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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 MAY 2024 VOL 50 NO 50

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 15th May, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

FAREWELL CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE FOR MISS. HELEN B. DINGANI

  THE HON. SPEAKER:  I wish to remind the House that there will be a Catholic Church Service to bid farewell to Miss Helen B. Dingani on Thursday, 16th May, 2024 at 1200 hours in Special Committee Room No. 1 following her appointment as Ambassador to the Republic of Tanzania.  All Members are invited, including non-Catholic Members.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

  THE HON. SPEAKER:  I received the following apologies from the Executive:

  Hon. Dr. S. Nyoni, Minister of Environment, Climate and Wildlife; Hon T. Machakaire, Minister of Youth, Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training; Hon. Jesaya, Deputy Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development; Hon. J. Mhlanga, Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Hon. F. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. Sanyatwe, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. S. Sibanda, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. M. N. Ndlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. R. Modi, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities and Hon. V. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

ABSENCE OF QUORUM

  THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, yesterday in the afternoon, after I had left the Chamber and the Hon. Deputy Speaker was presiding, assisted by members of the Speaker’s Panel; the bells had to be rung twice because there was no quorum in the House.

  Hon. Members, when you made your Oath or Affirmation, you said, ‘I will be faithful to Zimbabwe and that I will uphold the Constitution and other laws of Zimbabwe; and that I will perform my duties as a Member of the National Assembly faithfully and to the best of my ability.’  That was the solemn affirmation oath that you made; to perform your duties is to be in the House until the House adjourns.

  I have asked the Chief Whips to appeal to you to observe your oaths of office simply because you are here at the grace of those members of our society, the people of Zimbabwe who gave us the opportunity to come, serve and represent them because all of them could not be in the Chamber or in Parliament for that matter, and we are here at the taxpayer’s money. 

Therefore, we need to respect that authority we derive from the people.  I have appealed to the Chief Whips that they appeal to you to attend religiously to Parliamentary business. I have the means in terms of Standing Order Number 215, to apply some measures which I hope can result in some remedial correction of such untoward behaviour.  Some of you may say I am harsh. Indeed I will be harsh on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe.  That is my responsibility.  When I leave the Chair, I go to my office, I do not go home, and I follow proceedings from my office until the House is adjourned. I could easily leave the Chamber and go home to relax, but that is not how it should be.  If I apply Standing Order Number 215, some of you have tested that and you will regret it.  I do not want to put in place measures that will dictate who is who, who does the absconding. Today I am merely appealing to you and through the Chief Whips who I believe have spoken to you. I hope you will respond positively to the appeal.  If there is no change, I will be forced to act accordingly.

          ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTOINS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, good afternoon.   I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and in his absence, probably to the Leader of Government Business.  

          I want to find out the Ministry’s position pertaining retrenchment of workers seeing that the Labour Act of 2023, the amendment is a bit silent on retrenchment packages.  Now, employers are letting go of employees without compensating them at all and yet previously we knew that the retrenchment was a two weeks salary plus the number of years that the employee would have served in that company but right now it is silent.  We have a lot of employees that are being let go without any retrenchment packages, so, I wanted to find out the Ministry’s position on that matter, I thank you. 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Mr. Speaker, I need to verify. So, I will kindly request him to put it in writing so that we can check the relevant section within the Labour Act what it now says. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. J. Tshuma, please put your question in writing for next week so that we can have an appropriate response. 

          HON. J. TSHUMA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I stand guided accordingly.

          HON. A. T. MAVUNGA:  Afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Home Affairs.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the happiness index in the country right now is at its highest and this is because of the introduction of the new currency -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – the civil servants, the population at large has been going in and out of shops and realising value for their money and that is very important Mr. Speaker.

          However, Mr. Speaker Sir, some elements of sabotage have arisen in society, particularly in retail shops and other service providers that are introducing ungodly rates to the people of Zimbabwe.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what measures are in place to protect the citizens and apprehend those retailors and service providers that are sabotaging our currency, sabotaging the efforts of the Second Republic? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I do not see the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs. The question was directed to the Minister of Home Affairs, measures to arrest the culprits.  May we refer to Hon. Ziyambi.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion is responsible for putting in measures to ensure that the Minister of Home Affairs and the law enforcers will enforce that.  A more informed response may come from the Minister responsible for finance.  If you allow deferment of that question to him since he is around. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. NCUBE):    Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Member for that very important question.  It is very important that we should protect our currency and keep it stable and discourage unnecessary speculation.  The speculation is unjustified.  It is clear what the fundamentals are that drive value, that underpin the value of this currency and therefore it should be clear to everybody that this currency should be stable and appropriate official exchange rate should be used for transaction purposes.  In our desire to protect that Mr. Speaker Sir, we are putting certain measures, certain sanctions on those who deviate from that objective. 

First of all, for those who are managing retail or own retail organisations and sell goods to the public, we are insisting as Government that they ought to use the willing buyer-willing seller price for foreign currency as the basis for pricing.  What we did last week after my presentation here to this House to the joint Budget and Finance Committee and also the Committee for Industry and Commerce, I did undertake that we will remove the 10% limit for certain prices and that was removed and it was subsequently brought to this House and we debated it, the House approved it and we are very grateful. We have removed any basis to deviate officially from the official exchange rate, that 10% exchange limit was causing deviation as an excuse for overpricing purposes.  So, from now going forward, we make use of the willing buyer- willing seller pricing mechanism and any deviation will be sanctioned through a fine of no less than ZiG 200 000 per offence.  So that is really the measures we have put in place to deal with the pricing by retailors. 

On individual trading on the streets and so forth, clearly, they do so without any licences, they are violating the exchange control regulations and the law has taken course of those that have violated and we have seen a few or more than 70 individuals being arrested.  Police have done their job and some of them have appeared before the courts so that they face justice and stop what they are doing.  It is very important that we must all abide by the law to protect our currency.  After all, that is the only domestic currency we have.  The other currencies are actually foreign currencies and we cannot develop a country without your own currency, neither can we have a full bouquet of micro-economic tools without our own currency and monitory policy. I submit, thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MAVUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We applaud the efforts by the Ministry of Finance and I think the ball is no longer in their court because they played their role last week after the introduction of that Statutory Instrument on Exchange Control Act. However, I think the ball is now in the police force. Is the police force equipped enough or capacitated enough to go to the grassroots and enforce the rule of law when it comes to protecting this currency?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. On matters of finance, we have a financial intelligence unit that is under the Ministry of Finance to specifically look into those issues and monitor. The police will come at the tail end. If we are to protect the currency, the measures put by the Ministry of Finance, the monitoring is done there. The police will come at the tail end, hence the request that I made to you in my submission that the Minister is well positioned to offer an answer on how to deal with malcontents in society. I submit.

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon Minster of Finance, the Financial Intelligence Unit, is it up to scratch?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I thank Hon. Mavunga for that supplementary question. Yes, the Financial Intelligence Unit has been effective in investigating illicit activities, money laundering and other aspects and in fact, triggering the sanctions on those who are deviating from the prescribed exchange rate or pricing frameworks, but of course, we can never say they have all the capacity they need.

In fact, they have written to me to say Minister, we need more capacity and I have granted that and we will be giving them more resources so that they can hire more personnel equipment or whatever they need like tools of trade to remain effective on the ground, but that is one hand. Hon. Mavunga wanted to know more about the police side.  Again, we have said to the law enforcement agents, the police that if they need additional capacity, we are happy to support that whether it is equipment mobility, we have to support that because this is an important issue. I can assure him and I can assure the nation that we really mean business and we will make sure that our law enforcement agents and agencies are equipped enough to deal with the situation. I thank you.

*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. Sir.  I am happy Hon. Minister for the steps that you have taken.  We note that retailers are being arrested, but wholesalers are not being prosecuted.  Manufacturers have also been spared.  You find that there is 17% of wholesalers who are in plain sight.  Let me ask, what is the Financial Intelligence Unit doing regarding wholesalers who are flaunting Government laws and are not being prosecuted?  I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, should I proceed?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, please.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank Hon. Nyabani.  This question is very important.  What he is really saying is that so far, we have been concentrating with an enforcement at the tail end.  What should be done is an enforcement along the value chain.  Manufacturer, wholesaler up to retailer.  So, he is correct and I agree with him.  I have actually instructed the Financial Intelligence Unit to begin doing that to make sure enforcement is involved right through the value chain.  That is exactly what we will do.  Thank you.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: My supplementary question goes as, is it not that this is as a result of a supply or demand deficiency because economics follows logic?  There is no abracadabra as highlighted by the Minister of Higher Education.  My question therefore is; is it because  there is a policy deficiency that is where we are going to involve the police to take charge?  To suggest Minister, the absence of Bureau de Changes, does it actually not inconvenience other people who want to hold a few foreign currencies to use on their daily basis, which creates this gap which is being used by other people to do illegally?  My question therefore to the Minister is; is it possible to correct this without the police but introducing a watertight policy that encourages Bureau de Changes so that everyone else is free to get foreign currency? These people are just utilising a gap in the market. I submit.

HON. PROF. NCUBE: I thank the Hon. Member for the question, but I do not think you will find many owners of big wholesale shops queueing to get foreign currency from a Bureau de Change. So, I suspect that is not the solution. His point is valid, which is perhaps the Bureau de Changes have to be capacitated so that we can have a more inclusive approach to access foreign currency. We make sure that we will look into that to see how they can be capacitated, supported with foreign currency supply so that they can sell to the greater public. For the wholesalers, if I can link that to the prior question, that is clear indiscipline. It has nothing to do with the absence of Bureau de Changes, but I do accept that having Bureau de Changes that are effective and systems that are effective, we will assist the public in terms of access to foreign currency and we will reduce the need and pressure to go to alternative markets which are illegal. I thank you.

HON. DR. MUTODI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question to the Minister is; is there a long-term plan to reduce the demand of USD in this economy? If we go to other countries like South Africa, you would find that they do not accept the USD100 note. They prefer to use their local currency. Can we not have the demand for USD reduced while we increase the demand for the local currency?

HON. PROF. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank Hon. Mutodi for the question. Yes, we have a plan for increasing the use of the ZiG and therefore reduce the demand of the use of the USD. First of all, the first order of business is to make sure that the ZiG exchange rate is always stable within reason. When we say stable in exchange rate language, we mean stable within reason. It means that we maintain stability. Once the currency has a track record in stability, it becomes more acceptable as a transacting currency and also as a store of value and as a currency in which citizens can make their savings in investments.

So, the first order of business is stability. To accompany that, we need to increase the use of the ZiG through creating super demand for it by basically legislating that certain taxes and fees from Government should be paid in the local currency. We are working on that and we will be announcing as to which taxes we paid only and solely in ZiG currency. Creating that demand is critical and gradually, you will see the demand of the ZiG increasing, but what is really important is the stability of the currency. That way, the currency really gains a credibility through that stability track record.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. 

An Hon. Members having called for a supplementary question

THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you not hear my English? I said Hon. Mutodi is the last Hon. Member to ask a question.

