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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 16 FEBRUARY 2022 VOL 48 NO 21
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 16th February, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
VACANCIES IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE HON. SPEAKER: On 24th January, 2022, Parliament was notified by the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai Party (MDC-T) and the MDC Alliance that Hon. Dr. Thokozani Khupe and Hon. Nomvula Mguni, Proportional Representation Members had ceased to be members of the MDC-T Party and the MDC Alliance.
Section 129 (1) (k) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that, “The seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member has ceased to belong to the political party of which he or she was a member when elected to Parliament and the political party concerned, by written notice to the Speaker or to the President of the Senate, as the case may be, has declared that the Member has ceased to belong to it.”
Pursuant to the above, I do hereby inform the House that two vacancies have arisen in the National Assembly by the operation of the law. The necessary administrative measures were made to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the existence of the vacancies in line with Section 39 (1) of the Electoral Act [Chapter 213] as amended.
The Hon. Members in question were duly notified.
PETITIONS RECEIVED FROM SELF SUSTENANCE PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY, MS. H. MANYAKWE, MR. CHARLES MAZORODZE, MR. WALTER MUZAMANI, THE ZIMBABWE PENSIONS AND INSURANCE RIGHT TRUST, RESIDENTS FOR ELECTORAL REFORMS, NOBLE HANDS ZIMBABWE TRUST, COMBINED HARARE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION AND DEAF ZIMBAWE TRUST.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Parliament of Zimbabwe received petitions from the following petitioners and the petitions did not meet the requirements as required by the Standing Orders and were therefore, deemed inadmissible. The petitioners have since been informed accordingly.
- Four petitions were received from Self Sustenance Progressive People’s Democracy requesting Parliament to amend Section 72 of the Electoral Act to include persons living in diaspora; Section 10 of the Electoral Act to permit the Electoral Commission to recruit and dismiss its own staff; to repeal Section 255 of the Constitution relating to the functions of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on the account that it duplicates the work of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; to amend Section 65 Subsections (2) and (5) of the Constitution in order to permit members of the security forces to join Trade Unions; and that the role of councillors be given to traditional leaders;
- H. Manyakwe, of United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust requesting Parliament to insist on the lifting up of the suspension on By-Elections so that all vacant seats are put up for election by 31st December, 2021;
- Charles Mazorodze, of Gweru Residents Forum, requesting Parliament to ensure upholding of the existing provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act with regard to how By-Elections should be conducted;
- Walter Muzamani of Council of Student Teachers, requesting Parliament to ensure that a circular is sent to institutions of Higher and Tertiary Learning clearly warning Heads of Institutions against using institutions for political events and that Student Teachers in universities be entitled to Teaching Practice allowances like their counterparts in Teachers’ Colleges;
- The Zimbabwe Pensions and Insurance Right Trust requesting Parliament to bring back the Pension and Provident Funds Amendment Bill before the National Assembly for the incorporation of amendments proposed by the public and the ones presented to the National Assembly by the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development;
- Residents for Electoral Reforms of No. 14679, Chitungwiza, requesting Parliament to repeal Statutory Instrument 225A/2020 which suspended By-Elections in light of the fact that COVID-19 has visibly slowed.
I also have to inform the House that on Tuesday, 4th February, 2022, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Noble Hands Zimbabwe Trust from Bulawayo, requesting Parliament to enact laws and policies that promote and protect the human rights and welfare of people with albinism.
The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Thematic Committee on Human Rights.
Furthermore, on 4th February 2022, Parliament of Zimbabwe received another petition from Combined Harare Residents Association, beseeching Parliament to summon the City of Harare to explain the reasons for the massive resignations and exodus of midwives and nurses from council clinics and hospitals resulting in the deterioration of maternal health services in council clinics.
The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities.
On 9th February, 2022, Parliament of Zimbabwe received another petition from Deaf Zimbabwe Trust beseeching Parliament to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of learners with disabilities as provided for in Sections 22, 56 and 83 of the Zimbabwe Constitution.
The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received apologies from the following Hon. Ministers:
-Hon. Rtd. General Dr. G. D. N. Chiwenga – Vice President and Minister of Health,
Dr. S. Kanhutu-Nzenza – The Minister of Industry and Commerce,
Hon. Prof. M. Ncube – The Minister of Finance and Economic Development,
Hon. Prof. Mavima – The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa – The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services,
Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri- The Minister of Defence and War Veterans,
Hon. W. Chitando – The Minister of Mines and Mining Development,
Hon. Dr. J. C. Mangwiro – The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care and
Hon. Ambassador F. Shava - The Minister of Foreign Affairs.
HON. MUCHIMWE: Point of privilege!
