question to the Minister of Transport. He mentioned the issue of age group which is expected to drive public vehicles and the issue of technological gadgets which can be used. What is the challenge in giving public transportation the papers to ply the different routes because it is clear to everyone that most of these vehicles are unregistered?

          HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member. Every vehicle which is plying public routes should be licenced but you find unlicenced vehicles like the mushikashikas plying different routes and those vehicles are illegal.

          In addition, those vehicles which ply public routes, transport operators should come to the Ministry and be given authorisation. We do not have a problem with them. But we have a problem with vehicles which are not allowed where you find people going to different cities and they start pirating and overloading their vehicles. So, that is the group of people that we have a problem with. That is why we have decided to work together with the Ministry of Home Affairs so that only those who are licenced will ply public routes. I thank you.

          *HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: I rise on a point of order.  I have a suggestion that since this is a pertinent issue which affects people’s lives, I suggest that the Minister should bring a Ministerial Statement so that the issue is given due diligence. I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We thank you. We have noted that and we request the Minister to bring the Ministerial Statement pertaining to the issue of road traffic accidents.

          HON. MHONA: I accept the request Madam Speaker Ma’am.  

                THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: For the benefit of Hon. Members, Ministers who are present in the House are: Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona; Hon. Dr. A. J. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. E. Moyo, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. M. Mavhunga, Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs; Hon. Dingumuzi Phuti, Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Kwidini; Hon. Levi Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. Gata, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of National Housing and Social  Amenities; Hon. Sheillah Chikomo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. Mupamhanga, Deputy Minister of  Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training; Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

        *HON. MATANGIRA: My question goes to the Minister of Local Government and in his absence, to the Leader of the House. For the sake of the people from the constituencies that are affected on the question to be proffered, I will open into Shona for their understanding of the language.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matangira, the Constitution is clear and this august House allows different languages, so feel free.

          *HON. MATANGIRA: My question is directed to Minister of Local Government and in his absence, to the Leader of the House. The question pertains to spatial planning in rural areas. This is an issue of planning which emanates from the point that the rural populace should have clearly demarcated boundaries where they stay and where they graze their livestock. You would find that councils are now pestering them saying that your fields are no longer yours and this is giving traditional leaders headaches and the rural populace, even ourselves as their representatives.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank Hon. Matangira for such a pertinent question which is very passionate and really touching because this means that this is happening and it is important that the Hon. Member puts it in writing so that I take the message to the responsible line Minister for him to bring the response.

          *HON. HAMAUSWA: I rise on a point of order. In this august House, the motion was moved which was debated at length addressing the issue which was raised by Hon. Matangira through your office Madam Speaker Ma’am. I believe that you should probably engage the responsible line Minister regarding the challenges that are faced by village heads and chiefs so that there is a land tenure system which is an issue that has been debated in this august House. I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let me first respond to what the Acting Leader of Government Business said.  Hon. Matangira, did you get the point that you put your question in writing then the responsible Minister will bring the response? Pertaining to the point of order raised, I want to say the motion was brought to this august House and I believe that there will be closure.

          *HON. MATARA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare regarding the issue of the Government Employees Mutual Savings Scheme. A Government employee might apply for a loan at GEMS and after paying back the loan, the 2.5% which is deducted from the salary continues to be deducted. So, I need clarity from the Minister and an explanation of how the employee would be reimbursed that 2.5%.

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker, I also want to thank Hon. Matara.  I am not here to educate Hon. Members of Parliament on how questions should be asked, but the question that was raised is a question that needs to be researched because it is a specific question which requires research.  For me to give an answer before getting in touch with the relevant ministry would not help.  So may you allow me to engage the relevant minister to go and research and bring a response to the House?  I thank you.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister, since you have noted that it is a specific question, then the Hon. Member should put the question in writing. 

*HON. MASHAVAVE:  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  I want to know what is the Ministry doing regarding our children or vendors who display and market their goods in urban centres?  Are there any plans so that police do not arrest or confiscate vendors’ goods?  What is the Ministry doing to bring an end to this challenge, especially taking into cognisance that most of our people are unemployed?

*HON. MEMBER: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

*THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

*HON. MEMBER: My point of order is that I believe the Hon. Member was not in the House when this question was asked by Hon. Jimu.  He is repeating a question that has been asked.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: If this question was already asked, then it cannot be repeated again.

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

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

HON. MATEWU: Madam Speaker, I remember it was you sitting in the Chair when you said the ratio must be 2:1. What we are noticing here is you are taking three questions on one side and one question on the other side.  We appeal that you must be fair to this side.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, I am being fair and I am allocating questions on a 2:1 basis, and it is written down in the papers that I am using. 

*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  In other ministries, directors and district leaders have cars.   What are you doing so that our DSIs can be allocated cars to move around inspecting the schools?  Now they do not have cars and it is difficult to supervise schools when they do not have cars.  Schools are recording zero percent pass rates, the pass rates are declining and our DSIs do not have cars to investigate the cause of this.  I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. GATA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Nyabani for that pertinent question.  Indeed, it is true that there is a challenge and indeed transportation is important for our people.  I would like to say that our Ministry will make sure that all the inspectors will be allocated transport so that they are able to reach schools.  We have 15 vehicles that came this year, they have not been distributed and we cannot say they are enough.  What I can say is that we have 15 vehicles that have been given to various districts.  Funds being made available, we will continue to buy more vehicles.  I thank you.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

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

*HON. MUTSEYAMI: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for her answer. This is my first time to hear a minister responding in Ndau. 

HON. JAMES: Thank you Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy.  I did ask this question about six weeks ago and it is in connection with ZESA tariffs.  The then Speaker instructed the Leader of the House to pass on the query to the relevant ministry and as such, nothing has come back – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, can the Hon. Member be heard in silence please, order!!! Hon. James, please ask your question.