          HON. S. MOYO: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The Cabinet yesterday announced that 1.7 billion urban Zimbabweans are food insecure because of the drought.  What is Government policy towards the feeding of urban people, taking cognisant that Government previously prioritised the rural folks only – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Member did you say 1.7 billion?

          HON. S. MOYO: 1.7 million.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Million, alright.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker. In Cabinet, Hon. Minister Masuka and Hon. Moyo are tasked to steer that programme.  With your permission, I would request Hon. Minister Masuka to answer that as he is fully involved in the issue and he is the one who issued the statement yesterday. 

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  The context is that we now have the second round of crops, livestock and fisheries assessment issued on the 18th of April. We have completed the household-based village coordinated rapid vulnerability assessment conducted by the ministries of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development. Those two have indicated that six million rural people out of 9.2 million will require food assistance from now till March 2025. 

          The urban livelihood assessment has also just been completed by the Food and Nutrition Council and in it, 1.732 million urban people will require food assistance.  The Government has indicated that both the rural people and the urban people that are vulnerable will be assisted.  That assistance will be in the following manner; for rural people, from now until September/October, the distribution will be 7.5 kg of cereal which might be wheat, maize or traditional grain per person per month.  That will amount to 46 000 metric tonnes on a monthly basis.  In the three month, 138 000 metric tonnes will be required but because of the logistical hurdles, instead of going around the country every month, an individual will receive three months supply at any given time – that will be 22.5 kgs of cereal for the rural households for the six million people that will require assistance. 

          For urban households, a cash transfer system will be operational and modalities will be announced by Minister July Moyo.  The expectation is that the private sector has been allowed to import and they will see and perceive business in this drought year and will be able to import, mill and sell appropriately priced mealie-meal to urban households.  These 1.732 million people will then be given cash and will be able to access that mealie-meal. 

          However, to ensure that there is stability in terms of prices, we have an indicative price that if a 10 kg bag of roller-meal goes above USD 6.5, the Government will try and intervene using its own institutions to ensure that there is stability.

          *HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: I want to appreciate the good work which was done in terms of assessing the need of the rural community.  My supplementary question to the Minister is that; since you noted that the rural populace has quite dire plight, what strategies are you going to apply so that they get an allowance to pay for milling?

          *HON. DR. MASUKA: For now, Government is looking at distributing the different types of grain so that we assist the community.  We do not have a specific programme of giving people money for milling.  We note that there will be a shortage of water for livestock and domestic consumption.  We are going to sink boreholes.  At the moment we do not have the funding for milling of grains. 

          HON. MUROMBEDZI: We know that drought in Zimbabwe was declared a national disaster by the Head of State.  Since we know that in a national disaster setting, it disproportionately affects women.  What is Government policy with regards prioritising women in a national disaster that was recently announced.

          HON. DR. MASUKA: I would like to thank the coordinator for this state of disaster who is the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  I think there are about seven ministries that are under that umbrella.  May I hasten to highlight that in the vulnerability assessment, this is not gender based because drought in my view, everyone needs to eat and therefore we prioritise that.  I know that in the Committee, perhaps the Minister responsible will be able to highlight but there were elements that there is perhaps a possibility that gender-based violence might increase as a result of households having food insecurities which is why Government has stepped in to undertake household-based vulnerability assessment that takes into account those elements.  So, hopefully, those will be minimised and eventually eliminated so that we do not have any gender aspects in terms of these vulnerabilities.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister of Local Government and Public Works, would you like to add on the question of vulnerable groups?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON.  GARWE):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Allow me to thank the contribution from the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

          The Elnino induced disaster is not focusing on gender, it is focusing on Zimbabweans who are exposed to hunger.  It is looking at everybody - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – But special attention is also being given to children in schools. Some feeding programmes are catering for children so that they do not fail to attend school due to lack of food.  I thank you.

          *HON. MAJAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question concerns everyone, whether working or not, everyone is affected and will face hunger.  What plans does the Government have to assist everyone?  I thank you.

          *HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for that question.  We have a double-pronged approach.  Firstly, we had to assess the situation in the fields in terms of the cropping that was done.  The second phase being looking at what has been harvested.  So, we went with the Ministry Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  Every village head was tasked to consult different households so that they compile and create a database of needs in different villages.  Therefore, every household, ward, village, district, and province submitted that data which contributed to the database. 

We then collated information that implies that we have six million people who are in need of food.  We did not discriminate, but if anyone has been left behind in different communities, the President has another plan that resonates with his mantra that no one is going to be left behind.  In every Ward, people will be given small grains, maize, sorghum and millet and our traditional leaders will play a crucial role.

In every Ward, there are five tonnes, if there are 12 Wards, then they will be given six tonnes.  So, the Chief’s silo will be responsible for allocating to the community and the chief will play that role to ensure that no one is left behind.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to appreciate President E. D. Mnangagwa’s vision that everyone should be given food aid without discrimination.  My supplementary question is, today, in the past and in the future, the way we consume is different from the way we replenish what we consume, which implies that the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development stated that he is going to be working with the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

          As a nation, we need to pool our resources so that we are able to supply the needs of our people.  So, we need a contingent plan so that the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion clears debts at ZESA so that wheat farmers can plant their wheat.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You can try responding Hon. Minister, perhaps the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion can assist.

          * HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for that question.  These are the things that we consider.  Firstly, when we meet our farmers, we engage them and inform them on Government plans regarding this drought that it has four stages.  The first being that we look at what we have in our Government coffers.  We have 423 000 metric tonnes of grain in our GMB silos.

          Secondly, we look at the anticipated harvest during this drought.  Thirdly, we also consider where we will be able to buy grains.  Fourth, what we are able to plant during the winter cropping season.  Therefore, we are working on wheat-based food security intervention because we noted that planting maize during winter might reduce the harvest to two tonnes per hectare but if we plant wheat, we will be able to harvest more within a short period of time.

          There are things that must be in place and most importantly, we need electricity.  We need 100 to 120 megawatts of electricity in a 120 000 hectares land.  So, with my colleague, we made it a point that we set aside 2500 billing points that are in line with irrigation schemes around the country.  We requested for meter numbers and would do satellite positioning, create a WhatsApp group and put people in clusters so that they are not affected by load shedding.  If there are people who say that Government has enacted that there cannot be load shedding, we want to know any errant behaviour that is taking place because we have laws. 

          All winter wheat farmers will not be affected by electricity and water shedding.  Some wheat producers have not been paid. So, if they have not been paid, then they cannot be expected to pay taxes to Government, electricity and water rates before they are paid.  So, if we know of any farmers who are affected, we need to communicate as soon as possible so that authorities take action.  I thank you.

          HON. CHIWANZA: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport.  Moving with the trend of Government modernisation, we have seen that ZBC has made it mandatory to licences as far as motorists are concerned.  Are there any measures by Ministry of Transport to consolidate the discs on the windscreens because the windscreens are becoming crowded, there is a disc for ZINARA, insurance and now a disc for ZBC?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Let me thank my brother Hon. Chiwanza for the important question pertaining to amalgamation of our discs which makes sense Hon. Speaker, given that the windscreen will be clattered.  I want to assure the Hon Member that there is nothing that cannot be done and surely we are talking of a disc coming from the licencing of vehicles and also our insurance, which is, at the end of the day, after the promulgation of this very important law which is still being deliberated, I do not think it has been implemented as we speak.  Given the fact that it has been implemented there is nothing, with the advent of technology, that cannot be done where we can also sit together with the ICT Minister and see how we can bring the disc to one disc at the end of the day.

          HON. MAKOPE: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I have been checking on the curriculum of most of our practical subjects and it is my observation that most of the subjects which are practical are those which are emanating from the resources which we have apart from mining.  So, I want to inquire from the Minister the potential of incorporating mining as a learning area or as a subject so that our learners can have information or the skills on how to operate in mining and also to participate in the sector.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): May I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  As we are rolling out the Heritage Based Curriculum, we are emphasising the importance of learners to understand their background information.  They need to have an understanding of their surroundings and endowments within their areas where they stay so that they are able to study and do research on whatever challenges that might be faced in their communities.  Heritage Based Curriculum emphasises the issue of technical and vocationalisation of education and indeed, mining as a subject is a suggestion that the Hon. Member is giving us but, in my understanding, mining studies are done in Geography where people talk about alluvial mining and underground mining.  I am sure it is well captured in the Heritage Based Curriculum in as far as geography is concerned. 

          HON. MAKOPE:   I think the teaching of mining in geography and other science subjects, to me is not enough because those are just topics or themes within the main subject.  My suggestion is that we incorporate mining as a subject on its own, in fact Mining Engineering just like what we do in Agriculture.  We are using our land and other resources.  We have other subjects which are practical subjects where we are using our wood.  So, we incorporate that one as a subject but if we look at mining, there is a gap there and that is why you see other nations, in particular the global north, they are studying Mining Engineering as a subject on its own.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:   What is your supplementary question?

          HON. MAKOPE:  Yes, I just want to give a background so that the Minister can appreciate my question.  Is it not possible that we can introduce Mining Engineering as a subject like other subject?

          HON. T. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, I wish to thank the Member for that supplementary question. In fact, it is a suggestion which we can consider but it is a human resources issue Hon. Speaker, where we want to liaise with our sister Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education which deals with the training of our teachers.  Currently, we do not have manpower to offer Mining Engineering in secondary schools.  So, I think we need to sit down with our sister Ministry and since there is a gap from what he has said and I also observe there is a gap where we may want to introduce Mining Engineering as a subject; whether we have capacity to train mine engineers who will act as teachers so that we are able to roll out and also introduce this as a subject.

          *HON. MAZHINDU: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Where are we going to get money to procure passports since we do not have Bureau de’ Changes in this country and banks are not issuing USD for us to procure passports?

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): If I understood the question, it has got to do with payment for passports at the Passport Office. We are currently in a multi-currency system so really you should be able to pay with other domestic currency, the ZiG or foreign currency which, by default, is the USD. What has happened is that when we worked hard as Government and I think the public appreciates, to clear the long queues that had arisen out of the process of acquiring travel documents and passports and we have cleared those queues very successfully; we had to negotiate a contract with the service provider and that contract is denominated in hard currency, in USD. It is not easy overnight to just say overnight start paying in ZiG. We need to be sure that we are not violating that contract and that we will be able to meet the requirement for servicing that loan but it is a valid request and observation which we are actively looking into but I just wanted to highlight that we have got that issue in the background of honouring a contract signed between the Government and a service provider who has done very well in the production of passports.

          Now, we are seeing them expand right across the country, into SA, UK and other sectors across the globe where citizens will be able to apply for a passport and get it on time as an e-passport. Looking into this but for now we have this obligation which we must take into account. I thank you.

          *HON. J. STHOLE:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is; can this be possible to ensure that we pay partly in ZiG and partly in United States dollars whilst they work out the modalities?  Most of the people who want to apply for passports are not able to find United States Dollars except through illegal markets. 

          The Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion said they are scrutinising the contract between the service provider of the passports versus Government to ensure that this issue maybe worked on amicably. So the Honourable Minister said they are looking at the contract. 

