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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 DECEMBER 2019 46-18

                                                  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 18th December, 2019.

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

        THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I have some Hon.

Members that want to raise notices of privilege and I want to repeat, notice of privilege must relate to Members’ rights not just general statement.  If you know you are asking general statement or making general statement, you may not as well ask.  I do not want to embarrass anybody.

          HON. DR. NYASHANYU: I rise on a point of privilege, firstly to commend the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for coming up with a well balanced budget proposal against a background of very limited resources.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order.  Sit down!  You should have said that during the debate on the budget.  Thank you.

HON. NYATHI:  I rise on a point of privilege to thank the people of Zimbabwe for yet having trust in the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde. E.D. Mnangagwa.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Shurugwi South Constituency had the privilege to...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I say again notice of privilege must relate to your rights and privileges.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Good afternoon to you Mr Speaker Sir.  My point of privilege is that some time a week ago, I raised the issue on the machetes where I said that a lot of people ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You raised an issue under privilege, so what was the ruling?

HON. T. MLISWA: The ruling is, you did not – the leader of Government business was not around to respond to that.  Now that he is here...

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, no, it must be the Chair who must rule.

HON. T. MLISWA:  The reason why I am raising it is, there is no response in terms of...

THE HON. SPEAKER: No. no, no, point of privilege is raised with the Chair.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Yes, I raised it with the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER: What was the Chair’s ruling?

HON. T. MLISWA:  The Chair was supposed to communicate to the Leader of Government Business in terms of the ban of the machetes and the sale of copper because of the vandalism of transformers.  So my question to you is - did you communicate that to the Leader of Government business and what is he doing about it because people are still dying yet the President was very clear that the issue had to be dealt with.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you raise that matter during question time.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Yes, I will. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  I rise on a point of privilege.  The issue concerns rural constituency Members of Parliament.  Compared to their counterparts particularly Harare Constituency MPs, rural constituency

MPs have to travel up to 700kms every weekend to their constituencies.   Friday and Sunday are travelling days to and fro Harare. So they only have one day per week to attend to their constituency issues whereas their counterparts, particularly in Harare are able to attend to their constituency issues on a daily basis.  It is my humble request that rural MPs be given a special allowance for this difference between the rural and urban constituencies.  I so submit Hon Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, yes that affects the rights and privileges of Members of Parliament.  Hon. Madzimure has been so mesmerised by your point of privilege, I do not know why.  Let that matter be referred to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.

Thank you.

HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Banks like CBZ are closing CDF accounts on the basis that their accounts are dormant and in the process when new disbursements are made they get into accounts that have been closed thereby delaying the monies that should go to the development of constituencies in good time.  I feel that these accounts should be given special treatment because they are not given money time and again but it only comes once in a while.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, while that relates to your

privileges, it is totally administrative.  So it could be one or two Members who are affected.  Therefore, you need to approach the Clerk of Parliament for assistance.

HON. PHULU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I agree entirely that a point of privilege must relate to the rights of the Member.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  And privileges.

HON. PHULU:  To the privileges and rights of the Member and Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to note that as a Member of Parliament, over the past few weeks I have been constrained in my privileges and my rights in as far as expressing myself is concerned.

Mr. Speaker, I will quote from Erskine May, the author who observing what the Commons said in 1621.  They defined their privilege by affirming the following, that every Member has freedom from all impeachment, imprisonment or molestation other than by censure of the House itself - we concede that, or for concerning any Bill speaking, reasoning or declaring on any other matter or matters touching on

Parliament business, not merely touching on the House itself but Parliament business.

Mr. Speaker Sir, one observation that we make is that from the

Speaker’s Chair…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  We make or you make?

HON. PHULU:  I am used to court, Mr. Speaker.  I apologise for that.  My observation is that the rulings emanating from the Chair on many a matter and I have one or two examples, have been totally biased in favour of the other side –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  I raise this, Mr. Speaker, not out of malice or merry – making but in order, at the end, to ask the Speaker to reflect on the assertion and on the allegation against the Chair and make a ruling.

For example, Hon. Matewu made perhaps a remark that was held to be inappropriate in as far as making a reference to Your Excellency.  Hon. Mavetera also made the same matter but one Member was chased out and the other was not.  In fact there was no ruling on the matter –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  I respect the opinion of the Hon. Member.  You need to give the Chair, perhaps outside his Chair, those instances backed by Hansard reports so that I can study them, not from the Chair but as head of Parliament.  So if you can indulge me in that regard, I would be most pleased and then I would be able to give a more detailed response accordingly.

HON. PHULU:  Thank you for that direction, Mr. Speaker Sir.

As I finish, Mr. Speaker Sir, we also note that I have been subjected to a Privileges Committee which is wholly constituted by Members of the other side and I do not think that I will be able to get a fair hearing.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to state that I will not.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I did not get the first part of your statement.

HON. PHULU:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I have been subjected to a

Privileges Committee which is wholly constituted of ZANU PF Members and I will not be able to clothe it with any credence by appearing before it because it would be a shambles. It is a predetermined decision where I am convicted before I even begin – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- Some of the Members have already been saying this in the corridors.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Again, I take note of your observation and I am not sure whether there have been any Members who have been called as witnesses so far.  So, if that is not the case you still have a chance to state your case before that Privileges Committee – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  I have not finished, order.  Cool down.  Order!

Hon. Gonese having stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Why are you standing up, I am not finished?   Sit down.  Cool down.  Order, order!  The terms of the Privileges Committee were tabled here and they were accepted.  Those who will appear can raise any objection should they appear before them.  Yes, I cannot discuss the modalities now.  That is out of question.  I recognise you Hon. Gonese.  I hope not on the same matter.

HON. GONESE:  Well I am talking about my rights arising in relation to my rights as Innocent Gonese, Member of Parliament for Mutare Central.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is it on the same matter?

HON. GONESE:  It is not the same matter, Mr. Speaker.  It is my right to appear before an impartial…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I hear you.  Is it on the same matter?

HON. GONESE:  Which same matter?  I do not know which same matter, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I need to stand guided.  Which same matter?  I am talking about the rights and I do not know which same matter you are referring to Mr. Speaker Sir.  I need some clarity –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese.

HON. GONESE:  Yes, I am talking about my rights and I believe,

Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can I guide you?

HON. GONESE:  No, before you guide me Mr. Speaker… THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, do not argue with the Chair.

HON. GONESE:  No, I want to be guided but before you do that, Mr. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- Before you guide me, Mr. Speaker, but you have not heard me.  What exactly is your point?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  If it is on the same matter on the Privileges Committee - do not pretend ignorance.  I do not belabour the point.  If you have got your rights and you feel they are infringed, when you appear before that Committee –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.]-

HON. GONESE:  With all respect, Mr. Speaker, I am not speaking on the Privileges Committee.  I said Member of Parliament for Mutare Central.  Where does the Privileges Committee come in?  I represent the people of Mutare Central and you are aware I am in the Parliament as their representative who is the elected.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are not talking on the same matter?

HON. GONESE:  No, it is not the same matter.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Alright carry on.

HON. GONESE:  It is not the same matter.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Carry on! –[HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. GONESE:  Mr. Speaker, I will refer to Parliament conventions and practices.  In terms of Parliament conventions, practices and procedures, when a person occupies the office of Chair or Speaker or President in other jurisdictions that person, Mr. Speaker Sir, for the duration of the period in which they are in occupation of that position, is supposed to be impartial.

In other jurisdictions, Mr. Speaker, such a person will actually resign from the party on whose ticket they would have been elected to Parliament.  The reason I am making this point is because I feel my rights are being infringed in the manner in which the Chair has been responding to issues in this august House and that manifestation of that bias has been seen today and I can cite examples, we do not have to go to the Hansard.  Today, Mr. Speaker Hon. Phulu was standing up and you recognised more than five Members from the other side and some of them did not even have points of privilege.  For me that is a manifestation of failure to exercise the role of Speaker impartially. I would also want to point out that you do not vote in this august House.

Even if there was a tie, you do not vote Mr. Speaker – even if there is a tie and supposing there is an inequality of votes, you do not have a casting vote or a deliberative vote. The reason is simple – it is because you are supposed to exercise that neutrality so that someone from Mars would not know that you are a Member of the Politburo of ZANU PF. They just think that you are just the Presiding Officer.