HON. JAMES: Thank you very much Madam Speaker, the tariffs appeared to have doubled since the conversion to the new ZiG.  I think what has happened is that the conversion of all our balances was done at the rate of 2.498 to 1, but there was no conversion to the unit price in the old currency to the new currency.  The effect that this has is doubling the price or could I put it in other words, those that are paying a fixed amount of US dollars are getting roughly half the number of units. Can we ask the relevant Minister and possibly the Minister of Finance to review this and to revert to the status quo, where what you are paying in USD or equivalent in ZiG gives us the same number of units?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question on ZESA tariffs.  I am not aware that tariffs are charged that way.  Perhaps, what you need to understand is that these tariffs, their calculation or determination were fixed in USD.  Then previously, the value was fluctuating a lot and the prices were tracing the fluctuations.  Now, with the advent of the ZiG currency, they should have changed. If there are specific areas where that has been violated, you can help us to check on that and perhaps rectify if it is correct.  If not, explain the situation.  Thank you.

          HON. JAMES: Thank you Hon. Minister.  The point is, with the balances that were converted at 2,498, the unit price in the old Zimbabwe dollars was not converted at that price.  What you simply did is taking USD price and multiply it by the new ZiG price, which in fact has ZiG price at double rate.  As I said, people paying on fixed meters are getting roughly half the number of units after paying the same amount of USD.  You need to review and I am happy to see it happening.

          HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I think that one now becomes very specific.  It requires that maybe we have a written question, which we can investigate and perhaps brings an answer to the House.

          HON. JAMES: Madam Speaker, the question is; can the Minister review its charges so that the …?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. James, you are not allowed to rise on two supplementary questions.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon Member who spoke in Ndau.  My question is directed to the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.  What is the Government’s plan regarding empowering skilled workers like artisans and engineers?  You would find that those who import here in Zimbabwe, import from Zimbabweans who are in the diaspora.  What is the Government’s plan regarding funding of such skilled workers so that they can manufacture what we need here, instead of importing from the diaspora?  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON.  MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I want to thank Hon. Mapiki.  His question says that those who are able to invent; to manufacture and create goods that we need for different projects – indeed, it is a very pertinent contribution.  We know that in business, everyone has a right to determine where they get their capital.  There are banks which capacitate those who want start-up capital.  For young people, we have an empowerment programme which is meant to empower young people so that they start businesses.  We also have a women’s Ministry which leads different income generating projects.  We have SMEDCO for that.  We believe that such initiatives are meant to empower such skilled people. If the Hon. Member has probably a specific question which might need a different response, I believe that we have different institutions which can assist those who want to establish their businesses.  Thank you.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Indeed, it is true what the Minister said and for countries like Ghana and Rwanda, they have budgets for the diaspora citizens like engineers and artisans who manufacture equipment used by institutions like ZESA.  Does our Government have such a similar programme?

          *HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The mantra by His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa’s mantra that the country is built by its citizens is true.  If you have any idea, please bring the idea forward so that we can implement it.  The question that if there are people who are outside in the diaspora, there are different programmes, whether it is land, whether it is a place where they can start their projects, then Government is there and I believe that Parliament is working with Government on such projects.  I thank you.

          HON. BAJILA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My supplementary question is that we saw purchase of bucket seats for the project happening at the National Sports Stadium which were imported from outside Zimbabwe.  We are aware that Tregers Plastics, a Zimbabwean company based in Bulawayo, has capacity and is manufacturing these bucket seats.  Does Government not have a plan to procure from these companies that are here in the country and have capacity to produce these seats rather than importing them? This will enable us to have our money stay within the country and create more employment for our people?  

          HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank my good brother Hon. Bajila for that very important question.  Once again, the powers are vested in this House to summon whoever has violated or is not aligning – in this particular case, the Hon. Member has a valid reason to summon the Minister through their Committee to say, why did they not procure through this company vis-a-vis company X. It is within your purview to inquire further into that transaction.  I suggest that the Hon. Minister might be having very reasonable reasons why they had to stick to that procurement process.  If the Committee feels otherwise, they can be advised.

          *HON. ZEMURA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  I want to ask regarding the issue that when our children apply for nurses’ training at hospitals, there are rumours that some are requested to pay 1 000.  Is it Government’s initiation that people should pay before training?  I thank you. 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. KWIDINI): Government does not have such a programme. The Ministry does not have a programme that requires anyone to pay money for them to be recruited, particularly the nurses’ training programme.  We all have seen that in our areas, there are people who are targeting vulnerable people.  There is nothing like that.  When you find such a person, I request that you call the Police to apprehend such a person because we have such people who are doing that.  Sometimes people promote corruption and as Government, we do know that nurses training is for free, no one is allowed to pay.  I thank you.

*HON. MUCHEMWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I wanted to say to the Hon. Minister that where we come from, for example I am from Mashonaland East, you find people from Mashonaland East are being trained in Bulawayo.  Is it not possible to give first priority to the local citizens, for example in Mashonaland East and Bulawayo, why do we not recruit locally first?  I thank.

HON. KWIDINI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Indeed, it is true.  When you look at the current recruitment which was done in May, we applied the quota system, which means that 75% of student nurses who were taken were from their particular areas.  Then there is a percentage where we say that every Zimbabwean is allowed to be trained in different areas so that they learn different things that are happening around the country.  For example the different cultures -  those in Mashonaland East training in Bulawayo or vice versa.   You would find that last year, this is what was happening.  This allows us as a nation, as a people, to understand each other’s culture, instead of regionalism where you find that someone in Mashonaland East says they cannot speak the Ndebele language or someone from Bulawayo saying in Mashonaland, that they cannot speak the local language.  So we mix languages, I thank you. 

*HON. MUNEMO:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, good afternoon.  My supplementary question on recruitment is, has this been applied because as Hon. Members of Parliament, we note that children from our areas were not enrolled.  I will give an example, in Mashonaland Central where …

*HON. ZVAIPA:  On a point of order.  Good afternoon Madam Speaker.  My point of order is that Hon. Zemura is the one who asked the question with regards to the corrupt recruitment of nurses.  All these are questions that are coming are not related to corruption.  We want to go back to the issue of corruption. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:   Order, Hon. Munemo, can you proceed. 

HON. MUNEMO:  The example that I wanted to give relating to Mashonaland Central is that we once set down as Constituency leaders, we went to Karanda and St Alberts after undertaking that exercise.  None of our children was recruited among the new recruits.    

