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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 17 JUNE 2020 46 46

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 17th June 2020

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

NON- ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE

PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

THE HON. SPEAKER:    I have received a Non-Adverse

Report from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on all Statutory

Instruments published in the Gazette during the month of May, 2020.

STANDING ORDER NUMBER 60 (1)

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Following the adoption of the 2020 edition of the Standing Orders, I wish to advise the House that there is a new Standing Order No. 60 (1) which provides for one minute statements on a matter of public importance up to twenty-five minutes to three o’clock p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and up to twenty-five minutes to ten o’clock a.m. on Fridays.  Members who wish to give minute statements should submit their names to the Chief Whips before the sitting.

The Hon. Speaker having asked for points of privileges to Hon.

Members.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

You did advise us that there are no points of privileges on a Wednesday so we have not submitted our names to our Chief Whips.

That is your own ruling.  I thank you.

HON. KABOZO:  Thank you Mr Speaker Sir, My question is directed to the Minister of Finance.  What is government policy regarding the mutilated Zim dollar notes.  Most of the Zim dollar notes in circulation at the moment are now tattered and torn and most wholesalers and retailers are rejecting them.  To make matters worse most banks are also....

THE HON. SPEAKERDo not preface your questions, ask the question accordingly, straight to the Hon. Minister.

HON. KABOZO:  Thank you Mr Speaker Sir for correcting me.  What is the government policy measure in place regarding the mutilated Zim dollar notes?  Most of the Zim dollar notes in circulation at the moment are now tattered and torn and most wholesalers and retailers are rejecting them.    I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA):  Thank  you

Hon. Speaker.  The policy with regards to tattered and torn bank notes - ordinarily these are supposed to be exchanged by the respective commercial banks and they are supposed to exchange these with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  My supplementary question arises from the answer given by the Deputy Minister.  The same answer was given at the end of our last session before we closed but then my question is, what tools does the public have in terms of enforcement because we have a policy but the banks continue to deny and expose the public to the concerns raised by the Hon. Member.  So what recourse does the public have when banks and businesses reject these tattered notes?

HON. CHIDUWA:  In terms of recourse, what is important is for the public to get in touch with the RBZ in cases where we have got businesses that are rejecting notes.

HON. K. PARADZA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  We have

been receiving these reports that the retailers are refusing especially the ZW$2 notes. So a person in Makonde, how can he report that to the RBZ here in Harare? Thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA:  As I said in terms of getting in touch with the RBZ it does not necessarily require one to be physical.  I think what is needed is we have got hotlines where the public can make calls.  The other issue that is there is with regards to some of the notes.  The report that we are getting is that the wholesalers and shops are saying they would want the denominations from ZW$5 going upwards.  So it may not be a question of being torn, so I think our public hotlines is what the public can use to call the RBZ.

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr Speaker Sir.  Thank you very much.  Mr Speaker Sir you recall you had ruled that this issue of the economy needs to be addressed extensively when Hon. Nyabani had spoken about it.  The economy is the real cornerstone of any country.  The Bills do not mean anything unless the economy is intact.  I was therefore imploring your good office to at least adjourn every debate until we talk about the economy of the country from pricing, the currency itself - because that is what keeps us going.  We do not eat Bills but the economy is what sustains us as a nation.  I wish we could have a day – three weeks of talking about the economy so that at least we get the full answers.  I am imploring your good office to be able to make a ruling on the state of the economy where each Minister is equally asked questions pertaining to how they are managing to deal with the economy.  The Cabinet we have must be able to tell us their way forward and it is our role of oversight to do that.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I think the issue of addressing the economy rests primarily – Hon. Minister Kazembe, we do not point fingers at people when we are inside here.  I was saying the issue of the economy first and foremost rests with the Minister of Finance and we may have to ask the Hon. Minister to come and make a Ministerial Statement on the economy and then we will debate accordingly.

*HON. CHITURA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health.  What plans do you have pertaining to women in jail who have children in terms of social distancing?

Thank you.

*THE HON. MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Mr. Speaker Sir and I would like to thank the Hon. Member for such a good question.  It really helps us to clarify these things so that people may understand well.  What is being referred to about social distancing does not apply to people who stay in the same household who know each other.  When we started the lockdown, the whole idea was that each family should stay in the household and if you stay for three weeks, it is now easier to tell because if anyone is infected, then that disease comes out so that we may not be able to ascertain where those infections maybe coming from.  For those who are in prison, if there is no virus or infection, there is no need for social distancing unless it is coming out from somewhere.  We are not talking about social distancing with reference to people in one household – we did not say children or family members should stay meters apart but all what it means is, when you leave your household, regard any person as a potential infector so that you avoid spreading the disease.  This is meant to prevent the spread of the disease.  The other thing is, the mask is not meant to protect me and that is what I am trying to explain to you Mr. Speaker Sir - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - May I please speak Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank you Mr.

Speaker.

HON. KARENYI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Mr. Speaker, a coup represents the highest form of constitutional infraction against the Constitution of the country.  On what policy basis did the Minister make the press statement of last week and surely, if you had any real substance Mr. Speaker, why were the planners not arrested and why are you planting chaos and disharmony in Zimbabwe? – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible

interjections] –

  THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL

HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I

would like to thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I stand guided by your Hon. Office whether I could speak on issues of national security - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Minister can you

approach the Chair.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage approached the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Minister, can you respond.

HON. KAZEMBE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  When I gave the statement, I was giving it on behalf of the working committee of the National Security Council.  These issues are of a sensitive nature and what I gave to the nation was enough and finer details cannot be disclosed because they will compromise the national security.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  What the Hon. Minister has indicated is that deed he made a statement without giving any details and in terms of State Security, certain details cannot be revealed in this forum.  Thank you.  – [AN HON. MEMBER:

Inaudible interjections] –

Hon. Member, we are not in a circus here.  Members of Parliament are Members of Parliament and they are national.  And I do not want to hear about this Bingaism.

