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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 JUNE 2022 VOL 48 NO 53
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday 15th June, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE HON. SPEAKER: There are visitors in the Speaker’s Gallery and I do not know who they are, who are they? My dear visitors, are you from a particular school or what - [AN HON. MEMBER: They are saying they are from University of Zimbabwe] –Confirm you are from the University of Zimbabwe – [VISITOR: Yes, we are from the University of Zimbabwe] – Sorry, we have not been advised. You are welcome, students from the University of Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received apologies from the following members of the Executive:
Hon. General (Rtd.) Dr. C. G .D. N Chiwenga – The Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care;
Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri – Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs;
Hon. M. Mutsvangwa – Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services;
Hon. M. Ndlovu - Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Hospitality Industry;
Hon. Prof. Ncube – Minister of Finance and Economic Development;
Hon. Dr. A. J. Masoka – Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement;
Hon. Kazembe – Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage
Hon. Dr. K. Coventry – Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Culture;
Hon. J. Haritatos - Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Settlement;
Hon. R. Maboyi – The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;
Hon. Dr. J. Mangwiro – The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education on examination fees. Considering that people are struggling, especially families that are led by older people; I wanted to find out what policy says considering the President’s mantra, ‘living no one and no place behind’. It seems we are going to leave some people behind because they are not going to write examinations because of exorbitant fees.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you very much to the Member for the question. Yes, the issue of fees has been raised at a number of fora and I think even a letter to Parliament has also come. That matter I think is being handled by the relevant Committee on Primary and Secondary Education. However, I need also to say the issues have been heard. Government is paying 55% of the actual cost of writing an examination and candidates are expected to pay 45% for public schools. Then some of the children whose parents cannot afford fees and who are under BEAM, will be covered under BEAM. I thank you.
HON. PETER MOYO: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. We would want the Minister to respond again using the language which was used by the questioner. The Hon. Member asked the question in Shona and the Minister is responding in English, can she respond in Shona for the benefit of the questioner?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, can you respond to the Hon. Member in the language she used.
HON. CHIBAYA: I think the Hon. Minister did not respond to the question asked by Hon. Kwaramba…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! That statement is supposed to come from the Chair.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Minister, this issue has been raised on several occasions in this august House and the reason why as Members of Parliament we continue to raise the same issue is because nothing has been done. The question is; what are you doing about the issue of fees? Thank you.
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think in my response, I did indicate that the cries have been heard and the relevant organs of Government are attending to that. I think that is how far I can go – [HON. MEMBERS: There is no answer.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, can you come again. I was recording something. I did not hear your response.
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I said that issues around the amount of examination fees have been raised at different fora and the relevant fora where this has been raised will be looking into that and if anything comes out, the House will be informed. As of now on the fees, Government is paying 55% of the actual cost of running an examination. That is one way Government has reduced the burden on the parents. The matter has not been concluded. It has been heard. I thank you.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Hon. Speaker for the opportunity to ask a supplementary question. I think that the concern that the Minister is avoiding is on why the examination support mechanisms are discriminatory…
HON. KWARAMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I think there is a lot of interference, we cannot even follow. People should switch off their cellphones because we cannot even hear what people are saying.
HON. WATSON: I think one point of the concerns of parents that the Minister is avoiding is the discriminatory nature of the ZIMSEC fees. Why is Government only subsidising public school students and not students across Zimbabwe? Thank you.
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think the issue is that the level of poverty differs. Private schools carry the full cost and going to a private school, I am sure people opt for private schools because they have got the means. Government takes care of those vulnerable children who go to public schools. The level of affordability of the fees is not the same and the priority is given to the most vulnerable. Thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of order is, the Hon. Minister has to take note that there are sections that pupils go into private schools not because they can afford. Some pupils go into private schools…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! You are now debating. Ask your supplementary question.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Hon. Speaker, it is important that I put this across clearly to the Hon. Minister. The assumption that….
THE HON. SPEAKER:You cannot debate, ask your supplementary question.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Hon. Minister, what is it that you are doing to help pupils who are in private schools, not necessarily because they can afford but because public schools are not enough to cater for the generality of pupils across the country? We have fewer schools to manage students at public level. What is it that we are doing to help the pupils who are in private schools simply because we do not have enough public schools to manage them?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Speaking as a former teacher and headmaster, going to private schools is a matter of choice. Secondly, for anyone to say students are forced to go to private schools - we need evidence of that nature so that the Minister can answer that matter accordingly. Without that evidence, I am sorry we cannot perceive it.
HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. While we acknowledge a good number of children that have been given an opportunity to benefit from BEAM, may the Hon. Minister inform us how far they have gone in terms of paying fees for those children in our schools? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question requires a written notice. Hon. Member. When the Chair is speaking, you take your seat. Can you sit down? The Hon. Minister cannot give statistics from his head here. You will need a written question so that he can research and come back to you accordingly. Write that question and the Hon. Minister will do his research.
*HON. NYABANI:Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. This year, people did not get adequate yields in several provinces and people are starving. May I know the Government’s plan to distribute food with immediate effect to avoid starvation? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Nyabani for that very pertinent question. Hon. Speaker, we are in the process of compiling the data that we need in order to fashion an appropriate intervention for food deficit mitigation throughout the country. We have just received the ZIMVAC report for the rural areas and we are using that information on vulnerability, including even temporary food insecurity to come up with a programme for food deficit mitigation. I am sure that within the next two weeks or so, we will be able to come up with these figures and approach the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement so that we can have the grain that we need in order to make those interventions. It is a matter that we are really seized with right now because we know the desperate situation that some communities are in at the moment. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. BITI: I seek clarification from the Hon. Minister. Hon. Speaker Sir, I am shocked that we have a terrible situation in that the GMB has in fact run out of grain. The reason why I am shocked Hon. Speaker is that the 2021/22 agricultural season grew by 36% and was the basis of the growth rate of 7% claim by Hon. Minister Prof. Ncube who is sitting over there. The Government itself has been claiming that it has two million tonnes delivered. If we have two million tonnes, I seek clarification to where that maize disappeared to. They were claiming a bumper harvest yet there is no more food. Where has the food gone or it was never delivered?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Hon. Speaker, my intervention did not insinuate in any way that we did not have food. What I referred to was a situation where we are compiling data on who should get food and the food will be provided by GMB. So, the issue is not whether GMB has food or not. The question was when do we provide the drought relief. Indeed, I can say with certainty that we have food in our strategic grain reserve – [HON. BITI: So why are we importing?] - We are not importing Hon. Biti.
Hon. Biti having stood to ask a supplementary question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, you cannot ask two supplementary questions. With all due respect, you cannot ask two questions. Hon. Minister of Finance, I think there was confusion in terms of the relay of messages. We have read you here as having tendered an apology and I was surprised that you are here. So, the Clerks-at-the-Table should correct that. Thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works. What is Government policy regarding recruitment of employees by local authorities, especially those who do the general work?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I thank Hon. Chinyanganya for that question. Recruitment of workers under the local authorities, first they have to declare that there is a vacancy and they advertise in the newspapers. There are three categories. The first one is for the CEOs who we hire after interviews from the local authorities. We have the level of the Town Clerks, the management and the general workers whom you specified. They advertise in the newspapers and they specify the requirements that are needed.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Deputy Minister for your response. The information that I have gathered Mr. Speaker Sir, is that with the casual labourers, the local authorities have to submit the type of vacancies that are there at the Ministry and the Ministry approves. My supplementary question is, what is the Ministry doing to make sure that the requests that are made by the local authorities are expedited? As we speak, they are facing a lot of challenges in as far as undertaking their work is concerned because they are waiting for responses from the Ministry and the Ministry is not forthcoming. I will give an example Mr. Speaker Sir. Kadoma City Council submitted their request during the beginning of the year and approvals have not been given and a lot of work needs to be done, especially in the area of sewer reticulation. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and I thank you very much Hon. Chinyanganya for the follow up question. When they submit the request to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, we have to look into their budget to see if they can afford to hire general laborers and the current labour on the ground; is it not adequate to really undertake the required jobs. Normally in my Ministry, we do not sit on requests. Today I approved one for Gweru. You can ask the staff at Kadoma to give me a call or come to my office to check if we are really sitting on Kadoma City Council request. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I Chair the Public Accounts Committee on Local Government. There is some information coming in; I want to know from the Minister how they deal with the general Council workers who are paying the management as far as the information that is coming from the Harare City Council? They are paying as much as US$500 to keep their jobs. How is the Ministry treating such issues where casual workers go to an extent of paying these huge amounts to keep their jobs, does it not smell a rat?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Nduna. That is a hypothetical question which stinks of corruption and if that is the case, that matter should be reported to the police – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] – Unless if the Hon. Minister has information to assist...
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and I thank Hon. Nduna for the follow up question. As the Hon. Speaker has reiterated that it is corruption but we have picked up the issue of Harare City Council. I think you are raising the issue whereby they recruited the Municipal Police and there were some complaints that were lodged by the public. What we did is that there is an audit team that has been brought to make sure that they look at all those issues that were raised by the public. So, very soon you are going to get a report and if there were indeed any corrupt deals that were done, this will be unearthed. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. The Government has launched the National Development Strategy 1 and the intention was to uplift the economy and promote developmental issues. This has proved that the economy is actually doing the opposite. Civil servants are not getting enough salaries; in fact, they are only managing to buy...
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question Hon. Member?