*HON. MUGWADI: On a point of order.  My point of order relates to a suggestion that as Hon. Members of this august House especially those that are on the left, if there is a camera in the building, let us behave at our best I thank you. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, this is not a joke Hon. Member.  New question!

HON. TOBAIWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.  The girl child at university and college has become prey to old sugar daddies and other bad activities.  Poverty is creating prostitution and abuse of a girl child at universities and colleges.  What policy measures is Government taking in addressing the national huge threat to the girl child.  I thank you - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Let me also thank Hon. Tobaiwa for that very worrisome question which actually goes against our cultural norms and values.  She has raised a very important point concerning our girl child which we cannot tolerate as a community. I want to say a similar question has been posed before pertaining to what we are doing in terms of buttressing and also supporting those who are less privileged. You find the prevalence of such incidences actually happen to those who are coming from less privileged families.  There is a programme regarding the fees programme in terms of those who can be assigned to work for their fees in order to be supported during their tenure at the tertiary or at the college.  So it is important that we raise awareness of such a facility so that we do not have our girl child taken advantage of if they tap into such a funding facility.  So my emphasis here is to make sure that we continue broadcasting and highlighting that there is a programme that can support our girl child so that they do not endeavour in trying to do unethical things in terms of sustaining their fees at colleges.

          HON. TOBAIWA: Are there any hopes from Government to reintroduce the Government grants and loans to colleges and universities?

          HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker and once again thank you Hon. Tobaiwa. That is a very good proposal and some of these initiatives are there to also assist our girl child.  It has been talked about - the introduction of grants. Some Hon. Members in this august House are beneficiaries of such a very good programme. Also, as a listening Government, some of those initiatives will also be considered. I thank you.

          HON. KARENYI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I understand Madam Speaker that due to economic hardships, most of the parents cannot afford to pay accommodation for the students. Is there any Government programme to make sure that at least the girls are afforded an opportunity to stay in hostels?

          HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker, let me also thank Hon. Karenyi for that very important question.  Indeed, accommodation is a challenge at a number of our institutions but with the advent of the Second Republic, we have seen construction activities of new rooms taking place so as to accommodate more students and enable them to learn from within rather than to lodge from the neighbouring communities. This is the desired trajectory Hon. Madam Speaker, that we continue to have more accommodation and accommodate our students.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, one of the key drivers of prostitution in higher or tertiary schools is the economic inequality and over the years or past months, economic inequality has increased.  I would like to find out from the Minister the measures being put in place to decrease economic inequality. I thank you.

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. Let me also thank Hon. Tsvangirai for that very important question, which is very true.   Even if you would go biblical, those who were poor were supposed to be there at the beginning of any given nation and you continue to have the poor amongst us.  Whenever you talk of an equilibrium status, those inequalities will still be there and we are not advocating for poor people but we are saying surely, you cannot have an economy where you talk of everyone being on the same footing.  My point here is, as much as we know as Government that there are those who are from less privileged families, we are having such initiatives as alluded to by Hon. Tobaiwa and Hon. Karenyi, so that we have more accommodation.   We have grants so as to accommodate those who are less privileged. I thank you.

HON KANGAUSARU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question goes to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What measures are being taken to improve the mental health services and accessibility in the rural communities?  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. KWIDINI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  I appreciate that mental health illness is now a challenge and mostly increased by this drug and substance abuse.  As a Ministry, we are trying to make sure that all health services, including mental health services which he asked about, we are trying to take it to the district hospitals where it is easily accessible to each and every one affected. In terms of our primary healthcare clinics, we want to make sure that drugs which are also needed for this illness are available at local clinics such that we make sure every Zimbabwean benefits from that.  I thank you.

HON. KANGAUSARU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  How is the Ministry addressing the stigma associated with mental health in the country?  I thank you.

HON. KWIDINI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Stigma is something which is not warranted or wanted by anyone, but these are individual perceptions. It is not recommended to stigmatise somebody who is affected or infected with an illness.  What we encourage as a Ministry is to accommodate and encourage each and everyone.  Mental illness needs encouragement so that those people affected and infected get healed and they are integrated into the community in a normal sense.  I thank you.

*HON. NYABANI: Thank you, there was mention of the availability of medication; will it be readily available or not because they are saying medicines are being offered but when one is mentally disturbed, where will they get the money to buy the medication? Where would they get the money from? May the Minister clarify whether the medication is going to be readily available so that the relatives can then assist the mentally ill person?  They may not be able to raise the money and assist the person.  I thank.

HON. KWIDINI: Thank you Madam Speaker for the supplementary question from Hon. Nyabani.  As a Ministry, we would want such medicines to be readily available at a short distance away from the patients.  If one becomes mentally ill, those that live with one in the society can take one to the hospital and once we see that much more is needed in the form of medical attention, we will then detain that person in the hospital so that they can regain their normal mental state.  I thank you.

           *HON. MATSUNGA: My question is directed to the Minister of Health. There are some people who are mentally ill because of drug and substance abuse and drug addicts cannot recover once they are given medication. What is Government doing in terms of construction of medical rehabilitation centres so that the society can benefit and at one stage, we wanted to have a rehabilitation centre in each and every province in order to assist such people. How far has Government gone in that regard?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. KWIDINI): When one arrives at the hospital or clinic, we have qualified personnel that will be able to differentiate the illness that is afflicting someone so that they can be given the correct medication. That is taking place in our hospitals. On the other part of the question, in terms of the construction of the rehabilitation centres, that is a function between ourselves and the Ministry of Local Government so that we can construct these rehabilitation centres in the constituencies in order for those that are now mentally deranged due to drug abuse so that when they are treated at a rehabilitation centre, they can regain their health and become productive so that they will not indulge in drugs that will cause them to lose their mental health. I thank you.

          HON. NYANDORO: What is Government doing to ensure most of the hospitals have the infrastructure that is able to accommodate those with mental challenges because we know in our ordinary wards, they will not be able to be accommodated. What is Government doing with regards to setting up infrastructure that will be able to accommodate those with mental challenges?