         So, the point that I am making is that in this august House, I feel constrained and I feel unable to express myself at the risk of being told to sit down. Mr. Speaker, you have to allow Hon. Members to articulate their points to their logical conclusion. I believe that with due respect to your office and to your  person, the manner in which you have been discharging the roles and responsibilities of Speaker in terms of your presiding in this august House, it is not in accordance with the practices, conventions, and the procedures of Parliaments the world over. It is important that there should be some introspection so that this perception does not persist. I think it is not a perception but it goes beyond and it is actually reality. That is my point of privilege.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. First of all, I want to apologise to Hon. Gonese for having presumed that you were still speaking on the same matter raised by Hon. Phulu - I apologise. The second part is that the Hon. Member says there are some perceptions. Perceptions are not facts – they are perceptions. Let me remind you of one thing. I have also myself and my team as Presiding Officer - we have to observe the balance in this House. It is 3 to 1. So, we have to respect that. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, order Hon. Molokela. I do not know this sign you know.

         On a more serious note, we need to observe that ratio and it has also happened. I want to put you into the picture. When an Hon. Member from my right asks a question and in some instances there is no supplementary question from that Member and even from Members on my right and yet you find they will be four Members standing on my left. If I choose them, the other side also will say ah, I am favouring

Members on my left. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Order, order. I understand the numerical ratio. Speaking as an African, you must know that kana uine vakadzi four, kune vahosi and three others. Barika rinonetsa. So, sometimes...

     +HON. M. NKOMO: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker. We

thank the Government for enacting a traffic law which does not allow drivers to be on the road when they are drunk.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Order!. I think I will speak to the Chief Whips and see how we can assist each other to appreciate and perhaps we need to write down some notes that will guide the Members on this area. Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

      HON. NDUNA: My question goes to the Minister of Policy

Implementation in the Office of the President and Cabinet Hon. Dr. J.  Gumbo as it relates to Government policy on the implementation of strategies and ways of reduction of road carnage during this festive season – aware that we have a lot of lives that are lost annually during such festive season due to road carnage, in particular where the average is five deaths per day and 38 injured due to road carnage. The question goes to Hon. Minister Dr. J. Gumbo as it relates to implementation of policy in relation to eradication, stoppage and reduction of road carnage during this festive season. What is the policy of Government as it relates to enforcement of Government policy on the reduction of road carnage during this festive season? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

       THE MINISTER OF POLICY IMPLEMENTATION IN THE

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET (HON. DR. J. M.

GUMBO): Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue is that regarding this festive season, what Government expects of all drivers on the road is that we must take caution so that we do not involve ourselves in accidents.  As a result there are police officers who are on the roads and they are also people from Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe who educate people on the roads, telling them to drive and observe road signs and also try to refrain from driving under the influence of liquor.  So, difficult as it is as a question, I think it is important and what it really means from the questioner what you would want me to say is just to implore our drivers that as we go into this festive season, we should try as much as possible to make sure that we take caution as we drive along the roads so that we avoid any accidents on the roads, as this causes deaths.  I think that is the best that I can do.  I thank you.

         HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker, during this time of the year when a major holiday is approaching.  The Government used to have teams who would do maintenance on major roads like the road from Beitbridge to Harare.  It is a health hazard and a problem, what is the Government doing to make sure that that road is put in a condition where it is serviceable?  The accident that happened yesterday ended up blocking the whole road and it was 7 km of traffic because of the bad road conditions that we have.  What is the Government doing to make sure that it corrects that situation?

             THE HON. SPEAKER: That question will arise under written

questions so there is no further supplementary.

            HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question

goes to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.   I would like to know the Government policy on the issuance of temporary import license of foreign vehicles.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister is not here, so can you direct your question to the Leader of Government Business.

            HON. KWARAMBA: In the absence of the Minister of Transport

and Infrastructural Development, I will redirect my question to the Leader of Government Business.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Haashayi zvekutaura uyu.] – I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Indeed what has been happening is that we had a shortage of number plates, because of this, we then allowed the use of temporary plates.  We are now moving towards the production of our own number plates here.  So, the use of temporary plates was allowed for some time – [HON. MEMBERS:

Import license.] – [HON. KWARAMBA: Inaudible interjections.] -          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the Hon. Member is answering herself. We have a policy of having temporary import licence for those that are coming into the country unless if the member can expand what she is referring to.  Already, we have a policy where if you are coming from outside the country, you can then process an import licence that will allow you to drive your vehicle in the country for a specific period.

      HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I am now

referring to an investor who comes into the country and gets a TIP but maybe needs to fly back to his home country.  What is the policy – what are the circumstances that will affect that kind of investor in the ease of doing business? I thank you.

         HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, if you bring your vehicle, you are either given a thirty day temporary import licence for your vehicle to be in the country.  If you decide that you do not want to drive back, you want to fly and come back. It is your responsibility to ensure that you look for a place where you keep it safely until you come back. You must abide by the rules of the temporary import license. I thank you.

         HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Leader of Government Business Hon. Ziyambi.  There are a group of people known as mashurugwis who are carrying around machetes with them, beating up people, invading mines and His Excellency, the President, in Kadoma, during his address to the youth, did mention that it must stop. What measures are you taking as a Government to ensure that this stops forthwith?  I see Government is quick at Statutory Instruments when it comes to the financial issues and not to the death of people as well as the vandalism that is happening with the transformers.  It is the copper that criminals are taking from the transformers.  What are you also doing to stop the ban on people buying copper in the country because we are not at all mining copper?  Thank you.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The first thing that I want to state is that I think there has been an abuse of the term ‘mashurugwi’ to indicate that everyone who carries a machete comes from Shurugwi which is not correct.  I think that it is a phenomenon that is common in mining areas regardless of which area it

is.

         Having said that, indeed the President himself pronounced very clearly that we need to deal with the issue of …

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, there is a gentleman

behind the pillar there – the Hon. Member.  I cannot see you but the Hon. Minister is giving a response and you are busy lecturing behind there.  Can you stop it? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

         HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I was saying Hon. Speaker that the President pronounced himself very clearly.  What we are doing is, the police are looking into that issue seriously.  We are also in discussion with all the enforcement agencies, the courts and prosecution to ensure that we also set up courts that will deal with people who are killing other people using machetes with a view of ensuring that even though we deny them bail we ensure that the trials are done faster.  We are taking the issue seriously and the police are going to do their work to ensure that this thing does not spread to other areas.  I thank you.

         On the issue of vandalism of transformers, we are also in the process of trying to use technology so that we also install cameras along the areas where the transformers are.  The sad bit is, we are noticing a trend where the people who steal these appear to be trained people.  So we are looking into it with a view of ensuring that we secure and also we are looking at other ways of ensuring that we produce transformers that do not have the oil that they are looking for - so several measures are being taken to ensure that we stop the vandalism.  I thank you.

      HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Minister is aware that

Government …

   THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order it is the Hon. Minister.

    HON. T. MLISWA:  The Hon. Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi is

aware that Government and the security agents have tried in vain to try and put teams to operate to ensure that this stops and nothing has actually transpired which is positive – it continues.  Is the Hon. Minister aware that most of the people involved in this are ZANU PF leaders as is the same way in the Land Commission Report?

      I am glad that at the just ended conference, the leadership of

ZANU PF, Hon. Muchinguri was very clear that, ‘We have got criminals amongst us’.  So how do they expect to arrest the criminals amongst them when they are in the forefront of doing that? – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear!] –

     THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!  We need to have facts before us and to merely come up with assumptions is not good enough for the Hon. Minister to answer the question.  Let us have facts and in that regard if the facts are there, there will be need for the question to be in writing so that investigations can be done by the relevant Minister. – [HON. A. NDEBELE: Inaudible interjection.] -  We have not debated.

         HON. A. NDEBELE: I want to take notice Hon. Speaker, that in September I raised this issue of vandalism and a week ago I also requested for a joint Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works and the Minister of Energy and Power Development on why they are still issuing copper trading licences to local entities, yet it is a fact that we are none copper producing country.

         So I bid patience on the part of my colleagues so that the Ministers are then able to furnish us with that statement because a Ministerial Statement will give us what is in the mind of our Government relating to the question of copper licences.  Then Hon. Mliswa, we shall have a field day in this House.  Thank you Hon. Speaker. – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.] –

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, are you satisfied?