HON. CHIKWINYA: The question is that in view of the dwindling levels of the quality of life where poverty is on the increase, what is the new strategy under which the Minister may be able to announce to Parliament which can give confidence to the citizens that the Government is able to provide solutions with regards to the current economic challenges which we are facing?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon. Member for that question. The implementation of the NDS1 strategy is going well; they are 14 pillars, if I can remind Hon. Members of this august House. There are 14 pillars which we are following religiously. We have developed a results based framework with specific targets, we have crowded members of the development community to work with our Government - [HON. HWENDE AND HON. BITI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende and Hon. Biti, if you do not agree with what the Hon. Minister is saying, you wait to ask supplementary questions. Hon. Hwende, that is unparliamentary language, withdraw that, including Hon. Biti – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – you do understand that you said anonyepa.
HON. BITI: I withdraw Mr. Speaker kuti anonyeba.
HON. HWENDE: I withdraw.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, just listen and then make a supplementary question. Hon. Minister please proceed.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. BITI: Haunyepe, you are not a liar.] – as I was about to explain I will carry on. The implementation of the NDS1 strategies is going well. I will be very happy to share the results for the first year of implementation 2021 which was presented to Cabinet and it was our intention to have perhaps a public event to discuss the 2021 results from that implementation process. We have 14 pillars and on every pillar, we have made great strides. Let me give you some examples, if we say with the infrastructure and public utilities pillars, the results are there for own to see. The roads, dams, emergency road rehabilitation programme, even in urban areas where Government has to innovate by invoking certain laws to make sure that they will intervene and deal with those roads which the city councils have failed to manage and develop; that is the first one.
I must hasten to say that we have used Government resources to do this, which really means taxes from our citizens; we have not been having any loans from outside expect for loans here and there but it is largely tax payers’ money. Look at Muchekeranwa Dam, Marowa/Nyathi Dam, Vungu Dam in Midlands have started. Zimunya Dam in Nkayi has started, Tuli Manyange Dam in Matabeleland South has also started. Silver Stream is also being sorted out and Kunzvi Dam is also being looked into.
Let us look at Mbudzi Interchange; it is going to be a world class piece of infrastructure and all of that is from the implementation of the National Development Strategy 1, which is the first pillar - Infrastructure. The second pillar is Agriculture; in the first year of implementation of NDS 1, agriculture did well. We had the highest level of grain output which we have not had in 40 years.
This year, if we fine-tune 1 or 2 things, the winter wheat programme is going to be the best way you have ever heard probably in 15 years. So the NDS implementation is going very well indeed.
Let me move on to the macro-economy; our use of a dual currency has worked very well with industry in the last two years. We have managed to deploy $3, 2 billion for use by our manufacturing sector. We have seen capacity utilization exceed 60% level, the highest levels in many years which even dominate some of the years that we saw under the unity government. So the implementation of the NDS 1 currently is going very well.
HON. HWENDE: On a point of order! The Hon. Minister is not answering the question.
THE HON. SPEAEKR: Order, order! Do not take the position of the Chair. It is only the Chair who can say that. Allow the Hon. Minister to finish and then ask supplementary questions – [HON. CHIBAYA: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Chibaya, do not tempt me to send you outside again.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: On the macro economy, we have seen an effective use of both our currencies, the USD and the ZWL as the main currencies but we are accepting other currencies of course. Both of those main currencies are necessary for us to manage the economy. We have deployed 3, 2 billion USD to our manufacturing sector and we have seen the capacity utilisation levels increased to the highest levels we have seen in many years.
Looking into the mining sector, we have a pillar, since I was asked whether the NDS1 started; there is a pillar on natural resources management. Again, we have seen a robust performance within the mining sector in terms of new investments and we have also been very pleased to see robust resilient prices in the international market. So, our earnings for the mining sector remain strong especially in the PGM sector and the gold sector.
We have not been so lucky when it comes to managing some of the international forces, the spill overs from the geo-political situation resulting in inflation, high fuel crisis which we have some control but not full control but we have done our best as Government to manage the upward increase in fuel prices. So, we have done a lot.
Now, I will address the issue of civil servants, I heard mention of civil servants in the question. We remain seized with the matter; we are always responsive to civil servants needs. This year alone we managed to retain the 75 USD per person for the COVID-19 risk allowance then we added a 100 USD in addition to that in April. Now, we are seized with yet another review of salaries and we are listening carefully to the requests of civil servants, we are on to it and again in the next few weeks we will deal that. We will not only cover civil servants, we also cover Members of this House, and everyone is included. We will make sure that we improve the income levels for everyone so they can afford some of these prices that we have seen in the market which has been hiked by some unscrupulous individuals. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I think the Minister did not understand my question. I did not ask about NDS 1, I referred to it and I pointed out all the shortcomings such as civil servants meager salaries. There are no medicines in hospitals and there are a lot of problems.
The Hon. Minister is talking about pillars but the pillars he is talking about do not refer or translate to people’s earnings, which issue is supposed to be addressed. So, I am saying NDS 1 has failed, therefore, what are we going to do?
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Member is contradicting himself. One moment he wants to stress one area where there is a problem, next point he will say the NDS 1 has failed. So, it is either you stick to one point and not delve into the whole issue of the NDS.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In the rural areas where we come from, the civil servants are earning money that can only afford a dozen of bread. There are no medicines in the hospitals, people are suffering. What is the Government doing to ensure that they alleviate the suffering that people are going through?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: First of all, the Hon. Member was very clear about what strategies the Government has in dealing with poverty. That one is a social protection question and Government has a robust programme for dealing with social protection programmes. It starts with the issue of providing grain to those who are vulnerable. We have a clear programme and this was articulated clearly by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
We also have cash transfer programmes that we have been running for years. We also have programmes for supporting the elderly, the disabled and so forth. By the way, I must also remind this august House that the Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme is also a social protection programme that protects the vulnerable. We give inputs, fertilizers, seed and we support them. The programme has been very successful; it is supporting about two million households in our rural city.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Murai, you will get your chance to ask your supplementary question, I can see you are burning but wait until the Hon. Minister finishes.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. That was the first question I was dealing with because there were two questions. The second one is on strategies for increasing salaries. These are very clear. We have pursued largely a two pronged strategy for salaries only, the monetary benefits. We have a ZWL component and we have a USD component. We introduced the USD component in order to manage the inflationary pressures that civil servants are facing. The first thing we did was to introduce the USD75 amount as part of the COVID-19 risk allowance measures and then we added USD100 per person. I suspect the Hon. Member who asked the question is a beneficiary of both the USD75 and USD100, which is a strategy that we have implemented.
As I speak, we are seized with discussions with the leaders of the civil service in terms of the union to agree on a new package. We are working hard on it and we should be able to conclude in the next few weeks and Hon. Members of this august will also be beneficiaries of those discussions. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. CHIKWINYA: In my supplementary question, I was very clear Madam Chair and I said Government departments, across all departments are pegging their fees in USD and allowing payment of RTGs at the prevailing rate. Why does the Minister not allow pegging of salaries for civil servants in USD and pay at prevailing RTGs rate? He did not answer that question. Thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Madam Speaker Ma’am, that is a proposal that I now remember he has just put on the table. He has proposed that we should peg salaries of civil servants in USD. We are not ready to do that. Our accounting currency is ZWL. We peg the budget in this House in ZWL. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is from a practical point of view where inflation is real. The exchange rate has gone up and the question is disposable income. How can the Minister guarantee that with the prices going up and inflation, the money that the civil servants and all of us are being paid here will be able to have value when there is no increase in salaries? I am saying things are going up but workers are not paid enough according to the percentage of the prices that are going up. How can people survive with that little when things are going up? We should feel for our people and we should not walk out of this House as if all things are rosy. What is the Minister doing to factor in the percentage of inflation on the salaries that are paid to the workers so that their money has value? It is not about the ZWL because we need it but the salaries should catch up with the hike in prices. Thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: First of all, I would like to thank the Hon. Member Mliswa for mentioning that he likes the ZWL. We like that and what we are doing to make sure that we can catch up with inflation is that we are having discussions on how to improve salaries. We are taking into account the current inflationary levels and the hike in prices in our shops. I can assure the Hon. Member that in reviewing salaries, we are taking into account the levels of inflation and the hike in prices. Also, what we have done as a Government is to allow private players and citizens to bring in basic commodities duty free. This is designed to make sure that we put down pressure on price hikes. We also introduce further competition into the market and we have seen some monopolies trying to take advantage of the situation. We want to make sure that they are not successful in doing that. So both the duty free strategy in terms of importation of basic materials and commodities and the increase in salaries and what we are working on will go a long way in improving the purchasing power of salaries for our civil servants. I thank you.
(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister. We have seen so many tricks that you have tried to employ to resuscitate the economy but it is not working. Why can you not dollarize once and for all? You are saying that you have given people leeway to go outside the country and get goods – how are they going to get those goods when they are paid in RTGs? Thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Hon. Mokone for your question. She basically said - why do we not US dollarize? That is a very bad idea to only accept USD in our country. At the moment, you have choice. We have dual currency in the main and that is wonderful. If you decide you want to accept USD only, obtain the USD. It is up to you and you have a choice to do that. That does not exist in other countries but we also want to make sure that our own ZWL is circulating and it is our accounting currency.