          HON. KWIDINI:  Let me thank the Hon. Member for the question. It comes back to the earlier question which was asked that, what is Government doing in terms of making these facilities available in each and every province. I am grateful to say the Ministry of Home Affairs is the one that started this programme during COVID-19 era and the infrastructure which was constructed during that time was turned into these facilities such that they can cater for that.

          In each and every provincial hospital, there is what we call a Psychiatric Unit which is meant to accommodate those patients with that condition. If the illness is so severe that they cannot be kept at provincial hospitals, they can be transferred to institutions like Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo, Ngomahuru in Masvingo and the Annex Unit in Harare.

          HON. M. ZIYAMBI: My question is directed to the Minister of Youth. First of all, I would like to commend the Ministry of Youth and the Government as a whole on the initiative which is being done across the country towards the reduction of drug and substance abuse. However, my question is, what is Government policy on rehabilitated youth who have been reintroduced into society having not acquired any requisite skills in terms of self-empowerment and development whilst in rehabilitation since one of the main causes of drug and substance abuse is idleness?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING (HON. MUPAMHANGA):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The scourge of drug and substance abuse requires the whole of Government and society. As the Ministry of Youth, we are responsible for the demand reduction pillar under this initiative, to curb drug and substance abuse. In relation to the question by the Hon. Member, what we offer is vocational training skills as well as youth service in Zimbabwe.

I would also like to note that the point that the Hon. Member raised is very important and it is one that we will consider so as to collaborate with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health so that when these young people are past to leave these rehabilitation centres, they come into our care so that we can also equip them with skills, whether during the time they are in care or as soon as they leave.

          HON. TSHUMA: My supplementary question is, does the Ministry have a policy to impart skills on these youth when they come out free of charge? Like what Hon. Ziyambi said, they will have taken drugs because of idleness and have no jobs, which means that they have no money. Is the Ministry in a position to be able to offer free training to equip these youth to be able to go back and fend for themselves?

          HON. MUPAMHANGA: At the moment, in terms of the programmes that I proffered to this House, Youth Service in Zimbabwe is free. If we have young people who are coming out of rehabilitation and going to Youth Service, they do not have to pay. However, I would also like to add that there are various organisations such as CZH Church in Mashonaland Central in Shamva South Constituency where the organisation has partnered with the Ministry to conduct rehabilitation programmes that include passing on skills to young people for free as well. I say this so that we can encourage organisations like that around the country and the private sector to join hands with Government and fight the scourge of drug and substance together.

          HON. MUTOKONYI: My supplementary question is on funding for youth programmes. May the Minister look into the issue, particularly to decentralise the funding model to district levels because the youth cannot access funding.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES (HON. MUPAMHANGA): Currently, young people across the country are free to approach our District offices or even our Provincial offices where they can get access to Empower Bank forms.  They can open accounts at this District level.  What happens is that there is just a delay where the bank is not there physically.  Our District officers collect these forms and take them to the nearest youth bank.  They return with the answers whether they are going to be given loans or not.  We are also working to collaborate with another Ministry to see whether we can share infrastructure that is in existence already so that the Empower Bank can be available all across the country. I thank you.

HON. MALINGANISO: We have seen the youth applying for these loans but the availability of funds has been the issue.  What plans are in place to make certain the funds are available?

HON. MUPAMHANGA: It is true that in some circumstances, the bank may fail to have enough funds for young people.  I would like to inform Hon. Members of this House that in the past when the youth initiatives were there, loans were given out and grants were also given out but we had a high rate of non-performing loans.  As a result of that, the loans that we can give out to young people without collateral have a ceiling of $500.  What we have done as the Ministry is to encourage young people to group up into bigger numbers so that they can get a bigger loan amounts.  We also want to encourage young people to be responsible enough so that when they take out loans from the Empower Bank, they return them and those funds can revolve and be given to other young people across the country.

HON. MAKUMIRE: I rise to ask the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare concerning the continuous review of salaries and benefits for civil servants. 

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRUSTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): It is the desired scenario to continuously review salaries.  I would not agree anymore or any further from what the Hon. Member is proposing - that it is at the heart of the Government to make sure that people are adequately and properly remunerated so that they get what they are worth at the end of the day.  This is something that is ongoing.  I want to commend Hon. Member for raising that.  My counterpart who is the Minister of Public Service is also seized with that matter.  That is why we have the several Committee meetings, including tripartites now and again, so as to continuously review salaries of civil servants. 

HON. MAKUMIRE: I just want to ask the Hon. Minister, when can civil servants expect an increment in addition to the $20 that was given in March?

HON. MHONA: I think this is more specific and I can carry the message to the Hon. Minister so that he can bring the response back to the august House.  I will just highlight to the Hon. Member that this is an engagement of parties where they continuously go through various bodies.  They continuously engage and deliberate on salaries.  I think the Hon. Minister will be in a position to give a sound response to that. 

*HON. MANANZVA: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business and Acting Leader of the House.  Sometime ago we witnessed His Excellency the President launching the fronting of title deeds for urban properties.  How far have you gone with the issue of regularisation of tittle deeds in urban centres?

*HON. MHONA: If you allow me, may the relevant Minister who is now in the House answer the question.

*THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL            AMENITIES (HON. SODA): Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  It is true that we have, at the President’s heart the issue of tittle deeds for the properties that they are in occupation.  We have gone a step further.  We have gone beyond the title deeds that were issued in Epworth.  We work with other line ministries such as Local Government and the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.  The Ministry of National Housing is not the one that issues these documents.  These are issued by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs because the registrar of deeds is based in the Ministry of Justice.  Preparations have been made by our Ministry in terms of the regularisation.  It does not entail to just issue people with deeds. 

We would want to ensure that the settlement is good and people can be given deeds for occupants of such area.  Roads, schools, water and sewer reticulation if they are in place and in such things are being corrected and the beneficiaries are expected to do certain things. 

They should have documentation that they have from the local authorities and they fill in documents and sign them.  The documents should also show that they bought the stand when and how and once this has been cleared the people can now be issued with deeds.  It is His Excellency the President that everyone countrywide should have title deeds to the places that they occupy.  This should be beneficial to them.  They can also use them as collateral because it is difficult to get loans now. 