        HON. T. MLISWA:  Yes, I am very satisfied.

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much and in that case, there is no supplementary question. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – No, no there is no supplementary.  The original questioner says he is satisfied so no.  Is that a new question? – [HON.

MOLEKELA: Yes.] – Yes, new question.  What has been discussed?  Nothing has been discussed, what are you raising then? – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a previous point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.] – No, you cannot have a point of order – [HON. MOLEKELA:  I asked two different questions and I hope you noticed that.  He responded to one of the questions but there is still another question.] – So it will be related – [AN HON. MEMBER:  They are not related!] – Order, order, how can I address you whilst you are seated? – [Laughter.] -  What Hon. Ndebele said and convincingly so, the question of the machetes will arise and

Hon. Mliswa is satisfied.  So do not speak for him when he is here.

Thank you – new question!

         HON. MURAMBIWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What measures do you have Hon.

Minister …

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, ask the Hon. Speaker.

         HON. MURAMBIWA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What measures do we have to ensure fuel adequacy during the impending festive season?  Thank you.

– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, your question is on

occupation in hotels.

        HON. MURAMBIWA:  No, no…

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is your question? – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

            HON. MURAMBIWA:  Alright, let me come again Mr. Speaker

Sir.  I am saying that my question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What measures do you have in place to ensure fuel adequacy during this impending festive season?

      THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER

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

I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a pertinent question, particularly now that we are towards the Christmas holiday where most Zimbabweans would love to travel in and out of Harare to holiday resorts and all sort of places.

The fact is that we do have enough fuel at our depots but it is bonded – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you listen.

HON. MUDYIWA: We do have enough fuel at our depots in Mabvuku and Masasa but it is bonded.  This means that we need to pay before we can withdraw that fuel.  We are discussing with RBZ who issue letters of credit to fuel traders so that they access the fuel.  I can assure the nation that we do have enough fuel at our depots save for the lines of credit. If the process is expedited then the fuel can be available.

We are doing everything within our means to make sure that we have enough fuel for our motorists during the holiday – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Molokela, did you see how many you were?  You were six Hon. Members who wanted to ask supplementary questions.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  In the Minister’s response, she speaks of

letters of credit from the RBZ....

THE HON. SPEAKER: Letters of what?

HON. CHIKWINYA: Letters of credit from the RBZ which are supposed to be given to suppliers of fuel for them to purchase fuel at Mabvuku.  We were informed that Government liberalised the fuel market.  What then they simply did through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority was to benchmark the prices and there is a margin of profit.  One garage can differ from the other by a few cents but the fuel market is liberalised.

Fuel suppliers were told to go and procure their foreign currency on the market at the interbank exchange rate.  Where is the issue of letters of credit coming from because what it takes us to is that now the RBZ is responsible for issuing out foreign currency when Government policy says they are supposed to procure on the interbank market rate. I need the Minister to respond to us on the issues of letters of credit.

HON. MUDYIWA:  I think the arrangement of payment between the RBZ and the traders is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.  Our mandate as a Ministry is to ensure that we have got enough fuel at our depot.  The details about the issues of payment can be referred to the

Ministry of Finance – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

*HON. TSUNGA:  The issue that has been raised by the Hon. Minister is likened to a father who tells his children that there is mealiemeal in the storehouse when they are hungry yet the children are not eating sadza.  According to her, diesel and petrol are in the reservoirs but no one is consuming them.  The Minister’s responsibility is to ensure that the fuel reaches service stations.  We would like to know the plans that the Minister has to make sure that there is fuel at service stations and not tell us about the reservoirs.  We want fuel for consumption.

HON. MUDYIWA:  Our mandate as Ministry is to ensure that we have got enough fuel in the country and we do have enough fuel like I said before. Go to our depots, there is enough fuel which is bonded but the details of payment is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.  At the moment, we are working with the Ministry of Finance and the RBZ to ensure that they expedite the processes of payment so that the fuel is paid for and the traders can get the fuel from our depots.  I think I have been very clear.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, the Hon. Minister is very clear.  The Ministry of Energy has brought in fuel; the Finance Ministry must make available the monies to draw that fuel to the service station.  It cannot be clearer than that.

*HON. TOGAREPI: Hon. Speaker, I have a request from Hon. Members that when the Ministers come for Question Time, there are some who are teasing the Ministers and confusing them, at the same time making noise instead of asking him questions.  So, I plead with them to respect the Ministers so that their questions are answered – [HON. MLISWA: You want to take away the duties of the Hon. Speaker when he is present.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. I do not feel threatened –

[Laughter.] –

HON. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question

was directed to the Minister of Agriculture but I will direct it to the Leader of the House.  What is the Ministry doing to help A2 farmers to acquire 99-year leases?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  The Government has a policy to issue 99-year leases, at the same time, we are undertaking a land audit.  So, until that is finalised, the land reform will be a thing of the past very soon, once we finalise the land audit and we roll out the 99-year leases.  I thank you.

An Hon. Member having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I use my wisdom, there is no

supplementary, the Minister’s reply is very clear.  Let us allow the Audit Commission to complete its work and then the issue of the 99-year leases will be sorted out.

HON. CHITURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Hon. Nyoni.  What is Government policy on helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to participate in public procurement?

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY,

SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON.

  1. NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very pertinent question. SMEs, form the majority of economic actors in this country and when there are Government tenders, they tend to be left behind.  Fortunately, there is the SMEs Act, which states that 25% of any national procurement should be given to SMEs and what the Ministry has done is approach the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) to work with us and they are helping us as a Ministry to have an outreach so that we sensitise SMEs that when there are tenders of public procurement out there, they should apply.  They should also make sure that 25% is given to them and if not, they should appeal because by law they are expected to participate.

My answer to the Hon. Member is that, the Ministry has put an Act in place but apart from that, the Ministry is also going around with PRAZ to sensitise SMEs to participate in public procurement.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

Hon. Chinotimba having stood up to raise a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, you cannot raise a point of order when the Hon. Minister has answered, that was the debate.

HON. MOLOKELA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The public perception is that SMEs are not being given access to public procurement opportunities.  Can the Minister give us an idea, just this year in 2019, how many SMEs benefitted from public procurement, can she give us statistics?

HON. S. NYONI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  As I said, we are working with PRAZ, this is not a policy question but it needs information and if the Hon. Member could put it in writing, I will be able to go back to PRAZ as well as my Ministry to bring a written answer to his question.  It is a very good question, and the House will stand informed.

An Hon. Member having stood up to ask a supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister says the question must be in writing and she will give a detailed response, so why should we go for supplementary? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – no, let us follow what the Hon. Minister has said.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker ? – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order at the back there.

HON. CHIKWINYA: My question is directed to the Minister of

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Hon. Minister, it is my belief that you hold the portfolio of sustaining democracy in Parliament.  I would want you to share with us policy mechanisms which you have put in place to ensure that where a case is alleged on a part or a whole division of the House, or a Member of Parliament, that a fair hearing is conducted to the extent that that Committee which hears that privileges case comprises of Members of both Houses of Parliament.  Thank you.

             THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, that question is totally misplaced.

You will state your case when you appear.

         HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs because I am trying to separate the roles.  I am not trying to argue with the Chair.  I want the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs because he is responsible for Parliament, so he must tell us the policy position.

     THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  The Hon. Minister of

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is not responsible for running

Parliament.  That decision has come from the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  So the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is not answerable in that regard.

  *HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is

directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  You promised that you were going to give food handouts to citizens in the urban areas. You promised that urban dwellers will also benefit from the food handouts in the cities and we notice that these vulnerable groups are now suffering.  When are you going to distribute the food?

        *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE,

LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): The

Government has made plans and at the moment, the Government is in the process of vetting the people who are supposed to benefit from these Government handouts and when the list has been compiled, the process of distributing the food will start immediately.  We have also noticed that in most cities, we have some vulnerable groups which have already started benefitting from these food handouts from the Government and if your constituency has not received anything as yet, they will soon be receiving.

We also have another programme where we will be giving food hampers to these vulnerable groups and I am kindly asking you to give us a list or to show us the process which has happened in your constituency so that we see whether we have been missed out and corrective measures will be taken.