*HON. KARENYI: I need clarification.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I was talking about is that, in this country, once we hear about rumours that there is a coup being planned, people become unsettled and if the Minister feels that what I was referring to there is no evidence to that, it means that he was not going to worry about it.  That is the reason why I stood up.  Was there any truth in that or they were just mere rumours?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  I said very clearly that the import of the question for the Hon. Minister to go into detail and that cannot be done at this forum.  I thank you.

HON. SIKHALA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

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

HON. SIKHALA: Parliament, in terms of the Constitution, has a right to uphold the Executive in terms of how they discharge their duties.  The Hon. Minister made a public statement which like the questioner said, caused alarm and despondence in the country.  Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, the same Hon. Minister mentioned other people’s names including my name in his allegations – [HON.

MEMBERS: Ngaarohwe.] – Mr. Speaker, the insinuations made by Hon. Kazembe Kazembe have got very devastating consequences as far as individuals whose names were mentioned in his statement.  I now feel that my security is at risk because when you are alleged to be a plotter of a coup that is a very serious allegation. So, what we want to hear from the Minister is his evidence that led him to allege some of the members of this honourable House. Had it been that I am an ordinary member, it could have been understood.  The allegation

Mr. Speaker Sir, was made against one of your Members of

Parliament.

I have got my own right to be heard. So we want the Minister to produce that evidence which he linked one of your own Members of Parliament to the Commission of a coup in our country.  It is a serious allegation and I abhor the protection of this Parliament and beg the

Minister to state over the statement which he said – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order the gentlemen facing me there,

do not force me to take you out.  I did not follow the statement. I need to have a conversation with the Minister. I need to have the full statement as given publicly and from there I will make a ruling.  I thank you.

HON. SIKHALA: How long are you going to take – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Mr. Speaker, can you give me the timeframe; how long will you take to study the statement and give us your reply?

An Hon. Member having stood up. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, who is that Hon. Member

there? When I call you to order, you must listen, you were talking across there, please take your seat, be quiet and allow me to respond – [AN HON. MEMBER: My apologies Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Order Hon. Sikhala. I address you as a learned friend, normally they say as soon as possible but not later than two weeks.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Your point of order follows what

debate?

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My point of order follows the answer that has been given by the Hon. Minister where he has…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are out of order because I have ruled already, sorry – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, you cannot debate in reverse gear, I have made a ruling already.

+HON. MKANDLA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker, good

afternoon.  My question is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. If he is not in, I direct it to the Leader of the

House.  I hear the deputy Minister is in.  What is Government policy on returnees coming from the diaspora?  Why are they not tested in the diaspora before coming home?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I heard as if the Hon. Member is asking what is Government policy with regards to returning citizens in terms of being tested for Covid-19 while they are still in the countries where they will be residing.

Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  That is a very pertinent question.  As a country and as a Ministry, we prioritise the welfare of our citizens in the countries where they will be residing.  So when they come back, we expect to receive them in the state they will be in.  In terms of testing and quarantining them, that will be done here.  We have no policy to force other countries to test these people because if they do not do that, it means the people whom we make life difficult for are the Zimbabweans, so what we do is we would rather test them when they return.

*HON. M. M. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to ask a question to the Minister of Finance and

Economic Development.  Is it true what we are hearing that people’s

salaries are being reduced?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, the question is, is it true that the salaries of public servants have been reduced.

HON. BITI:  He said the Minister of Finance and Economic

Development.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  It is Public Service.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  Thank you very much

for the question.  The salary still stands but the only problem is last time when people were given salary back dates, there was an amount which was supposed to be paid in phases and I think back dating to January.  So that additional portion was given on monthly basis for about four months and now that back pay has been paid off and people are now going to revert back to their original salary scales.

Thank you.

HON MUSHORIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

supplementary question to the Hon. Minister’s answer is to say, given the fact that inflation has continued to go up in the past few months and then all of a sudden a civil servant who has been getting an X amount of dollars for the past few months, all of a sudden receives X dollars minus $1 000; how do you assume the civil servant will sustain his life?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.  That is a new question all together.  It does not arise from the original question.

HON. MPARIWA:  Supplementary question, Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the supplementary question?

HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My

supplementary to the Hon. Minister is that given that there has to be interface or dialogue between the workers and the employer, was any message or anything done in terms of engaging the workers so that they get to know and get prepared for the predicament of the deductions.  Was it relayed to the workers?  Were they aware that there were going to be deductions?  Thank you.  

HON. MATUKE:  I think there is continuous engagement with the Tripartite Negotiating Forum.  So the issue to do with salaries is communicated through worker’s unions and I think it is their duty to communicate to their colleagues about the adjustments.

HON. J. CHIDAKWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  The normal procedure is that the procurement of any goods in Government has to go through a tender.  Why were the Covid-19 tenders done without going to tender such as in the case of Drax Company?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFIARS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I want to

thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Indeed under normal circumstances, that is the procedure but if you have an emergency, that is not the procedure according to the very Act that he is quoting.

I thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Mr. Speaker, considering the science around Covid-19, from the start of the pandemic in Zimbabwe up to today, we have only lost four people.  That makes our situation not that bad that we can buy material and medicine at that exorbitant price.  Can the Minister justify the reason why we rush to buy the medicines when the signs do not point to the fact that we are buying the medicine that we are using on the people who are dying or who are even hospitalised when we do not even have 100 people hospitalised up to today?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member is not an epidemiologist and he has no knowledge of how disease patterns emerge or end.  Our Government set up committees that advise Government on the best route to follow and the route that we are following is according to WHO standards, it is according to our experts.  Mr. Speaker, you are aware that if we had followed what he is saying given the upsurge of cases from returnees, he was going to be one of those that were going to say why did you stop doing 1, 2, 3, 4.   We believe that the course that we are following is best for the country and we will continue along that route until we are satisfied that the generality of Zimbabweans are safe, I thank you.