          HON. PROF. NCUBE: I think the Hon. Member for the follow-up question said that when the Hon. Member was using the Zimbabwe Dollar, his question did not arise. So I am a little baffled why it is not arising now that we are using ZiG, but I agree with you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Tank you Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is to the Hon. Minister through you Mr. Speaker, this company that was given tender to provide passports, whose company is this that is making us suffer like this which is really pushing us to try and think how best we can solve this, can you please tell me who the shareholders of this company are? 

          HON. PROF. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, before Government enters into any contract with serious service providers, we do some due diligence of owners, their credit standing, their financial standing - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order! 

          HON. PROF. NCUBE:  So, this was done and I can assure the Hon. Member that the owners of this company are credible business people who understand this business and who have provided similar services in other countries. I think that if he went to the passport office, he will be well served and be very satisfied with the service they provide and should not be of any doubt to the quality of the - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Order! – the essence of the question is not about shareholding.  The essence of the original question is the possibility of paying in ZiG.  Since the supplier currently requires payment in US dollars, that is the essence of the question.  It has nothing to do with shareholding. 

          HON. MHETU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  From what the Minister said, he said this contract was signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and that company, so my request is, can Government not subsidise the rest in US dollar so that the citizens can procure these passports in ZiG? 

          HON. PROF. NCUBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, first of all, I would like to appreciate the Hon. Member who has shown a lot of appreciation for the ZiG and he loves domestic currency. 

          Secondly, Mr. Speaker Sir, what he is proposing is not doable because of the nature of the contract.  The contract is what we call a typical public private partnership arrangement where we do not borrow from the service provider, but the service provider enters into a revenue sharing agreement with Government for the privilege of being able to make profits from the opportunities.  So, that is the arrangement and what they will do over time is that they will then be able to recoup the cost of supplying their equipment, time and service for the betterment of the lives of Zimbabweans. So it is not a loan, it is a revenue sharing arrangement, it is a typical public private partnership and I think that is what we want and then there is no immediate strain on the fiscus, one would not be coming here for supplementary budget and such things, but it cannot be done in the way that the Hon. Member is suggesting.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUTOKONYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.  Firstly, I would like to applaud the works that are being done by the Second Republic through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. We are seeing a lot of progress on our roads.  My question is on the urban transport system.  We have witnessed a lot of vehicles and a lot of congestion, particularly in urban cities. I would want to ask the Hon. Minister; what is the plan to ensure that there is efficient urban transport system, particularly on the issue of congestion?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me thank Hon. Mutokonyi once again for acknowledging the work that is happening in the country, and also to thank him for raising a very important question pertaining to urban transportation. When it comes to urban transportation, quite a number of times the question is posed, which actually relates to how we can coordinate easy flow of traffic in cities, but the urban  transport system falls under the purview of local authorities and in this case, it means it will be under the Ministry of Local Government.

However, we have a whole of Government approach where we are working together with local authorities and with the police to bring sanity in our cities. It is true that what we are witnessing is so chaotic in our cities in terms of movement of traffic, but the longer and sustainable plan is to decongest our cities, thereby providing a cheaper mode of transport where we can have trains in terms of railway line.

This is the plan that we have as a Ministry, to say we have got neighbouring cities, Chitungwiza, Norton and Mabvuku. The idea that we are pursuing in the Ministry is to connect those places so that we have people embarking on trains, thereby using their own vehicles during weekends or have their leisure time, which is more sustainable way of decongesting our cities.

However, through the Ministry of Local Government and working with the city fathers so as to make sure that we have in terms of congestion, it could be our robots that are not working which are under the purview of the local authorities, there is complete ownership of our infrastructure without pointing fingers to say this relates to a particular department. So this is the approach that we have adopted with the Ministry and you will see us accelerating in that regard. Thank you.

HON. GANYIWA: I also wanted to know from the Minister, the immediate plans regarding the issue of increasing access roads or detours in order to ease the congestion, in particular to roads that connect the roads that are being constructed. For example, we are talking of Lomagundi connecting to this Parliament as well as Bindura Road and Lomagundi. Are there any immediate plans that can ease congestion before the opening of this road?

HON. MHONA: Let me thank Hon. Ganyiwa for the very important question. I also want to start by apologising to the citizenry for the inconvenience that they are witnessing. However, it is just like a pregnant mother. The pain can be endured for nine months and thereafter you celebrate and precisely, this is the period that we are in as a country and I want to say instead of having detours, we can count from now in three weeks’ time or earlier, we will be opening some of the roads. 

So, we are going to be moving traffic to the new roads and then attend even to the ancillary roads that were damaged during the rehabilitation of our major roads. The good news for the City of Harare is that the roads that we are currently using, we will be attending to those soon after opening the sections, in particular Lomagundi. We will be opening from Harare Drive intersection, Nemakonde which is Lomagundi and Harare Drive towards roundabout which we will open in two weeks’ time. We will also open from Harare Drive towards Bindura at the same time again meaning that we will then be using the new section and we will be administering the detours that we were working on. Thank you.

HON. MUROMBEDZI: Thank you Hon. Minister. My question is directed to the Minister of Health. Following the reports of the recent deaths of 35 children in this country due to the shun of immunisations, what is the Government policy with regards the attainment of head immunity by mandatory immunisation of all children in Zimbabwe in order to protect children from six killer diseases and to avoid the spread of diseases in our community?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. E. NCUBE): I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. It is known that immunisation is mandatory in this country, every child is supposed to be immunised at the age of five. The issue is that we have got some challenges with Christianity or other people who do not believe in that, but it is now mandatory for each and every Government stakeholder to encourage and preach the gospel of this immunisation to each and every one to appreciate the efforts made by the Government so that everyone is immunised despite their religion.  I thank you.

HON. MUROMBEDZI: Thank you very much.  Madam Speaker, these deaths occurred because of religious beliefs.  Is the Government going to go after the religious sects and mandating them to have children immunised or it is just going to leave it to them to do it on their own?  We would like to know what the Government is going to do in order to safeguard the rights of those children who are under those religious sects.  Thank you very much.

HON. E. NCUBE: Thank you for the supplementary question.  Yes, Government has done all efforts to make sure each and every child has been immunised.  A holistic approach has been taken by all Ministries including Members of Parliament to go to the ground so that people appreciate what Government efforts are and also to make sure each and every child has been immunised through explanations to these leaders because these religious leaders are the ones whom we stay with.  They are also the people whom we share ideas and information with.  It is now taken as a holistic approach.  All Ministries have been taken to task such that each and every one has got the information on the importance of immunisation such that we reduce these mortalities being said by the Hon. Member.  I thank you.

HON. NYELELE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.  Last week ZIMSEC notified parents and guardians of ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level candidates who intend to pay their examination fees in ZiG, that they are given one week to make payments using 10 to 17 May interbank rate.  My question is why are candidates who want to pay in ZiG being given one week to pay while those paying in USD are given more days?  I so submit.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The position is, the deadline for payment of examination fees was in March.  I came here to this august House and extended the deadline to the 17th of May.  One week applies to everyone whether one is paying in ZiG or USD.    

          HON. E. NCUBE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  What is Government policy on the release of ZiG notes which are going to be adequate to meet demand? The RBZ introduced a drip system of releasing ZiG notes.  They started with a ten ZiG, but the market is in limbo – for example the commuters do not have change and even in the big shops, there is no enough ZiG for transacting.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Madam Speaker indeed, the strategy is to release in the manner that the Hon. Member is indicated not to flood the market.  If you recall, we spend a lot of time the Minister trying to answer questions regarding the parallel market rates and people using several exchange rates. In managing that situation and ensuring that there is confidence in the use of the currency, we have that approach of slow release of notes into the market.  As a way of background Madam Speaker Ma’am, before the introduction of ZiG, we rarely had notes which were being used. So I do not think that all of a sudden after the introduction of ZiG, we then woke up with a problem when we did not have a problem before.  Rather than that, we have people who want to manipulate the currency when there are huge chunks of notes that have been released into the circulation.  Our financial advisors gave us that advice, which advice we accepted and that is the way to go.  I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI:  Thank you very much for your response Minister, but do we have enough reserves to back that ZiG in the market.

          HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  The simple answer is we have sufficient reserves – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – Secondly, Madam Speaker, the circulation of our basket of currencies - 85% is USD and only 50% even before the removal of the Zimbabwe dollar.  That was the proportion. When we have 85:15, we do not wake up with a problem in that scenario when the 85 was never removed. 

          HON. MADZIVANYIKA: My supplementary question to the Leader of Government business.  Yes, we are in the multi-currency regime.  We are using both the USD and ZiG.  The question is on the divisibility of the USD for transport operators, the cost of moving from one point to another normally withing the 10 km radius is fifty cents and there is no change.  That is exactly where the question is coming from.  Can the Minister please try and introduce for example USD 10 000 worth of ZiG which is denominated in the 10-dollar ZiG for ease of change in the famous quote by Hon. Chinotimba, ‘for the ease of change’.  How can the Minister help us in that kind of situation?  It is not inflationary to introduce such kind of money.     

          HON.  Z. ZIYAMBI: I have taken note of the request.

          *HON. JIMU: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Which law do you use as police to arrest vendors who pay to local authorities?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a pertinent question that the police are arresting people who are vending at designated points, yet they have documents that clearly show that they are legally operating.  The Hon. Member has since responded.  If someone is licenced to operate, they are not supposed to be arrested.  Can the Hon. Member put the question in writing because it seems that he knows that there are people who are being arrested when they are not supposed to be arrested? 

          *HON. JIMU: I appreciate the response by the Minister.  My question was; is there any core relationship between the Home Affairs and local authority by-laws because the vendors do have receipts that show that they are allowed to operate where they will be selling, but the ZRP still come and arrest them – [HON. MEMBERS: Nyora, nyora.] –  

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. TSITSI ZHOU): Order, order.  May I please assist you, the Leader of Government business here said, if there is something that you know, please put it writing so that you may be responded to adequately or if there is something amiss that you are aware of.

          *HON. KANUPULA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  What is Government’s policy to those former farm owners that were repossessed to allocate residential stands?  Those people have approved layout plans and the former farm owners are coming back with title deeds that they own the land.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  I thank the Hon. Member for that question. May the Hon. Member put the question in writing so that we may respond accordingly so that we know which farm exactly where that is taking place.   

          *HON. HUNGWE:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.  What is Government policy with regard to irrigation between Government and private partners?

          THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  Madam Speaker Ma’am, may the Hon. Member repeat the question so that I understand.

          *HON. HUNGWE:  Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I am referring to some areas where there is water and there are no irrigation facilities, if Government does not have adequate resources at that particular time.  Does it have any plans to bring on board private companies to provide irrigation schemes so that, at least, we may have the use of such resources?

          *HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, that is a very good thing, if there are people with resources and want to partner with Government to make irrigation facilities, we really appreciate that.  As Government, we have 10 600 dams that can be used to irrigate 2.2 million hectares but at the moment, we only have 219 000 hectares under irrigation as a country, which means that we are only utilising a very small percentage of water that can be used for irrigation.  This shows that money from the fiscus is inadequate to make sufficient irrigation facilities for the country.