  *HON. KARENYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  May you please

explain to us - who are the people responsible for actually distributing this food to the vulnerable groups?  We have noticed that if these food handouts are given as a responsibility of local councilors or politicians, there is going to be some bias – some partisan politics will be at play, and some people who are said to be in the wrong party will not benefit.

         *HON. MATUKE:  When we talk about food distribution, in different districts we have committees which have been formed.

Members of these committees are elected by the public and these people are non-partisan because they are coming from the public and they elect people of dignity.

       *HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  In my

constituency, it is not everybody who is aged or disabled who needs to be given food handouts.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  I am advised that this question is under Written Questions and the Minister will answer in the appropriate time.

  HON. SHONGEDZA: My question is directed to the Minister of

Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises

Development.  What is the Government’s policy on providing workspace for small and medium enterprises and vendors?

                           THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY,

SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON.

NYONI): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking a very important question that is really setting back a lot of SME growth.  In the Ministry, we have about seven pillars that are necessary for making SMEs grow and one of them is decent workspace.  So, unless any business person has a decent workspace, it is very difficult for them to grow and even to have a mentality of dignity in going to work.  The Ministry has produced a policy that went through Cabinet a few years ago in which we stipulated the number of SME workspace that were needed.

Unfortunately, there was not enough funding during the time but for now, we would like to really ride on the budget in which the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has allocated money for the SME workspace.  We are hoping that in the New Year, we are going to have a workshop that will embrace a lot of stakeholders so that we discuss this issue and then we come up with plans and infrastructure that will be suitable not just for vendors but also for production since now our thrust is production, growth and sustainability.  SMEs will not grow as long as they operate in their backyard, as long as they operate in the street and as long as they operate in very unsuitable places.  My Ministry is geared next year to really start and initiate a drive to create decent workspace for SMEs.  I am hoping that when the budget on my portfolio is discussed, I will get the support of this House to really make sure that we have a budget to facilitate SMEs to have good workspace.  Thank you.

                   HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary

question to the Hon. Minister is with regards to the growth of women.  I would like to ask the Hon. Minister if she is happy with the loans that are being given to the women from the Women’s Bank.  Let me give you a typical example Madam Speaker. If a woman is given a loan of $50 000, she is given 24 months to pay. At the end of the term, the total amount of that loan will be $140 000 which is 280%.  Is the Hon.

Minister convinced that this will help and what is her take?  Thank you.

         HON. S. NYONI:  The original question was on the SME work spaces but I want to appreciate the Hon. Member for asking a question on Women’s Bank.  I would like the Hon. Member to put that question in writing so that I give a comprehensive answer because the Women’s bank so far is doing very well.  If there are areas that could be improved, we will be very happy for questions like this that would really sharpen the operations of the Bank.

         Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member is giving figures and percentages.  I think it will be imprudent for me to give a half cooked response because it is very important that when we give loans to women those loans must work for women and not for the bank.  I request the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that I can research on it and give the answer that will be helpful to the Hon. Member and all the women.

         HON. NDUNA:  I want to know from the Hon. Minister that in terms of these work spaces, is there any coordination, cooperation and networking with the local authorities?  I am asking this question because you see that there is cat and mouse in local authorities as it relates to vendors being chased.  Is there any coordination in terms of relocation and work spaces related so that we do not unnecessarily saddle the courts as it relates to having interdicts and stopping local authorities from unnecessarily harassing the vendors?

      HON. S. NYONI:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think this is a very

pertinent question.  In fact, the responsibility of providing spaces for business, residents including SMEs lies with the local authorities.  So, the local authorities have a responsibility to provide work spaces for SMEs because they collect revenue.  Let me give the Hon. Member just one example.  When we were still operating in US  dollars, the City of Harare was collecting something like US$36 000 a day from one portion of Siyaso yet Siyaso is very congested, just look at how congested Siyaso is.   So what was happening to that money?

         Madam Speaker, what we are saying as a Ministry is that the local authorities should work together with us as well as the SMEs to use the money they collect from SMEs to provide decent workspaces.  If they cannot, let us then find the private sector or the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development which now has a budget for them to provide land for us to build for the SMES.  The Hon. Member is correct, there is usually a cat and mouse whereby the local authorities chase and really harass SMEs.  I think that is unfair because their revenue is coming from them.

 Let me hasten to say that at one point in our history some cities were relying solely on SMEs for revenue.  For instance, there was a time when Bulawayo was getting 67% of its revenue from SMEs.  That is why you see Bulawayo being so organised because they know which side their bread is buttered.  If a lot of local authorities would do the same, these SMEs would operate better; our GDPs would rise and also our revenue base would rise. So we want to encourage local authorities to take work space for SMEs as part of their planning so that SMEs should be part of the planning strategy because they are the goose that lay the eggs.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My

supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that, persistently and consistently reports and statistics from her office have indicated that there is low uptake of things like loans and investment of the SMEs in

Matebeleland region.  Of recent, at the past Pre-Budget Seminar, it was indicated that there is also low uptake in terms of employment opportunities in Matebeleland region.  Is it a deliberate policy of her Ministry to ensure that resources are invested more in other regions than in Matabeleland region?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sibanda, that is a new

question; you better put the question in writing.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Madam Speaker, that one is a purely a policy question and there is no need for me to put it in writing.

HON. S. NYONI: I can answer it Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  It is okay Hon. Sibanda.

HON. S. NYONI: Hon. Speaker, that question is very important especially for me so that I clear the air.   There is no Ministry that sits and says we are going to favour this region against the other.  If there is anybody who has come to my Ministry with a programme or with a request and they have been turned down just because they come from one region, they should come to my office and I want to assure this House that corrective action will be taken.

In terms of what  transpired in Victoria Falls, I think that is what he is referring to where there was widespread trashing of my person about what I would have said which I never said – [AN HON

MEMBER:  It was in your report.] – I was not.  All I am saying Hon. Speaker, is that there is nothing like that.  There is no discrimination of any Ministry to any region.  All I am saying to Hon. Members is that if anyone has a case where they have programmes they should bring them to our offices for corrective action.  I think that is the bottom line.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I seek a point of clarity.  The Hon. Minister indicated that when people approach her Ministry they do not look at whether this person comes from Region A or B, but does it happen to her after realising her own statistics indicating that a certain province is lagging behind in terms of resources to take proactive action to ensure that those regions that are losing out get whatever is gotten by other regions?  Does she wait for people to come to her office and tell her their problems when her offices are in Harare and people in Matabeleland region are the furthest from Harare?

HON. NYONI: Yes, I have taken action.  For instance, the

Women’s Bank – I asked them to write a report which I can avail to this House.  We went province by province to check on how many loans each province received.  When they brought the information to my office, I wrote to all State Ministers and even pointed out that Matabeleland North and South had a low intake.  You can come to my office and I can show you the correspondence to your Minister of State in Matabeleland North telling him my concerns on the low intake of the province and asked if the Ministry could assist in any way.  I wrote to two others which also had low intakes.  Yes Hon Members, I have taken action and every Minister of State has my letter with statistics from the

Women’s Bank for them to respond to.  Once they respond we will work together.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I have a point of order I still want to raise.  I know that as per procedure I cannot ask another question, but the Hon Minister has indicated that she has written to State Ministers.  I thought that her Ministry has got branches and sub branches in the provinces.  So my expectation, to be honest was that she should have told me that she had deployed manpower in those affected regions to ensure that people start to take up whatever is supposed to be taken up.  Since I cannot ask a question, I will ask the Hon. Minister to make a ministerial statement with regards to that issue so that we get clarity for fear of institutional marginalisation as one coming from Matebeleland.  To avoid that, we will interrogate the ministerial statement and if possible could the Minister present the statement tomorrow?  I am referring to what came from her own statistics, so it is not about whether she comes from Matabeleland.

HON. NYONI:  I just want to comfort the Hon. Member and say that one of the reasons why I was late is because I am developing a blue print of my Ministry in which I want to go to the Public Service and make sure that my Ministry has got coordinators or staff up to Ward level.  At that level, my Ministry is going to take community development seriously and to take to account every Ministry seriously to ensure through my coordinators and Ministry of Women Affairs and Community Development, every Ministry is visible at Ward level.