HON. MARKAM:  Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you very much. Can the Minister confirm that he is totally comfortable with what was asked in the original question that he sees nothing wrong with the procurement, the mark-up and what was done with that Drax deal?

Thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My original response…

Hon. Sikhala having been seated close to another Hon. Member.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sikhala, observe the social

distance.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The original question pertained to procurement regulations and my response was in relation to procurement regulation under normal or abnormal circumstances.  I indicated that the original question was correct in as far as references to normal procurements but when we have an emergency, it does not apply.  Pertaining to specific issues, then the Hon. Member will now have to put that in writing as I do not walk around with quotations from companies in my head.  I thank you –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  We have had enough supplementary questions. Hon. Chikwinya can you put your question in writing so that the Hon. Minister can answer in detail.

HON. BUSHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  I would like to know if he can give us an indication of when the Zimbabwean dollar is going to stabilise against major trading currencies – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – What level do you think it will stabilise at and what is the Government doing to achieve the same?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you

Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the stability of our currency, we can only achieve stability when we are generating foreign currency and it is generated when we produce.  So, we are producing but our production levels are not enough.  As to when our currency is going to stabilise, we need to produce.  The policies that we have put in place in terms of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and the intervention that we have done through the Economic Recovery Programme which is Covid linked; we have budgeted about $10.4 billion, which is targeted towards the productive sector and all that is Government effort in order to boost production.

HON. MASHAKADA: Hon. Speaker Sir, my supplementary

question is that productivity is only one of the macro-economic fundamentals that are required to stabilise the currency and it will take medium to long term to achieve that.  In the meantime, what should be done to stabilise the macro-economic environment which is being ravaged by an unstable currency?  That is the question.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon. Member.  The issue of the

stability of the foreign currency; as I said, it is not something that we can achieve in the short run without production…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry, Hon. Deputy Minister, it is our local currency and not foreign currency.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue of the stability of our local currency is not something that can be achieved in the short term without production.  There are no two ways, what is needed is for us to produce.  When we produce, then we can stabilise our currency.

HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir, I thank you for this opportunity.  My question to the esteemed Deputy Minister of Finance is: is it not the real issue that we introduced the Zimbabwean dollar prematurely when conditions for the introduction of our own currency did not exist and we are therefore paying a price.  Today, as I talk to you right now Hon. Speaker, the rate is now at a rate of 1:92 when it started at 1:1.  Therefore, the stability that Hon. Bushu asked can never be achieved because the currency is depreciating by the day because we made the mistake of introducing Statutory Instrument (SI) 33 and SI 142 of 2019 prematurely.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you so much Hon. Speaker.  As has been alluded to by Hon. Mashakada, there are so many factors that are looked at when we look at stability and one of the factors is the issue of confidence.  I would want to point out to this august House that some of the Hon. Members whom we have here are the ones who are undermining the confidence of this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.

HON. CHIDUWA: I think there is need for us to tell each other the truth.  Confidence is one important factor and some of the Hon. Members are the ones who are undermining the economic confidence of this country.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy, I do not seem to see

him…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Can you control your voices at the back there and help me not to name you.

HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power

Development and in his absence, I notice that the Deputy is here.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to establish whether it is now Government policy for a Government Minister to interfere with due processes against accused persons?  Mr. Speaker Sir, I make reference to the Hon. Minister’s letter to the ZESA Board reinstating one

Wicknell Chivayo’s, Intratek contract and asking same to drop charges against him – that is the specific question Mr. Speaker Sir. –

[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  This is directed to the Minister of

Energy and Power Development, is he there – [HON. TSUNGA: The Deputy is here Mr. Speaker Sir!] – No, it is on.  You switched it off but it is on now.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER

DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker

Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question concerning the long standing issue between Mr. Chivhayo and ZPC

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please raise your voice Hon.

Minister.

HON. MUDYIWA:  I think it is because of these things –

[Laughter.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You can remove it if there is a problem.

HON. MUDYIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for the question from the Hon. Member concerning the long-standing Chivayo and ZPC issue which is within the courts.

The question is specific that is it Government policy?  It is not

Government policy, there is no Government policy that states the

Hon. Minister should interfere – it is not interference per se.  The

Hon. Minister was not interfering about the process but the Hon. Minister had to act on consideration of the fact that the issue had been outstanding for a long time.  The country is going through difficulties, we do not have enough electricity and there was a court ruling.  I think the last judgment stated that the judge directed that ZPC should do certain issues or should meet somewhere with Chivayo and discuss about certain issues concerning the implementation of that project.  So this is where the Hon. Minister had to come in and advise ZPC to act as per the court direction.  I think that is all I can say about the issue.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA:  My supplementary question is, I just want to establish whether the Hon. Minister is aware that interfering with due process is illegal at law and is actually an obstruction of justice?  I put it to the Hon. Minister that he is obstructing the course of justice in this case and that corrective action has to be taken.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, unfortunately you do

not have the Order here – do you?  You do not have it.  Now, it will be very difficult for me to rule in terms of due diligence until we see what the courts have said on the way forward.  Then from there, we can take it up next when we meet.

I would ask the Hon. Minister to get to the actual order and that becomes our point of departure and advice the House accordingly. – [HON. BITI: Ku Chikurubi kuno tonhora!] – Kunotonhora chii? – [HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker!] – I have ruled so do not argue with the Chair. – [HON. CHIKWINYA: I thought it was a ruling on him.] -  No, no, we have to be clear on what we are talking about.

*HON. NHARI:  My question is directed to the Minister of

Health and Child Care and in his absence will be directed to the Leader of Government Business.  When people are taken to quarantine centers, what is Government policy with regards to expectant mothers or breastfeeding mothers?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you

Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question with regards to pregnant women who are taken to quarantine centers or breastfeeding mothers.