          So, as Government, we have since formed a platform or organisation of irrigation alliance where we put together all stakeholders including private companies so that we find out from them, what they want in order to operate and assist farmers in terms of their requirements.  So, the organisation is trying to procure loans from the banks and ensure that farmers access the fund.  Currently, they are operating on 4 000 hectares.  We have water challenges and have since met to ensure that they increase their capacity from the current 4 000 hectares.

          Farmers are also encouraged to drill boreholes and procure pivots or any other resources that are required for irrigation.  So, as Government, we are targeting 350 000 hectares for irrigation by summer.  Currently, we only have 75 000 hectares and there is a very huge gap.  So, we encourage such private players to come in, if the Hon. Members knows of an organisation or any of his ideas that we can do as Government to ensure that we encourage such private players.  We encourage him to come forth. 

          Let me use this opportunity to inform the House that on the 5th of June, we are going to call for a meeting to try to map the way forward on how best we can increase our irrigation capacity.  So, we call upon such ideas so that we increase productivity and water that is full in dams.  I thank you.

          *HON. MAHACHI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  What is Government policy with regard to irrigation?  We have seen some equipment like tractors and pivots but there is no completion of irrigation schemes.  For instance, where I come from there is Osborne Dam which has centre pivots but the system is yet to be fully equipped.  What is Government’s plan to ensure that projects are completed?  I thank you.

          HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am and thank you Hon. Member for that question.  We only complete such Government projects after getting money from Treasury.  So, if we do not receive adequate funding, you will discover that sometimes we will only do half jobs.  For example, what we did at Kanyemba.  We installed centre pivots but as we wait for more funding, sometimes the projects may not be completed because at times the contractors actually abandon projects.  So, the availability of funds ensures that we complete those projects.  I thank you.

          *HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to applaud the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development for a job well done to ensure that the country gets adequate food.

          Sometimes when we travel, we see centre pivots that show that they were once functional but bushes grow and those pivots stop working.  What is Government policy to ensure that those pivots are functional for irrigation?  I thank you.

          HON. DR. MASUKA:  Thank you Hon. Nyabani for that question.  My response will be two-pronged.  Firstly, if it is on a farm where we have been allocated a payment or offer letter, it means we have been chosen amongst the citizens to produce for the country and to also do agriculture.  So, the person who is allocated a farm is expected to produce for their benefit as well as to benefit the country.  When there is water, it means that water must be utilised.  We are putting in place S. I. 38 of 2021, if you have land that S. I 38 of 2021, if there is irrigation and that farm has potential for irrigation, that person maybe asked to go somewhere else where they can only do their activities through rain so that someone else maybe allowed to operate. I hereby request Hon. Nyabani to show us where such is happening so that we really show him that S.I. is there.

          HON. MAKWIRANZOU: When is the Government programme going to start where you are going to desilt some of the dams where there is too much sand because if we desilt these dams, we can be able to store more water for next year?

          HON. DR. MASUKA: There is no Government programme to desilt dams. The policy position is that on a case by case basis, generally it is more expensive to desilt than to construct a new dam, however, we need to be able to approach this on a case by case basis. The Hon. Member might actually be referring to dams or weirs that are constructed on the upper reaches of a lower dam. Those are specifically constructed to be silted in order to protect the lower dam. So, we would need to investigate this on a case by case basis but generally, for larger dams, it is not economic to desilt. You may do that with weirs and the smaller ones, but we would approach this on a case by case basis and I would appreciate being given additional specific information about the specific dam that the Hon. Member is referring to.

          *HON. T. ZHOU: Hon. Minister, may you explain to this august House how many kilometres people are supposed to travel with their livestock in search of water since you are saying there maybe some dams that maybe constructed for de-siltation, not to assist people. How can people be assisted to get access to water?

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your question does not arise from the original question about irrigation.

          *HON. NYABANI: Hon. Minister, I understand that it is expensive to desilt, so what are you doing to ensure that those dams are not silted because in most of the farming activities that are taking place in rural areas as Rushinga, there are no contour ridges, which means there will be a lot of siltation? Your Agritex officers are not facilitating in doing contour ridges. What is your plan to ensure that we prevent siltation of dams? I thank you.

          HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Hon. Nyabani for the question. Let me start by focusing on the liberation struggle. When we went to the liberation, we encouraged people to stop constructing contour ridges to ensure that we are disobeying the colonial government. …

          *HON. NYABANI: On a point of order. My point of order is that I asked my question in vernacular for the benefit of the people in rural areas so that the response may be well-received. May the Hon. Minister please respond in Shona.

          *HON. DR. MASUKA: During the liberation struggle, yes, people were encouraged to disobey the construction of contour ridges, but right now after independence, we are trying to change that mindset through that department specifically meant for contour ridges. What we expect is that all farmers know exactly what they are supposed to do in terms of construction of contour ridges.

I think when local leaders like the headmen, when they hold those meetings, they are supposed to point to some activities like cutting down of trees that are causing soil erosion. We must also focus on the fact that those activities are the primary causes of siltation and soil erosion, and people later ask the Government to desilt. We want people to know that the causers of that problem are the ones who are supposed to solve it again, so we proffer solutions. We encourage everyone not to wait for Government to come and tell you to construct contour ridges to safeguard your farm or field. We all know what we are supposed to do.

Let us all unite and work together and we know that might assist us. We lose a lot of soil, something like 50 tonnes per hectare in rural areas and in urban areas about five tonnes per hectare. That top soil is the one that is fertile. We are encouraged to protect, safeguard it as well as protecting the environment to ensure that we get adequate food without causing siltation of dams so that we do not suffer even from shortage of water for livestock.

*HON. MAMBIRIPIRI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care with regards to Cholera. Yesterday in the evening, they released information that we have since lost 710 lives and they also announced that it is spreading. What is Government programme to ensure they stop the spread of the disease in safeguarding people’s lives?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. E. NCUBE):  Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question with regards to cholera.  Indeed, the disease is fluctuating because we received low rains this year, so, we know that this disease is prevented by hygienic places especially where they have food facilities.  So, we are saying because of low rainfall this year, we are trying by all means to work hand-in-hand with other Ministries like Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that we increase water sources and construction of boreholes. 

          We are also making efforts to ensure that there is vaccination to stop the spread of this disease but we are mainly encouraging people to use clean water and be hygienic. That is the primary measure that we are taking as a Ministry, encouraging people that they wash their hands and people receive protection from vaccines.  I thank you. 

          *HON. MAMBIPIRI:  I thank the Hon. Member for Government efforts but my supplementary is, health workers are complaining that Government is not providing us with adequate facilities such as medicines that are used to treat patients.  How do you respond to that as the Minister with regards to availing equipment and everything that is supposed to be used for treating patients? 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE(HON. E NCUBE): What is happening and the efforts that are being taken by the Ministry – this is a disease that just came up without anticipation and planning from Government, but anywhere, the Ministry of Health anticipates such emergencies to ensure that we increase medicines to curb such diseases that may come up.  Right now, as a Ministry, we have equipment or resources that are used but they maybe insufficient.  So, as a Ministry, indeed yes, here and there, there may be insufficient facilities or resources to fight the disease and to ensure that we stop the spread of the disease.  I thank you.  

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICES

IMPLEMENTATION OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION

AND TECHNOLOGY LEARNING IN GLEN VIEW NORTH

SCHOOLS

  1. HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when the Ministry plans to implement information communication and technology learning in Primary and Secondary schools situated in Glenview North in light of the absence of the ICT teachers and reliable power.

          HON. MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  Thank you Hon. Chidziva for the question. The implementation of ICT in Primary and Secondary Schools is already in progress with a number of initiatives being introduced to ensure all children in Zimbabwe have access to this critical field. 

          The issue of teachers is being addressed through a number of programmes such as the Teacher Capacity Development Programme which is taking teachers for training in ICT at local universities across the country.  Higher and Tertiary Education continues to channel out ICT teachers and with Treasury concurrence, they are deployed to schools in Glenview North and other schools across the country that need ICT teachers.

          We are working as a whole of Government and through partnership with the Ministry of ICT Postal and Courier Services. We are working to ensure all schools have the necessary infrastructure and equipment for an ICT enabled learning environment at the school situated in Glenview North and other schools also in rural areas.  This is critical because as a Ministry, we have digital content through the learning passport which we expect every learner to access once the infrastructure and equipment is in place. 

          Further, using a whole of Government approach as well, we are working with the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to ensure that there is reliable power supply at all schools in Glenview as well across the entire country so that access to digital content is not interrupted.  I submit Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          HON.  CHIDZIVA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank the Hon. Minister for the response.  When can this be established, when can this programme start operating and when can it be found everywhere?  How long will it take?  Thank you.    

          THE MINISTER ROF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): We are already offering lessons in this country, but this depends on each and every school. Some may not have ICT gadgets and some will have them, but as Government, we have a very strong programme to ensure that we afford equal opportunity in terms of facilities to all learners such as laptops, tablets and computers. We cannot give a timeframe for that because it is an ongoing programme. I think in Glenview, there are some schools that already offer computer studies. I know that in some provinces in this country, that is where we are going to start to supply those computers.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Education. Whilst you are talking about enough equipment of facilities, how do you do it because right now, all learners will be sitting for examinations? The examinations will be the same between a Rukangare student and a Prince Edward student, yet the facilities are not the same. Rukangare will not have facilities at all. We realise that in the past, some schools actually had zero percent pass rate and right now we are approaching examinations season with the same problem. I thank you.

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member. Right now, our programme is to ensure that all learners get enough equipment for learning. This year, I believe the Hon. Member is from Manicaland, we are going to start with Manicaland and we will be issuing out computers and from there, we will be going to Matabeleland South in Beitbridge. We will go to Chivi until the whole country gets computers. As we speak, we have a very serious issue where we put in place computers. We have friends in the United States of America who have since procured computers.

          Right now, we are going to meet and deliberate on how we are going to distribute them. We have Zimbabwean citizens in America who have sourced computers for us and we are going to give them to Manicaland as well a as Matabeleland South so that at least, we cover the gap between the rural and urban learners so that the urban learners are not the ones who pass more than the rural learners do. So, we need to ensure that we facilitate that all learners get access to 21st century learning facilities. I thank you.

SHORTAGE OF NEW CURRICULUM TEXT BOOKS FOR

MOTHER TONGUE LANGUAGES

  1. HON. BONDA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House the Ministry’s plans to address the shortage of new curriculum textbooks for mother tongues languages of marginalised communities in Hwange where Nambya books are critically in short supply.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Bonda is asking the Minister to explain to the House the Ministry’s plans to address the shortage of new curriculum textbooks for mother tongues or languages of marginalised communities in Hwange where Nambya Books are critically in short supply. I would like to thank Hon. Bonda for the question. Indeed, we are facing challenges in terms of reading materials in some local languages. This is because some publishers are not willing to venture into this area fearing lack of market.

The Ministry currently has a concept paper awaiting funding for a programme to develop course materials and modules for indigenous languages, Nambya included. For your information Hon. Bonda, Nambya is one of the seven indigenous languages taught from ECD to Form 4, including Shona, Ndebele, Kalanga, Tonga, Venda and Shangani. We also have a book dash programme where story books for infant learners will be written in indigenous languages by teachers proficient in the indigenous languages to improve on literacy and numeracy rates for infant students in schools. The Ministry has also developed radio lessons in Nambya and other local languages to ensure children have adequate learning materials. I submit.