Let me further explain what will happen under US dollarization which is what happened during the Unity Government. What happened is that there was deflation and deflation means that we had negative growth and that was totally undesirable. We also had an increase in bad debts and that is why we ended up creating ZAMCO to clean up the problem that was created by the USD. The competitiveness of our industry was basically shut down. We just became a nation of importers and we de-industrialised and that destroyed our industry which has only been resuscitated by the introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar during the Second Republic.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, do you not think that it was ironic that during the USD regime, we had no foreign currency. We had no reserves. We could not even pay our foreign debts. We only began paying our foreign debts after introducing the Zimbabwe dollar. It has given us the leeway to do what we do. What we did during the Unity Government, we could not fix our roads. We borrowed money from South Africa to do the Plumtree-Harare-Mutare Road. This time around, we are not borrowing, we are using our own resources and that capability has been afforded by the introduction of our own domestic currency. If you introduce the USD only, tomorrow you will wipe out the banking sector completely because you have to convert all those Zim dollar balances into USD. You will wipe out the bank balances of companies. Is that what you want? You will create a serious situation if you adopt the USD in this country. It is a very bad idea. No Minister of Finance should want that because it means you are walking on one macroeconomic tool when the toolbox is incomplete. You only have fiscal policy but no monetary policy. So, it is a bad idea. I thank you.
(v)+HON. M. DUBE: What plans does the Ministry of Transport have to mitigate road accidents caused by heavy trucks that travel at night?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank the Hon. Member who posed that important question where he wanted to find out what Government’s policy is in terms of preventing accidents that we see on the roads mainly being caused by huge vehicles that flash other motorists, especially considering the time that they travel.
I would like to thank the Hon. Member for bringing that important question. Indeed, it is Government’s concern for all motorists, not only big haulage trucks but even small vehicles, they must not flash at other motorists. They should dip their headlights in accordance with the good safety practice on the roads. Those big vehicles, because they are higher, they cause a lot of accidents because they do not dip their lights. We will keep on educating motorists.
As for heavy haulage vehicles that carry dangerous substances, they should not travel after 6 pm. I call upon the police to ensure that these vehicles do not travel on the roads at night. I would like to emphasise that indeed that is a very important question. Let us all respect safety guidelines as we travel on the roads at night to dip our lights and not flash other motorists.
HON. NDUNA: I am alive to the fact that the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe is now getting about US$10m to US$20 million annually according to Statutory Instrument 45 of 2005. To what extent is this money being used to alleviate the plight of the innocent unsuspecting citizens of Zimbabwe in terms of being involved in these catastrophic accidents that are leading to five deaths per day due to road traffic accidents in Zimbabwe at night caused by these heavy duty vehicles? To what extent is the TSCZ involved in using that copious amount of money to alleviate the plight of the citizens of Zimbabwe?
HON. MHONA: Let me hasten to thank Hon. Nduna for that very pertinent question. Just to correct my learned friend and colleague that they are not getting the money that he has stated in hard currency. Like any other organisation, it is going through Zim dollars and above all, it is a substantial amount that he has indicated.
To address the question by Hon. Nduna, it is true Madam Speaker that Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe does superintend over the issues of safety on our roads. If you can relate to the issues that have been coming through the media that they have raised the awareness where we are doing campaigns so that we inform the people of Zimbabwe on the dangers and safety measures that we must uphold when we are using our roads. I am happy to say this is an ongoing process and I have directed TSCZ to also rope in those villagers along the highways so that we train those villagers so that they can also assist during…..
Visitors in the Speaker’s Gallery having walked out of the gallery.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Visitors in the Speaker’s Gallery, you do not just walk out like that, you need to bow to the Speaker, and then you leave. That is the culture of Parliament in case you did not know. So, even if you are going to the gents, you do that. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I was saying in terms of awareness, it is true that Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe must move with speed in making sure that we raise awareness to bring about the safety to the citizens. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Allow me to refer you to the original question. It spoke about the extra lights fittings, fitted on the ordinary vehicles or the heavy duty vehicles. The question was why the Government is not implementing the law because these extra fitted lights are illegal. Why is the Government allowing these vehicles to move freely passing through all roadblocks and VID checks yet these extra fitted lights are the ones that are largely causing accidents?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to thank Hon. Chikwinya. Apparently, I have got Ndebele blood so I did understand part of that. My apologies for not covering adequately the other part. The point that the Hon. Member raised is very correct, we have got a Statutory Instrument in place that prohibits motorists from putting additional lights. We have actually mandated together with the stakeholders, that is ZRP and also VID to make sure that those who put extra lights if they do not comply, will be fined heavily. I am happy to say even as you drive Hon. Members, let us make sure that we partake in the exercise of bringing sanity back into our roads. Those who are actually using those lights must be punished. I want to assure the House that whenever you come across such motorists who are very errant in terms of their conduct, let us also help even the police force so that they enforce effectively to bring sanity back to our roads. Thank you.
(v)HON. NYONI: My question is on reduction of these vehicles on the roads, what measures have you put in place to improve the transport system?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I also want to thank Hon. Nyoni for that question. I thought maybe he wanted to say bulk from road to rail. I do concur that we also need to take off the load from our roads, if you can actually check that the state of our roads is in terms of managing and maintaining our roads. It is ideal so that the load being carried through our roads can be moved to rail. I am happy to also update the august House that we have major milestones in terms of rehabilitating our roads and they will be seeing the procurement of locomotives and also wagons before the end of this year so that we reduce the burden of transporting our loads by road but we will now be using the railway line. I thank you.
HON. WATSON: Thank you for giving me opportunity to ask a question. My question goes to the Ministry of Finance. He has just spoken of successes and failures of the fiscal policies. Why is it that key ministries like the Ministry of Health had 14% of their operational budget to date? We heard about poverty levels, many Zimbabweans rely on public health institutions and operational budget means that even for the doctors and nurses - there is nothing they can do.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Watson for that very important question. I think she should have directed the question to the Ministry of Health who are basically rolling out programmes and often request budget from the Ministry of Finance but I will still proceed to answer. I believe that the Ministry of Health has really worked hard and has scored many successes in managing our health sector, first of all in the way the whole COVID situation has been managed by triggering and instituting lockdowns timeously. Secondly, the whole vaccine acquisition programme that we had with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance, working together and the entire vaccination programme itself has also gone down well.
Madam Speaker, right now we have enacted a programme on the COVID-19 vaccination and again that is doing very well. So basically, this Ministry has really worked well if you look at what they are doing when it comes to rolling out new hospital facilities. Also, the timeous disbursement for the infrastructure that was burnt down in Mpilo Hospital is commendable. I went there to check over the weekend, the buildings that were burnt down have all been rehabilitated. What is remaining is an old building that was done I think in 1992 and I am just mentioning one hospital.
We have seen progress everywhere; just the other week, we went to a new health facility in Harare South for which we have contracted in partnership with a UK company called MMS. I am just highlighting certain things that the Ministry has been doing. We are using the normal budget for that and disbursing that budget timeously. We have no issues of budget being held back; that is being disbursed timeously. We continue to support the Ministry and should they want more budget allocation, we are happy to extend that budget. They have enough resources within what Parliament approved. I do not understand why there will be that problem when in fact they have so much money to spend but they have done a good job in doing what they have done so far. Thank you.
HON. WATSON: My question has nothing to do with the Ministry of Health per se but it has to do with the Ministry of Finance disbursements. Why is it that you have only disbursed 14% of operational budget which buys drugs, dialysis kits and those requirements for medical facilities? What is the point of opening a new medical facility if it will only have bandages in it?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: It is very important to open new medical facilities unlike what the Hon. Member is suggesting. We want to open additional facilities and make sure that they are properly equipped with the right level of personnel. The Ministry of Finance does not force ministries to take money from them. The Ministries request money. There is a process for disbursement and Ministry of Health has followed that process and the Ministry of Finance has responded accordingly on those draw-downs. I thank you.
(v)HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The point here Hon. Minister is that the Ministry of Health has only received 14% of the budget currently. So they received $19 million, meaning that the funds are being eaten away by inflation. So, our concern as a Committee is that the Ministry of Health is not getting the funding timeously. Why is that so Hon. Minister?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Ministry of Health is receiving its funding timeously and we will continue to do so. As Ministry of Finance, we will always respond to whatever request any Ministry presses upon us and we respond timeously. Unless of course we have cash flow challenges, which happens from time to time but I can assure you that we are responding timeously to that very important Ministry. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker. I need a point of clarity from the Minister before I ask my supplementary question. He can answer them together. My point of clarity is, the Minister is saying he is distributing the money timeously. That now means the Ministry of Health is not asking for the money. Can the Minister confirm that the Ministry of Health has received all the money that they have asked for and they are the ones that are causing the delay so that only 14% of the budget has been disbursed? That is my point of clarity.
However, given that the exchange rate, for example when we did the budget, the parallel rate was ZW$200 and the Government rate was ZW$85. It is now three times that. If you have only distributed the original budget of 14%, the things are costing three times more, it means that your 14% is divided by three. In other words, you have distributed nothing to the Ministry of Health. Can the Minister confirm that if the Ministry of Health is getting everything they require, then we should be now at 50% of the budget issued? I thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I can confirm that the Ministry of Health has received all the resources that it has asked from Treasury timeously. So far we see very good performance from that Ministry. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Minister, we have seen the Chinese totally causing havoc; environmental degradation. When you go to Shurugwi, for example Boterekwa; in my Constituency, the mountains; the roads they have done that. We have laws which are there to ensure that, that does not happen. The Chinese too must respect the laws of this country. Is it failure by your Ministry to enforce the law to allow the Chinese to destroy the environment of this country with impunity? What is your Ministry doing to ensure that the environment is protected using the laws, especially the Chinese who have ignored that there are laws in this country?