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Do not criss-cross my chairing please, can you wait. You are raising a point of privilege, have you forgotten that points of privilege are not raised on Wednesdays? You can raise points of privilege any day but not on Wednesdays, there are no points of privilege. You should read the Hansard Hon. Muchimwe.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Point of order when there is no debate!
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: It is quite important in terms of the attendance of Ministers, and Members of Parliament as well whom I think in a way are not – if you look at the participants...
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is your point of observation.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: There are only 131 participants yet we are supposed to be 270. The Ministers should attend - we cannot start the year on such an attendance, most of the Ministers who hold key positions to the transformation of this country economically are not there. It is important that they respect this House by attending such a session, which is the first after the festive season. It is also good to see their faces, whether they are well or not.
*Sometimes it is good to greet others and check if they are okay or not. Members of Parliament are running away; only 131 are attending Parliament, they are given data, why are they not coming? Thank you very much.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much, Hon. Members of the Executive I have announced are on national duty and the majority have travelled with His Excellency the President on an international engagement. As for the MPs, others are following proceedings from their hotels. We have limited the number of those who should attend physically to 80 in the National Assembly and 80 in the Senate. So the attendance is fairly good and we are quite happy about that. As to whether they are well or not, why do you not send them some WhatsApp messages and talk to them individually, I am sure they will be happy to receive some compliments of the season from Hon. T. Mliswa.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. MUCHIMWE: Point of privilege Hon. Speaker.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Point of privilege, Have you forgotten that points of privilege are not raised on Wednesdays. You should read the Hansard on every sitting day.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. DR. MURIRE: What is Government doing concerning companies that were given tenders to construct roads and they are failing to complete their projects, for example Rimbi-Chiridza Road?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank Hon. Murire for that very important question. It is true that we have non performers as well, contractors who have been bidding, tendering at a very low price in order to attract the contract. I have assigned my team to prepare a list, which I will bring to this august House so that we blacklist such type of contractors for wasting the time of Government and the citizenry. Precisely, I do concur that we have got a number of such contractors who have failed to run with the agenda of His Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa to rehabilitate our roads.
So, we are not hesitating to cancel those contracts. We have been doing that and assigning competitive contractors to take charge of such contracts. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: My supplementary question borders on the timelines of the said contractor, the repudiation or rescinding of the contracts. Would the Hon. Minister favour us with the timelines, in particular as it relates to those contractors that have not performed on the ERRP? Where I come from, there is Great Dyke Resources that falls on the class of contractors he has spoken to and about. Would he favour us with timelines on repudiation or cancellation of contracts?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought the Hon Minister was very clear. The contracts are terminated immediately once shoddy work has emerged. So, there is no timeline required there.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: My supplementary question relates to the ones that have already been made but two or three months down the line, there are potholes that exist. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that roads are made in a proper manner which makes them to last for more than five years rather than three months after construction.
HON. MHONA: Let me thank Hon. Chinyanganya for that very important question. According to the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme, it is a programme that has been phased and you will find that we have been seized with Phase 1 where it entailed pothole patching and bush clearance. Apparently, some of the roads were patched and because these roads have been abandoned for years without being maintained and being rehabilitated, I want to thank the Second Republic for coming up with this vibrant programme to rehabilitate roads.
Where potholes are coming, it is because the roads were weak and we are now seeing some potholes. Also, some local authorities were not actually doing the perfect work that they were supposed to do. We are doing the monitoring and evaluation together with my team, to go through such roads and make sure that we rehabilitate back to the status quo of those roads.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, while you are up standing, the import of the question is; the contractor has completed the road and within three months there are potholes emerging. What is the Ministry doing about that to forestall future happenings of that nature?
HON. MHONA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I will be happy to have such kind of roads from the Hon Member that were rehabilitated and within a short space of time potholes are surfacing so that we will then take that contractor to account for that kind of shoddy work.
HON. HAMAUSWA: My supplementary question is, - what is the Ministry doing to the abandoned roads where they have cancelled the contracts, where there are some detours and it is now impossible for motorists to pass through those roads because the contractors have closed the actual roads creating detours which are now impassable due to rains, for example Ganges Road in Belvedere.
HON. MHONA: Let me also thank Hon Hamauswa and also to thank him, in particular where I requested that we work together with Hon. Members as a team. I am aware of the predicament that he has highlighted in terms of a detour which has been created and he has cited the road which I am aware of. Because of the challenges of the heavy rains that we are witnessing, we have rehabilitated those detours. We actually mandated the contractor to mann the detour that he has created. The essence of a detour is to allow the works to proceed and it is a permanent road. A detour is just there to make sure that there is passability during the construction of a road.