My response is that the aim of quarantining people is to assess whether they are free of infection or they are infected.  So, they are not just taken to hospital but if they get sick, regardless of whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding then experts will look into that.  The aim of quarantining is just for observation only.  If you are disease free, then nothing happens – but if you are infected, then that will be taken up.  I thank you.

*HON. HAMAUSWA:  My supplementary question is, we

understand that the highest number of infections is coming from quarantine centers.  Does this not mean that children who are going into these quarantine centers are exposed to infections?  What measures are being taken so that pregnant women or children may be prevented from contracting the infections whilst in quarantine centers?

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  I do not know whether you are

talking about born babies or pre-born babies?  Was the question not about women?

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member who just spoke did not understand very well or it looks like he did not read very well on what is happening.

There are no people who are contracting infections or being infected in the quarantine centers.  People who are returning from outside are testing positive as soon as they are tested – it is not that there is transmission within quarantine centers.  When people get to quarantine centers, they are taught on safety measures so that they do not spread or contract infections.  So far, there are no reports of infections within quarantine centers. I thank you.

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is

directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care but in his absence I will put it to the Leader of the House.  Mr. Speaker Sir, in view of the opaqueness around Covid 19 donations and of course the public concerns towards the accountability, when are you going to direct the Auditor General to conduct a forensic report into all the Covid 19 donations and procurement?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Firstly, I

want to correct that there is no opaqueness in covid 19 donations. If you have been following in the media, the Ministry of Information has been publishing all the covid 19 donations.  So, I am not aware of where the assertion that it is opaque is coming from.  At this stage, we have procedures that are followed.  Surely, we cannot concentrate on audits when we are concentrating on fighting the corona virus – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I insist that we are seized with fighting corona virus.  We are publishing the donations that we have received.  We have been very transparent in that regard and we do not have an appetite of following things that are not procedural at the moment.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Chair.  My point of

order arises from the answer by the Hon. Minister in that the

Government cannot be seized with audits at the time of the pandemic.

Madam Chair, Parliament remains the centre of accountability of

Government resources in terms of Section 119 of the Constitution.  For the Hon. Minister to state before the House that they cannot be seized to be accountable despite the levels of the pandemic, I think it becomes misleading to the nation.  I, therefore request that the Hon. Minister either withdraws that or he actually states which statutes provide that they should not be audited or should not be transparent and accountable.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I indicated that we are receiving donations and all the donations we have made them public.  We are in the midst of fighting the pandemic and at the end of it all, we can do an audit but we cannot say at this juncture there is necessity of a forensic audit.  We have done everything that is required of us.  We are seized with and we are extremely happy with what is happening.  We do not have any reason whatsoever to be worried about doing an audit when we are satisfied with what is happening.  I thank you.

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  While I

appreciate the Minister’s answer that we are at the epicenter of this pandemic, my question really was when are you going to direct the Auditor General to actually carry out the forensic audit.  Whilst I appreciate that you are currently receiving donations and fighting the pandemic.  At what stage are you going to direct the Minister to do so?

      THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think the Minister has

already responded.  He said at the end of the pandemic.

  HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  You have said

exactly what I said and you can check with the Hansard.  I said that at the end of it, we will do.

*HON. MLAMBO:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, we

were affected by Cyclone Idai in Chipinge but we did not receive any money.  There was no information on what happened to the donations.  Will they be able to inform the nation about donations on corona virus?

        THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Your point of order is

overruled Hon. Member.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Madam Speaker, there is a possibility

that the vaccine or the treatment of Covid 19 is going to take quite a long time.  Meanwhile, our provisions provide for the Government –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

        THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members,

order.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Madam Speaker, people are struggling

to find the vaccine or the treatment for covid.  That might mean that it is going to take quite a long time before a solution is found.  Meanwhile, we have got statutes that provide for the Government to report to Parliament on whatever will have been used.  Does the Minister imply that we are going to wait even if it is going to take three years before a solution is found for the Government to come and report to Parliament?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you

Madam Speaker.  There are statutory requirements of audits that we cannot do away with.  Those will continue.  The original question was about a specific audit, that is a forensic audit.  At the end of each period as prescribed by our laws, we can have general audits.  I think he must relax.  We will still be accountable to Parliament and if the pandemic continues and the usual audit is due, it will be carried out and the reports will be tabled in Parliament.  I thank you.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Madam Speaker for

giving me this opportunity.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  You have been appointed for some time now.  What is the backbone of the economy of this country?  Even if we have several minerals such as chrome, diamonds, et cetera, there is one important mineral.  If you tamper with that mineral, this country will be destroyed totally.  For example,

Zambia’s economy is based on copper and Botswana is diamonds, whilst South Africa is platinum.  What is the backbone of the Zimbabwean economy?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): The

backbone of the economy of this country is agriculture.  In that sector the main product is tobacco and after agriculture we go to mining and platinum and gold are the major minerals.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  My supplementary question is

coming because I saw the Minister struggling to answer the question about the backbone of the economy.  I am a grade 2 but I can respond better and tell you it is gold.  Since time immemorial the economy of this country is based on gold.  I want to demonstrate to the Minister that gold is the backbone of this country because it is very clear that the Minister does not know that the economy of this country is based on gold.  Fidelity – the company that buys gold was buying at US$45/$46 and they were competing with the black market.  There was a very small difference between the black market and Fidelity rates but right now CBZ has been given a licence to buy gold.  CBZ is buying at $48 whilst Fidelity is buying at $45.  The black market is competing and it is a dangerous animal in this country.  Today the black market is buying at $50/$52 per gram.  How can the country then stabilise. You are not going to get gold.  Tobacco is sold seasonally but gold earns money every second.  I do not know why the Minister does not seem to know or understand this.