Therefore, his question is already covered.  My blue print is in place.  Thereafter, I will approach the Public Service and the Hon. Member should note that I do not deploy officials.  The officials are deployed by Public Service but I am going to present what we need as a Ministry to the Public Service and hope that they give me the number of personnel that I need, particularly for Matabeleland North as he demands so that every province is well manned by my staff.

HON. KARENYI:  Maybe to give a bit of input to the Minister so that she can go and do a survey and incorporate her findings in her report.  Minister, when we received the report during the budget, I am sure you received the report that people were emotional about the report from your Ministry.  Maybe you have to read that report again.  I also sit in the Women’s Affairs Committee, the statistics need to be checked.

What the Hon. Member is saying about Matabeleland North and South – though I do not come from that region but certainly the figures portrayed need a relook.  Maybe there is an error or something happened.

HON. MADZIMURE:  My question to the Minister is, can she clarify on the assertion – when the report was presented, it was said that Matabeleland North and South do not have people qualified to be Ward Coordinators.  Is she aware of that or it was an error that there are no people suitable to be recruited as ward coordinators.

HON. NYONI:  When that issue came up, I issued an official statement and I think the Hon. Member should go back to my official statement.  I am not going to make it here.  In terms of the figures from Matabeleland North and South, Hon. Members, I think let us not play any blame game.  If your constituency is lagging behind whose problem is it? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  No it is not the problem at the centre.  No, it cannot be.  Hon. Speaker it is there in the constituency.  If any constituency is lagging behind whose problem is it?

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

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Please take your seat.

HON. S. G. NYONI:  What have you done to bring those problems to the center? What have you done?  The blame game will not work anymore.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Members.

HON. DR. LABODE:  It is not their fault.  It is not anybody’s

fault if your officials are not doing the right thing.

HON. KARENYI: The other thing, you should do your assessments and follow ups.  If you do follow ups, you will get the answers.  It is not your fault.  It is your office’s own fault.  You have been doing this for a long time but we are not getting anything – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. S. G. NYONI:  Hon. Speaker, I offered – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  Allow

the Minister to finish please.

HON. S. G. NYONI:  What I am saying is that if there is underdevelopment – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order!

HON. S. G. NYONI:  Hon. Ministers, please hear me also –

[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members, order!

HON. S. G. NYONI:  What I am saying, Hon. Speaker, is that I told this House that we are working on a blueprint and I am going to take it to the Public Service who are the ones who deploy officials, but if there is any underdevelopment in any constituency please, bring it to our attention so that we can act on it.  So you cannot blame the Ministry.  Let us work at it together.  We are in it together.  Sisonke, let us be in it together, we cannot blame one side.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Point of order Madam Speaker.  I asked a question, a simple one.  The statistics that were provided by the Ministry indicated that they did not have development officers in Matabeleland North and South because there were no qualified people and this is the question that I wanted her to answer whether it is true or it is false that there are no qualified people.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I want to help you – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  Hon. Dube take your seat or I will send you out. Take your seats.  Hon. Mliswa please take your seat.

HON. MADZIMURE:  How can you make a point of order before a ruling?  You must sit down.  You must give a ruling.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker to just help the Hon.

Members – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa!

HON. T. MLISWA:  I want to help you – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Take your seat Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA:  There is a new Permanent Secretary.  That Permanent Secretary akaenda, there is a new Permanent Secretary – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-  kwane new Permanent Secretary.

HON. N. NDHLOVU:  You do not work for the Ministry, you are a Member of Parliament.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa please can you

go out.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, things have changed.  There is a new Permanent Secretary – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, please may you

leave the House.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Ndakuenda kunopfeka tracksuit.

HON. S. G. NYONI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, the Hon.

Member asked that there was a statement that said in Matabeleland North people were not employed because they were not educated.  I offered an official statement which read like this, that the responsibility to employ members of staff does not rest with my Ministry; it rests with the Public Service Commission and currently the Ministry of Public

Service, Labour and Social Welfare has frozen all posts not just in Matabeleland, nationally.

Therefore, the statement which was said by my officer was regrettable.  I was not in the country.  I was out on national duty.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Dube, I will send you

out.

HON. S. G. NYONI:  It is going to be corrected, Hon. Speaker.  That is why I am saying now the Public Service is well aware of the need for the Ministry to be well staffed throughout the country.  So those who want to have details refer to my official statement, but roughly that is what it said.  We are not responsible for recruiting; it is all the responsibility of Public Service.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I have got a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No, Hon. Sibanda, please take

your seat.  The Minister is bringing the Ministerial Statement.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, I think that would be very

unfair.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  That is when you will seek

your clarifications.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I am not looking for clarification.  This is purely a point of order.  I think the Hon. Minister went out of order and therefore it is important for me to defend myself and defend my 37 other colleagues who are Members of Parliament for Matabeleland region.  Here I am talking about Matabeleland North, there are 13 of us, Bulawayo that has got 12, Matabeleland South that has got 13 and the

total is 38.

The Hon. Minister wants the country to believe that the 38 Members of Parliament from that region are not doing well and that is why her statistics, not our statistics are indicating that her Ministry is investing less in the Matabeleland region.  I think for all intents and purposes, that would be unfair because it cannot happen that all the 38 Members of Parliament are inefficient and ineffective.  It only points to one person and that is her Ministry.  Her Ministry is supposed to have been doing that duty but they are not doing it.  So she cannot shift the blame to Hon. Members of Parliament.  Her Ministry has to get to the ground and do what they are supposed to do. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

                           THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY,

SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON.

NYONI): Thank you Hon. Speaker. I did not say that the Hon. Members from Matabeleland North and South are not doing their duty. I beg your pardon – I did not say that. I said let us all take joint responsibility and that my Ministry has got an open policy. If you have a challenge in your constituency, bring it to my attention and it will be attended to. Let us all take joint responsibility, I want to repeat that. You cannot just blame one side because as an MP, you also have the responsibility to bring problems from your constituency to the relevant Ministries for them to attend to. So let us all have joint responsibility. I did not accuse MPs but I only said let us work together, bring what your constituencies need and we will solve it, but let us not blame each other for what we have not connected about. I thank you Madam Speaker.

       Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.

DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

         HON. A. NDEBELE: Madam Speaker, may I request that the time for Questions without Notice be extended by 10 minutes.

      THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have already passed that

stage Hon. Ndebele. Please may you take your seat?

CURBING THE TOTAL DISREGARD OF TRAFFIC LAWS

  1. HON. KASHIRI asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House what measures the Ministry is putting in place to curb the scourge of total disregard of traffic laws by drivers as we approach the festive season, so that the country does not lose lives.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. There will be a 24 hour traffic blitz involving enforcement agencies such as ZRP and VID a week before and during the festive season. The enforcement agencies will be checking on vehicle road worthiness, drivers’ licences and driver behavior to ensure that drivers observe all the traffic laws. Those found on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted, whilst vehicles found to be unroadworthy will be impounded. 

         The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe in conjunction with ZRP deployed 20 educational road-block campaign teams across the country’s major highways since December 15th, 2019. The Road Safety Campaign will end on January 5th, 2020. This intensified road safety campaign along the major highways is aiming to encourage motorists to reduce speed and to drive with due care and attention so as to reduce carnage during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. They will also be encouraging drivers not to drink and drive. Drivers are also expected to take breaks and/or rest so that they do not drive continuously for more than 8 hours. I thank you.

                    HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary

question to the Minister is have we capacitated the Road Agencies that are going to police the road-blocks with breathalyzers since it is common knowledge that during the festive season, a lot of drivers will drink and drive? I thank you.

         HON. MATIZA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. We do not have enough breathalyzers in the country due to foreign currency shortages but alternative measures will be taken by the police to make sure that the drivers do not drive while they are drunk through educational campaigns.

    HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My

supplementary question refers to the wanton disregard of traffic regulations by motorists, especially those who enter when the traffic lights are red. This is now serious, especially here in Harare and also those who travel opposite the direction of one way roads. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that that comes to an end because a lot of accidents are happening and it is endangering lives of pedestrians as well. Thank you.   

            HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would

like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. My Ministry, cognisant of the fact that there is rampant recklessness in driving with our local drivers, has put in place mechanisms that will make sure that this will come to an end. We will start with the driver training schools. There are programmes that are there to make sure those meet the standards that are required for them to be operating and that they have qualified staff.