HON. MARKHAM: I would like to request the Minister if possible, to release all the roads that are scheduled for works throughout the year, whether it is ERRP1, 2, 3 so that we could follow and check what the scope of works are because a lot of work is happening and we do not know how it was selected. Secondly, the biggest problem that we have is that we do not know where it is. We would be most grateful if the Minister could actually release the programme to us.
*HON. TOGAREPI: My question is that, Hon. Minister, people who rehabilitate our roads do that using gravel taken from other roads be it the existing roads that we were using as a community and when they finish rehabilitating the road, they do not rehabilitate the roads that they would have destroyed that are used by farmers and the community. What are Government plans to maintain our existing roads so that when they finish rehabilitating other roads, they will also rehabilitate road that were being used by the community before they came?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I thank you Mr. Speaker and I thank Hon. Togarepi for his question. Those who are responsible for repairing our roads must be informed that they must rehabilitate the roads or places where they will be taking gravel from before they leave. Like what Hon. Togarepi has said, let us work together and see that all places that were being degraded by taking gravel; we must see that those places are rehabilitated. If this does not happen, we must see it as a community that we rehabilitate these places and fill up the holes. We must work together to overcome this problem.
HON. MARKHAM: My question goes to the Minister of Transport, could the Minister of Transport release a record of all the roads that are under the Road Rehabilitation Programme, the emergency one so that we could follow up as well?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and let me also thank Hon. Markham for that very important question. Hon. Speaker Sir, before your august House, I will come with a compendium of all the roads we have done under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme II and also the roads that we are going to be partaking in this particular year 2022. So, I do concur with him that it is of paramount importance to table that report and I promise that within this coming month before end of February, we would have received that report in this august House. I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. MARKHAM: Mine is also just to add that it will be important for us to know who the contractor is and who is the authority overseeing it; is it the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development or it has been handed down to the local authority? I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon Minister, please take note and no further supplementary questions unfortunately.
(V)HON. T. MLISWA: It was in terms of the rule of law, I do not know which ones fall under him but can he coordinate it as well because the rural roads are looking so good while some may not be under him, he is a competent Minister to be able to speak to the line Ministry in terms of local authorities because rural roads are also in a bad state. If he can also bring a record as what Hon. Markham asked for the rural roads as well.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I do not want confusion here, let the Hon. Minister stick to his portfolio. If you want rural roads, that fall under rural district council or local authorities. You ask the appropriate authority accordingly, who is the Minister of Local Government.
(V)*HON. T. MLISWA: It is only that he does due diligence to his work and I applaud him for that.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, he is very good in doing his work and we must not ask him questions that do not pertain to his Ministry
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
+THE HON. SPEAKER: Where is your Ipad we gave you all.
+HON. MATHE: I failed to connect on my Ipad and I want to thank the Hon. Member who gave me his.
+HON. MATHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Mr. Speaker, I would like the Minister to inform us, there are roads that were supposed to be tarred in 2021 but those roads have still not been tarred what is going to happen to those roads including the Nkayi-Bulawayo Road?
+THE HON. SPEAKER: Our questions should be direct questions not to ask about one particular road that would require the question to be written down so that the Minister can bring us a full answer. I would like you to put that question in writing so that we can reply it next week.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
(v)HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and in his absence, I will direct my question to the Leader of the House. My question is on ZIMRA. ZIMRA is not able to release tax clearance forms and this is affecting a lot of businesses to operate legally. How long is this going to take so that tax clearance forms are made available? Secondly, …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Nyabani, you are not allowed to ask two questions at one go.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): I would like to thank Hon. Nyabani for that question. It is true that ZIMRA this time of the year, January and February, gets a lot of challenges. We get a lot of challenges because many companies will be looking for tax clearances. The main problem is that most companies want to pay all at once so our computer system crashes. That is the main challenge but right now ZIMRA has since rectified the system so that people can get their clearances on time, but that is a problem that usually occurs in January. So by now, expect that many companies have got their tax clearances.
HON. MBONDIAH: My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Hon. Minister, what is the Government policy regarding the acquisition of ZESA meters for residential new clients.
THE HON. MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): The policy of Government is that when a new client wants to be connected, they can purchase their meter and that value of purchase will be reimbursed through electricity units. The other option would be if ZESA has the meters, you are provided with a meter for free.
HON. MBONDIAH: My supplementary question Hon. Minister is, how long does this reimbursement take and how long does it take for that amount to be put into the meter because in Kwekwe, I have residents who bought their own meters but they have not yet been reimbursed the money for the meters?
HON. SODA: The reimbursement is supposed to be done immediately after connection. I think you have noticed most of the consumers whenever they are connected, especially for the first time, there is some 50 units that offered and that is part of the payment for the meter that you would have purchased and that is happening immediately after connection. Thank you.