*HON. CHIDUWA:  The importance of those sectors he is talking about depends on what we will be talking about.  If we are talking about our exports we will be mentioning the most important sector and if it is an issue of employment we can mention the sector which is important.  So, the question of which sector is important depends on what we will be focusing on.  It is true that our gold is important and has to have a good price.  If we export gold we get money which will make our currency strong.  I have heard your concerns and they are very important.  Your point is very valid.

Thank you.

HON. MUSHORIWA:  My supplementary question relates to the answer that the Hon. Minister gave.  The Minister said that the agricultural sector is the backbone of this economy.  My question is whether the current Government policy – and I say this given the fact that in the past 3 or 4 years the Government has spent almost US$7.2 billion on command agriculture and yet there is nothing to support non productivity.  Given that agriculture is the cornerstone of the economy what is it that the Government is failing to do seeing there is no food in the market and yet we are pouring in huge amounts of money year in and year out?

HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In terms of what we are doing, the interventions that we have done in agriculture to make sure that agriculture is going to provide for our food security, I can give you an example of the fiscal intervention that we have done in the economic recovery and stimulus package.  We have allocated

ZW$6.8 billion which is strictly for agriculture.  Within that amount there is ZW$3.9 billion which is a guarantee to make sure that we produce enough wheat under the winter wheat programme.  We also have ZW$2.9 billion which we have put aside for the summer crop.  So these are the interventions which we are putting in place to ensure that we are self sufficient in food production.  We also have other incentives that we have given to ensure that we produce.  Thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Chair.  During Hon.

Matambanadzo’s question, on the second part, he put it across to the Minister that CBZ is buying at US$48 and Government through

Fidelity which is housed under ZB bank is buying at $45 and the Minister did not dispute that.  My question now is, is that correct, if so under what circumstances did CBZ get the licence and why are all other banks excluded from participating on the gold market.

HON. CHIDUWA:  Thank you Madam Chair.  What I can say is that in terms of the new gold framework the small producer is being paid a fixed price of US$45 while the bigger producers are being paid at the market price.  So whether they are being paid by the bank that has been mentioned that one I cannot confirm.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Now that Hon. Mthuli Ncube is around let me repeat my question so he can give me an answer.  The question before the House is – it has been put before the House that CBZ managed to get a licence to pay at US$48 whilst Fidelity is paying US$45 to the small scale miners.  If that has been established to be true why only CBZ and not allow every other bank to participate on the gold market so that there is competition and then we put out the black market.

         THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that very good question.  I am not aware of the full facts in terms of the award of the licence to the Bank that he mentioned which is CBZ.  I am not aware of the full facts but I will endeavour to investigate and then I will be able to answer the question once I have the facts.  I thank you.

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

Madam Speaker, in the absence of the Hon. Minister, the Deputy

Minister of Finance and Economic Development confirmed and then the Hon. Minister, who is supposed to be the boss to the Deputy

Minister, stands in this august House and says he is not aware.  Hon.

Speaker, I think that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is taking this House for granted and we would want you to ask him to apologise to the august House.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I think the Hon. Minister is

going to investigate about the issue of CBZ buying gold.  So, we may move to a new question.

*HON. B. DUBE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  My point of order is, was the Deputy Minister lying when he was answering this question?  If he was lying, he must apologise because it is not possible that a Deputy Minister who does not even sit in Cabinet can give answers which he says are precise over issues that the Cabinet substantive Minister himself does not know about?

         THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Your point of order is

overruled.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister responsible for water.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, what is Government policy with regards to the provision of water as a basic necessity during the Covid- 19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LANDS, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.

HARITATOS):   Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you to the Hon. Member for the very important question.  Madam Speaker, it is every human being’s right to have access to clean portable water and our Ministry has been working flat out throughout the Covid- 19 pandemic since the announcement of the lockdown.

Madam Speaker, just to give you an example, at the beginning of this year, our Ministry had a target of resuscitating 900 boreholes and as of today, we have resuscitated in excess of 1 200 boreholes and we endeavour to continue until we complete as many as possible by the end of the year.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  In my

question, I have asked about water – In Bulawayo, Luveve

Constituency Ward 15 has deaths that are more than those of the Covid- 19.  Ward 15 has had seven deaths and it is all due to waterborne diseases.  Members of that community have died from running tummies.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, last week I raised the point with regards to Bulawayo’s request for it to be declared a national disaster and the Minister said they were looking into it.  How long does it take for the Ministry to look into such a situation and I think we would have been able to avoid these nine deaths.  As I speak

Madam Speaker Ma’am, Bulawayo Luveve Constituency is a hive of activities with ambulances and members of families lying unable to even walk and go to hospitals and clinics.

I am actually speaking on behalf of the Member of Parliament

Hon. Stella Ndlovu who is actually dealing with the situation in Luveve.  I would also like to know when Government is going to implement devolution because devolution has been implemented and

activated.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  That is another question to

a different Minister Hon. Toffa.

HON. TOFFA:  This is important Madam Speaker because seven lives have been lost.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is important but you are now mixing issues.

HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.  The Hon. Member mentioned quite a few things but her question was particular about Bulawayo and I can advise the Hon. Member that we were considering some form of declaration – however, I am very happy to note that a declaration was unnecessary.  As of last week, we were able to increase the supply of raw water to Bulawayo fivefold to approximately 10 mega litres.  Therefore, there is no need to declare because the water is certainly available and what is lacking is that the council is unable to perform their duties.  We are within our rights and we do supply enough raw water to council but again, it seems Councils are unable to perform their own duties.  Thank you Madam

Speaker.