HON. BONDA: As a Ministry, what are your plans to ensure that the facilities are on line to ensure that the local language learners are also on the same level with the rest of the country?

HON. T. MOYO: I would like to thank Hon. Bonda for that question. Our Ministry has what we call learning passport which means Nambya, Tonga as well as other indigenous languages. Teachers as well as some of the Ministry officials load information on such gadgets like tablets which means we have books that are loaded in Nambya because most of the leaners from Hwange sit for examinations in Nambya at ‘O Level as well as Grade 7. So, because of the learning passport, that is the plan that we have to ensure that learners get information using those gadgets. I thank you.

DEPLOYMENT OF EARLY LEARNING DEVELOPMENT

(ECD) TEACHERS IN BINGA DISTRICT SCHOOLS

  1. HON. CUMANZALA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House the Government policy regarding the deployment of Early Learning Development (ECD) teachers in the Binga District Schools where infants are being taught by teachers who cannot converse in Tonga, a situation which is even worsened by the fact that there are qualified Tonga speaking teachers who are still awaiting recruitment on the waiting list.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. MOYO):  Concerning the recruitment of teachers Government, policy is that, teachers conversant in local languages are deployed in that particular jurisdiction.  This is especially important at ECD level where the mother tongue is the language of instruction.  In fact, Binga was one of the first districts to be considered for decentralised deployment, meaning teachers form the area are to be considered first and made to sign four-year contracts meaning they can only transfer after that period.  If indeed there are qualified Tonga speaking teachers who are on the waiting list, the Ministry would be glad to know their names so that they can be deployed in the District. 

I will add and say starting January 2024, we have decentralised recruitment of teachers.  Teachers in Binga are recruited in Binga.  Normally what we do when we are recruiting teachers for example this term, we have recruited 2600 each Province given an allocation.  For Matabeleland North, I am sure we gave them an allocation of 260 posts.  These posts were going to be divided by the number of districts in Matabeleland North.  This means that some of the teachers were recruited in Binga and that has addressed the challenges we used to face as a result of the centralised system of recruitment where somebody from another Province who will not be conversant in that local language was deployed.  Now it is a thing of the past, we have since addressed that challenge.

          HON. CUMANZALA: Firstly, I would like to appreciate the response by the Hon. Minister. Secondly I would like to say that my name is Cumanzala.  I am glad that the Minister spoke about the decentralisation of the recruitment process which has been said now in this august House.  My question is, are there any specific guidelines regarding this process because I have evidence that at the time of writing this question, Harare was still deploying some teachers to Binga. I interviewed them and they said they were from Harare.  Regarding the teachers, I have a database of local teachers.  I attached the database to the question which I sent through the Journals Office so that the Ministry would appreciate that I was not just raising this question.  I had evidence that this was still being the case.  Having said that, I would like to appreciate that there has been some movement on the database.  About three quarters of the people on the database have now been employed.  This is a significant improvement.  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

           HON. T. MOYO:  I appreciate that the Hon. Member now recognises that as a Ministry, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we decentralise the recruitment exercise.  Last week I spent two days in Matabeleland North interacting with all the seven DSIs in there from Binga, Hwange and Tsholotsho.  In fact, I spent two days in Muchina area at Tsholotsho High School interacting with the Head.  People are so appreciative of what the Second Republic is doing to ensure that we decentralise the recruitment.  We no longer deploy from Harare because Harare for the first time, we are deploying people who are resident in Harare, trained here again in Harare.  For those in Matabeleland North, they are deployed there.  The PD Mr. Mpofu is also grateful of what we are doing as a Ministry.

             HON. MAKOPE:  Supplementary Hon. Speaker.  I also want to appreciate the effort that has been done. Mwenezi is one of the beneficiaries of that programme.  I do not know with the other ministries or departments, particularly when we are looking at the general hands; if that recruitment is also decentralised.  The situation what we have sometimes is that we have someone from Murehwa going to Matabeleland South just to clean at the hospital and you ask yourself what type of a broom does that person use when we have the locals who can also do that.  Maybe I can get a response from the Leader of Government Business because I am now talking of all other ministries that are employing general hands.

              THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA):  Do you want me to consider it as a new question because if you are asking the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, I would ask the Minister to respond or if you say you want to forward it to the Leader of Government Business, it is a new question?

        HON. MAKOPE:  Hon. Speaker, in whatever way that can assist me.

         HON. T. MOYO:  I really appreciate the comments made by the Hon. Member that in Mwenezi, the teachers who were recruited from first term to second term are people from Masvingo.  I cannot speak for the Ministry of Health.  I am sure some of the resolutions that were made by the Second Republic are that decentralisation should apply to all the ministries, Health included.

I am sure that is why even when…..

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Minister.  I thought he was asking about your Ministry, the schools employing people from other places in the country other than where the school is.

          HON. T. MOYO:  The examples he gave where drawn from the Ministry of Health….

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Sorry, it was my mistake to ask you to answer.  Please take your sit.

          HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you.

SCIENCE LABORATORY FOR BINGA SECONDARY

SCHOOL

  1. 6. HON. CUMANZALA asked the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House when Binga Secondary School will have a functional Science Laboratory like the majority secondary schools in Zimbabwe.

          THE MINISTRY OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  With the country promoting STEM subjects, it is important that schools have functional and modern science laboratories.  Binga Secondary School is not the only school that is facing such a challenge, but it is a country wide problem.

          As a strategy to curb the challenge, the Ministry has introduced several programmes to ensure schools have laboratories to facilitate the teaching and learning of STEM subjects.  One such programme is the conversion of classroom blocks into science labs instead of constructing new buildings.  We are working with education partners to ensure the provision of mobile science labs in schools across the country and Binga High School will indeed benefit from these initiatives.

PROTECTION OF UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN ON BEAM

  1. HON MACHANGU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the measures that the Ministry has put in place to protect underprivileged children who end up paying fees at a time when they are supposed to benefit from the BEAM facility which delays their fees payment.

            THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The Ministry is indeed concerned by such reports especially coming through Hon. Members.  It is important to note that children being assisted through the BEAM programme have their fees wholly paid by Government and should not be asked to pay any extra.

         We have appealed time and again to have such schools brought to our attention so that we can address the issue.  We have a Toll Free (317) line through which guardians or indeed citizens can notify us where children on BEAM are being made to pay extra fees.  We have also set up command centres at District, provincial and head office levels to address that and many other issues.  I call upon Hon. Members to bring names of such schools to our attention so that we can ensure that children’s rights are not violated. 

REDUCTION OF TEACHER-STUDENT RATIOS IN NORTON SCHOOLS

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAYI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House what measures the ministry has put in place to reduce the teacher-student ratio in Norton schools where classes are overwhelmed by students resulting in low pass rates.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am and thank you Hon. Tsvangirayi for the question.  Indeed, the high teacher-pupil ratio is a phenomenon that is obtaining in some of our schools and has become an issue of concern.  It is our wish, as a Ministry, to have it attended to as a matter of urgency.  We have made a request to the Public Service Commission to have more teachers deployed to our sector and that reduces the teacher-pupil ratio.  Over the years, we have been consistently getting these teachers and our first priority was for the schools or learning areas that are experiencing the greatest shortage of teachers in areas such as Mathematics and Sciences that have been experiencing acute shortages over the years.

          However, as more and more teachers are deployed to the sector, the Ministry will consider some of the schools that are experiencing these shortages, including schools in Norton Constituency and other schools in the country.  It is our hope that the teacher-pupil ration will be a thing of the past in the near future.  As a Ministry, we will attend to this phenomenon without leaving any school and any community behind.

 In fact, I am so grateful to His Excellency, the President for providing resources.  We are going to recruit close to 7 000 teachers this year Hon. Speaker Sir.  So far, we have recruited 4 600, the figure does not include those whom we recruited on attrition posts.  Next year, we are going to recruit another 2 000 which gives us a total of 7 000 and that is the way of reducing the teacher-pupil ratio.  I thank you.

PROVISION OF TEXT BOOKS TO PRIMARY SCHOOLS

  1. HON. KARENYI asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the Government policy regarding the provision of textbooks to primary schools as a way of improving pass rate.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARYAND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The provision of textbooks to pupils is critical Hon. Speaker, for learning to happen in the classroom.  Indeed, textbooks and other teaching and learning materials are necessary in order to improve pass rate. As a Ministry, we have done the best in providing textbooks despite competing priorities in the Ministry. We have over the years, advocated for a budget that caters for the provision of textbooks and other teaching and learning materials. We are grateful that Treasury has always responded positively to our request. However, because of the limited fiscal space, priority was given to some of the disadvantaged and newly established schools such as satellite schools. As such, most of the beneficiaries were what we call P3 and S3 schools.

Over the years, the Ministry has been distributing some textbooks and other teaching and learning materials that we acquired with the assistance of partners. Similarly, priority was given to schools I have referred to, that is, the P3 and S3 schools.  However, the Ministry has authorised schools to purchase textbooks through what we call textbook levy.  Schools that intend to purchase textbooks are free to apply for authority to collect levy which they can use the sole purpose of purchasing textbooks.  I so submit.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  May I have clarification on the issue of the textbook levy, how do these schools apply?  Thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA):  How do these schools?

HON. KARENYI:  How do they apply for the textbook levy?

HON. T. MOYO:  Schools that wish to apply for a special levy be it textbook levy, bus levy or any other levy.  At least 20% of bona fide parents should sign to show that they are in agreement with the proposal to raise that levy.  Then when 20% of parents sign that they want a new levy to be effected, the papers are brought to district office, provincial office, and later to Head Office where the Permanent Secretary will sign.

These days we have a very youthful Permanent Secretary.  He does not delay in terms of approval, as long as there is justification for whatever levy, be it a car or bus levy – anything.  When there is justification, we quickly approve that levy.  I thank you.

HON. KARENYI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My main worry Mr. Speaker, is that parents cannot afford to pay for textbooks.  I thought it was for Government to provide textbooks to students.   Burdening parents is my concern where I am trying to ask the Ministry to lessen the burden on parents.  I thank you. 

EMPOWERMENT OF LESS PRIVILEGED PUPILS IN REMOTE VILLAGES

  1. HON. BONDA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House
  2. The Ministry’s policy regarding teachers who wish to assist pupils particularly those who are less privileged; and
  3. Measures the Ministry has put in place to empower the pupils in remote villages during school holidays to access online classes.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  I thank Hon. Bonda for the question, on a) I do not know whether this assistance is in the form of monetary terms or is it in form of paying schools fees, he needs to give us more information.

The Ministry takes into account the fact that our learners come from different backgrounds.  We have in our sector the less privilege students.  For this reason, our teachers discharge their duties diligently bearing in mind the needs of these pupils.  The Ministry therefore assists teachers who are in charge of these less privileged students by providing teaching and learning materials. Like I said that the question is not specific so my secretariat just responded.

