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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 16 NOVEMBER 2021 VOL 48 NO 11

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 16th November, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

PETITON RECEIVED FROM SIKUMBUZO DHLODHLO

THE HON. SPEAKER: On 3rd November, 2021, Parliament received an inadmissible Petition from one Sikhumbuzo Dhlodhlo. The petitioner beseeched Parliament to assist him in reclaiming the Dhlodhlo Chieftainship.  The petitioner’s prayer does not fall under the purview of Parliament, hence the inadmissibility.  The petitioner has been notified accordingly.

I have a request by Hon. Watson to make a statement on a point of national interest.

(V)HON. WATSON: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my point of national interest relates to the rampant theft of ZESA copper cables which is affecting Zimbabweans.  I request the Minister of Energy and Power Development and Home Affairs to bring statements to the House to inform the nation what they are doing about it because it has got to the point where citizens are buying the stolen cables.  People are starting to point fingers at the security sector to say why are they not doing something at national level to stop this – [(v)HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. SPEKAER: Hon. Members on virtual, can you mute your gadgets.  Hon. Watson, I suggest you raise that tomorrow under Questions Without Notice and if there is no satisfactory explanation, then we may proceed by asking for a Ministerial Statement. 

HON. WATSON: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day Nos. 1 to 5, be stood over until Oder of the Day No. 6 has been disposed of.

HON. N. MGUNI: I second. Motion put and agreed to.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          +HON. MKANDHLA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to add few words on the Presidential Speech.  We want to thank His Excellency for his visionary leadership.  He felt that no one should be left behind.  Indeed, we should not allow our people to be left behind.  The President spoke of COVID-19 and we want to thank and appreciate that Zimbabwe was affected by COVID-19 but through his leadership and his colleagues in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, they made sure that they procured vaccines to protect Zimbabweans from COVID-19.  Some people died and we encourage people to get vaccinated.  I do not believe that there was an area which was left behind without vaccines.  We want to thank the President for protecting us and we appreciate his efforts. 

          Coming to transport, our roads are being attended to; all that is through his wisdom.  The Beitbridge-Harare Road is being rehabilitated, the Victoria Falls Road has not yet been rehabilitated but we do hope that it will also be rehabilitated. It is dilapidated and if rehabilitated, it will boost business.  Going back to the Beitbridge-Harare Road, it used to have a lot of carnage but today there are no accidents anymore. 

          Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to talk about agriculture. There are places where people used to be poor because of drought but because of the President’s programme, for example Pfumvudza/Intwasa, people are experiencing good harvests.  There is no drought in our area, most of our GMB silos are full.  Where I come from, people do agriculture but it is not enough, we are in need of dams.  Most of the dams in Matabeleland North Province are silted.  We want these dams to be desilted.  If these dams were in good state, we would venture into animal husbandry and crop farming, particularly in Hwange District....

          Two Hon. Members having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, you cannot cross in front of the Hon. Member debating.  Please, may you reverse back. 

          +HON. MKANDHLA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the President also spoke about education, supporting our children to go to school.    It is important for children to go to school.  It is important for us as parents to educate them. When some children leave school they loiter and go into beer halls, they do not know the objective of going to school. Two blind persons cannot lead each other.  In Hon. Omega Sibanda’s Constituency, a parent complains that they loiter around shops because children should be taught; if they are not educated they will end up engaging in prostitution and other things.  Education is very important.

The President also talked about mining and I want to thank him for that.  We are grateful for the Hwange mine that Units 7 and 8 and were increased.  We appreciate as Hwange people that we are being remembered in Government programmes, we are not being left behind.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to support the motion that was moved by Hon. Mutambisi, seconded by Hon. T. Moyo regarding what is happening in the country. I would like to thank, particularly this time where we are able to stand in this august House after getting vaccinated for COVID-19. The President made sure that the vaccine is available in the country and because of that, we are happy. The President procured vaccines for COVID-19 to prevent the nation from this pandemic.

          I would want to look at other factors that affect people, for example gas which is needed most but let me say that because of the President’s vision, all these facilities are available. The road infrastructure in Zimbabwe, especially our roads in Masvingo are now good. It was difficult to move around in the country but now it is easy because of the President’s vision. I appreciate it and I thank him for that.

          Our children were not able to go to school. They were seated at home and there were initiatives like e-learning which was useful for the urban based children. In rural areas, it was not possible for them to do that. This should be extended to rural areas. On the health sector, different hospitals were given vaccines and other medication so that they could be found in different localities around the country. This was done and we played our role as Hon. Members. It is a good thing that we worked together as a nation.

          I would like to look at minerals. We are aware that minerals are found in different parts of the country. For example, where I come from in Mwenezi, there are a lot of minerals. I believe that His Excellency would make it a point that everyone has access to these minerals so that we succeed as a nation, just like other nations. There is also the Amarula plant which was opened in Mwenezi. We did not know that amarula fruits could be used in the distillation of beer.