HON. WATSON:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Prior to the lockdown, I asked this very question and actually the Speaker had said the Minister would bring a Ministerial Statement which is yet to come to this House on the very issue.  Whilst you are saying you have increased the water tenfold or five fold, 10 mega litres is not enough, it is insufficient.  The water situation in Bulawayo remains dire and as you can try to blame the City Council; actually it is ZINWA’s responsibility to provide raw water to the Council for distribution.  The Council distributes what water they have – it is insufficient.  How many boreholes were rehabilitated and why has the situation actually not improved.  If you want to blame the Council, you must explain to this House where the Council has failed.  Thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank

you to the Hon. Member although she is a little bit emotional - [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.

Hon. Biti, order!

HON. HARITATOS:  Madam Speaker, as I mentioned before, the responsibility of our Ministry through ZINWA is to provide raw water and I can advise you Madam Speaker that we are indeed supplying enough raw water and again, I bring up the issue with regards to the Council of being incompetent – how I see it.  They should supply clean drinking water to the population of Bulawayo. We are supplying enough raw water and they must do the job to supply to households.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

     THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No more supplementary

questions Hon. Hamauswa.

HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order, you remember we

requested a ministerial statement on water.  We want your ruling because we requested more than 8 times for a Ministerial Statement on water before we experienced the crisis we are experiencing now.

We started calling for a Ministerial Statement on 28th July 2019.

Right now we are actually reaching another July without that

Ministerial Statement delivered in this House. Our plea was that we were going to face normal to below normal rainfall.  So what was the plan by the Government to deal with the challenge of water?

When is the Ministerial Statement coming to this House so that as Hon. Members, we are aware of what the Government is doing not only in Bulawayo but also in Harare, Mutare and Guruve where cattle are dying because of lack of water.

  THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE,

WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON.

HARITATOS):  Thank you Madam Speaker.

       THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: When do we expect the

Ministerial Statement Hon. Minister?

HON. HARITATOS: Madam Speaker, I can tell you first hand

that I have been in this honourable House several times discussing and answering questions with regards to water. So, if a Ministerial Statement is required Hon. Speaker to show how incompetent some of our councils are, that is what we are doing thank you very much.

*HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question goes to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development concerning the RTGS $2 and $5 notes that are written bond notes.  The Reserve Bank has introduced $10 and $20 new notes that are not written bond notes.  What is the Government doing to make sure that the 2 and 5 dollar notes that are written bond notes are not rejected?

         THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Madam

Speaker for the question.  This question was asked to my Deputy. However, I will answer it. What we are going to do is that the notes that have got the bond note wording on them are slowly being replaced by those without the wording. So, it is a slow process. We will replace and at the same time managing the growth of money supply and those are being swapped on a one to one basis.   The same way that we are swapping over time RTGs balances for cash balances but in a way that is responsible where we are able to manage the growth of money supply. I thank you.

*HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you very much.  I have brought the money for easy of reference.   In my constituency in Zhombe at

Empress, Hove and Chidhakeni Shopping centres, parents are having a difficult time because retailers are refusing to accept notes, written bond notes, they want new notes only.  Does the Minister know this?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I am requesting all of those who have had these experiences where their bond notes have been rejected to approach banks and surrender those notes in return for the newly issued notes which have got the word bond note removed from those notes so that we just do a swap.   I urge the Hon. Member to ask people in her constituency to do that.   We have got an orderly substitution process I thank you – [AN HON. MEMBER:

Tikakusechai munemabond here imi.] –

*HON. P. ZHOU: Madam Speaker, his face mask makes it

difficult for us to hear him.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let

me remove my mask for a minute or may be not more than a minute. I thank the Hon. Member again for the comments and questions. What should happen is that people should be able to approach the Reserve Bank and then have those bank notes replaced with fresh notes with the word bank note removed.   Just bring them over and we swap those – [HON. MEMBERS: Vachibva kuZhombe here kuuya kuHarare?] –

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Did

you get what the Minister is saying – [HON. MEMBERS:  Ngaataure neShona.] – Minister vati vanhu ngavauye nemari dzavo kuReserve Bank vodzichinja nedzisina kunzi bond note.

*HON. P. ZHOU: I want clarity.  Who must take that money to the Reserve Bank because now people cannot move freely due to this covid pandemic.  A person who is in Dhakeni, the nearest bank is in Kwekwe.  As a Government, you must come up with policies that will prohibit retailers from refusing these notes.  They are the ones who are supposed to accumulate these notes and take them to Reserve Bank.  That is hard earned money and yet they are told to go to the bank again to swap those notes.  People do not have money for transport.  What policy does Government have in place to solve this problem?  My other comment is that the banks must issue adequate cash to the people.  I thank you.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I thank the Hon. Member for

insisting that this issue be sorted out and I appreciate that. What we will do is that we will issue a press statement making it clear that the bond note is still legal tender.  We will do that but as we receive this bond note, we will substitute it with the fresh currency, with the full Zimbabwean dollar.  I thank you.

HON. KASHAMBE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Can the Minister explain to the House, we hear schools are opening next month, the level of preparedness in terms of face masks, sanitisers, running water, transport for pupils to school and compliance assessments before the schools open.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON E. MOYO):  Thank you very

much Madam Speaker.  The issue of preparedness is an ongoing exercise.  Let me preface my response by saying that Government has directed that examinations be written, schools be opened in a phased manner and our responsibility is to ensure that by the time school children get to school, they are ready.  There are a number of things that we are doing.  First of all the training of school headmasters has started and teachers are being trained on how to handle covid-19 issues.  We have issued circulars to school heads on what they have to do in terms of preparation for reopening of schools. We have already launched the making of masks, sanitisers and so forth by different schools, and  I can cite that Mashonaland West which is currently producing an average of 53 000 masks per week.  Those are some of the efforts towards the reopening of schools.