       Secondly, we have already started deploying in Harare,

Chitungwiza, Bulawayo and other cities e-learners’ licence. This has gone a long way to curb churning of unqualified drivers. In addition to these measures, we are also working hand in hand with the law enforcement agents ZRP, especially this holiday and onwards, these programmes will be going on. I thank you.

       HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My

supplementary question emanates from all the answers that have been given by the Hon. Minister. They relate to the act of the road users whilst using the vehicle. I want to relate to you on the conditions, of the roads, it is rainy season and grass is growing on the sides of the road, fence is dilapidated on the sides of the road. What mechanisms are you putting in place because this puts hazards to the road users. Cattle are finding their way into the main tarmac, what policy measures are you putting in place to deal with the hazards around our major highways?

Thank you.

         HON. ARCH. MATIZA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member. As a Ministry we have a programme of road maintenance. If you look at mainly the major highways, there is work going on now soon after the rains have started to maintain our roads and that will be continous to make sure that the roads are safe.

    HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Allow me to

take the Hon. Minister back to his first answer that he was reading. I want him to tell us from his answer that he gave at first, what it is that is new that as a Ministry they have introduced which they have not been practicing in the previous years when we have been experiencing carnage on the road?  What is it that is new for this particular holiday from the list of activities and measures that you are taking?  What is it that is new from what you have been doing previously that you think is going to help the carnage on our roads?

         HON. ARCH. MATIZA: What is new is the intensification of the processes in the measures of making sure that our drivers do not go on the road drunk.  They must use roadworthy vehicles [AN. HON.

MEMBER: Have you not been doing that all the years?] –

STRETCH BETWEEN CROSS ROAD AND KWEKWE

  1.   HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will do the 5km stretch of road between Cross Roads and Kwekwe which has been ready for resurfacing over the past six months so that the scarce resources that have been used will not go down to waste when the rain season sets.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRACTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road is one of the projects in the ongoing road development programme.  The timelines for implementation of the projects has been delayed due to the rate at which funding is released for the project by Treasury.

         The project was allocated $3.5 million in the initial budget for 2019 but unfortunately this was not availed.  However, it was then allocated $5.5 million in the supplementary budget for 2019 of which $1.9 million has been released.  This will go a long way in surfacing the road given that bitumen for surfacing this section was procured six months ago.  The released funds will be used to purchase the surfacing stone as well as pay for the labour and equipment for the surfacing of this road section.  This will protect the work done so far as well as provide the public with an additional 5 km of a good tarred road.  I thank you.

      +HON. M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Hon.

Minister as I speak, I am from the same road and since 1994 there is nothing that has been done on this road.  As I speak, the $1.9 million that is being spoken about, Bitumen came and they are on the ground but there is nothing that is being done.  What I want to know is the timeframe that you have.

     HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Hon. Member, I said $1.9 million has

been released. Since the road works were stopped, there is need for remobilisation of the contractor who is going to be working on this programme and this is the process that is taking place.  So early next year we should see work on site being done.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

         *HON. P.  ZHOU: Thank you Madam Speaker. The road is in a bad state. We appeal to you Hon. Minister so that the few kilometres can be resurfaced from Cross Roads to Kwekwe.  Our constituencies are facing challenges, they are paying large amount of monies up to $50. We request that the roads be serviced. We know that resources are available but my request is that the road be treated with the emergency it deserves.

           HON. ARCH. MATIZA: I would like to thank the Hon. Member

for the question.   Like I said before, $1.9 million was released out of the $5.5 million. So, as and when we receive resources and money, we will make sure that road is serviced.  As a Ministry, our desire is to push for the money that was budgeted for to be released so that the money is used to refurbish these roads.  This is what I promise we will do.

   HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My

question is – 2019 is coming to an end and the money that was allocated to most local authorities has not been disbursed.  Almost 80% of local authorities never received any cent of the money that was allocated by

ZINARA towards road construction and road maintenance. What is the Ministry doing to make sure that at least road authorities that is local authorities get money for road maintenance?

       HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Hon. Member for the

question.  ZINARA has been restructured and we have managed to make sure that the acting positions have been filled up.  We have managed to turn the organisational culture in ZINARA to a professional one. What is left now are the Finance Director and the Chief Executive whose interviews are finishing today.  Now, there is efficiency in disbursing ZINARA funds.  What is the problem? It is that many of the local authorities have not acquitted the money they have been given. It is a condition for them to get the next tranche if they acquit. We have several local authorities who have not acquitted because most of them have abused the funds.  They have bought cars for themselves, they are unable to acquit and that is where the problem is.  If the responsible councilors or Members of Parliament in their areas ask this question of acquittal they will find where the problem is.  I thank you.

    HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The Hon.

Minister in his response to the primary question and also in his response to Hon. Zhou’s supplementary question pleaded poverty that they are not able to complete those roads projects because they do not have the necessary resources.  The Hon. Minister’s Ministry is notorious for advertising on ZBC showing some billboards of road projects that they claim to be completing in a short space of time. Why does his Ministry mislead citizens by advertising? I will give you an example of the KaroiBinga Road. On television, it is appearing with some billboards as if that road has been covered some kilometers when actually there is nothing

on the ground.  Why is your Ministry misleading the nation when you are pleading poverty in completion of those projects?

          HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Hon. Member.  My Ministry

does not mislead. The Ministry has projects that are already put on the budget.  The issue is of funding, we are here in Parliament and we know the roads that have not been funded – we know the roads that we have funded.  We actually know the roads whose funds have been released and whose funds have not been released though the funds that have been allocated.

         So the blame cannot be given to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development. – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Who is funding the advert on television?] –

MAINTENANCE OF ROADS UNDER RECONSTRUCTION

  1. HON. S. S. KHUMALO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain Government policy regarding the maintenance of roads that are under reconstruction from serious degradation.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA):  Thank you Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon.

Member for the question.

         Madam Speaker, for the purposes of road reconstruction, a detour is constructed in order to accommodate traffic while the existing road is being rehabilitated.  The standard of the detour depends on the level of traffic along the road.  The detours for the road traffic roads are made of just clearing and grading the road during the rehabilitation while those for high traffic roads are actually constructed to the standard of gravel roads.

The maintenance of these detours consists of watering and grading of the riding surface.  The frequency of the watering depends on the dryness of the ground while that of the grading depends on the traffic levels since the higher traffic levels result in the faster deterioration of the riding surface.  These maintenance activities are carried out in order to suppress dust as well as keep the riding surface in a fairly smooth state.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Hon.

Minister Sir, the issue for roads and infrastructure that is under construction – I have got an institutional memory of the bid bond and insurance as it relates to insuring those roads that are under construction in terms of averting and avoiding degradation during infrastructure development.  May you shed more light on this occurrence if it is still in existence and to what extent it covers your Ministry in terms of a fall back during reconstruction and infrastructure development?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  When roads are being constructed by us as a Ministry, we do not provide bid bonds but when they are being done by private contractors yes, the Hon. Member is right.  Bid bonds and insurance is provided to the extent of the works that are being carried out.  I thank you.

*HON. J. CHIDAKWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, a good example of my supplementary to the Hon. Minister is the Masvingo road.  I want to know whether these people set up a time factor when they start constructing these roads.  Are they aware of the flow of traffic?  When you look at the Masvingo Road, the contractors have been working for about a year but as of now, even the detour that they worked on is now worn out and the road is still incomplete.  So we have a challenge of a damaged road and damaged detour and this presents problems to cars that are damaged and accidents happening.

*HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for the question.  Regarding the Masvingo Road, we have so many years that have been aside for the repair of the road.  Government realised that Zimbabweans are able to reconstruct and repair their own roads and we have started repairing that road.

In response to the question, whenever we are working on a road – we set out the timetables especially in areas like Chivhu and Beatrice.  We had problems in that when we changed the money systems, the costs ended up rising and as a result there was a hiccup that led to the draw back on the repair and construction of these roads.  It is our wish that these roads are completed and we had to retender this to six contractors so that each has a portion to work on.  As of now, we are on phase one which involves widening and rehabilitating the road from 7.5 to 12.5 meters whereby we SADC standards.