*HON. MANGORA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development. Do ZESA service providers not have a facility where someone may want to install their own meter because there are some people who did not get those prepaid meters? Sometimes there will be a fault where they will have no electricity. So my question is Minister, what is Government policy when people or clients are now required to provide fuel or cater for the transportation for ZESA employees to come and install the meter yet they are the ones who are supposed to get money from that service? I thank you.
*HON. SODA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that pertinent question. There are two questions and the first one was those who may want to get their meters installed, can they not get that free of charge? I had responded to that but let me respond once again that that is possible when there are meters available. What we are saying is when you get free electricity units after buying your own meter, it means ZESA will now be buying that meter through that way. That is why it is now considered ZESA property because you have been reimbursed through those units, but very soon you will see ZESA installing those meters for free. They are now purchasing those meters - so very soon, you will see them installing those meters for free.
The second question was what really happens when the client is requested to provide transport for those ZESA employees. The reality is that ZESA has a shortage of vehicles, so Government is also considering providing a facility for retooling ZESA so that they may attend to your faults and other services, but before those vehicles are purchased, sometimes you will get an urgent problem where someone may need electricity to be installed very early because they may not be patient enough to wait for ZESA transport. The workers will be there but the shortage is transport. So you may be requested to assist by providing transport so that you will get assisted for the reinstallation or restoration of any problem, but you are not forced to provide fuel in order for your fault to be attended to. So that only happens considering the time that you may need a problem to be attended to.
(v)*HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister is when ZESA takes that meter to become ZESA property, are they installing those meters because when those meters are struck by lightning, it takes time for them to replace them as compared to insured meters.
HON. SODA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that pertinent question. When it comes to insurance, ZESA equipment is supposed to be insured but that does not mean that any equipment that is insured is replaced there and then. Like what happens in the case of an accident, sometimes it may take time. So what we are saying is, any equipment that is now under ZESA becomes insured but the replacement may take time because sometimes they take time to assess in order to replace that equipment.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I will preface my question with sections of the supreme law of the land, that is the Constitution and it is directed to the Hon. Minister of Transport. Section72 (7) (c) of the Constitution says the people of Zimbabwe should be able to assert their right to learn and Section 13 (4) says the resources that are extracted...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just say as the Constitution provides and then you ask your question.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question borders on the resources that are extracted in the place where they are extracted, that the land from where they are extracted, the people that are extracting those resources should rehabilitate the land where they are extracting those resources from, in particular the roads. What is Government policy in relationship to the rehabilitation of the roads in the places where the resources are extracted by the miners that are involved in the extractive industry?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, the Hon. Minister responded to that question earlier on, that there is an obligation for the contractor to rehabilitate the environment.
HON. NDUNA: It is not the contractor Mr. Speaker Sir. It is the miner that I am talking about.
THE HON. SPEAKER: If it is the miner, then that has nothing to do with the Minister of Transport. The responsibility is on the one who has caused the damage. Why do you not direct your question to the Minister of Mines?
HON. NDUNA: May I direct it to the Leader of Government business. What is Government policy in so far as it relates to forcing the miners who are leaving our roads in a dilapidated, deplorable, and disused manner after they have extracted the resources in those areas?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMEBNTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I was looking for the Deputy Minister of Environment but I will respond...
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, the Chair has said the matter is directed to the offender, which is the Ministry of Mines and so you are answering on behalf of the Minister of Mines who are carrying out extractive business there.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Yes Mr. Speaker. You are partly right that the offender is Ministry of Mines but we have the Ministry of Environment on issues of EIA and they have to monitor that the environment is left...
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am not partly right – I am wholly right. In your response, you can mention collaboration between the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Environment.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, let me respond by saying that the Ministry of Mines issues a provisional licence initially and when they have done that, what they then do is that there are several compliance issues that need to be done before you start mining. One of those is to ensure that you go to the Ministry of Environment and you comply with their requirements in terms of preservation of the environment and ensure that the environment is left intact. The others are not related to what he asked. So the response is, we need to ensure that we strengthen the enforcement procedures to ensure that the environment is not left in a degradable state like what he is saying. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. For those miners who are defiant to stop their operations?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, you did not listen carefully – what the Hon. Minister did not mention is the Environmental Impact Assessment Report that is produced before mining, which the Hon. Leader of the House said must be complied with. That is all.
Hon. Nduna having stood up again.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can I help you Hon. Nduna. Once there is no compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, the Minister of Environment is obligated at law to charge the offender. That is what the Minister has said and he is perfectly correct, even closure.
HON. NDUNA: I ask that the closure part be adhered to.