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I want to acknowledge that the question raised by the Hon. Member is very pertinent and also to acknowledge that the issue of environmental degradation is a major cause of concern, particularly when it comes to illegal mining. As Government, we have come up with a number of initiatives. First, to promote the formalisation of mining, working mainly with the Ministry of Mines where we have come up with concessionary fees for certification of small to medium scale miners.
I want to clarify that this challenge is not specific to a particular race but this is a challenge we are facing nationally and we have to address it as such. We have also come up with what we call an orderly mining initiative, working again with the Ministry of Mines where no one is allowed to mine unless they submitted a site of works plan to the Ministry of Mines and they have an EIA certificate from the Ministry of Environment through EMA. The major challenge we are facing is that of illegal mining; people who will go into mining without obtaining these critical documents, which then form environmentally sustainable mining activities. Just to pick on the example that the Hon. Member has raised, three mining operations were stopped just last week in Boterekwa, where all of them were found to be operating without EIA certificates. Those illegal processes had already started and we will make sure that the law takes it course. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary question to the Minister is - why are your officials not pursuing every mine on your operation with EMA, every place where there is mining, to ask for the EMA certificate? If it is not there, they close, why should they be invited? What are they doing in those offices where they have got cars, Land Cruisers? May we see an operation vhara mine kana usina EMA. Then we will know that the environment is being protected. I know Minister you are very involved on the ground. You have come to Norton before and there has been action but we cannot rely on the Ministers to come all the time. Your officers on the ground, within the areas – EMA is there as we speak at district level and at provincial level, why is there not a concerted effort to hold joint operations with the Ministry of Mines? It could be better so that these things happen.
Finally my question, makaita macell ku Matabeleland South, kuri kufamba sei? Vanhu variko here kumacell? - [Laughther.] –
HON. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very important question. We try our best to deploy our officers on the ground. It could be an issue of constrained resources. The incident that I mentioned was not by invitation. It was one of the routine patrols that we conduct as the Ministry through EMA.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, the issue of illegal mining is also quite a challenge. I would want to remind the Hon. Member that not so long back, the Ministry of Home Affairs, through Police, launched Operation “Chikorokoza Chapera.” We saw that a number of people who are involved in illegal mining are very mobile. They will not be in one station for more than a week in search of gold and yet all this results in massive land degradation. We have offices in every district, we have equipped our officers with all terrain vehicles – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chibaya and Hon. Nyabani, order!
HON. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I was saying we have equipped our officials in all our provinces. Just last week, I was handing over 16 vehicles to EMA, again for purposes of making sure that they are able to move around and are able to identify areas where there is this massive land degradation. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. MATEWU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. Is the Minister admitting that his Ministry has failed to reign in these illegal miners because this has been going on for a very long time? When does the Minister expect to have fully reigned in all these illegal miners who are causing miscalculated degradation? Thank you.
HON. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I thank the Hon. Member for the question. I just want to highlight that the issue of illegal mining is breaking of the law. It is primarily the duty of law enforcement agency to reign in on any acts of illegality that are taking place. Surely, EMA’s mandate is not that of arresting people who are breaking the law. Yes, if it comes to environmental laws, we are monitoring environmental compliance and we are working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs to make sure that those who are violating environmental laws are brought to book, especially illegal miners. This is why the police on a number of occasions embarked on operations to arrest those who are violating the law. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. HAMAUSWA: I have a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Hamauswa?
HON. HAMAUSWA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, you will remember last week I raised an issue on the tragedy that happened in Warren Park where we have lost precious lives due to the mining that is happening. I requested a Ministerial Statement. I think it was going to be okay because the Ministerial Statement that I asked was bordering on the failure of EMA to enforce the regulations with regard to the protection of the environment and also responsible extraction of mineral resources. Since the Minister is here, may I also reiterate that we still need maybe a Ministerial Statement that covers areas where people are dying and also people are losing their lives, specifically for Warren Park where there are mining activities that are happening. We have buried two young boys in Warren Park as a result of mining that is happening. EMA has not issued a statement. We have not heard even a statement from Government or Council to say to the people of Warren Park we are sorry about the loss of lives and these are the steps that we are going to take. We would want to know from the Minister what is actually happening in Warren Park so that we will not continue to lose precious lives. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Hamauswa. I am sure the Hon. Minister has taken note of that.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. It is established there are miners who are plundering the roads in the places that they are mining their minerals. Section 13 (4) of the Constitution says the minerals should be enabled to create a conducive environment or to give back in the areas that those minerals are being extracted. Would it please the Minister to stop the mining activities of those miners who are making our roads dilapidated, deplorable and disused without repairing the same?
HON. M. NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. As Government, we have no tolerance whatsoever for any illegal mining activity that takes place. That is why I have said that whenever we find that there has been any illegal activity taking place, we move in and make sure the law will take its course. If there are specific areas like the Hon. Member has highlighted, we are happy to go there, even today and make sure that the law takes its course. Thank you.
(v)HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for affording me this opportunity. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Whilst we appreciate the introduction of fixed paid water meters in several of our urban areas, my question to the Minister is, is he aware that whilst we were told that these meters were free of charge, people are being levied a fee of $10.000 rental for these meters every month. I thank you Madam Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, this is a very specific question that relates to charges that are being levied on water meters, I suggest that he puts the question in writing so that the relevant Hon. Minister can adequately respond. It is not policy at all, I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are right, Hon. Ndiweni, please may you put your question in writing so that the Minister can do some investigations and come with the response.
*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. What is government policy regarding road accidents that occur at road intersections, especially on highways? This is a cause of concern because a lot of lives are being lost this way.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank Hon. P. Zhou for her question. It is the duty of us the parliamentarians to see that our roads have been rehabilitated to avoid road carnages. Regarding our trunk roads, you will find that where there are road traffic signs like robots that it will help cars to give way to each other. We must alert the Ministry of such dangerous roads so that this can be attended to as it is the duty of all of us to report to the Ministry of such roads. We work with council to put robots so that accidents are minimized.
It is also a major concern that there are a lot of people who drive carelessly without even taking due care when they proceed to enter such junctions. It is very important to look and observe the laws of the roads when approaching round-abouts and cross roads. We will however continue to educate people on road signs and taking caution when driving. I thank you.
HON. P. ZHOU: I know of certain roads that have become a problem like in my constituency where I come from, the highway Kwekwe/Bulawayo when we are approaching Kwekwe where the road turns to Zhombe, that is a blind spot - a lot of lives have been lost there. There is not even a road sign or anything; cars just proceed without giving each other way. What is Government’s policy on such highways?
*HON. MHONA: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question. I will meet the Hon. Member outside of this House and direct her to go and meet our Ministry officials at this road from Zhombe to Bulawayo. She will meet the officials, the engineers there so that they will agree on the way forward. I know the area and I want to believe that this problem will be solved so that we do not continue to lose precious lives. I thank you.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – [HON. CHINYANGANYA: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Members order, order Hon. Chinyanganya.
HON. CHIBAYA: My question is that Hon. Minister, pensioners are struggling, what they are getting is not sufficient for them to go to the bank and collect their money. What is your Ministry doing to address the plight of pensioners?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you very much Madam Speaker. As far as Government pensioners are concerned, the Hon. Member would be informed that …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please be connected.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker, and let me thank Hon. Chibaya for that important question regarding the welfare of pensioners. As far as Government pensioners are concerned, the Hon. Member would know that each time the salaries of civil servants are reviewed their pensions are also reviewed depending on the grade at which they retired from the civil service. So every time there is an increment in the civil service, there will be also an increment in the pensions of Government pensioners.
As far as the National Social Security Authority is concerned, there has been a steady increase in the amounts that are paid to pensioners to where we have gotten to a minimum being paid of about 60 USD per month; that one is our social protection element of the pensions, so the minimum has increased over the last year from about 12 USD equivalents to about 60 USD.
Last year just like we are doing this year, they have also been bonuses paid in order to cushion those pensioners. I am sure that bonus is going to be paid this month; in addition there are also some supplementary grocery allowances that are being paid just in order to cushion the pensioners. So, these are some of the things we are doing.
There are other private pensioners, those I do not have jurisdiction over but for Government pensioners as well as for the social security aspect paid out by NSSA, this is what we have been doing. I thank you.
HON. BITI: My esteemed question to my good friend the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare is that given the fact that salaries are in ZWL which is depreciating by the day because of inflation and the fall in the exchange rate, why does the Government not consider moving away from the pay as you go way of calculating pension to a defined benefit scheme which will then protect pensioners because they will be paid from a stand-alone fund? Why not make the radical shift to the defined benefit scheme? Secondly, why is the Government not implementing the recommendation of the Justice Smith Commission of Inquiry in the insurance and pension sector of 2017, in particular the recommendation around compensating the USD 5, 68 billion worth of pensions that were lost up until 2008 and the conversion that took place in March of 2009. I thank you.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Biti again for that very important supplementary question. Indeed, he is right regarding the movement to defined benefit scheme. This is exactly what Government has done or is in the process of doing because we have now set up the Public Sector Pension Fund which is a defined benefit pension scheme.