Over the years, the Ministry has assisted in providing text books and other reading materials to teachers and learners in less privileged schools and communities.  The Ministry, through its partners also provided science kits to some schools.  Priority was given to some of the less privileged students and schools as a way of assisting teachers in discharging their duties.

On question b), it is the mandate of the Ministry to provide education to all students regardless of their geographical location.  For this reason, measures have been taken to ensure that educational content which is accessed by pupils in urban areas is also accessed by pupils in some of the remote areas.  The distribution of text books prioritises the pupils that are found in remote rural schools so that pupils can access learning materials that are available to all pupils. 

The Ministry is currently providing radio lessons. These lessons are also accessed by pupils in some remote areas where the Ministry has distributed radio sets with lessons already loaded on flash disks.  Over and above that, the Ministry, through partners, provides ICT gadgets and internet to remote schools. One such programme is the Profoturo that the Ministry is undertaking with the Word Vision.  I thank you.

HON. BONDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary is that the classes that I am so concern about when I raised this question are the classes that are sitting for examinations in the coming two months or so.  We realise that teachers who are trying to do remedial lessons to the classes that are sitting for examinations have actually been threatened with being arrested.  So, this is where my question is, the assistance that we are talking about is not monetary.  We are talking about the remedial by teachers who are taking Grade 7 classes and those who are taking Form 4s are actually being denied to assist the students freely without charging any fee.  That is what I wanted to know that on what grounds is that not being allowed?

What effect does it have say if the teachers do assist these students, where do we short change or where are the grey areas on the Government side if they do assist for free.

HON. T. MOYO: The Hon. Member has now clarified, I think his question arose from the circular that we distributed in April where we said holiday lessons were not allowed.  We did not allow schools to conduct holiday lessons during the April holiday because of the reason that some schools would demand more than what they usual pay during the course of the term.

However, in August we allowed them to make those applications as students will be preparing for public examinations in October and November.  From what he has asked me, we do not have a circular forbidding teachers from offering free holiday lessons.  Teachers are allowed, they are not restricted because they do not pay anything so, they are free to offer those services.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): Thank you Hon. Minister but from the question that the Hon. Member has asked, do you think that misconception only ends with him or it is now prevalent amongst the teaching community. How are you going to rectify that one?   Are you going to give them another circular or you are going to write them a memo clarifying that they are not forbidden to assist without monetary rewards?

HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, we will not make a circular where teachers who are offering free service are allowed to do so, we will not do that.  We will only write a circular calling upon schools that want to conduct holiday lessons in August, they are free to do that.  As long as we look at their budget and as long as they do not charge exorbitant fees from parents, we will approve so that they give time for examinations preparations.

PAYMENT OF CONTRACTORS WHO CONSTRUCTED

DELPORT ROAD

  1. HON. MHETU asked the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to inform the House on the progress made regarding the Rehabilitation Programme 2 who constructed Delport Road from Mabvuku turn off to Mbudzi interchange via Epworth Delport Road.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I thank Hon. Mhetu for the question.  Hon. Members, you will be aware that Government has been implementing the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2) in order to address the state of our roads given the importance of having an efficient road network in order to support economic transformation and national development. This programme is being implemented through Road Authorities being our Local Authorities, Rural Infrastructure Development Agency and Department of Roads.

Whilst the programme has registered progress in the restoration and upgrading of our road infrastructure across the country, it is also beset with challenges emanating from over contracting by roads authorities beyond the financial capacity of both ZINARA and Treasury.  This mis-alignment has affected the implementation of the programme due to accumulation of outstanding payment including failure to meet requirements to sustain current works which is obviously affecting the contractors.

Whilst Treasury is privy to the actual outstanding amounts related to construction of Delport Road, Treasury is working with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.  Beginning of last year in September, the Ministry has put in place mechanism towards liquidation of outstanding obligations to our contractors.

Under this arrangement which started in September 2023 when the debt was estimated at about US$76 million, Treasury is paying US$5.6 million per month over a period of 12 months to liquidate the debt.  In light of this framework, last week for example Treasury paid US$5.6 million to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development which is currently processing payments to contractors and these sorts of payments will continue.

Going forward, it is critical that Government technical teams under auspices of the Road Development Programmes effectively coordinate and engage to align implementation plans with financial capacity in order to avoid unnecessary accumulation of debt which then compromises a delivery of projects and also endangers the availability of contractors. I thank you.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I really appreciated the response from the Minister of Finance.  My humble request is to know the date that he thinks that the operations with regard to the construction of Delport Road may commence?

          HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Tsvangirai for that supplementary question.  Unless we had begun the payment process, I can assure you that we will liquidate the debt as I said earlier.  The issue is one of over-contract.  I know you are speaking about a specific contractor, the general over-contracting which stretches our resources.  They are precious everywhere, including from the recurrent budget requirements.  So, we will eventually liquidate those arrears.  I can assure you because to me that project is very important and ought to be completed in the not so distant future.  Thank you.

BANKING FACILITIES FOR NORTON

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to inform the House the measures that have been put in place by the Ministry to attract banks to the town of Norton in view of the fact that the residents are travelling long distances to access banks.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Tsvangirai for that important question.  Norton has a number of financial service providers.  These include CBZ, NMB, Zimpost and agent, Steward Agent Bank, FBC Bank, CABS, AFC Bank, Totengram Financial Services, to mention some of them. The banking environment has undergone significant transformation in the age of technology with several notable changes including digital banking, where technology has enabled the rise of digital platforms of banking, allowing customers to access banking service any time, anywhere, through online platforms from mobile Apps.  This shift has led to the decline of traditional brick and motor branches and proliferation of digital online banks.

          The advent of mobile payment systems and digital wallet has revolutionised, where people make payment and transfer money. Customers can conveniently pay for goods and services using their smart phones, reducing on cash and physical cards.  Therefore, for banks to stay competitive, they have to enhance customer experiences and navigate the complexities of modern financial landscape.  They have to embrace this digital transformation.  The populace is therefore being capacitated to also embrace this digital transformation and leverage technology to access all banking services digitally and decongest banking halls as well as avoiding having to travel long distances to access banking services physically.

          The Ministry of Finance and Investment Promotion, in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has come up with an initiative for Norton and countrywide in order to improve financial inclusion to promote mobile banking and also to foster partnerships among various financial institutions.  For example, on the issue of financial inclusion, Hon. Members will recall that I launched a strategy for financial inclusion which covers period 2022 to 2026, in October, 2022, with the theme, no one left behind to allow Government together with other financial sector regulators to work together to improve access and usage of financial services across the country.  The country`s level of inclusion is 88%.  I have not checked what it is in Norton, I am suspecting it is growing and perhaps, it may be 88%.  Various continuous awareness campaigns are going to be enacted across the country, including within the town of Norton.

          Let me turn to the promotion of digital and mobile banking technologies.  Awareness and literacy programmes promoting the use of digital solutions to the banking systems have been and continue to be rolled out in Norton and across the country.  During the recently held global money week which was conducted across all provinces in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands, RBZ, Deposit Protection Cooperation (DPC), POTRAZ and the banking and micro-finance industry customers, all including school children are being educated on the availability and use of digital banking products as well as security issues that are involved.  These campaigns are continuous programmes aimed at educating the nation as a whole.

          Let me turn to the area of partnerships; the RBZ is collaborating with financial institutions to develop tailored financial products and services that meet the needs of residents in Norton and hence, the approval and adoption of the modernised ATMs to allow for deposit and other banking services. I thank you.

          Oral answers to Questions with Notice was interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order Number 68.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

TECHNICAL STUDIES FOR DESIGNATED TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOLS

  1. HON. BAJILA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the plans being put in place to ensure designated Technical High Schools such as Luveve High Aviation Studies and Metal Technology and Design School offer technical studies as per their curriculum.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARYAND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Bajila for such an important question. Indeed, the Ministry has designated schools in each province and district as Technical High Schools, which besides offering technical and vocational subjects, would also be acting as center of excellence for other disciplines. Such schools are already offering subjects in their designated area of specialization, especially in Technology and Design. For example Luveve High, which is specialising in  Metal Technology and Design (MTD) and Aviation Studies, is already up and running in the MTD area. The school received some equipment in the form of lathe and bending machines. Regarding Aviation Studies, the syllabus is being worked on and we are also working with our sister Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to ensure we train teachers in that area so that Ministry of Public Service would then deploy  the necessary teachers for the learning area. The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) is also being engaged to address all the issues of provision of appropriate learning material.

Going forward, we have plans to ensure such schools have adequate equipment and teachers for their designated areas. Guidelines for the implementation of Tech or Voc subjects will be finalised soon since the heritage based curriculum framework has now received Cabinet approval.  

CONSTRUCTION OF MAGAMBA PRIMARY SCHOOL IN RUSAPE

  1. HON. SAGANDIRA asked the Minister of Primary and secondary Education to update the House on the progress made regarding the construction of Magamba Primary School in Rusape whose building material has been lying idle for close to two years.

THE HON. MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T MOYO):  Thank you Hon. Sagandira for your question. The delay emanates from the fact that the contractor had quoted the Ministry using the local currency, which was then eroded by inflation and so he could not proceed. He has however, since submitted papers for price variations, which we are attending to through procurement structures. We are pushing so that construction can resume as soon as possible. Once due diligence has been done, and all procurement processes fulfilled, construction will commence immediately.

TRAINING FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT TEACHERS

  1. HON. MATARA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the measures being put in place to ensure that teachers deployed for the Early Childhood Development or Infant Learning Stages are adequately equipped with requisite skills.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education takes the education and development of children in the Early Children Development (ECD) and Infant Learning stages very seriously.  We understand the critical role that teachers play in shaping the early learning experiences of young children and are committed to ensure that educators deployed for these stages are equipped with the requisite skills.

          We are pleased to report that the Ministry has made significant strides in this area.  Currently, teachers who are qualified to teach ECD are being deployed to schools, thanks to training provided by the Higher and Tertiary Education Ministry.  Additionally, the Teachers Capacity Development programme, which is being implemented by our Ministry, specifically, targets teachers involved in ECD and infant education to enhance their skills and knowledge. 

          Furthermore, we have established various in-service teacher professional development programmes that cater for ECD teachers, including those who may have been trained for junior classes but are now teaching ECD.  These programmes are designed to equip teachers with the necessary competencies and strategies to effectively teach and support young leaners in the ECD and infant learning stages.

          The Ministry remains dedicated to providing ongoing support and training opportunities for teachers working in ECD to ensure that they are well prepared and continuously improving in their practice.  We are confident that with these measures in place, teachers in the ECD sector will be adequately equipped to provide quality education and care for young children in Zimbabwe.     

MOTIVATION AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

FOR HEADS OF PUBLIC LEARNING INSTITUTIONS

  1. HON MATARA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House;- the measures being put in place to motivate Heads of public learning institutions as a means to encourage their good performance towards improved academic results; and
  2. whether the Ministry is planning to develop performance measurement instruments for Heads of public learning institutions.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  On the measures in place to motivate school Heads in public schools, the Ministry has several programmes in place to cater for this.  In as far as remuneration is concerned, we always work with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to ensure Heads of schools and indeed all teachers are well remunerated.  We have in place the Secretary’s Merit Award given every year to high performing school leaders.  The Ministry is also providing training programmes to equip our school leaders with 21st century skills.  This is in line with research which shows that providing training opportunities can make school leaders feel more confident and competent in their work, which in turn increases their motivation to excel.  We are offering working with education partners, instructional leadership training to school Heads across the country. 