In the case of water we know that sanitisers are expensive to produce and to procure, therefore we are encouraging our schools to use soap wherever they are.  You might also want to know that most schools have got water within their premises.  However, there are others that have water outside the school premises and water has to be carted into the school for the purpose of that.  All that we are doing, we are working together with the Ministry of Health and Child Care on the protocols to be followed. This morning we had a meeting with independent schools and they were telling us they are very ready - I am sure this evening they will be issuing a statement.

Then our Government schools which are headed by the National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) and the National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) have also written to us that they are almost ready.  All that we are waiting for is that Treasury complements those efforts so that the procurements of outstanding preparedness issues is addressed.  Thank you.

HON. CHINANZVAVANA:  My supplementary question goes

to the Hon. Minister that yes, it is complementary that you are getting prepared and ready where the covid-19 is concerned.  What about the examinations that you are proposing for all children to write say in September/November when those in the rural areas are not using any e-learning.  What rationale have you that they are all ready for the same examination that they sit?  Are you not disadvantaging the rural child?  I thank you.

HON. E. MOYO:  The issue of the June/July examination what people should understand is that those are supplementary examination.  They are written by candidates who attempted examinations last year in November and they did not make it and they are supplementing.

Now when you come to the conventional examinations that come at the end of the year, they normally come in

November/December and that time table, in terms of when these are going to be written, is still going to be issued.  I cannot at the moment indicate that they will be written on this date or that date. However, in terms of the candidate preparedness the June/July examinations are supplementary examinations and those are private candidates who do most of their work at home.  Thank you.

+HON. MPOFU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to ask the Minister that the students who are supposed to be writing their examinations on the second term, is it true because they have not done enough lessons during the term?  

HON. E. MOYO:  When we are talking about the definition of a term it is something that can still be reworked on.  When schools open we will call that second time, which ever time that is going to be because the first time you will understand ended prematurely late in March and therefore if we are opening in July, that is going to mark the beginning of the second term and then we will work forward in that manner.

HON. TSUNGA:  Virtually all stakeholders in education have said no to resumption of schools.  This includes virtually all teachers’ associations or unions, including our very own Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education led by Hon. Misiharambwi.

Also there are credible fears that there will be a surge in infections at a time we are talking about the need to level the infection curve.  So why is the Ministry so defiant and inconsiderate to the extent of condemning our children and teachers and the entire population?  These children come from families, why condemn them to the real risk of covid-19 infection at this time if we are serious about flattening the curve?  Thank you very much.

HON. E. MOYO:  Our role as the Ministry is to advance the mandate of educating the nation and Government has taken a position to say examinations must be written, schools must be reopened in a phased manner and our role is to fulfil that which Government has pronounced and we want to do that in the best interest of learners, teachers and everybody.  Granted, people have expressed reservations about this and that – however, there are others who have also expressed anxiety to say how long are our children going to stay at home.  If we are going to live with this virus for the next 50 years, are they going to grow grey hair while still seated in the kitchen?

These children live in communities and they are interacting with their peers everyday in the communities.  They are interacting with them playing; they are interacting with them in the shops, buses and everywhere.  So we are saying that the school environment should provide a better relief and controlled environment in the sense that as children come to school, we are going to ensure that they are wearing masks and they are going to be sanitised.  We will ensure social distancing, they are going to be so much in a controlled environment and they are going to be also tested in terms of their temperatures and things like that.  So we are saying that in our view, we find a school environment even safer than the environment outside school.  Thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.

SEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

N                                       t415425                17 June, 2020

HON. HAMAUSWA: I move that the time be extended by 20 minutes.

HON. NOMATHEMBA. NDLOVU: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. NOMATHEMBA NDLOVU: Thank you Madam

Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home

Affairs, and in his absence I refer my question to the Leader of the House.  In view of increased cases and reports of abductions and assaults on citizens by the police and other security agents, for instance, the disappearance of Itai Dzamara, a vendor Hilton Tamangane who was shot and Paul Munakupa who was shot recently in Bulawayo, when are you going to order a judicial commission of inquiry into those issues to avoid the current situation where the State security agents end up investigating themselves?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker.  I want to start by making a correction.  The security services are not abducting anyone and I also want to state that the people that have been mentioned - there is no evidence of involvement of security sector institutions in whatever is being alleged.  Therefore, what the Hon. Member is requesting cannot be executed.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: I rise on a point of order Madam

Speaker in terms of Order Number 59 read together with Order Number 60 (c) of our Standing Rules and Orders with regards to matters of public importance.  I rise simply taking advantage of the fact that the Minister of Finance is in the House.  We are receiving information to the effect that civil servants have been awarded salaries US$75 per month.  May confirm if the information is true and if he may want to address Parliament to that effect, and if he may want to dismiss the same.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Madam Speaker

Ma’am, I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The information is correct, I confirm that the civil servants salaries have been increased by 50% and that each civil servants and all of them will be paid US$75 in addition to that for three months.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Minister, at least for clarifying the same; if I may refer you to point number two of your statement, if it qualifies to Parliament. If I may refer to point number two, if it affects Parliament.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I would like it to affect Parliament but as you know, the salaries and allowances for Parliament are not determined by Central Government, so we will have a conversation with Parliament.  It would be good I think if they were covered by a similar provision.  I think the Hon. Member will be very happy if that were the case but we will have that engagement and I thank him for

raising it.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Can I know

from the Minister what the rationale is for continuing to pay civil servants in Zim dollar when all shops are virtually rejecting it?  Is there no appetite to move away from the ZW$’s because shops are not accepting the amount?  Why, even if you increase 100% does that work if shops are refusing the money?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker

Ma’am.  I thank the Hon. Member for that question.  It is incorrect that shops are refusing ZW$’s, they are not.  The issue is just an exchange rate, they are not rejecting it.  I know for sure that currently the Hon. Member is using ZW$’s, I am sure they also use US$’s but I know for sure they are using ZW$’s through the Ecocash platform and other platforms.  I thank you.

*HON. PARADZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Hon.