The legislation for that is already being crafted and will be coming to this august House but in the mean time, a seed amount has been given by Treasury. This money is already being invested in support of this new scheme. It is currently managed under the Public Service Commission. With regards to his question regarding the implementation of the Justice Smith Recommendations on the compensation, that matter is being finalised by Government and an announcement will be made very soon.
+HON. E. NYATHI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What are the measures put in place by the Government for school children since this year there is drought? I thank you
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would really appreciate if this question could be redirected to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I do not have the details of the school feeding programme that is run by that Ministry. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. What I know is that there is a policy for school feeding but I do not know administratively where that issue is at the moment. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nyathi, your question must be directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
+HON. E. NYATHI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am redirecting the question to the Hon. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for the question. The programme for feeding school children is in place. However, it is not yet operational since we procured the foodstuffs at the beginning of the year and they are yet to be delivered to the various schools countrywide. This is due to the issue that there was a change in suppliers and the other suppliers who were engaged last year failed to provide the food this year and we tendered again this programme so that we can have new suppliers. The other suppliers have started distributing to local and rural areas. We are only covering children at primary schools as of now. We have not yet supplied at secondary schools. Thank you.
Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
Responses to question 12, 13 and 14 having been submitted.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is we must change the standing rules and come up with punitive measure to those who come with questions and they are not here. I think there must be some measure taken so that they can probably not have an allowance. It is a waste of time for Ministers to prepare and the person is not here. Why do we allow them to get away with murder? I think the Standing Orders must change to come up with punitive measures of dealing with such people.
HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. I think you have raised a valid point. Hon. Members, when you ask questions you must be here or you must be on virtual to hear the response from the Hon. Ministers.
NUMBER OF ROADS REHABILITATED UNDER THE EMERGENCY ROAD REHABILITATION PROGRAMME IN CHIWUNDURA
- HON. CHIMINA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to appraise the House on the number of roads that were identified and rehabilitated under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme in Chiwundura and the criteria used to identify such roads.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the roads were identified through submissions from Vungu Rural District Council, a key partner who is well versed with vital information regarding road networks in that area. Vungu RDC identified ten (10 roads in Chiwundura namely; Steingot 12km, St. Patricks 12km, Gwenhoro 19km, Flamingo 6km, Foxton 24km, Zaloba 17km, Kabanga 30km, Plasworth 13km, Highlands 14km and Connemara 30km.
Of these roads, Highlands, Kabanga and Gwenhoro were rehabilitated in 2021. Currently, we are rehabilitating Steingot Road which we have done 3.5km up to date. For the remaining 6 roads, we will rehabilitate them as soon as we get funding from Treasury.
MEASURES TO ENSURE COMPLETION OF UPGRADING TWO ROUNDABOUTS ALONG HARARE-BULAWAYO ROAD
- HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House the following:
- The measures being put in place to ensure the completion of upgrading the two roundabouts along the Harare –Bulawayo Road, in Harare.
- The measures being put in place to reduce the daily road carnage at Warren Park D roundabout along Harare-Bulawayo Road.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker and let me also thank Hon. Hamauswa for that very important question. I thought he was going to start by acknowledging after he raised very important interventions pertaining to the accident that we were witnessing along that stretch. There were robots that were put in place but alas, he has not stated that and I also want to thank him for raising further questions regarding the issue of round-about. In order to ensure the completion of the projects, the same contractor working on the neighbouring project on Warren Park traffic circle is tasked to complete the round-about at Kuwadzana. Once the upgrade of the traffic circle is completed and there is better flow of traffic, road accidents will be reduced. Fewer collisions mean less injuries and a lower risk of fatalities. Furthermore, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe continues to conscientise the motoring public to exercise safe driving habits. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is also a key partner in ensuring enforcement of road rules and speed limits, among others.
Madam Speaker, the Ministry is seized with the issue of Kuwadzana and Warren Park traffic circles upgrade to reduce congestion and road carnage. I must agree with the Hon. Member that it has taken long and we are also trying to push, which is also another stumbling block that some of the contractors when they are given these tasks, they might not move with speed as anticipated. As asked by Hon. Hamauswa, one of the measures that have been put in place is addition of two slip lanes on both traffic circles to allow motorists to change roads without entering the traffic circle. This reduces the volume of traffic entering the circle by introducing a left-in and left-out lanes before and after the traffic circle, thus increasing road safety. The comfort and mobility of non-motorised travelers is also a resultant benefit of such a measure. In addition, on Kuwadzana traffic circle, there is also dualisation of the High Glen approach to improve the capacity of the road.
I want to say good news to Hon. Hamauswa, that we will also be rehabilitating the same road from Mbudzi roundabout connecting to Kuwadzana roundabout which is going to be a major milestone and we are going to revamp that road completely so that we offload the traffic that is earmarked to go towards Chirundu so that it does not come through the greater part of Harare but they will now be using Highglen to Kuwadzana roundabout. I want to thank Hon. Hamauswa and to say I will continue monitoring the progress and we hope that the contractor who is currently there and moving at a snail pace will actually expedite the process of the completion of these circles. I thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Before I ask my supplementary question, I would want indeed to appreciate and thank the Minister and his team that they have responded to the request by the people of Warren Park and they did install the robots. I really appreciate when we ask questions and the Ministry responds. It is encouraging even to the people that we represent. I also thank the Minister because we also have two roads which are being constructed as a result of the request from Cold Comfort that I have made here in Parliament. They have requested that these roads be rehabilitated and work is actually in progress.
My question to the Minister is - is it not possible to put speed humps that are similar to those that were put along Mazowe Road at National Defence University and also in Hatcliffe we have seen humps that were put there and even after Whitehouse as you go to Snake Park there are also speed humps that were also put to make sure the motorists reduce their speed and also to put signs because on a daily basis we are recording accidents and some of the accidents are not being reported? This is my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER
SWITCHING OFF OF CELLPHONES.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May I remind Hon. Members to put their cellphones on silent whenever you are in the House.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker and once again thank you Hon Hamauswa to say yes, he has been raising these issues and I am very happy that what we want is to deliver service for the betterment of our people and for the safety of people of Zimbabwe. I do agree with him that if you have identified such and this is a plea to other Hon Members – normally we do not put humps in highways but we put rumble strips that will reduce the speed and I am happy to engage closely with Hon. Hamauswa so that we can visit and make sure that we put rumble strips, especially on the particular areas that have been highlighted. So, I do concur and also to relay the message of your people in Cold Comfort and Warren Park to allay their fears that we will move with speed in implementing the request. I thank you.
(v)HON I. NYONI: My supplementary question is the Harare Bulawayo Road. What are the long term plans to reduce congestion considering that traffic is increasing, particularly in the evenings on this part of the road that he has mentioned?
HON. MHONA: Let me also thank Hon. Nyoni for the follow up question. The idea of having slip lanes is to reduce traffic and it is true that we are witnessing quite long queues along Harare-Bulawayo Road. I am sure if the slip lanes are functional it will lessen the queues that we are talking about in terms of those cars proceeding to Bulawayo; they will just go straight into the circle and those turning to Warren Park will no longer go through the circle. I am sure after the completion of these slip lanes the Hon. Member is going to witness a tremendous improvement in terms of the traffic flow.
However, I agree with him that some of the sections will need interchanges and as we rehabilitate Kuwadzana-Highglen-Mbudzi Roundabout, we would also consider having such interchanges. I thank you.
HON. SARUWAKA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. When we started on Written Questions with Notice, you said questions from number 1 to 10 are deferred. My problem which is not sitting well with me is that I have a question which has been on the Order Paper since last month and it relates to a missing person. I do not understand why a question of such magnitude cannot be answered by the Leader of Government Business because the Minister responsible was favoured with that question last month. For you to defer it to next week, when we are talking of someone who has been missing, I do not see that sitting well with me and my community. I wanted to check with the Leader of Government Business whether he has received any information. If you check on social media, the community is apprehensive and for the question to continuously be deferred, I do not think we are taking the lives of citizens seriously.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We deferred the question because the Minister is not in the House but we are requesting the Chief Whip to remind the Minister to come to the House with a response. Hon Deputy Chief Whip, may you convey the message to the Hon Minister.
(v)HON. C. MOYO: I think the intervention from Hon. Saruwaka was, was the Leader of Government Business not given any information regarding the matter?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are out of order Hon. Moyo!
PLANS IN PLACE TO IMPROVE WATER RETICULATION SYSTENS IN WOODLANDS SUBURB
- HON. CHIMINA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House on the following;
- Plans put in place to improve water reticulation systems in Woodlands Suburb, particularly in Ward 16 of Chiwundura.
- Government policy regarding attachment of private
properties by local authorities to settle debts.
- Criteria used to allocate ZINARA funds for development
of roads, considering that some local authorities are allocated more than urban councils which have more roads to construct and rehabilitate.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Madam Speaker Ma’am, Woodlands is a suburb in Vungu Rural District Council but water is being provided by the Gweru City Council. Due to water supply challenges, the Gweru City Council is in the process of upgrading its pumps to improve water supplies. The plans in place are to improve pumping capacity at Gwenoro Pump Station and this requires approximately USD3 500 000.00.
- Construction of online pump station on the existing waterline from Ivene to Mkoba II as well as extending the line to Woodlands. This requires approximately USD15 000.00.
iii. Construction of 20 mega litres reservoir at Woodlands, the cost is approximately USD750 000.00.