          In terms of performance measurement instruments for Heads of public schools, we already have the IRBM in place which is used across Government to measure performance.  One such is the Joint Monitoring Visits (JMV) to schools through which we monitor performance as per Education Sector Strategic Plan 2021-2025.  The JMV incorporates all stakeholders from education partners to teacher unions.

ENGAGEMENT OF DEBT COLLECTORS TO RECOVER UNPAID SCHOOL FEES

  1. HON. BAJILA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House whether the Ministry has resorted to engaging debt collectors to recover unpaid school fees from defaulting parents.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARYAND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Legally, school authorities are allowed to engage debt collectors to recover unpaid school fees instead of turning away learners. As a matter of fact, we have consistently advised our school authorities to engage with parents or guardians in order to pay school fees and levies without even sending pupils away from school. In the event that parents or guardians are not able to pay all the required fees and levies, the Ministry has been on record, for advising school authorities to enter into a flexible payment plan. However, we want to urge parents or guardians to respect the payment plans which they enter into with school authorities. 

REHABILITATION OF MHLONHLWENI PRIMARY SCHOOL

IN WARD 2, MATOBO DISTRICT

  1. HON. BAJILA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the Ministry’s plans regarding the rehabilitation of Mhlonhlweni Primary School in Matobo District Ward 2 which was damaged by storms in 2010 and 2022.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARYAND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Mhlonhlweni Primary School in Matobo District is one such school which has been we experiencing the vagaries of the weather for quite some time. However, as a Ministry, we have always taken measures to ensure that teaching and learning continues to take place at our schools. As the Hon. Member might be aware, the Ministry with the assistance of other stakeholders has taken measures to rehabilitate one of the two blocks that were destroyed by the storm in 2010 and 2022. I am glad to share with the august house that one block is now complete. Currently, resources are being mobilised to rehabilitate the second block. I want to urge the Hon. Member to join hands with the Ministry in mobilising resources and the community in rehabilitating the second block.

However, as an alternate to providing the learning space for pupils, the Ministry, through partners has plans to provide tents. We will continue to take other appropriate measures to ensure that the rehabilitation of the remaining block is expedited. The same measures will be taken to the similar affected schools in other provinces as well.

RETENTION OF COLD COMFORT PRIMARY SCHOOL TO

THE COMMUNITY

  1. 16. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what measures are being put in place by the Ministry to ensure that Cold Comfort Primary School is brought back to the community through either of the following:

(a)       Calling for a judicial review of the court judgment that gave the school to a private player when the existing trustees made it publicly that they have not sold the school,

(b)       calling for a multi-stakeholder engagement considering that there is no public school in Cold Comfort area, Parkview and Dawnview, a situation that creates problems for our school going children , or

(c)       Allocating equivalent land to the private player if indeed they were deprived in order to safeguard the interest of the community.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education does not have the mandate to call for the judicial review of the court judgment between the private players and the existing trustees. In fact, it is the responsibility of the existing trustees that you have made reference to who can call for the review of the court judgment if they are the bona fide owners of the land. On the other hand, the Ministry only facilitates in the construction of school s, deployment of teachers and other members of staff and registration of the school when the conditions for registration have been met.

The establishment of a school is determined by the local communities and its local leadership. The community and local leadership initiative is determined by the availability of the land on which to construct the school, the potential enrolment of the area and the distance to the nearby school. Once these conditions are met, communities are free to approach our offices for expertise and other requirements needed in the establishment of a school. So, the Ministry is ready for any call in the event that communities in Cold Comfort area, Parkview and Dawnview want a multi-stakeholder engagement for the purpose of constructing a school.

Again, the Ministry does not have the mandate to allocate land to any stakeholder, including the private players in Cold Comfort. Our mandate as a Ministry revolves around issues that I have talked about above. The Cold Comfort communities are free to approach their local authorities in resolving the situation in the area, and then approach the Ministry for any technical advice and on the issues under the purview of the Ministry.

MEASURES TO ENSURE OWNERSHIP OF OPEN

GROUNDS REGARDING WARREN PARK HIGH SCHOOL

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the measures being put in place to ensure that Open Grounds located to the west of Warren Park High School remain in the hands of the school considering that it is the only public secondary school servicing Warren Park 1 and 2. Warren Park D, Westlea, Cold Comfort, Parkview and some parts of Belvedere.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Warren Park High School as a registered school, has an area which is specifically designated to it. The open spaces which are currently to the west of Warren Park High School are council land. It is the council that has a jurisdiction over the land, and as such, the Ministry does not have authority over the open spaces that are currently available for now. The Ministry can only safeguard the land that is already designated to a school.

However, the Ministry, through local authorities, can request for the open spaces if there is need to build some more schools or classrooms for the learners. The Honourable Member , as the local National Assembly Member, may join hands with the local communities in Warren Park 1 and 2, Warren Park D, Westlea, Cold Comfort, Parkview, Dawnview and some parts of Belvedere in initiating the need to have the area reserved for a school. Thereafter, the Ministry will assist in ensuring that another school is established in the area.

SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS AT MAPARADZE PRIMARY

SCHOOL AND EXAM CENTRE STATUS FOR MUNEPASI

PRIMARY SCHOOL

  1. HON. C. HLATYWAYO asked the Minister of Primary and secondary Education to explain the following-

(a)         Whether Government is still hiring temporary teachers at schools in light of Maparadze Secondary School in Ward 29 of Chipinge South where there is an acute shortages of teachers for exam classes;

(b)         whether there are any measures being put in place to establish an A level class at Maparadze Secondary School in the coming year, and

(c)         to explain why Munepasi Primary School in Ward 236 of Chipinge South has not been designated as an exam centre when it was established more than 20 years ago.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): The Ministry has been receiving qualified teachers deployed to the sector by the Public Service Commission. We still have many of these qualified teachers in our database. These bare the teachers who are likely to be deployed to schools such as Maparadze Secondary School. We are grateful to the Public Service Commission because we have been getting a supply of teachers almost every term. Temporary teachers are therefore not an option for deployment to schools now because we have enough qualified teachers.

However, these qualified teachers are deployed depending on the availability of vacancies at the school and the fiscal space. The Ministry will continue to make a request to the Public Service Commission so that teachers are deployed to some schools that are currently experiencing a shortage. Schools such as Maparadze Secondary School are on the Ministry’s priority list.

It is the mandate of the Ministry to provide the much needed education to all pupils in Zimbabwe. As such, we have progressively upgraded some of our schools to A Level status depending on the available of resources at the school. Maparadze Secondary School for now is satellite school. There is need to develop the requisite infrastructure to provide the learning spaces that are needed by the pupils. Thereafter, the school will have to be registered. We will then upgrade the school to an A-level status school after it has met the minimum functionality standard expected at a school. For now, pupils who would have completed O-level and wish to proceed to A-level can access education at the neighboring schools.

Munepasi is one of the schools that we regard as a satellite school operating under Matikwa Primary School which is 5 km away. The necessary infrastructure is being developed so that it becomes a registered school. As soon as the registration is complete Munepasi will become an examination center. I am glad to inform this august House that the necessary papers have been brought to our Head Office so that we hasten the registration process.

PLAN TO SETTLE BASIC EDUCATION ASSISTANCE MODULE (BEAM) ARREARS

  1. HON. BAJILA asked Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion to provide a definitive roadmap for disbursement of adequate funds to settle the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) arrears.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):       Hon. Bajila, you asked for a definitive roadmap for the disbursement of adequate funds to settle BEAM arrears. During the 2023 financial year, Government provided assistance to 1,515, 047 children through the Basic Assistance Education Module. The programme ensures that all children access basic education crucial for children to realise their full potential. To this effect, Government availed ZWL$77.5 billion against budget of ZWl$23 billion thereby reducing school fees arrears as well as clearing ZIMSEC examination arrears for 2023

          Notwithstanding the above efforts, resource constraints exacerbated by changes in the macro-economic environment resulted in accumulation of arrears for BEAM which stood at an equivalent of US$57 million (ZIG 772 Million) by the end of the 2023 financial year.

          The 2024 budget set aside ZWL805, 087.608.000 now ZIG 322 163 908 to cater for BEAM. However, due to limited fiscal space, the budget is not able to fully cover the arrears thereby limiting to cover both arrears and current fees obligations.

          To this effect, Treasury will ensure the release of the full budget in line with current fees payments to curb further accumulation of arrears.

          Treasury, will also strive to find additional budget during the course of the year to priorities payment of arrears to the marginalised schools so that service delivery is not compromised.

BANKING FACILITIES FOR NORTON

      22. TSVANGIRAI: asked the Measures put in place by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to attract Banks to Norton.

THE MINISTER OF MINISTRY OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):

  1. Norton has got a number of financial service providers including: CBZ, NMB, Zimpost Agents, Steward Bank Agent Banking, FBC Bank, CABS, AFC Bank and Tottengram Financial Services.
  2. Digital Banking

The banking environment has undergone significant transformation in the age of technology, with several notable changes including Digital Baking where technology has enable the rise of digital platforms of banking, allowing customers to access banking service anytime, anywhere through online platforms and mobile apps. This shift had led to the decline of traditional brick-and-mortar branches and the proliferation of digital-only banks.

  1. Mobile Payments;

The advent of mobile payment systems and digital wallets has revolutionised the way people make payments and transfer money. Customers can now conveniently pay for goods and services using their smartphones, reducing the reliance on cash and physical cards.

  1. For Banks to stay competitive, enhance customer expediencies, and navigate the complexities of the modern financial landscape, they have to embrace this digital transformation.
  2. The populace is therefore being capacitated to also embrace this digital transformation and leverage technology to access all banking services digitally and decongest banking halls as well as avoiding having to travel long distances to access banking services physically.

Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Initiatives in Norton and countrywide

  1. Financial Inclusion Strategy 2 (2022-2026)

Honorable Members, you will recall that l launched the Strategy in October 2022, with the theme, “No-one left behind”, to allow Government together with other financial sector regulators to work towards the improvement in the access and usage of financial services in the country. The current level of inclusion is at 88%. Various continuous awareness campaigns continue to be conducted across the country including within Norton town.

  1. Promotion of Digital and Mobile Banking Technology.

Awareness and literacy programs promoting the use of digital solutions of the banking system have been and continue to be rolled out in Norton and across the country. During the recently held Global Money Week which was conducted across all provinces in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance. RBZ, DPC, POTRAZ and the banking and microfinance industry, Consumers including school children are being educated on the availability and use of digital banking products as well as security issues involved. These campaigns are continuous programs aimed at educating the nation as a whole.