Let me try to make you visualize that, please go to Beatrice and check on the 3.5 – you will notice that the road has been marked and you can now visualize what the end product will be like.  As far as we are concerned the road should be through in 2023.  I thank you.

HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want the Hon.

Minister to clarify something about this road reconstruction because when a road is being reconstructed.  What is the policy between the reconstructed part and that area that not under reconstruction … THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Member,

are you asking a supplementary question?

HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Yes!

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am on question Number Six and I called Hon. Svuure …

HON. NYAMUDEZA:  No, it is me Madam Speaker Ma’am. –

[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

TRANSPORT SITUATION IN RURAL ROUTES

  1. HON. SVUURE asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House the measures that the Ministry has taken to improve the transport situation in rural routes particularly in view of the pending Christmas holiday and the ridiculous prices that are being charged.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.

       Madam Speaker, Government will ensure that ZUPCO has

deployed enough buses during the festive season to ply the rural routes as well as city to city routes.  The ZUPCO buses will ensure that people are transported safely to their rural homes at affordable fares.  This strategy is targeted to ensure that people get enough transport during the festive season.  I thank you.

           HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

I think that the Hon. Minister is responding in relation to areas that are quite developed, areas where there are tarred roads and so on.  I am neighbour to Hon. Svuure and our area has the worst road networks in this country.  The roads have not been attended to for almost 10 years now and they are Government roads.  They are also the main roads for those constituencies that we are talking about. I do not know whether the Hon. Minister would tell us how much is being done about rural roads – those that just need grading and gravelling.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA):   We have four road authorities; Department of Roads which is the Ministry of Transport, the Local Authorities, the Rural Authorities and DDF.  From what I gather, the Hon. Member is talking of the other authorities which are not department of roads.  Those have their own Budgets and in some cases they have their own equipment.

HON. NDUNA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the question speaks

about the efficiency about the efficiency of transport in the rural areas.  I want to know what measures, besides just improving the transport network in the rural areas of the mass transport system.  What measures has the Minister put in place to make sure that those mass transport operators, in particular the drivers above 25 years of age, have got a medical certificate and have got a defensive driver’s licence and have got a certificate of competence or the five basic principles that make sure that they are qualified to drive so that we avert and completely eradicate road carnage?  What measures have been put in place to ensure that the credentials of these people can be captured because I remember that 65% of these public transport operators did not have the requisite qualification of driving those mass transport systems in the rural areas in Zimbabwe in general?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  First of all, I would like to acknowledge the fact that we have reckless, unfit and unlicensed drivers on our roads.  That is very true.  Especially for this holiday, we have put in place a measure ensuring that there are road blocks manned by our ZRP, VID and even the educationist will be there.  They will be checking on these five documents the Hon. Member has mentioned.  We are going to make it very tight and strict in order to avert any accidents.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  The Hon. Minister has made an undertaking in his response that they are going to deploy more ZUPCO buses in rural areas and we are all aware that these buses are under a subsidy and that is a cost to the Government.

Minister, where are you going to get those extra ZUPCOs to deploy in the rural areas because when you tell people that this is what I am going to do, they will start to budget along those lines?  Where are you going to get those extra ZUPCO buses and at what projected extra cost to the fiscus?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  The ZUPCO programme is a Local Government issue but I will –[HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  That is an abuse.] I will answer the question.  It is a programme – we buy some buses and deploy; some we franchise.  It is not about looking for new buses every time.  We franchise the buses that are in those areas so that they operate as ZUPCOs.  That is how we mitigate against that question.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I know they do franchising and I do understand that; but I your reports was pointing to a planned programme; then tell us the projected extra costs to Government that you are going to incur because of that programme that you are going to come up with.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA: The issue of financing this whole programme rests with the Ministry of Finance.  If you put that question to the Minister of Finance you will get the details of extra.

CONSTRUCTION OF VID CENTRE IN LUPANE

  1. HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House when a Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) depot will be constructed in Lupane which has since become a provincial capital for Matabeleland North, considering the fact that people have to travel either to Bulawayo or Hwange for VID services and the distance is long.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA): Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Ministry of Transport and

Infrastructural Development submitted bids for the construction of the VID Depot in Lupane to Treasury in 2019.  However, no funds were allocated for this project in the 2020 National Budget.  In this regard, we will be submitting bids again in 2020 for the construction of the Lupane VID Depot in early 2021 and see if Treasury allocates funds for this project.

HON. TSUNGA:  My supplementary question relates to the inconvenience to the population of Matabeleland North – those wishing to have themselves licensed.  Is there any provision from the VID for mobile unit to Lupane so that the people of Lupane and surrounding areas have ready access to VID services?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  The question of VID services at the present moment in Matabeleland North in Lupane has not been given funding.  We have put bids to Treasury so that we can have full and comprehensive services for Lupane.

HON. NDUNA:  My supplementary question resides in terms of coordination, collaboration and networking VID institutions and CVR because during my time again, you would find a genuine fake licence being sold at CVR but something that is given as a certificate of competence at VID.  As a panacea or an antidote to such a happening, there was a system that was called ZIMTIS which sought to regularise and to network VTS, ZIMRA, CVR, VID, ZINARA and RMT.

My question is, how far has this programme taken root in order that we do not have people who are criss-crossing willy-nilly the width and depth of our roads with fake licenses arising from a disintegrated transport system.

Zimbabwe Integrated Transport Management System, (ZIMTIS), how far are we in terms of initiating and completing such an initiative, which is very noble by the way.  It reduces road carnage from 5 to average 3 the global issue.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member again for the question.  The Government has seen it fit to introduce transport management system because there were loopholes and gaps in the whole system, allowing criminals together with reckless people getting fake licenses and papers to the extent that even registration books for vehicles were being faked and stolen.  So the Government came with this system and it is in the progress of being implemented as we speak.  However, the hindrance is the issue of foreign currency, when it comes it is in dribs and drabs but our Ministry is taking this seriously and we have discussed this issue with relevant departments and Ministries so that we can speed up this process. Once this process is finished, stealing cars, driving without a drivers’ licence or with a with fake drivers’ licences will be a thing of the past.  I thank

you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I am not going to talk about forex or fake marriages that the Hon. Minister was speaking about.  However, I just want to draw the Hon. Minister back to his initial statement where he seems to indicate that he did not prioritise Lupane for a VID Station for the 2020 budget for whatever reasons that the Hon. Minister did it.  The question then is; do we have any other provincial capital in the country that does not have a VID Station other than Lupane, the provincial capital for Matebeleland North.  If we do not have, why is it not your priority that Lupane as a provincial capital should receive those services.  I thank you.

HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Hon. Member and thank you

Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to correct the Hon. Member that the Ministry

did not prioritise, that is not correct.  We prioritise it and put the bids in 2019 and nothing came out from the Treasury.  This question should be directed to Treasury anyway.  We did again for 2020 and it was not acknowledged or there was no – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible

interjection.] – yes, but this is the story.  We debate everyday with the Minister of Finance, why do you not push for that whilst you are here instead of talking a post-mortem.  We are now going into 2021; we will still put it again for the third time.  I thank you.

HON. P. D SIBANDA: Part of my question was not answered.  Is there any other provincial capital in Zimbabwe that does not have those VID services?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA: What I can respond to is that Lupane is a new capital and we are making all efforts as I have indicated in my address.  The Ministry has tried three times to do that.  The only person to answer this is the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I thank you.

HON. P. D SIBANDA: I find it insulting Hon. Speaker for the Hon. Minister to indicate that Lupane is a new provincial capital.  Can he tell me which other provincial capital for Matabeleland North he knows since 1980?  Since this one is new, it means that there is an old provincial capital.  Can he advise us which one is the old provincial capital?

HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Yes, you see; first of all administration was being done in Bulawayo, everybody is aware of this.  So, when I say new, I do not mean the newness in existence, no, I mean the new in terms of operationalisation of the capital.  So, that is how it is.

REPAIR OF CHIVAMBA-ZINGWENA ROAD IN ZAKA WEST

CONSTITUENCY

  1.   Hon. Murambiwa asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will repair the Chivamba-Zingwena Road in Zaka West Constituency which is in a state of dilapidation and therefore impassible to those using vehicles.