Giving someone title deeds is a way of empowering people. This will then make them entitled to receive loans because they have title deeds which they can use as collateral.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. T. ZHOU):  Thank you Hon. Minister for the clarification. 

          *HON. MHETU: We have one problem with the President’s programme on the deed of grant, that is, you cannot access the bank loan whilst using a deed of grant as collateral.  You can only do that if you have a title deed.  So, for our deed of grant to be converted to a title deed, there needs to be sewer, water and roads.  The question then comes, what measures have you put in place to ensure that water reticulation, roads and other infrastructure are in place, in places where people have challenges accessing title deeds? 

          *HON. SODA: I thank you Hon. Mhetu for the questions.  We have measures in place that we are working on.  The Ministry, in partnership with the private sector, are working to ensure that allocated stands that are yet to be serviced are regularised through the user principle.  The beneficiaries in those areas are expected to pay for certain services to ensure that the road infrastructure, water and sewer reticulation are in place. Without proper servicing of these stands, the Government cannot issue deeds.  This is what the Government is trying to regularise so that this leads to the occupants receiving title deeds to use as collateral for loans.  I thank you.

          *HON. KANUPULA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is, the President sat down with councils and they did what is called, ‘call to action’.  We all see that in these urban centers, it is only council land where work is being done. So, all councils have a deadline of up to 30th June to report on a consolidated map by those that are in housing corporatives and State land. We are not seeing anything being done to heed this call to action in urban centers.  What is being done to housing corporatives on State land?  What date have you set for your call to action?  I thank you. 

          *HON. SODA:   I believe this is a new question and this is not under my purview. This lies under the purview of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  I may not be the best person to respond to that particular question as to what is being done by the Ministry in terms of the call to action for those that are on state land since the urban centers that are run by local authorities are being looked into. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your question is not a supplementary question to the one that has been asked earlier.

          *HON. MHANGWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  There are some suburbs that were constructed in the 1990s and 1980s - those ones are ready.  They tick the boxes in terms of having title deeds.  What is the timeline for such settlements?

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mhangwa, in future stick to one language.

          *HON. SODA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  This is now a specific question that deals with certain areas where he says these areas are ready to receive title deeds.  As I earlier on pointed out, it is the Registrar of Title Deeds that issues the deeds.  If there are people who now have every documentation and everything has ticked the box, we are creating awareness that when we say people should receive title deeds, anyone who feels that they now have everything in place to approach the authorities to get deeds to their property. 

          The one who feels the itch of the shoe is the one who is wearing it. So, those who have challenges in that regard, should approach the authorities.  I thank you.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mhangwa, please redirect your question to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. 

          *HON. MASHONGANYIKA:  I will direct my question to the leader of the House because the minister is not in the House.  

We have the elderly who are sick, suffering from backaches, hypertension and diabetes.  What is the Government doing in terms of giving them monthly grants to sustain themselves? I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVLOPMENT (HON. MHONA):    Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member, Hon. Mashonganyika for a very important question.  Indeed, the elderly should also be covered and be granted something by the Government, but  our laws come from this particular House.  We look at the budget annually, it is our right as an august House to then say, we are putting aside a certain amount for the purposes of the welfare of the elderly. 

As Government Ministers, it is our duty to ensure that we implement what the House would have resolved on.  I know that we have NSSA, so that the majority of workers get their monthly pension through the banks - that is another way but if the person was unemployed, the Government is required to look after such an elderly. Once, as an august House, we come up with such measures, nothing can stop us from having such a welfare fund for the elderly.  I thank you. 

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. TSITSI ZHOU): Thank you Hon. Minister, let me make this announcement.  Time for Questions Without Notice is about to end.  We observed that a lot of Hon. Ministers are going out of the Chamber when we have a lot of Questions With Notice that the relevant ministries should respond to. Those Hon. Ministers who have questions on the Order Paper, please remain.  We would like to thank you for a job well done because we initially had 93 questions on the Order Paper and now, we have 43.  We once again plead with you to finish the 43 questions that are outstanding so that we can have new questions next week.

          +HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response that during the budget time, this august House should set aside funds for the elderly. Year in year out when we do the budget, the Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare will be before this House to report that they have harmonised the cash transfer and this money is always there.  This was what was said by the Member of Parliament but the question is, the money is there in the budget but is it being disbursed?  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mahlangu. I understand the Hon. Minister said that this question will be better responded to by the relevant Hon. Minister.  Unless if the Hon. Minister wants to answer.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  Hon. Mahlangu, it is your right to call the relevant Minister and ask him when you are in Committee so that he will be able to respond.  I thank you for giving us the direction.

          *HON. MUCHEMWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. As Zimbabwe…

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

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

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

          HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by 10 minutes so that Hon. Members can ask questions. Madam Speaker, somebody must define to Hon. Members what a point of order is.  A point of order must be relating to violation of the rules or orders not that you want to go against what somebody has said.  So, we waste time with non-points of order.  We want genuine questions asked to the relevant ministries in the House.

          HON. KASHAMBE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          *HON. BAJILA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

*HON. BAJILA: My point of order is that Hon. Muchemwa is the third to be picked on that side of the House. You had agreed on a 2:1 ratio. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Just to remind the House, I recognised Hon. Makumire then I recognised Hon. Mashonganyika and now I am recognising Hon. Muchemwa.  Hon. Muchemwa, please proceed.

*HON. MUCHEMWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  As Zimbabwe, we note that the bodies of our war veterans are scattered in and out of Zimbabwe.  What plans do we have to raise funds so that we go and exhume the remains of our war veterans for them to be decently buried.  We are hearing that some are resorting to spirit mediums to show them where their relatives are buried.  Having resorted to spirit mediums, still there are no funds set aside to exhume these bodies.  Can this programme be transferred to the Ministry of War Veterans since they are the ones who deal with war veterans and know better?

HON. NGULUVHE: On a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

HON. NGULUVHE: The issue is in the motion which we are going to move tomorrow, so I thought may be we must first bring the report because we have got a petition on that issue.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nguluvhe, but you have not presented it yet. I will allow the question to be responded to by the Minister of Home Affairs.