- The Government policy regarding attachment of private properties by local authorities to settle debts.
Madame Speaker Ma’am, according to Local Government Circular Number 3 of 2010, local authorities are not allowed to attach private properties to settle debts. I will read the circular that was written on 24th March, 2010, addressed to all the local authorities – all provincial administrators.
“1. It has been noted that majority of our people habitant in communal and resettlement areas are confronted with challenges in meeting their financial obligations due to councils.
- The current micro-economic dispensation has grossly eroded the disposable income of the generality of the households, making it difficult for them to raise cash to pay development levy or rates, and any other service charges, which may be agreed upon for the sustenance and development of the local authority areas.
- We appreciate that local authorities were not spared by this economic quagmire of the previous years, as alluded to above yet they are expected to provide basic services, some of them of a human rights nature such as health, water and basic sanitary facilities to the same marginalised communities.
- Therefore, the need for active participation and involvement of all stakeholders in terms of financial and material support cannot be over emphasised.
- However, this Ministry has noted with great concern, the engagement of debt collectors to induce payment of levies to local authorities by those who may not be in a position to raise the expected amounts.
- The assigned debt collectors are found confiscating scotch carts, ploughs, wheel burrows, cattle, goats and many of such valuable items, which do not only form the basis of production, but also culturally of emotional essence.
- This trend which has spread across the country, has further impoverished the subsistence farmer who is still reeling from the effects of the economic decline of the recent years.
- This Ministry is therefore, directing all local authorities to desist from contracting debt collectors to recover unpaid levies with immediate effect.
- The practice of engaging debt collectors is prohibited forthwith.
- Please ensure councils comply accordingly.”
This is the circular that we sent out in 2010 on 24th March.
- The criteria used to allocate ZINARA funds for the development of roads, considering that some local authorities are allocated more than urban councils that have more roads to construct and rehabilitate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question. However, you may want to redirect the question to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development who are responsible for the issue raised. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: My point of clarification Hon. Speaker arises from the last statement before the Hon. Minister made reference to Hon. Chimina’s question, where you spoke of a circular that was written in 2010 where the Ministry is directing local authorities not to contract debt collectors.
My point of clarification is, is that a standing circular now? We are seeing that local authorities have contracted debt collectors in our communities. The debt collectors have issued statements of demand where they are going to take legal action with regards to that. In the absence of such legal action, how are local authorities supposed to follow-up on debts as owed by residents?
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, and thank you Honourable for the follow-up question. There has not been any other circular to supersede this one – so, it is still in effect.
We are bound by the Constitution; we have to provide things like water and so forth. You really cannot go out or cut the livelihood of the common person. So, there should be other means for them to be able to collect that rather than engaging debt collectors who are going to charge even more. Let us say that you owe $100.00, they can either end up requesting you to pay more than $500.00 as charges. So we are just encouraging local authorities to engage other means rather than engaging debt collectors who are going to pile more debts on the consumer.
HON. CHIMINA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is on question (a). The Hon. Minister indicated that they have plans in place to improve water reticulation in Woodlands suburb but she did not give us timelines to implement the Ministry’s plans.
I once asked about the Ministry’s plans in constructing roads and the drainage system in Woodlands but the Ministry only gave us the plans and up to now, the situation is still the same. I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Thank you very much Hon. Chimina for that follow-up question. We did the scope of work and we have come down to the amount that is required. As you know, we do not control the pace but it is controlled by the Ministry through Treasury and we have forwarded this request. Our devolution funds fall short of the required amount and we are waiting for Treasury to assist us. Gweru has asked for borrowing powers and we have approved that. We hope that they are going to use that money to address this problem. We cannot put a timeline because it is not my Ministry that controls the pace. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary is on the issue of debt collection. The Minister referred to other means. If a council cannot collect debt, there is no motivation for anyone to pay levies. Therefore, in one memo, you have bankrupted every single council in this country because there is no point in paying your debts if they are never going to be collected. My second question is on the issue of ZINARA. It is unclear to us as Members of Parliament as to which funds are being used to repair roads and which roads are being repaired. For example, I have asked six times now for the Emergency Road Repair Programme list of roads for us to know so we can identify which is being used from ZINARA funds and which is being used from local council income and which is going to be used from devolution funds but it all seems to be cloaked in mystery. Can someone clarify and give us the information? I thank you.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Markham for that follow-up question. On my preamble, before I ended the prescription that was given by my Ministry to local authorities, I specified that the environment that we are talking about is not a normal one. The community is reeling from economic difficulties. That is why we say up until that time they are out of that quagmire, will we give the directive that the local authorities cannot attach using the debt collectors. They should find other means to do that. Had it been a normal economic environment, we could have said yes, and would not have issued this circular. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker Sir, I asked what other means other than debt collectors?
HON. CHOMBO: Other means, they have to be creative as local authorities but we are saying it is engaging debt collectors – you can employ other means as a local authority to try to make sure that you recover some of the debts. We are just saying desist from engaging outside debt collectors. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Minister, there was also a question that he raised in connection with ZINARA.
HON. CHOMBO: I thank you Hon. Speaker. The other question that Hon. Markham raised related to the Ministry of Transport which I said I really could not answer that one - it will have to be forwarded to the relevant Ministry. I thank you.
RESTORATION OF SHUTTLE BUS SERVICES BETWEEN MARKET SQUARE AND SIMON MUZENDA STREET
- HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House when the Government will restore the shuttle bus services between Market Square and Simon Muzenda Street.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Chidziva. My response is that, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) restored the shuttle bus service between Market Square terminus and Simon Muzenda Street terminus on Monday, 13th June, 2022. The services on this and other routes are affected by the number of vehicles or commuter omnibuses which are available to ZUPCO for operations.
ZUPCO has confirmed that it has resumed the service with an initial fleet of four commuter omnibuses. From time to time, the number of units offered for this service will be reviewed to respond to demand. Members may wish to note that this particular service is offered during the off-peak hours - that is between 8 am and 5 pm. During peak periods, the units will be deployed to transport the public on residential routes. I thank you.
PROGRESS MADE REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF EGODINI MALL
- HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House the progress made regarding the construction of Egodini Mall project by the contractor Terracotta Trading P/L (TPPL) which was awarded the tender in 2016, with the projection that the project will be completed in April 2022.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Nyoni. Mr. Speaker Sir, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question. In terms of the contract between the City of Bulawayo (BCC) and Terracotta Trading Private Limited (TPPL) which is the developer, it is BCC’s responsibility to provide the developer with vacant possession prior to commencement of work. After successful negotiations between BCC and various informal trader associations and public transport associations, the site was handed to the developer in March 2018.
As agreed between BCC and the developer, the development will be implemented in a phased approach. Upon site handover, the developer embarked on Phase 1A being the first phase of the development which includes inter alia, 1 100 informal traders stores, 90 bay tax rank, spare parts retail and tax association offices building, public ablutions and security control tower and offices.
The primary focus of Phase 1A is to enable informal traders and public transport operators to return to the site as soon as possible whilst the rest of the development continues. The original topographical layout of the site did not fully lend itself towards adequately accommodating over 1100 informal traders who were already operating on the site. Hence, amongst other site imperatives there is need for the redevelopment project.
The developer was tasked with undertaking spatial planning to ensure that amongst other considerations; more than 1 100 informal traders would be provided with appropriate trading facilities as part of the overall redevelopment scheme. To address this, the developer undertook geotechnical, topographical, environmental, engineering and architectural studies and designs that were completed in June, 2018, culminating in the developer being granted a demolition and bulk earthworks permit from BCC and EIA certificate from the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe (EMA) in June 2018.
During community consultations in 2018, local residents associations requested that employment procurement and contracting opportunities for the project should be made available in a transparent manner. Residents associations requested that the developer should build a contract centre office on site and that any prospective job seekers, contractors and suppliers should register on an electronic data base maintained by the developer at the contract centre office and that the developer should provide employment, supplier and contracting opportunities through the electronic data base.
The contract centre office requested by residents associations was constructed and opened by the Mayor of Bulawayo in October 2018 and to date, it has over 4500 registered job seekers and 155 registered contractors and suppliers.
From the contract centre office database, the developer appointed a reputable civic contractor to undertake bulk earthworks. Work started in January 2019 and was successfully completed in November 2019. The scope of this work package included the following;
56 323 m2 of site area was cleared, 15 unsafe buildings were demolished, 50323m3 of in situ material was cut to stock pile, 44568m3 of in situ material suitable for platform construction was filled from the stock pile, 11 232m3 of in situ material unsuitable for platform construction was cut to waste on request from BCC. Some of this material was used by the developer at the developer’s own costs to fill dangerous pits left by sand poachers in various townships, thereby contributing to community safety and reversing the effects of environmental degradation in communities.
4 182m3 of ex situ materials suitable for platform construction was imported to site from approved borrow pits and 56323m2 of final lays were compacted to required engineer specifications. Similar other projects, the emergency of the global COVID-19 pandemic in the beginning of 2020 and the requisite national lockdown regulations had an adverse impact on the project. Work disruptions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 caused operational challenges resulting in delays in the project’s timetable. Notwithstanding, DCC eventually issued the developer with a building permit in October 2020 which allowed the developer to start construction works on 18 January 2021 after the annual construction industry shut down as per NEC for construction industry circular 009/2020.