THE HON. SPEAKER: It is addressed in the Environmental Assessment Report.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir. I wanted to ask for an explanation with regards to the Environmental Impact Assessment. Are they aware that there are people who are operating or mining without compliance, such as mining that is happening in some areas? I am kindly asking the Minister to explain to the House on the issue of Environmental Impact Assessments. Is the Ministry aware that there are other places where mining is taking place whilst residents of those places were not consulted in terms of compiling the Environmental Impact Assessment? For example, the mining that is taking place in Warren Park, in areas close to Mereki.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Member of that particular constituency should address them and if they do not understand, they should seek further clarification at the Ministry of Environment.
HON. RTD. BRIG. GEN. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Hon. Speaker. What policy measures are there to dissuade road haulage trucks carrying mineral products from our roads to rail? I am looking at increasing the haulage price to make it very punitive for these truckers to get off the road and leave the traffic to rail.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, let me also thank Hon. Rtd. Brig. Gen. Mayihlome for that very important question.
It is true that some of the damages that we are witnessing, especially on our roads are being attributed to the issues of failure to move cargo to the railway lines. I agree with the Hon. Member, that yes it is very important for now so that we then move with speed to bring back the railway line to its original state where bulky goods were being transported through the railway line. So, I do agree with Hon. Mayihlome, that yes some of the truckers that are using these heavy loads to ply our roads are damaging the roads though not out of their own making but there is no alternative at the moment.
If we are not offering an alternative, we have to move with speed and make sure that there is connectivity. There is the issue of pot to pit where we then re-channel those loads to the rail line.
HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. While appreciating the movement from 2000 to 5000 RTGS that we can now withdraw from the bank, what other measures are being made so that there is also more free flow of cash circulating in the economy such that we eventually move away from having limited funds which we can withdraw in a week.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the policy trajectory, where we are going is the digital economy that is in line with the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030.
So, we are moving away from situations where we heavily rely on the usage of cash and we embrace digital technologies. Digital technologies are going to be good for us in terms of anti-money laundering activities. We should be able to monitor who is doing what and there is always a digital footprint when we move away from the usage of cash. I thank you.
HON. TOGAREPI: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology. May he avail to the House a run down on how far they have gone with the industrialization agenda?
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question goes to the purview of a written question, it is too detailed. May you put it in writing so that the Hon. Minister can do justice to it?
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What is being done in order to address the issue of the welfare of teachers?
HON. MATUKE: Most of the issues which were affecting the teachers were addressed. The teachers were awarded 75 USD for COVID allowance and on top of that they were given 100 USD to supplement their salaries. Above that they were given 20% increment and in addition, the Government is going to pay for three biological kids school fees. The other issue which is very important which was added again to the teachers is that they are going to get duty free vehicles. The scheme was already in existence and is going to be speeded up so that teachers get their vehicles as soon as they pay for them duty free.
There may be a question as to those teachers who could not turn up for duty. They have been given up to 22nd February, 2022 so that if they do not turn up for duty, then they are deemed to have been fired by the Public Service Commission. Teachers who will be reporting for duty and just sit without teaching, will also be treated the same. I thank you.
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary question is, the Hon. Minister has spoken about the package but as usual, nothing gets to the people. The USD$75.00 allowance and USD$100.00 allowance baffles my mind when the Government has RTGS Zimbabwe Dollar. They seem to have more USD$ than the Zimbabwe Dollar. Is the Government not supposed to pay them in RTGS because by paying them in USD$, you are more or less saying that the USD$ is the currency of the day.
It invites a further question that why do we not dollarise but more importantly, why has the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education fired the teachers when the Hon. Minister himself has admitted that the Public Service Commission is responsible for that? The firing of the teachers is by the Public Service Commission and not the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
I need him to clarify that and I hope the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare will issue a statement and Mr. Vincent Hungwe, who is the key person there. So there is some confusion as to who they report to and who fires them.
THE HON. SPEAKER: On the first part of firing, I thought that the Hon. Deputy Minister was very clear. He said that all those who suffered some disciplinary action are given up to 22nd February, 2022 – so no action has been taken so far. So wait for 22nd February and see what happens according to what …
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the brain drain that we talk about in the country is as a result of the Government being heavy handed in firing teachers and nurses.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order! Please accept that no teacher has been fired until 22nd February. That is the reply from the Minister responsible for hiring civil servants. So that is clear, there is no debate on that one.
Perhaps the Hon. Minister may want to comment on the issue of mixed payment in USD$ and RTGS.