Minister, I have just received calls from my Constituency and from Mhangura that the two dollar note is being rejected by shops.  So they want to know what the Government is doing to correct that.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Madam

Speaker Ma’am. The two dollar note is legal tender and should be used.  Those are the facts, I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.

HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, we are all aware of what is happening around the world regarding selective application of the law.  We have the George Floyd issue in America which Zimbabwe actually wanted to demonstrate against.  However, we have our own people here in Zimbabwe, the case in point of a man who was shot in Bulawayo.  Our Government is not prepared or interested in commissioning an investigation.  We have the abductions which the Government would want to say, ‘the so called.’  It is the responsibility of a Government under the Constitution of Zimbabwe to protect every Zimbabwean and make any effort.  Do opposition lives not matter in Zimbabwe?  If it matters, why can the Minister not allow the due process to be carried out – to carry out proper investigations into these matters, or else we are going to a situation where we will have the white supremacist era where white people’s lives matter and that of blacks do not matter.  In Zimbabwe opposition lives do not matter; even the arrests that Members of Parliament go through where the Covid regulations are applying only to Members of MDC where four people are arrested for violating Covid rules when ZANU PF holds rallies on a daily basis.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker, as a people …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon.

Members!

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, as a

people we have now developed a culture of lying, propagating rumours without verifying …

HON. MADZIMURE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker!

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  No, Hon. Madzimure, let the Hon. Minister finish … - [HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, he is calling me a liar!] – No, take your seat.  Let the Hon. Minister finish.  You may proceed Hon. Minister.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I have indicated that as a people we are now a people who do not request or look for the correct information.  We rely on rumours and we propagate rumours and do not want to deal with factual facts.

I say so because as an august House, the Hon. Member is very much aware that we passed a law here to ensure that we deal with unnatural deaths and we passed a Coroner’s Act.  All the issues of unnatural deaths will be dealt with by the Coroner once the Act comes into play.  So, some of the issues that the Hon. Members are saying… and that is why I said that we are now a people who do not want to read.  We just pick a few things and propagate them without interrogating facts.

Secondly, if there was a death that happened in Bulawayo, we still have laws that have to deal with inquests and that has not been repealed.  We should follow that route and ensure that it is investigated and we get to the bottom of what exactly transpired.

Thirdly, I indicated that as a people, we should deal with facts.  Surely Madam Speaker, it is very irresponsible for law abiding citizens among them a legislature to embark on a demonstration at a time when you know very well that it would endanger a lot of people

– [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – That was irresponsible and Hon. Members were supposed to be aware of that.  Beyond that, I will not comment on that case because it is sub judice.  I thank you.

*HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, this Chamber is extremely cold.  We are reliably informed that Covid-19 is most infectious in cold weather.  Is it possible for room temperature to be increased to above 230C?  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, please

may we observe social distancing – Hon. Ministers.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Madam Speaker, I was very clear that Hon. Karenyi, Hon. Biti and three others were arrested when there were six people around – that is one.

The issue of the Bulawayo accident Madam Speaker, we are all crying because this happened in broad daylight and for anyone or an Hon. Minister to tell me that the Coroner’s Act will then come in later.  People are demonstrating all around the world because there is selection application of the law in the United States of America.  Blacks are regarded as blacks and can be killed.  In Zimbabwe, we now also have the same situation where the opposition members can be arrested in broad daylight along Nelson Mandela Avenue, whilst

ZANU PF holds rallies on daily basis putting on party regalia… -

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Shurugwi South had a rally over the weekend.  It is the persistent selection application of the law that we now have - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

We see on television ZANU PF members in their full regalia having rallies on daily basis but no one has ever been arrested from ZANU PF for flaunting the Covid-19 regulations.  Why is that no one from ZANU PF who has ever been arrested?  So, are you saying that opposition lives do not matter? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker … - [HON.

CHIKWINYA: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chikwinya Order,

order! - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon.

Members, Order, order.  You may go ahead Hon. Minister.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I will

not comment on the case of Hon. Karenyi, Biti and others because it is before the courts.  I will comment on the selective application of the law.

Madam Speaker, I indicated earlier that we are now a people of rumours.  The police have details of people who have been arrested for breaking Covid-19 rules and the police can avail details of people who have been arrested.  What the Hon. Member said is far from the truth, if I may not use the word liar as it is unparliamentary.  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, I have a brother who was arrested for breaking Covid-19 rules and he is a full Chairman of ZANU PF - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –  So, I want to indicate to the Hon. Member that let us be factual, let us not try to manipulate facts to suit our own situations and let us allow cases that are before the courts to be dealt with by the courts and we will comment after the verdicts of the courts.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, our twenty minutes extension to Questions Without Notice has expired. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS:  Madam Speaker, with the

indulgence of Hon. Members, I move that we suspend Questions With Notices and we have presentations of Bills on the Order Paper. I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

FIRST READING

CYBER SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H.B.18,

2019.]

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the

Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill, (H.B. 18, 2019).

         Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

MOTION

LEAVE TO MOVE SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO.

134 (1) AND 139

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you

Madam Speaker.  I seek leave of the House to move that the provisions of Standing Orders Number 134 (1) and 139 regarding the introduction of Bills at least 14 days after being published by the Government Gazette be suspended in respect of the Census and Statistics Amendment Bill (H.B. 3, 2020) and stages of bills respectively.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS NO. 134 (1) AND 139

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam

Speaker, I move that the provisions of Standing Orders No. 134 (1) and 139 regarding the introduction of Bills at least 14 days after being published in the Government Gazette be suspended in respect of the Census and Statistics Amendment Bill (H.B. 3, 2020) and stages of bills respectively.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

FIRST READING

CENSUS AND STATISTICS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B. 3, 2020.]      THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the

Census and Statistics Amendment Bill (H.B. 3, 2020).

Bill read the first time.

Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL

AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the

House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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