However, a national lockdown announced by Government on 3 January 2021which was further extended to 2 March 2021 delayed the planned construction start date to mid March 2021. Additional national lockdowns during the first half of 2021 further contributed to delays in the project timetable. In July 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce approved an application for the appointed civil contractor to work on site within the stipulated 40% operational capacity limitations in terms of revised national lockdown regulations. This approval by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce enabled the developer to limit the impact of further delays on the project time table as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the nature of the project, that is complete development and not a refurbishment the developer made a strategic decision not to use any of the existing underground municipal services infrastructure that it found on site due to its significant age and its limited operational capacity. On restarting work and working within the 40% capacity limitation from July 2021 to September 2021, the developer started by decommissioning all the old services infrastructure and installing new bulk infrastructure services on the site. This critical work package, its scope of works included the following internal systems, fresh water reticulation, sewer reticulation, storm water reticulation, electrical reticulation and fire reticulation.
In March 2022, top structure construction of the taxi rank and related infrastructure started. Final platforms have been completed with stabilised layers curing. Island construction commences in mid June 2022 and will be completed at the beginning of July 2022. Laying of final asphalt road surfaces will be completed in July 2022. Fabrication of all the taxi rank’s structural steel will be completed in June 2022 and the steel structures have been delivered to site awaiting installation. Currently, practical completion of the taxi rank and associated infrastructure is expected at the end of July 2022 with passengers being able to commute as from 1 September 2022 subject to opening of the facility by the relevant authorities.
In March 2022, top structure construction of the 1100 informal trader stores and related infrastructure started. Brick work for all informal trader stores is expected to be completed by the end of July 2022. Fabrication of all the informal trader structure steel work is 80% complete. Currently, practical completion of the informal trader stores section is expected at the end of July 2022 with qualifying informal traders getting beneficial training occupation on 1 September 2022. On completion of Phase 1A, the current hoarding will be relocated to allow the public to access the Phase 1A area while the developer will start construction of the Phase 1B area. Construction of the Phase 1B area is currently expected to start in October 2022 and to be completed in September 2023. The Phase 1B area will include the following; 2500m2 bus terminal building, 1200m2 fast food retail, 2700m2 grocery retail, 700m2 anchor and fuel station. I thank you.
HON. I. NYONI: Mr. Speaker Sir, let me thank the Minister for the detailed response on this very important project that will change the face of Bulawayo. Currently, the informal traders are clogging the city streets particularly 6th Avenue and Lobengula Street resulting in ordinary people finding it difficult to move around. Also, the taxis are causing some congestion in the city centre and Lobengula in particular, which I am sure after completion of this project will see a decongestion of the city centre.
Can the Minister inform this House when the project will be totally completed so that the city centre will go back to its normalcy because why I am asking this question, rumours have been circulating that the contractor has been facing financial problems. That was one of the reasons that had caused the delay in its completion which was scheduled for April 2022. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Hon. Nyoni for that follow-up question. As for the taxis, we are currently in talks with the Municipal police and also the Ministry of Home Affairs and Culture Heritage to make sure that they put order in the behavior of the rampant taxi driver. You also mentioned that the developer has been facing some financial constraints due to non-payment, I agree with you. We have had to divert some of the funds to other emergent needs as COVID. We could not meet some of our payments on time but I think now we are on course financially and we have been in negotiations with the developer. You are going to see some action; of course our completion dates, we still have it as September, 2023 but if it changes, we will advise you in advance.
HON. WATSON: In all the description that the Minister gave, the one thing I did not hear given the population that will be in that area was the number of public toilets because public urination is a huge issue in Bulawayo Central and particularly, the CBD area. Maybe I missed it but how many public toilets will be included in the ultimate construction?
HON. CHOMBO: I will just read my first paragraph which reads “as agreed between BCC and the developer, the development will be implemented in a phased approach. Upon site hand-over, the developer embarked on Phase 1A being the first phase of the development which includes inter-alia 1100 informal traders’ stalls, 90-bay taxi rank, spare parts retail and taxi associations office building and last but not least, public ablutions”. Thank you.
HON. WATSON: But how many?
HON. CHOMBO: I did not specify but I think as we go, we will identify how many we need. Thank you.
RELOCATION OF PEOPLE FROM MAUNGANIDZE AREA
- HON. NYAMUDEZA asked the Minister of Local
Government and Public Works to inform the House the following:
- What the alternative place for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works would be to relocate people from Maunganidze area to pave way for the expansion of a Growth Point in the area.
- Why the Government delayed the implementation of a Growth Point status of the Maunganidze Growth Point by 42 years as evidenced by the fact that it was published in the 1982 Gazette.
- Why the Ministry wants to peg housing stands on this piece of land against the wishes of the local people despite the fact that there is an arable irrigation scheme near the Growth Point which was published in the Gazette for irrigation purposes in 1982.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC
WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Mr. Speaker, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the pertinent question. Maunganidze Growth Point in Chipinge District was gazetted on 25th June, 1982. Critical to note is that the Growth Point is a planned development area earmarked for urban Growth Point expansion under the jurisdiction of the relevant planning authority, Chipinge Rural District Council.
The other portion of the Growth Point is not inhabited and is available for further development. The current lay-out plan took into account people who are already settled in the area in question. Furthermore, a council resolution is in place which approved the regularisation of 100 households affected by the development and they will be allocated stands according to the lay-out plan. The families will be required to pay service fees for the stands.
Government has been implementing the Maunganidze Growth Point status on a phased approach. Currently, there are 400 households in the urbanised settlement where water, sewer is reticulated and the houses are fully electrified.
HON. NYAMUDEZA: This area across the bridge, there is an establishment of a Growth Point which did not disturb the former settlers who were already there. There is a place behind the settled area which is inhabited. My question is - why can we not have the Growth Point moving to that area? The other issue is people who are going to be displaced have drawn water and electricity to their houses, who is going to compensate them? There is quite a big area which is arable near the irrigation scheme. Why are we not turning that area into an irrigation scheme rather than putting stands on that area because that is arable land? This area was gazetted for an irrigation scheme long back in 1982 but now the rural council want to turn it into a housing area.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Nyamudeza for that follow up question. As I indicated that there was a council resolution which is in place and further consultations are acceptable because times change and I think it is one of the issues that I will take up with Chipinge Rural District Council that we come together and try to address this issue.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary to the Hon. Minister which she has to put into consideration with regard to the Maunganidze area is that there was an investment which was done between 1982 to date. Without the knowledge of this programme of the Growth Point status, the knowledge was there but the implementation never happened. People put up buildings which are very expensive. Outside the buildings there was an investment to bring electricity and water to the area using their own monies. All that involved a lot of money and there was no involvement of council in terms of allocation of the stands and set up of the area, Maunganidze. So, when a decision has to be made and when the consultation has to be made, there is need for the Hon. Minister to put into consideration all these issues as well as to engage the local community before any implementation. Thank you.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Member point noted. I thank you.
Time for Questions With Notice having expired
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the time for questions with notice be extended by ten minutes.
HON. MARKHAM: I second.
Motion put an agreed to.
FREE SANITARY WEAR TO LEARNERS IN HIGHFIELD WEST CONSTITUENCY
- HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Government will give free sanitary wear to learners in Highfield West Constituency.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): As Hon. Members might be aware, our approach is based on resource allocation in a constrained environment. Therefore, top of our priority are rural primary and secondary schools where the procurement and distribution is currently underway. As for urban areas, we are initially targeting P3 and S3 schools (peri-urban) then the most disadvantaged high density schools which is where Highfield West Constituency would fall. For schools in the higher income bracket, the policy applies as a guide for schools to mobilise own resources and incorporate this in the school development plans. I thank you.
POLICY REGARDING USE OF PHOTOCOPIED TEXT BOOKS AND OTHER STUDY
- HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House the Government policy regarding the use of photocopied text books and other study pack materials by students.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Our position on this aspect is guided by the laws of the country. In Zimbabwe, through the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Act [Chapter 26:05], any creative work is instantly protected upon creation and this protection extends to cover literary, musical, artistic, audio visuals, sound recordings and broadcasting works.
With the Zimbabwean Act, most works are protected for 50 years from the date of creation. Therefore, learners, teachers and schools are encouraged to abide by the laws of the country. The Copyright Act however, allows anyone to photocopy copyrighted works without securing permission from the copyright owner when the photocopying amounts to a ‘fair use’ of the material. I thank you.
HON. I. NYONI: What is the Ministry doing to ensure schools have adequate textbooks, considering that in some schools, it is quite a challenge and we have had a situation where at one time these photocopied textbooks were confiscated from schoolchildren by law enforcement agents and this looked improper to me?
HON. E. MOYO: In terms of provision of textbooks, schools are normally encouraged to look for resources through levies, partners and so forth. The Ministry at the Apex level works with partners through Global Partnership in Education (GPE) and for the provision of textbooks, Treasury also comes in handy. For example, this year, we have distributed over 4.5 million textbooks and largely these covered heritage studies.
ACCOMMODATION FOR STAFF IN HATCLIFFE AT CHINESE FRIENDSHIP HIGH SCHOOL
- HON. MARKHAM: asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House on the following:
Why the Chinese Friendship High School, after 5 years of completion, there is no accommodation for staff in Hatcliffe?
When will the school be allocated adequate learning materials for practical and science subjects?