HON. MATUKE:Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I think the Government was responding to a request that was put forward by the different unions. I think the teachers and civil servants had been appealing for a mixed bag so that they are not affected by the fall of the ZWL$. I think we should thank the Government for providing such a good reward. I do not think, going forward, we will get teachers complaining but as our economy improves, I think we will still revert to our Zimbabwe Dollar 100%. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
(v)HON. T. MLISWA: So it is an admission Hon. Speaker Sir; clarity. It is an admission that the ZWL$ has failed and the USD$ is stronger. So why do you not just pay them in USD$ all the way?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa … - [(v)HON. CHIDAKWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!] – Order Hon. Chidakwa! Please listen carefully to the responses by the Hon. Minister. If the teaching fraternity has agreed to the mixed bag, what more is required? –[(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, they have not agreed. It is being imposed on them.] - [(v)HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order!
Hon. Mliswa you can submit a written question for further clarification next week - [(v)HON. CHIDHAKWA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir!] – I had recognised Hon. Maphosa there. – [(v)HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, can we get a Ministerial Statement from the Hon. Minister?] - Hon. Mliswa, I advised you to put your question in writing for next week. It will be dealt with accordingly.
HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is on the ZWL$20 000.00 fees payment for biological children. Is it not better to give teachers what they want than to give piece meals that you think can solve a problem in a short term than in a longer term? As we know Mr. Speaker Sir, as Africans we have extended families and teachers with no biological children of their own are taking care of children who are not biologically theirs. Is it not better to award a benefit that will relieve teachers than to award benefits that will cause friction among teachers? Those who have biological children are better but what about those who are taking care of other children? Would it not be better to give teachers that amount so that they see how they pay than to say we are going to give you? Better still, would it not be better Mr. Speaker Sir, to give into the demands and pay …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member, you are now debating!
HON. MAPHOSA: I stand guided Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MATUKE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, this request to pay for three biological children was put forward by the Teachers’ Unions to Government and the Government accepted. It was the unions who requested for that, maybe that is the long and short of the answer that it is not us who requested. It was the unions and the Government agreed to pay for the biological children.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is, in the opinion of the Government, is it fair to award three despite the fact that it came from the unions? The question that I then have is, is it prudent and fair to …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are out of order! When there are two parties negotiating, one has come up with a proposition and that proposition is accepted. You cannot go further than that. Thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, would it please the Minister to adjust the issue of payment of the 20 000 on the three kids to direct it to the perceived parent because seriously some teachers do not have children, because procreation, copulation and conjugal rights have not yielded to them siring kids, would it please the Minister to direct .....
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, do not trouble the Minister, you do not negotiate for exigencies that are not there. There was a proposal, the Hon. Minister explained what was proposed. So do not talk about those who cannot conjugally procreate – [Laughter.]
HON. MARKHAM: Can we confirm that the Unions gave a proposal and the Ministers accepted. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought the Hon. Minister confirmed. If there is any knowledge you know to the contrary, please raise the matter under Written Questions.
(v)HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Minister of Public Service said teachers have been given duty free to import vehicles; where are the teachers going to get the money to buy vehicles?
* HON. MATUKE: Government has availed a loan facility for our civil servants. Recently it had dwindled because of inflation so there is now a plan to boost that Fund so that those who want to buy vehicles may get loans from that fund. Government will also have a facility for buying houses. Government has availed a Fund where they can get loans to buy vehicles, houses or any other project that they may want. Very soon that fund will be boosted.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. How far have you prepared for possible floods that we hear about? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): I want to thank Government for giving us support to boost our preparedness. If you look at what happened when we got floods recently, you realise that there was not much damage, we did not get a lot of fatalities but if we look at the damages with regards to infrastructure such as roads, they were indeed affected by those floods. Our Ministry is well prepared so we have teams that are ready to attend to such floods and they are well equipped including local leaders such as chiefs and village heads. All those on the ground are well prepared for those floods including food and medication.
If you look at Manicaland where such disasters are prevalent, there are about 394 - that is the number where we have relocated people, so we had 394 places. We also prepared ZUPCO buses where people are transported for relocation. There are areas where we may not get buses and we spoke to farmers to provide us with lorries and tractors to transport people in the event of a disaster. In some areas, we have constructed shelters that we call prefab. In Manicaland, we have constructed 100 such houses; Mbire there are 98; Muzarabani there are 19. There is also a school called Keche in Muzarabani and we have eight houses as well. So far, that is what we have since done. I thank you.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: This question required a long response but for now, I think that response is enough.
(v)HON. S. NDLOVU: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. What is Government policy with regards to ZUPCO buses which are not roadworthy?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me thank Hon. Ndlovu for that question. At times it is quite difficult to then separate our roles when it comes to ZUPCO because we are intertwined. We do permit issuance and we also superintendent over the checks along the roads through VID. So, any unroadworthy buses are not supposed to ply our roads. The status quo now, buses are coming through ZUPCO and private players are also joining ZUPCO. It is an understanding that those buses are not supposed to be accommodated under that franchise. I say to Hon. Ndlovu that it is not Government policy to allow unroadworthy buses to ply our roads. I thank you.