*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE):  Thank you Madam Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member for the question. It is an important question and yes, it is true that we have our fallen heroes in various places inside and outside the country.  It is an issue that is always bothering us that we cannot rest when some of our fallen heroes have not been properly buried.  As a Ministry, we have a programme of action that we have laid down in terms of how we are going to go to Zambia, Angola and other places. We are not just going to exhume the bodies of those that are buried there but also to spruce up the various shrines that we have in Angola and Zambia.  So, we have a programme and we work hand in glove with the Ministry of War Veterans and the Ministry of Defence.

I am happy that this question has been posed by the Hon. Member. He has talked about the funding, which means that the Ministry of Finance may attend to this particular question and be in a position to answer the question.  We all wait for the disbursements of funds from the Ministry of Finance; we have the strategy and the action plan.  What we only await is the disbursement of the funds.  Once it is disbursed, we will quickly go there and look at doing the planned work.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The extra minutes that you have asked for have elapsed.  We now move on to Questions With Notice.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO REIMBURSE PARENTS OF BEAM BENEFICIARIES

  1. HON. MACHANGU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House measures which the Ministry has put in place to reimburse parents or guardians who would have incurred expenses paying fees for those catered for under the BEAM programme, particularly in cases where their fees are not received in time from this facility.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ( HON. GATA): Thank you so much Hon. Member for this question. It is a very important issue regarding the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s policy on reimbursement of funds for pupils on BEAM.  I can inform the House that our policy is clear, no child should be denied the right to education due to inability of the parent to pay school fees.  We firmly believe that education is a fundamental right, not a privilege.  The Ministry has put in place measures to ensure inclusive and accessible education for all pupils, regardless of their family’s economic status.  Specifically, for pupils covered under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), the Ministry covers the full cost of the school fees.  Schools are not permitted to send the pupils away or require any fee payments from their parents or guardians.

          In case where parents and guardians facing challenges with school fees payment, to report such issues to their local Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education offices at the district, provincial, or national level.  Upon receiving these complaints, the Ministry will promptly investigate the matter and ensure the school complies with the policy of BEAM.

          The Ministry is committed to upholding the right to education for all children in Zimbabwe.  We will not tolerate any violations of this policy and will take swift action against schools that send away pupils solely due to an inability to pay fees.

PLANS REGARDING COMPLETION OF PUMULA SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL

  1. HON. MAHLANGU asked the Minister of Primary and secondary school to inform the House the Ministry’s plans regarding the completion of classroom blocks at Pumula South Secondary school in Bulawayo.

       THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. GATA): The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is seized with provision of decent teaching and learning spaces in all its schools.  Over the years, attempts have been made to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their geographical locations, access quality education.  For this reason, the Ministry is mobilising resources to build new schools and to renovate the existing structures.  We have been made a public call to all stakeholders to join hands with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education towards this cause.  We are grateful that any partners have expressed interest in partnering with the Ministry.

        However, through Treasury, Government has the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which pays for projects such as the construction f classroom blocks at the schools.  Every year, PSIP identifies schools which should be given priority for construction projects. Unfortunately, in 2024, Pumula Secondary School is not on the list of schools for 2024.  The Ministry will consider the school in the 2025 Budget.  Thank you.

MEASURES TO ENSURE ADEQUATE CLASSROOM FURNITURE AND TEXTBOOKS FOR TAKUNDA PRIMARY SCHOOL IN NORTON

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House about the measures being put in place to ensure that Takunda Primary School in Norton has adequate classroom furniture and textbooks.

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. GATA): Thank you very much Hon. Tsvangirai for raising this matter to our attention. Every year, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education identifies schools that are in dire need of assistance in terms of acquiring furniture and text books. There are several programmes that are in place to help schools in obtaining furniture and text books. We have the Schools Improvement Grant (SIG) which is supported by educational partners with the goal of improving infrastructure and providing learning material. Although the Schools Improvement Grant (SIG) which is currently in place, cater for particular schools for now, we have not left out other schools such as Takunda Primary School. Takunda Primary School still stands to benefit from other initiative of Ministry.

          We have, as a matter of fact allowed such schools, especially those with capacity to resource themselves through collection of various forms of levies. One such levy that we have authorised schools to levy from Parents/Guardians is the Text Book Levy. So Takunda Primary School can apply for permission to increase levies which can be used for the purchase of text books and furniture depending on their specific needs. However, the Ministry will in future consider such schools such as Takunda in the disbursement of SIG and other funding mechanisms that are at the disposal of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.

MEASURES TO ADDRESS WATER, FURNITURE AND TEXTBOOK CHALLENGES AT CLIFFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL IN NORTON

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the measures being put in place to address water, furniture and textbook challenges at Clifford Primary School in Norton.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. GATA): Once again, thank you very much Hon. Tsvangirai for bringing this mater to our attention. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is currently working with education partners in programmes of drilling boreholes at schools. We hope that Clifford Primary School will be included in the next phase.

          On the issue of furniture and textbooks, as I said before, every year, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education identifies schools that require assistance in buying furniture and textbooks. There are several programmes that address this need. The Schools Improvement Grant (SIG); which is supported by education partners with the goal of improving infrastructure and providing learning material, is one such programme. Unfortunately, Clifford Primary School has not been chosen amongst the beneficiaries in 2024. We will consider the school in our next phase. Meanwhile, as a Ministry, we encourage schools to make use of revenue obtained at school level.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI: Thank you very much, Hon. Speaker. As we speak right now, students at Clifford Primary Schools in Norton are actually exposed to cholera. As a result of the school not having access to clean water. What does the Minister plan to do to improve the situation on the ground so that people can have access to clean water? Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. GATA): Thank you very much Hon. Tsvangirai for your supplementary question. We do have schools construction programmes going on, the OPEC Fund for international development, the OFED. To date, we do have a number of schools built and they were commissioned by His Excellency about a few weeks ago. There is something that is being done. However, there is still significant challenges and more schools are needed or need improvement. We need to refurbish to match the modern standards to cover the infrastructure gaps that are there. We also need to reach the marginalised communities, but there is something that has been done. We are making strides. Thank you.