  1. Partnerships with Financial Institutions:

The Reserve Bank is collaborating with financial institutions to develop tailored financial products and services that meet the needs of residents in Norton, hence the approval and adoption of modernized ATMs to allow for deposits and other banking services.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE A MOTION ON AN URGENT MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I seek leave to introduce a very important and urgent matter to this august House, without prior notice of motion.  This matter pertains to request to this House for the approval for a loan of USD37.14 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  This loan is due to expire in the next 48 hours and I think that for the country to lose USD37.14 million, it will be a big shame.  It will go a long way in supporting agriculture; the horticultural sector.  So, I seek leave to introduce this matter and be debated, without prior notice of motion.

          THE TEMPRARY SPEAKER:  When do you wish to bring the matter to the House?

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): With leave forthwith, Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          Motion put and agreed to.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please read the notice of motion.

          THE MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The notice of motion is as follows that; Whereas Subsection 3 of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not International Treaty but which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President  with one or more foreign organisations or entities imposes financial obligation in Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament. 

          Whereas the Loan Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and, in fact, for Horticulture Enterprise Enhancement Project (HEEP), concluded on the 7th of May 2023 with the following terms; the loan amount, Mr. Speaker Sir, is USD37,14 million. The purpose of the loan is as follows Mr. Speaker Sir, this is to finance Horticultural production for smallholder farmers and micro Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) engaged in horticulture Value chains.  The project shall benefit all smallholder farmers who will be organising Agricultural Producer Groups in Village horticulture Gardens in Agriculture Producers Groups in four Ps linked to anker firms.    The project will be located in four provinces Mr. Speaker Sir.  Matebeleland South, Masvingo, Midlands and Manicaland for the Village horticulture Gardens and for the four Ps programmes, the project will be located in well-functioning irrigation schemes throughout the ten provinces of the country in particular in the high potential regions of Mashonaland provinces and Manicaland province.  Agriculture is one of the economic pillars of the Zimbabwe economy and the support for horticulture farming will go a long way in achieving trust of the national development strategy;

Food Security- the implementation of the project will result in

the following benefits, Mr. Speaker Sir, and Member of the august House.

  •          Employment Creation for the local communities
  •         Capacity Building for the local communities
  •         Climate smart Agriculture and easy market access
  •          Improved food security and nutrition
  •          Increased household incomes
  •          Improved resilience to climate change effects and economic shocks, and finally
  •         Increased production and productivity.

Mr. Speaker Sir, if I could spell out some of the condition for this loan.  The loan, first of all is ratified by Parliament.  Looking at the interest rate, the principal of the loan will be repaid at 4.5 per cent of the total principal per annum from year 11 to year 30 and at one per cent of the total principal per annuum for years 31 to year 40.  So, Mr. Speaker Sir, the total tenure of the loan is 40 years and the grace period is ten years.  So, the first ten years there is no interest paid.  So, from year 11 then it is 4.5 per cent up to year 30, then from year 31 to the end year 40, the interest is 1 per cent, it drops to 1per cent.

          In terms of repayment modalities, the repayment of the principal interest shall be made from the National Budget naturally.   

Now therefore, in terms of Section 327, Subsection 3 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved. I am seeking for approval.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          Question having been put to the House and objected

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, thank you for the notice, but when is it for.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE.  This is for today Mr. Speaker Sir, for now.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: For now, it is not possible because there was an objection Hon. Minister. So, when can we have it?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Can we do it tomorrow.

HON. DHLIWAYO having stood on a point of privilege

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of privilege and does it apply now?

HON. DHLIWAYO: Yes, Hon. Speaker. Is it possible that this House may consider the motion raised by the Hon. Minister considering that it expires in 48 hours and if it expires in 48 hours, that means this country is going to lose that credit line of US$37,5 million? I thought if that particular motion maybe considered now to save that credit line – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –  

          HON. DHLIWAYO: Point of clarity Hon. Speaker Sir. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes Hon. Dhliwayo, what is your point of clarity? 

          HON. DHLIWAYO:   We are here to ensure that the welfare of the majority improves.  I understand this particular credit line is there to ensure that our small-scale farmers get some funding in order to improve their agricultural productivity.   For this House to be found blocking such an opportunity, I do not think that will be in order Sir.  You as the Honorable Speaker Sir, I think you have all the powers to make sure this particular …

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Dhliwayo, you are out of order, please sit down.  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]Order!

The Minister has given us a very urgent matter here, which will be passed by this House tomorrow. It will be the first Business of this House.  Meanwhile you have up to tomorrow morning for those who want to debate on the motion, you can do it tomorrow.  You must also take into cognisance that Parliament consists of two Houses, so, this motion has also to be passed tomorrow in the Senate.  So, we will deal with it as a first Business item and then the Minister will go to the other House and have it passed.  Thank you. 

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. KAMBUZUMA:  Good afternoon Hon. Speaker.  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 10 be stood over, until Order of the Day Number 11 has been disposed of. 

HON. MAMOMBE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION (IPU) PARLIAMENTARY MEETING AT THE 28TH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP28) HELD IN DUBAI

          Eleventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Parliamentary meeting at the 28th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP28).  

  • [HON. MAMOMBE: Inaudible interjection.] -

           THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, Hon. Mamombe, you must not say what you are saying – please withdraw.

          HON. MAMOMBE: I withdraw Hon. Speaker. 

          Question again proposed.

          HON. MUROMBEDZI:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, I would like to thank the delegation that represented Zimbabwe at COP 28 in the UAE.  This meeting in Dubai was held within the Global stocktake of the Paris agreement towards reducing the global temperatures by cutting down Green House emissions. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, climate change causes a biggest existential threat to humanity and especially for us the poor countries in the global south.  Climate change is already at our doorsteps, the poor crops in our fields this 2023-2024 summer cropping season are a proof that we are bearing the full brand of the effects of climate change, of which the 2023-2024 season was declared a national disaster. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the report recognises the impacts of climate change.  Climate change disproportionately affects women and girls because they heavily rely on the natural resources and the depletion of these resources exacerbates the existing societal inequalities, making climate change a threat multiplier.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the poor rainfall pattern is causing scarcity of fresh water in our communities, which gives women and girls a heavy burden of collecting water from very faraway places putting them at a high risk of many forms of Gender-Based Violence. 

          Sadly, Mr. Speaker Sir, we are in the receiving end of climate change, so we must be at the forefront of holding the emitting countries to account with our loud voices.  Climate change is crosscutting, for every portfolio, every department, every Ministry, every committee must raise voices on climate change.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the report also urged us to be Parliamentarians for the Planet.  As Parliamentarians, let us be at the forefront in protecting the environment and call out all evils in the environment without fear or favour.

          Lastly, Mr. Speaker Sir, the report acknowledges the impact of climate change on food security.  This cannot be under estimated as it directly affects agricultural productivity and exacerbates existing challenges in our communities that are prone to hunger and malnutrition.   As Parliament, it is important for us to first address the root causes of hunger such as poverty, inequality, lack of access to education, healthcare and climate change in order to create lasting change and ensure food security for everyone. 

Collaborative efforts between the Government, organisations and communities are essential to implement effective strategies and promote sustainable agricultural practices, improve distribution systems and empower marginalised populations to lift themselves out of poverty.  By working together and prioritising long term intervention on developments, we can create a future where effects of climate change are felt less.  I so submit.  Thank you very much. 

HON. MATEMA: Mr. Speaker, I rise to add my voice to the IPU COP 28 Report.  My point of departure relates to Section 3.2 of that report and that same section is about the statement that the Hon. Speaker of Parliament of Zimbabwe, Hon. Jacob Mudenda said “climate change must not conquer humanity.  Humanity must conquer climate change decisively”.  I also need to make reference to what the head of the legal division of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Madam Christine Adam said. She made reference to climate change as being an existential threat and on account of that, there is convergence between what the Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe, Hon. Jacob Mudenda said and what the head of the legal division said.

Yes, as captured in that report, it is an existential threat and a threat multiplier, that is number one.  Number two, as captured in that report, climate change is a security matter.  As captured in that report, climate change is a human rights issue.  There is need for global response, regional response and country response in terms of primary prevention which is mitigation.  In terms of secondary prevention which is adaptation to the impact and effects of the climate shocks across the board.  It is clear in that report that the impact of climate change is cross cutting. It is cross cutting on matters relating to economics, society and to our environment.  You can draw your sustainability triangle in that order.

 I made reference to climate change being a security matter as captured in that report because of the economics. If you look at the economics of climate change, economics primarily looks at allocation of scarce resources.  Climate change in terms of impact both direct and indirect impact, reduces resource availability.  It is on account of that, that we need as a House, to refer to the opinion of history on this matter.  By way of reference, the war in Syria is a climate war because when there was a serious drought that affected the rural areas, there was serious rural urban migration into Damascus. 

When the numbers grew in Damascus, there was pressure on service delivery to the extent that service delivery collapsed in Damascus and there was an uprising.  The war mongers seized on that opportunity.  But I need for the House to understand that what drove people from rural Syria into Damascus was primarily the impact of climate change.  That is why the war in Syria is classified as a climate war.  With respect to human rights and the disproportionate impact that climate change has and why we argue that the vulnerable groups in society, people living with disabilities, women, old people, they feel the disproportionate impact of climate change, especially in times of disasters.  So, it becomes a human rights issue because in terms of their access to health and food, these groups are disadvantaged. We need to respond with the urgency of the moment as captured in the report that we need to adapt and adopt very fast.  We need to mitigate the causes of climate change.  It is on this account that we need to look inwards for solutions to this existential threat that we face.  We need to domesticate our interventions and solutions. 

One of the recommendations in the report relates to on 5.3 of the report, capacity building. There is need to capacitate because climate change is cross cutting.  There is need to capacitate all ministries so that we all have a collective response to the challenges confronting us.  We respond collectively to the domestication of the solutions and interventions.  We need to start working with our institutions of higher learning so that building on research and development, building on artificial intelligence, leaning on the future on the back of artificial intelligence, we should be able to then anticipate in terms of our adaptation.  We anticipate, prepare, build and respond in a manner that will cushion the rest of us and our country Zimbabwe.  There is need to capture sequestration of carbon in the atmosphere.  That can only happen if we invest in research and development.  Article 5.6 of that report advocates for a robust climate change Act. It is on the basis of that recommendation that this august House should support that position and direction.  We have been too fragmented in terms of our approach.  We have tried to respond to the challenges of climate change in instalments.  It is about time that we come together as a House and sing the climate change song from the same hymn sheet so that there is no discord in this House on this matter.  I so submit.  Thank you very much.

          HON. MAMOMBE:  Hon. Speaker if there is no debate, can I thank Hon. Members….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Please sit down.

HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you Hon. Speaker for recognising me.  I wish to thank the Hon. Members for the robust debate contributing to the motion that I moved in this House.  This demonstrates our collective commitment to dealing with issues of climate change, particularly issues of making sure that our communities become resilient to the effects and impacts of climate change as well as promoting climate justice.  Allow me to just express my heartfelt gratitude to all the members that contributed to this motion.

Together as a Parliament, we can make significant strides in addressing the impacts and effects of climate change.  Having said that, I therefore move for the adoption of the report.

Motion that this House take note of the Report of the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) Parliamentary meeting at the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) that was held on the 6th of December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, put and agreed to.

On the motion of HON. KAMBUZUMA, seconded by HON. S. MOYO, the House adjourned at Eleven Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

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