(v)HON. S. NDLOVU: Of late, we have seen these buses breaking down and causing accidents, injuring passengers and in some instances killing passengers. As a nation, we are really worried that something has to be done. We feel that the police are not issuing arrests for these buses as they pass through road blocks. Something has to be done because lives are being lost – even children going to school do not get to school on time. Those going to work do not get to work on time. One morning I counted five buses that had broken down. It is really a cause for concern. I thank you.
HON. MHONA: Let me also thank Hon Ndlovu for that follow up question which is emanating from an emotional perspective. I do agree and concur with her emotions. If you look at one of our core values as a Ministry, it is to uphold issues of safety. It is true that unroadworthy vehicles, in particular buses, are not supposed to ply. I will also liaise with my counterparts where we have got the police for enforcement and where we have ZUPCO under Local Government so that we address some of the challenges highlighted by the Hon Member. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: As we deal with the roadworthiness of the buses, it is also key to deal with the insurance of the passengers who will be in those buses. Is it also key or is it something that has been attributed to the new buses, that all ZUPCO buses have passenger insurance which is about US$15 per each seat which affords the passengers insurance after the bus has been involved in an accident for both those that are injured and those that are deceased.
HON. MHONA: Let me thank Hon.Nduna but let me not hasten to address the question that has been asked by Hon.Nduna since it is not within my jurisdiction. I indicated the issues to do with ZUPCO that they are under the purview of Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. With your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon.Nduna can put the question in writing, so that the Minister of Local Government can address that very important question.
HON. NDUNA: Just your indulgence, to get to know from the Deputy Minister of Local Government whether she has fully insured the passengers that are plying the roads within her buses. If not, when can she comply with the ethos and values of road safety on passenger insurance, US$15 per seat affording the passenger a US$1500 if they are injured and US$4000 if they have been deceased?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON CHOMBO):We have put in the works a process whereby we are insuring all our ZUPCO buses. I cannot give you the details because it is something that is in progress but we have prioritized that. Believe you me, we have insured all our buses. I thank you.
(v)HON. CHIDHAKWA: Madam Speaker, thank you so much for this opportunity. Madam Speaker, I am directing my question to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. My question is, we have noted that ZIMRA revenue generation report and the tax expenditure reports are just included as a small summary in the Budget Statement. My question is - what is the Government position on corporate tax disclosure, tax expenditure reporting and making it accessible to the general public given that the report is not even in the public domain? I thank you Madam Speaker.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for the question. The disclosure of corporate information is guided by the Company’s Act and in cases where a company is listed on the stock exchange, this is where we can disclose all the information because that is public information, but where we are dealing with a private corporate that is not listed on the stock exchange, we may not divulge the financials to the public. I thank you.
(v)HON. CHIDAKWA: My supplementary question Madam Speaker is to say for those that can publish, where are we going to see them on the public domain?
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. It is a requirement under the Zimbabwe Exchange Rules, that all companies that are listed on the stock exchange advertise their financials and they have been on the public domain. Unless the Hon. Member would want those financials to be published specifically by the Ministry of Finance but it is a requirement that all listed companies list and publish in newspapers. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Could the Hon. Minister clarify his answer when he says that in respect to corporate tax disclosure there are limitations as per the Company’s Act. My understanding is that the question by the Hon. Member Hon. Chidakwa, is to simply say this information is actually supposed to be public in nature and there is nothing that is contained within the Company’s Act that precludes the Government to make this information public.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Thank you Hon. Minister, there is a point of clarity that is being sought there.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Can the Hon. Member repeat the question because I did not get the question?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: He is saying, can you please clarify on the issue of corporate tax disclosure. He is saying he does not think there are any limitations which preclude the companies not to then be able to disclose their tax within the Company’s Act.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think I would need to be guided because in terms of my understanding, if it is a private company, we cannot disclose such information unless it is a listed company, so I would need to be guided on that one, I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker, I think the Hon. Minister, it is only fair that he goes and do a research rather than for us to argue on this matter. I actually believe he has told me that there is nothing that precludes the Government from disclosing that information and maybe he could actually research and then bring the response next week.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, may you please find out about that and then you can bring us the response next week.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I will do that.
*HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. I heard she spoke about the country’s preparedness relating to floods. She mentioned problems where we can use vehicles but some floods would require us to use helicopters. How prepared is the Government so that we can use helicopters to rescue our people? I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank Hon. Nyathi for this question in relation to floods. As you all know, we did not get enough funds to buy helicopters that can enable us to do that job. Now we are being helped by Air Force of Zimbabwe and our neighbouring countries like Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. If we have floods, we agreed that we can talk to them and they will help us. I thank you.
HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Deputy Minister is; at local level district, how resourced are these Civil Protection Units because you come across situations where houses and schools are blown off or washed away. The next thing people run around looking for donations. What resource do they have to be able to respond to such disasters at local level? I thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. CHOMBO: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for that follow up question. You know there are competing needs for the resources that are there but we have been lucky. Prior to cyclone, yes we were not that prepared but I have indicated that right now we have been a little bit more resourced. As I explained earlier in terms of food items, we have enough and in terms of non-food items like sanitary wear, BP tablets and so forth, we have put all those contingencies in place. I think that is all I can say as far as being prepared is concerned. Also, I indicated that we have prefab houses that have been put all over the place, in areas that we think are more prone to those cyclones. As I indicated, they are in Manicaland, Chimanimani, Mbire, Muzarabani and so forth. We also have other non-governmental agencies that have also come on board, like World Vision, UNICEF and so forth. We have resources and I think we are a little bit more prepared. We cannot be 100% prepared but we are more prepared than during the Cyclone Idai era.
(v)HON. BHUDA-MASARA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In the event that he is not in the House I direct my question to the Leader of Government Business.
Hon. Minister, the duty free scheme that is offered to teachers and considering their current salary, why can Government not just come up with a scheme that will enable teachers to be able to purchase cars because considering their situation currently, they cannot put food on the table and then there is an offer there. Where do we expect the teachers to get the money? I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): Thank you Hon. Masara. This question was responded to by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. He said there are already facilities which are there from NBS for loans for teachers to be able to access. So in terms of that, it was responded to. Thank you.
(v)HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. What is Government policy on the replacement of copper cables that would have been stolen considering that the stealing is not receding, it is actually getting out of hand right now?
THE HON. MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Yes, we are currently replacing those cables with aluminium cables and it is a way of reducing like the Hon. Member has just indicated. It is a way of curtailing the rate of vandalism and we are currently working on power lines especially in the western region affecting Bulawayo mainly. We hope by the end of this year, we should have completed all the replacements. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. I. NYONI: My supplementary question is that it takes quite some time if the cables are stolen in a particular area for the power utility company to replace those cables. For example, in my constituency and other areas there have been cases whereby residents and companies have gone over six months without electricity and the utility company has advised residents to pool resources together and buy the aluminium cables for replacement. What measures are in place to ensure that those who would have used their own resources to purchase the cables are refunded? Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. SODA: Madam Speaker, the question was not very clear, if the Hon. Member could come again on his question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: He is saying that it is taking time to replace copper cables, so what measures have you put in place to make sure at least that this is expedited and also residents are using their own resources. What is it that you are going to do to make sure that at least they will be able to get their funds back?
HON. SODA: Madam Speaker, like I indicated, the policy is we are supposed to replace those cables with aluminium cables. It might take a bit of time like the Hon. Member has just observed, but this is what we are committed to do as Government to reduce the cases of vandalism. Yes, it is unfortunate that at times it is taking too long for the cables to be replaced leaving people to be in darkness for some time, but this is what we are going to do and we think that is the best way to deal with the issue of copper cables.
Yes, we have some other measures like deterrent charges especially when one is caught and is convicted for stealing the copper cables, but we think the lasting solution would be when we would have replaced those cables with aluminium cables. There are contracts that were given to CAFCA where we are currently exchanging the copper cables with aluminium cables and that is the way we think as Government we will stop the issue of vandalism of copper cables and also ensure people will always be having electricity because we are trying to deal with the motivation which is actually the copper cables. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: We have the second part of the question, Hon. Soda, which was about residents paying but not getting reimbursements of their money. It has not been responded to.
HON. SODA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Apparently the norm is whenever cables are supposed to be replaced this is supposed to be done by the Government through the power utility but there are times when the power utility does not have adequate equipment and the residents or some consumers are asked to provide their own equipment. I think I answered, it was one of the first questions that I answered in this House today to say they will be reimbursed through electricity units for every purchase that they do because ultimately, that would have been paid for by the power utility and the equipment is owned by ZESA Holdings. So the payment is done through reimbursement in electricity units. Thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: Thieves are now going for copper cables and they will sooner or later go for the aluminium cables. Why do we not, as Government, recommend to say anyone who vandalises ZESA equipment must go to jail for 40 years because they started with copper and they will soon go for aluminum and people will remain in darkness? Thank you very much.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: That is a recommendation Hon. Minister. I am sure it will go to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE), the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.