          When we grew up, we only knew that it was food for goats and young boys and girls. Now we find people collecting and harvesting amarula so that they can brew beer. Even looking at what is happening this year, there are a lot of amarula fruits. With that in mind, a lot of people are busy harvesting them so that they get livelihoods from it by producing what is called mukumbi through amarula. This is a good initiative which is coming out of different ideas that are found in the country. We also have Pfumvudza where I come from and it is a very dry area. A lot of our water is found in dams but when we receive rains it becomes handy.

          Last year we had a successful Pfumvudza Project. There are some projects like poultry farming in our area. We had a bumper harvest. This will help us in taking our children to school. So, I would like to urge our people since they received inputs early before the rains,  I believe that everyone has received these inputs and when the rains come, they will start planting different crops. These are ideas which were brought to the fore by researchers who know how this can be done, particularly in dry planting or through the Pfumvudza Project.

          With that, I would like to thank His Excellency, President E. D. Mnanagwa for his vision and for uplifting the livelihood of the people of Zimbabwe so that we will be successful like other people. I would like to thank the President for the good relationship that he is building with other countries. This is a thorny issue which has been of concern for a long period of time and we believe that through his re-engagement, Zimbabwe would be found to be succeeding like other countries through building meaningful relationships and extracting mineral resources which will be processed and eventually sold after value addition. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity.

          (v)HON. NDUNA: I rise on a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Points of privilege are put across at the beginning of the session.

          +HON. M. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the State of the Nation Address by the President, which was raised by Hon. Mutambisi and seconded by Hon. T. Moyo.  I would like to add by saying that the President said that no one should be left behind.  Everyone should be where they are supposed to be and because of that, the President commenting on agriculture observed that most of our seed is taken to the people.  However, there are corrupt activities being done and as a result, the seed does not end up being used properly.  Therefore, the President said we should have Intwasa whereby people were advised to dig holes and apply that in their agricultural activities.  As such, last season people realised good yields and were able to send their produce to the G.M.B.  This resulted in many parents being able to fully pay their children’s school fees. 

With the advent of COVID-19 which is still with us right now, His Excellency said people should be helped so that we do not have loss of lives.  He encouraged people to get vaccinated and as a result, most of us have been vaccinated.  The programme of COVID-19 vaccination is still ongoing so that everyone will be protected against this virus.  The country is stable and there is peace.  We are not afraid, of course deaths were recorded but they have since been reduced. People are now much alert on how to protect themselves against this deadly pandemic.

On education, His Excellency, the President observed that pupils should attend school but they should observe social distance.   They should have educational programmes through the radio even though some areas have a challenge of network connectivity. Therefore some schools will not benefit from radio programmes. Right now, examinations are underway which is an indication that the President management to calm the situation during this COVID-19 era.

Coming to the issue of our roads; most of our roads are being rehabilitated.  As a result of this, the amount of carnage on the roads has reduced and this shows that our President is concerned about the people’s lives.  He wants people to live without any problems.

 I also observed that in our constituency in Lupane, His Excellency has concerned for his people. He indicated that people should have a hospital because all along, we were relying on private hospitals.  A government hospital has been built but it has not yet been officially opened, it is a provincial hospital catering for the people of Matabeleland North.  I thank you.

*HON. MPAME: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to support the motion raised by Hon. Mutambisi. Considering the issues addressed by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa on the 7th October 2021, a lot was discussed in here. 

The President brought in a lot of changes, there is infrastructural development especially in Zvishavane.  Tarred roads have been constructed in Zvishavane which we had not seen for the past 40 years; from Muzvondiwa to Mabasa, roads are being constructed.

The Government of Zimbabwe promised us to continue the development of the nation despite the disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic.  I would like to proudly tell the House that in Zvishavane, everyone was vaccinated. 

The land reform programme brought a lot of changes in this country.  In Zvishavane Constituency, we have received inputs and we are now waiting for the rains.  However, we are having a problem of inputs and tractors to cultivate the barren land.  We are therefore, kindly asking for DDF to provide us with tractors so that farmers are able to plough their fields.  

Zvishavane Constituency and Midlands have a lot of minerals, gold, platinum and especially gold.  So, we are appealing to the Government and Parliament to put a law to appoint the land and Minerals Act so that they will have a programme on how to dig minerals for the gold panners and the owners of the land because we are now discovering that gold is available everywhere and the gold panners are digging in people’s farms.  So I am kindly asking for the law to be passed for the gold panners and the cultivators.  The gold panners must not dig for minerals in the rivers because this will destroy infrastructural development and the programme will be destroyed. 

As I conclude, a lot of dams are now full with soil and we do not have machines to renovate the dams.  May the Government give us money on this year’s budget so that each and every district may have dam scoopers so that we may remove the sandy soils from the rivers and that we can irrigate our crops with water from the dams?  I do not have a lot to say, Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you for the time.

+THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much.  I am very pleased that you all spoke.  For all of you who spoke, indeed you bowed in line with our culture.  Keep it up.

*HON. DR. NYASHANU:  Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to support the State of the Nation Address which was given by His Excellency and to support the motion that was moved by Hon. Mutambisi and seconded by Hon. Moyo.

Let me thank His Excellency who spoke about the effort in making sure that the economy of Zimbabwe becomes a viable economy.  We are aware that during the past three years we came across a number of challenges, starting with drought then Cyclone Idai and then eventually the pandemic that we are facing as a nation, COVID-19 which is a global pandemic.  The Zimbabwe Government is doing its best to make sure that a lot of people are vaccinated so that we do not lose lives.  We lost a number of people but the statistics are very encouraging compared to what was anticipated.  So, I appreciate the efforts of the Government being led by His Excellency.

What touched me is that the land which was repossessed and redistributed to the black people of Zimbabwe is our heritage which should benefit the young.  The young people should know that this is their heritage which should be used sustainably.  This is quite important.

Looking at development in different communities, for instance in my constituency, there is quite a big programme which is the first of its kind since 1980, particularly the Rural Electrification Programme which is covering eight wards.  This is a big project which is an initiative brought about by our Government.  We have a number of dams from where I come from, Marovanyati.  We appreciate that we have a dam but my plea is that there should be an income generating project, for example irrigation facilities should be installed.

The other concern is that as a nation, we need to be disciplined in economic issues.  We find people looking at the different exchange rates but it is important that we enact laws which will be used so that people do not suffer because of economic challenges.

I do not have much to say Mr. Speaker Sir, but I wanted to add my voice to what my colleagues have just said, appreciating and commending the State of the Nation Address.  I thank you.

(v)+HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to debate. I would like to thank the President for the wise words. I would like to express concern over COVID-19 pandemic which has affected many countries including our own. Our Government rolled out a vaccination programme which seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19; there is need for mitigation against the pandemic.

Let me also indicate that the President spoke about devolution of power Mr. Speaker Sir. Indeed, when we look at the devolution of power, the implementation of the devolution initiative has taken a long time. I would start by the road infrastructure, the Bulawayo to Nkayi Road is in a sorry state. The road is inaccessible and it is in disrepair. Of course, the Ministry of Transport has tried because in the past, it has deployed graders and other equipment for road rehabilitation but the road is still not good enough. I believe that it is important for the road to be tarred even if it is 5km or 10km, it would be better.

Let me also look at the Bulawayo-Tsholotsho Road which is also in a bad state and has culminated in business people shunning the road. Matabeleland is behind in terms of development Mr. Speaker Sir. This is the same situation which has been obtaining since independence. Our roads remain in a poor state, whether from Bulawayo or to any other part of Matabeleland.

The implementation of the devolution of power would be quite useful. For instance, Bulawayo to Victoria Falls Road is in a bad state because Ministers do not use these roads but they fly. There is Hwange Colliery which supplies the nation with coal and thermal power, a lot of haulage trucks ply this road and despite the damage that is done by these haulage trucks, there is no money that they leave for the communities. The transport companies are not contributing any toll fees towards the rehabilitation of the Bulawayo/Victoria Falls Road. Hwange is responsible for supplying coal and the proceeds from the sales are found to be developing and rehabilitating roads.

THE HON SPEAKER: What is development in your language?

HON. L. SIBANDA: Development is progress. Matabeleland did not produce pleasing academic results during the past year compared to other provinces because Government deployed teachers from other provinces who cannot communicate in local languages that are found in Matabeleland. You would find ECD pupils being taught by people who cannot speak in their mother languages. This has culminated in a situation where you find provinces having a zero pass rate in other areas. With that in mind, I would also like to talk about substance abuse in schools. The police are aware of such substance abuse and the source of drugs in schools, it is also not good for the police to allow the peddling of drugs which has resulted in crime rates soaring and in girls falling pregnant at an early age, some end up aborting. It is important for young people to be taught to shun drugs for posterity.

We need to agree that young people be allowed to seek medical assistance even at a tender age without the consent of an adult or guardian regarding reproductive issues.

 (v)*HON. MUCHIMWE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank His Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa and I would like to make reference to the prefix “ED”, which means economic development. He alighted from his aeroplane then drove to Chimanimani. Like I mentioned before, that his initials stand for economic development, this indicates that he is a true patriot who is committed to the development of this nation because if he was not, then he could have gone back to Harare before going to Chimanimani. In my opinion, His Excellency is a visionary leader and I honour his approach, imploring him to continue with such dedication and fortitude. I thank you.

          HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 17th November, 2021.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

INVITATION TO A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that there will be a Roman Catholic Church Service tomorrow, Wednesday, 17th November 2021 at 1230hours in the Senate Chamber.  All Catholics and Non Catholic members are invited.

          On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

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