MEASURES PUT IN PLACE TO RECRUIT A MEDICAL DOCTOR AND TO BUILD A MORTUARY FOR INSIZA SOUTH RURAL DISTRICT HOSPITAL

  1. HON S. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House the measures being put in place to recruit a medical doctor and to build a mortuary for Insiza South Rural District Hospital in Matabeleland South.

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. KWIDINI): The Ministry of Health and Child Care has plans to construct a mortuary at Avoca rural hospital in the year 2024 once we receive a budget from Treasury. On the recruitment of a medical doctor for Avoca rural hospital, kindly note that Avoca rural hospital is a primary level health facility which does not have staff establishment for medical doctors because of the following reasons:

  1. There is no theatre at the primary level health facility.
  2. There is no X-ray at primary health facility.
  3. There is no laboratory at the primary level health facility.

       These are the basic facilities required for a medical doctor to be stationed at a health facility, and these can be available at the secondary-level health facility.  The plan in place is, the Ministry of Health and Child Care, through Insiza District has plans to establish out-reach clinics at the three rural hospitals, Avoca, Shanghani, and Wanezi starting at the end of June 2024. The Ministry is currently mobilising resources to ensure these outreach clinics are executed as planned where we second medical doctors to carry out duties at the clinics.

          Questions for the Ministry of Lands having been deferred.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, we had the Minister of Lands and Agriculture in this House.  The Hon. Minister cannot then just leave the House when he knows that there are questions that are supposed to be answered on the Order Paper.   As such Hon. Speaker, I think he is actually taking Parliament for granted.  When Members put their questions with notice, they expect answers and therefore Ministers cannot surely do this.  Parliament should censor the Minister. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, we have taken note of that observation and we are going to write to the Minister.  We will now move on to Question No. 33.

 

MEASURES TO ADDRESS ELECTRICITY PRICE FLUCTUATIONS

  1. HON. GUMEDE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House on measures being put in place to address electricity price fluctuations.

      THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): Hon. Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member for raising the above question, allow me, Hon. Speaker, to respond as follows:

     The electricity price fluctuations were due to the movement of the ZWL$ interbank exchange rate. The electricity tariff was fixed in USD and indexed to the interbank rate. It is important to note that the prices have been stable since the launch of the ZIG currency.

REPLACEMENT AND REPAIR OF ELECTRICITY POWER LINES FOR SCHOOLS IN MATOBO, MANGWE AREA

  1. HON. MGUNI asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain to the House the plans put in place by the Ministry to replace and repair electricity lines that have been down for more than 15 years, as is the case with the one at Zamanyoni Primary and Secondary Schools in Matobo, Mangwe area.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): Hon. Speaker Sir, let me thank the Honourable Member for raising the above question.  Allow me, to respond that the line was done back in 2004 or 2005.  Before the line to Zamanyoni could be switched on, the backbone infrastructure had a fault which ZETDC had to work on.  During the time that the line was down, many sections of the network collapsed and the substations were vandalised.  Both the whole line and the two substations will require reconstruction. 

          Hon. Speaker, the ZETDC repaired the backbone line and others in Matobo late last year and REF, which is normally called REA and they have managed to energise the following in 2024:

  • Njelele Primary School and
  • Mashumba Business Centre.

Additionally, the following business centres are scheduled this year:

  • Silonkwe, Mudundulwini and Mloyi.

The last three are on the same backbone infrastructure with Zamanyoni which we have scheduled for reconstruction in 2025.  Hence, Zamanyoni Primary and Secondary Schools will be electrified in 2025. 

ELECTRIFICATION OF LUVEVE 5 EXTENSION IN BULAWAYO

  1. BAJILA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House what the Ministry’s plans and timelines are regarding the electrification of Luveve 5 Extension in Bulawayo’s Ward 11 to the National Electricity Grid.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. E. MOYO): Madam Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member for raising the question.  ZETDC is working with Luveve 5 extension residents in reticulating the whole suburb.  The residents are yet to complete medium voltage and are about 70% complete.  ZETDC is mobilising materials for the construction of 2.5km of high voltage line with a total of 7 pole mounted 200kVA transformers.  Works are expected to be completed by the end of August.

 

 

PLANS TO CONNECT PUMULA SOUTH SECONDARY SCHOOL TO THE NATIONAL ELECTRICITY GRID

  1. MAHLANGU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House what the Ministry’s plans are to connect Pumula South Secondary School to the National Electricity Grid.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MOYO) Madam Speaker, let me thank the Hon. Member for raising the question.  The school has not yet applied to ZETDC for connection to the grid.  However, upon receipt of the application for connection, ZETDC will be ready to connect it within 30 days.

COMPLETION OF THE CIVIL REGISTRY BUILDING OFFICES IN INSIZA SOUTH COSTITUENCY

  1. S. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House when the Civil Registration Building Offices in the Insiza South Constituency will be completed.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): The Department of Civil Registry had planned to complete construction of Insiza Registry Building by December 2024.  The project was allocated a total of ZW$2,300,000,000 in the 2024 budget, which was equivalent to US$383,000.  However, to date, the funds have not yet been released by Treasury and there is no activity on site.  The department is therefore not in a position to give a definite timeframe for the completion of the building but otherwise we are eager to see the building completed.  As soon as the funds are available, we will be on site in no time.  I thank you.

HON. S. SITHOLE: My supplementary question, with your indulgence Madam Speaker, when will the Minister visit my constituency to see the situation in the offices?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Sithole, that is not included in your original question but if the Hon. Minister wishes to respond, I will let him to proceed.

 HON. KAZEMBE:  Madam Speaker, if the Hon. Member wants me to visit, he can invite me and I have no problem.  But I have been there so many times and I am aware of the work that is supposed to be done.  That is why as a Ministry, we are keen and eager to complete that building but we can only do so if funds are availed by Treasury.  So, it is not really about my coming to Insiza but if you want me to come, I can come any time.  I am free to come and have chicken with him, it is fine.  I thank you.