When will the Ministry construct Government primary and secondary schools in Hatcliffe?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): The issue of institutional accommodation for teachers is one of our priorities as a Ministry. As Hon. Members might be aware, the Government pledged to construct houses for teachers as part of the incentive packages announced early this year. Inter-ministerial and stakeholder engagements have begun on this with the programme expected to be launched soon. All schools across the country are expected to benefit including the Chinese Friendship High School in Hatcliffe.
Regarding the allocation of adequate learning materials for practical and science subjects, the Ministry is working with partners to ensure all schools have adequate learning materials. We have been working on a programme to distribute science kits to schools and with more funding, we intend to cover all schools, including the Chinese Friendship High School.
On construction of Government primary and secondary schools in Hatcliffe, I would like to assure the Hon. Member that the Ministry is seized with the matter of construction of schools with more than 3000 new schools earmarked countrywide. In this calendar year, we have a budget to construct 35 new schools with work on the first eight set to commence. In Hatcliffe, the Government has taken over Hatcliffe 3 Primary from the local authority with the intention of constructing structures in line with the enrolments. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: I would like to thank the Minister for the response. I just like to highlight for the Minister to follow up and not necessarily answer. The Chinese Friendship High staff accommodation was part of the building project whereby the Chinese who bought the property had housing on the property which, for some reason is no longer part of the property any more. This is now being used by an individual for leasing to people who have nothing to do with the secondary school. The school is suffering tremendously from the take over and high turnover of staff because of lack of accommodation. This has been brought to the attention of the Ministry more than once by me, and I plead with the Minister to investigate why that property which was supposed to be handed over as the staff houses was not done.
On the question of learning materials and science equipment, could the Minister investigate why IT which is only just off the road cannot be installed at the school which would make a vast difference to the lives of 1300 children? Finally on the issue of the government and primary schools for Hatcliffe, I would like to remind the Minister that Hatcliffe is a forgotten suburb of Harare. We have a population that is four or five times more since 2000. Since independence, we have Hatcliffe Primary 3 and Friendship but the population is huge. My problem with Hatcliffe Primary 3 that the Ministry has very kindly taken over has six classrooms, a roof that leaks like a bucket, no cement on floors and 1000 children. I thank you.
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Member. All the issues you raised are noted. We will carry out that investigation to determine what happened to that accommodation which is being rented out and all the issues that you have raised. I thank you.
PEGGING OF MINES TO PROSPECTIVE MINERS IN MATEBELELAND SOUTH
- HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development when the pegging of mines to prospective miners would be done in Matabeleland South in view of the fact that these people are failing to secure mining claims.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): I would like to start by thanking Hon. Mokone for the question. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development would like to inform the House and the Hon. Members that pegging of mining claims in Matabeleland South has not been stopped. Any prospective miner is allowed to apply for a prospecting licence and proceed to peg on areas open for pegging and register mining titles as per the regulations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of adequate resources, the Ministry has been experiencing backlogs in mining title registrations. However, the Ministry has come up with a special programme to clear all backlogs in all the provinces. The Ministry also acknowledges that most of the prospective areas are covered under the Exclusive Prospective Orders (EPO) applications, rendering those areas not being open to prospecting and pegging. In that regard the Ministry and the Mining Affairs Board is expediting processing of EPOs. It is expected that as companies conduct exploration they will be releasing ground as they focus on their targeted areas and the released ground will be communicated to the public. I thank you.
MEASURES TO ENSURE SAFETY OF ARTISANAL MINERS
- HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House on the measures being taken to ensure the safety of artisanal miners across the country.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the pertinent question. The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has taken various steps to ensure safety of artisanal miners. These include:
- Intensifying inspection of all mining activities with special emphasis on safety, health and environmental protection issues (SHE) and enforcing of compliance to mining regulations.
- The Ministry is also conducting SHE awareness campaigns across all provinces in the country, educating the small scale miners on SHE issues. Amongst these are ground support systems, ground and surface water management, dangerous grasses detection systems, etcetera.
- Formalization of the sector through registration and enforcement of sustainable, orderly and responsible mining.
- Training of small scale miners on first aid encouraging them to form rescue teams in all mining districts. I thank you.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY
- HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to inform the House when the Ministry will initiate empowerment programmes for women and girls in the Mberengwa Constituency.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHLANGA): I would like to thank you for raising this question Hon. Raidza. As a Ministry which is mandated among other things, to empower young girls and women, we strive not to leave any one behind despite our little resources. In Mberengwa East, we have embarked on empowerment initiatives which have seen us funding some groups namely, Rural Poultry Project which was funded under the Women Development Fund in January 2022 and it is located in Ward 3. In the same ward, we have also done pre-assessments for Virimai Poultry Project and funding through the Zimbabwe Community Development will be availed once internal processes are completed. Project proposals from Flying Eagle and Front Wheel both from Ward 3 are also being considered for funding by my Ministry and once Treasury avails funding, the two groups will each receive funding as per their project proposals. We intend to fund more projects and conduct more training on various projects including detergent making, baking, as well as business development training. Thank you.
REHABILITATION OF ROADS IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY
- HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development when the following roads in Mberengwa East Constituency will be rehabilitated: (Zvishavane-Rutenga, Ingezi-Vutsanana, Ingezi-Mahlamvana, Mahlamvana-Tom and Gomonhenga –Matibi Mission Hospital.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCUTRAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): As asked by the Hon. Member, I will answer each of the five roads individually for clarity. Firstly, Rutenga-Zvishavane road is under the Department of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Motorised regrading of the road is underway with assistance from Zim-Alloys Private Limited who are providing fuel. My gratitude goes to private companies that are playing a part in assisting Government to improve roads. Further, gravelling of five kilometres of the same road is at tendering stage.
Secondly, Ingezi-Vutsanana Road is under the District Development Fund (DDF) and it requires 10 km gravelling. Further, the upgrading of Murongwe Bridge is also to be done by DDF as in-house works. Thirdly, Mahlabvana-Murongwe Road is under DDF and plans are underway to reshape 30 km of that road.
Mahabvana-Tom Road is part of Mberengwa-Mataga Road which is 76 km under the Department of Roads. 40 km of Mberengwa-Mataga was regravelled last year by Road-Trackers Private Limited and a further 5 km is under construction by Drawlink Civil Engineers. The project is now at surfacing stage. Furthermore, a target of 15 km of road gravelling is at tendering stage.
Lastly, Gomo Nhenga-Matibi Mission Hospital Road is under DDF and targeted for 10km regravelling. Additionally, Mbuya Nehanda-Machipisi Buchwa Road, under Mberengwa Rural District Council, rehabilitation is underway by Zada Construction. Regravelling of 10 km and bush clearing of 15km is nearing completion.
FUNDS RELEASED BY ZINARA TO MBERENGWA RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL DURING THE PERIOD 2020 TO 2021
- HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House how much ZINARA released to the Mberengwa Rural District Council for the period 2020 to 2021 and how these funds were utilised.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mberengwa Rural District Council budgetary allocation from ZINARA was ZWL44,109,138.44. They received ZWL4,410,913.84 which was used for rehabilitation of their designated roads, including Mbuya-Nehanda Machipisi Buchwa Road. Every road authority received ten (10) percent of their allocation for mobilisation of works. They will get further disbursements as they progress and acquit.
SERVICING OF CANAAN AND WESTERN TRIANGLE IN HIGHFIELD WEST CONSTITUENCY BY ZUPCO
- HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when ZUPCO buses will service Canaan and Western Triangle Bus Terminus in Highfield West Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I wish to advise the Hon. Member to direct the question to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
PROGRESS MADE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY
18. HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House on the progress made in the construction of the following clinics in Mberengwa East Constituency;
- Bayayi Clinic in Ward 20
- Zvomukonde/Ingezi Clinic Ward 4; and
- Madekwana Clinic in Ward 8
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Bayayi Clinic in Ward 20, the project started in 2019 and is one of those being funded by devolution funds. The project consists of: - construction of a clinic block that has been roofed, plastered, floored, fittings and glazing done. Outstanding works on the block include tubing, painting, ceiling, plumbing, furniture and equipment;
- Three F14 houses, one at footing, second at window level and the third one at roofing;
- Waste management area and pits excavation - works are in progress;
- 1x2 squat hole staff blair toilets is now completed with painting to follow, public toilet squat holes were excavated;
- Fencing of the premises now completed;
- Provision of water not yet carried out;
- Provision of power not yet done and
- Works have been at stand-still for some time since the Rural District Council (RDC) had shifted to Marirazhombe for it to be completed and commissioned.
Allocations to this project have been mainly from devolution funds. So far the expenditure for the project since 2019 to date amounts to ZWL$4 718 938.98.
- Zvomukonde/Ingezi Clinic Ward 4
New clinic block is being financed by council’s own revenues.
- Clinic block has been completed and electrified with outstanding works comprising outside toilet block and plumbing.
- F14 house is at excavation stage.
- Small pharmacy is funded through the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
- New pharmacy block has been completed with shelves yet to be fitted.
- Madekwana Clinic in Ward 8
- Two winged clinic block plastered, door fittings done, roofed and floored;
- One staff house is at slab level;
- Fencing of premises now completed;
- Funding has been mainly from plough back, devolution funds, Community Development Fund (CDF) and beer levy;
- 1x2 squat hole public toilets completed and
- Devolution funds spend so far on the project amount to ZWL$607 858.30. The other expenditure has been from council’s own revenue.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.