ATTRIBUTES OF BEING REPUTABLE TO THE SPORTS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

  1. BAJILA asked the Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation to explain to the House the attributes that constitute being reputable to the Sports and Recreation Commission in the context envisaged by the National Sports Associations, and to further state where Tennis Zimbabwe stands in this regard as an association.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, RECREATION, ARTS AND CULTURE (HON. JESAYA):  Allow me Madam Speaker to first correct, it is the Ministry of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture and not Ministry of Sports Arts and Recreation. For a National Sport Association to be considered reputable to SRC, it has to be compliant with the SRC Act and the SRC Regulations Statutory Instrument 342 of 1995.  National Associations also have to ensure that their constitutions are in line with the said statutes and the Constitution of Zimbabwe and International Best Practices.  National Sport Association Compliance in terms of the Sport and Recreation Commission Act, all national associations have an obligation to submit the following statutory and administrative returns to SRC at the end of the National Association’s financial year:

          The statutory returns; a report on its activities for the year just ended; an audited balance sheet and income and expenditure account for that year; estimates of income and expenditure for the coming year; annual membership submitted and annual levy paid for the year just ended.  The administrative returns are expected to be submitted to SRC; their annual general meeting minutes for the year just ended and their annual calendar of activities for the coming year.

          Then with regards to the state of Zimbabwe Tennis in terms of compliance; as at 31 December 2023, Tennis Zimbabwe was compliant with the Sports and Recreation Commission.  It is currently working towards rationalising its 2024 compliance status.  As it stands, Tennis Zimbabwe has been advised to review its Constitution which is now outdated and must be in line with current trends.  The Sports and Recreation Commission is in constant engagements with the National Sports Associations and has availed it with the basic Constitution template and the mandatory clauses which the SRC now requires to be included in all National Sports Association constitutions.  I thank you.

          HON. BAJILA: Thank you so much Hon. Minister for the response.  This question arises from a request by the Minister that I put the question in writing following tennis players representing Zimbabwe going out there on international tournaments, paying for themselves, paying coaches’ travel, accommodation and other stuff.  The Minster’s response suggests that it is only for 2024 that compliance issues have not been met yet, even prior to 2024, these patriots have been going there to represent Zimbabwe from their own pockets.  Is the Ministry then saying there are other reasons why it has not been financing Tennis Zimbabwe because the earlier response was that it was compliance issues?  Now, the response says it is only for 2024 that they have not been compliant.  I thank you.

          HON. JESAYA: Thank you so much Hon. Bajila. With regards to funding requests from the National Sports Associations, they are supposed to make requests to SRC within three months but then if they fail to submit funding requests within the stipulated time then their requests will be declined.  I thank you.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: Could the Minister then advise the august House if the SRC can be pro-active in terms of assessing the needs of associations rather than to just wait and sit without the need of them doing a check on the needs of the various associations than to simply decline on a technicality?

          HON. JESAYA: Thank you for the supplementary question.  What I know is that National Sports Associations are requested by SRC at the beginning of each calendar year to submit their budgets for all their games that they are expecting to play within that year and when they do so, they will also have to submit the request of those games within three months.  If they had not put in the game in their budget for that calendar year, then maybe it is an issue that we will need to investigate but the way I know it is that they have always been pro-active in receiving budgets for that calendar year at the beginning of the year.  Then they would also expect the National Sports Association to send through their budget for a specific tournament within three months.

RATIONALE BEHIND BUILDING MORE CRICKET STADIUMS

  1. HON. S. DUBE asked the Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation to inform the House the rationale behind the Ministry’s plans to build more cricket stadiums at a time when there are redundant stadia

          THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORTS, RECREATION, ARTS AND CULTURE (HON. JESAYA): Zimbabwe Cricket will be co-hosting the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2026 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2027, alongside Namibia and South Africa. Zimbabwe Cricket’s priority is to ensure Zimbabwe has stadiums that meet the minimum standards set out by the International Cricket Council to host the global events. Its main stadiums in the country are Harare Sports Club in Harare and Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and these need upgrading.

          In preparation for the aforementioned global events, Zimbabwe Cricket is focusing on upgrading those two grounds as well as the building of new stadiums elsewhere that will serve either as match or training venues. The hosting of those major events is serving as a catalyst for the development of cricket across the length and breadth of Zimbabwe.

          Currently, Zimbabwe Cricket does not own a single ground with all the cricket grounds across the country, including Harare Sports Club and Queens Sports Club being privately owned. This situation not only harms Zimbabwe Cricket strategy to spread the game and make it the country’s number 1 sport, but also limits the organisation’s investment into infrastructure upgrades at the rented facilities.  Cricket thrives on a robust infrastructure that supports the development of talent from grassroots levels to professional leagues.

With more players and range of different cricket formats recently being introduced, the demand on cricket facilities and infrastructure is greater than ever. Having the right sporting facilities in the right places is critical to helping increase participation in cricket. The goal is to deliver a greater proportion of facilities that are affordable, efficient, effective and sustainable in delivering more sporting and recreation opportunities for Zimbabweans.

          In addition, Zimbabwe Cricket has identified key facility priorities in each of the 10 provinces of our country. These facilities will provide easy access and will be available for use by local cricket clubs and schools. Children, youth and adults from local communities will have access to the facilities. The cricket facilities will boost the profiles of each city or province where Zimbabwe Cricket is developing a facility. The facilities will provide job opportunities for locals during the construction phase and once they are operational.

Lastly the facilities will open up business opportunities for locals to supply required goods and services. I submit Madam Speaker Ma’am.

UPDATE ON BRINGING THE YOUTH BILL TO PARLIAMENT

 

  1. HON. S. DUBE asked the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training to update the House on the progress made towards bringing the Youth Bill to Parliament.

          THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES (HON. MUPAMHANGA): The Ministry has done all that is within its power to ensure drafting of the Youth Bill. Outstanding processes are unfortunately outside the powers of my Ministry, which can only and has been doing follow ups. The Ministry drafted the principles for the Bill when these were approved workshops were held where stakeholders were consulted.

In addition, the Ministry came up with a lay man’s draft and the same was submitted to the Attorney General’s office for drafting. Currently, the Ministry is following up to the Attorney General’s Office for finalisation of the Bill. Once the drafting processes have been completed, the Bill will be taken through the parliamentary processes.

Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 68.

On the motion of HON. KAMBUZUMA, seconded by HON. MUSHORIWA, the House adjourned at Two Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

 

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