        THE HON. MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  There are four road authorities in Zimbabwe namely, the Department of Roads under my

Ministry, Urban Councils, District Development Fund (DDF) and the

Rural District Councils (RDCs).  Chivambe-Zingwena Road in Zaka West Constituency falls under Zaka Rural District Council, usually the maintenance and rehabilitation of such roads is done by the relevant authority.  I thank you.

       *HON. MURAMBIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

supplementary question is based on the fact that, I think that road is maintained by DDF and not the Rural District Council.  So, I am not quite satisfied with the Minister’s response.  I thank you.

     HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I think I need

to make a correction, the Hon. Member is right; it is DDF which is in charge of that road.  They have a budget and equipment and have offices in the District.  Those are the people the Hon. Member must be able to get proper answers from.  I thank you.

         HON. TSUNGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Just some clarification Mr. Speaker Sir, can the Hon. Minister advise whether the local authorities specify the roads that they will be attending to in any given financial year in regard to disbursements made by ZINARA to the local authorities?  I thank you.

  HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Hon. Member and thank you

Mr. Speaker.  The roads in rural district councils are identified by their committees there, through their councilors.  So, it is them who identify the local people, the roads they want for the year to be funded and these are the roads which, when they are listed, ZINARA then comes in to fund them.  These roads authorities have their own engineers who do the engineering work and they can get external services if they wish, if they do not have internal capacity.  So, it starts from the rural authority and then interfaces with ZINARA in that manner.  I thank you.

         HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  There

has been an outcry by local authorities that when vehicles are licenced, the money goes to ZINARA and they do not get any significant amounts so that the local authorities are able to maintain their roads.  Is there any consideration by the Ministry that licence fees for motor vehicles are retained by local authorities so that they are able to maintain the roads at the local level?  As it stands, it looks like ZINARA gets the greater chunk of the money and does not timeously release those monies to local authorities for road maintenance.  Thank you.

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO): 

Order, order.  May I advise Hon. Members to please relate to the question asked and not to use this time to go to policy questions or other unrelated questions.

         HON. TSUNGA:  I thought I was within the confines of the original question.  I also drew some of my submissions from the responses that the Hon. Minister gave that has direct relevance to maintenance of roads at the local level.

        THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, my

understanding is that the person who asked the question was answered.

It is a specific question on a road and now you are diverting.

  HON. TSUNGA:  It is going to be helpful to him and to all of us.

Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

         HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the repair of Chivamba – Zingwena road in Zaka West Constituency speaks to and about some trunk roads and side roads.  There is a whole department of contractors who were trained in labour based road construction.  This is the first issue.  Will the Minister be amenable in terms of re-igniting or reactivation of this department of people in order that they alleviate the plight of the local authorities and the other authorities who are supposed to be repairing these roads?  In the quest for repairing these roads, there is also employment creation.  I will give examples of Wilnos Matowa and Changwa in Plumtree, Chachacha Road in Shurugwi and Empress Copper Queen in Gokwe.  All these roads were constructed using labour based methods without first coming into town and requesting for equipment from the Minister of Transport but organising labour in the quest.  Is he able to re-ignite and also make sure that the miners around that area also reconstruct roads?

         HON. ARCH. MATIZA:  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is in the process of making a number of innovations and revisions to the way we operate.  Firstly, we would want to stop the issue of hiring equipment.  We would want to hire contractors.  This will give efficiency, saving of money and timeous completion of the projects.  Secondly, we are putting in a measure to make sure majority of our works like cutting grass and the like are labour based.  Yes, the advantages that have been talked by the Hon. Member are real and that will help a number of families around the roads to be gainfully employed.  I thank you.

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION OF BULAWAYO-NKAYI

ROAD

  1.   HON. TSUNGA asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the construction of the Bulawayo – Nkayi Road will be completed considering that the project has been outstanding for more than 35 years.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The Bulawayo – Nkayi Road is a primary road which links Bulawayo and Nkayi and also provides a direct link between Bulawayo and Gokwe in the Midlands Province.  The upgrading has been going on over a long period of time.  The upgrade of the road from narrow mat to surfaced standard commenced in 1993 with a feasibility study.  The actual construction using donor funding from the Kuwait Fund commenced in 1996.  The donor pulled out in the year 2000 after completing the designs for 65 kilometres and the construction of one bridge as well as 29 kilometres of road.

  My department of roads took over the construction of the road in

2001 and did construction up to 44 kilometre peg as well as complete

Mbembesi and Ingwingwisi Bridges which are now trafficable.  This process has been slow due to the rate at which funding for the implementation of the project is availed by Treasury.  Work was suspended by my department this year due to the unavailability of funding and will resume as soon as further funding is availed.  Thank you.

         HON. S. K. MGUNI:  Hon. Speaker, I do agree that the road is under maintenance but my concern is on the pace in which the road is progressing.  The Minister said construction of the road started in 1996 but the fact is it started in 2004.  The pace that the road is going on is very sluggish.  I would suggest that if the Minister has got time, the people should submit weekly reports on the progress of that road.  Thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

RELEASE OF FUNDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS BY

ZINARA TO THE CITY OF GWERU

  1. HON. CHIBAYA asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) will release funds to the City of Gweru to enable the local authority to complete construction of the following roads in Mkoba Constituency.

  • From Mkoba 7 bus stop to Mkoba 15 turn-off; and
  • Mkoba 12 turn-off to Mkoba 17 turn-off

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.

MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, Gweru City Council submitted the first funds request of $217,009.13 for the construction of Swazi road (Mkoba

7 to Mkoba 17), Moramutambara road (connecting Mkoba 20, Mkoba

16 and Mkoba 17) and Chidhanana road, which ZINARA has since paid. The construction of Chidhanana road has not yet started although it is part of the contract.

         The second request for funds amounting to $2,556,803.86 was done on the 8th of November, 2019. Processing of the certificate is in progress and payment to the local authority will be effected once all necessary checks and evaluations have been completed by 13th December, 2019. I thank you.

HANDING OVER OF VEHICLE LICENCING TO LOCAL

AUTHORITIES BY THE GOVERNMENT

  1. HON. S. CHAMISA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House why the Government is not handling over the licencing of vehicles to local authorities so that the fees collected can enable speedy road repairs by these authorities.

        THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA): Thank

you Madam Speaker. It is Government policy to centralise the collection of all road user charges under ZINARA. Statutory Instrument 141 of 2013, cited as the Vehicle Registration and Licensing (Amendment) Regulation 2013 (No. 15) gives mandate for collection of vehicle licences to ZINARA. The centralization was done in order to facilitate fair distribution of funds for road construction to all road authorities across the country so that development is balanced across provinces. This approach will complement current Government policy on devolution.

         The road user charges collected by ZINARA are ring-fenced and strictly used only for road related works across the country, regardless of the amount contributed by each local authority or province. This will reduce the development gap between urban and rural areas, ensure balanced growth and leads to increased access to markets by farmers. Therefore, Government has no plan to hand over licensing of vehicles to local authorities. I thank you.

         Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

MOTION

WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION FROM THE ORDER PAPER.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  I move in terms of Standing Order Number 157 that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bill be removed from the Order Paper.

        Motion; With leave, withdrawn.

MOTION

RESTORATION OF THE MOTION ON THE FIRST REPORT OF

THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET, FINANCE AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ON MR. CHARLES MANDIZVIDZA

GANAGANA’S PETITION TO PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE ON

THE ORDER PAPER

HON. MHONA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I move that the motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget,

Finance and Economic Development on Mr. Charles Mandizvidza Ganagana’s petition to Parliament of Zimbabwe on progress made on the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of

Inquiry into the conversation of insurance and pension values for the

Zimbabwe dollar to the United States dollar which was superseded by the end of the First Session of the Ninth Parliament be restored on the Order Paper in terms of Standing Order No. 73.

HON. P. MOYO:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Mr. Speaker, I

move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 32 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 33 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SECOND READING: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL [H. B. 6,

2019]

Thirty-third Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the

Second Reading of the Freedom of Information Bill [H. B. 6, 2019].

Question again proposed.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I have made an undertaking that in 2019, I will try to be as paperless as possible and go as electronic as possible.  I think it is important than for us to leave these screens idle for a whole year without utilising them.  Therefore, I am waiting for the IT people to put across the Report of the Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.

The Committee brings to the House the Freedom of Information Bill [H. B. 6, 2019] was gazetted on 5th July 2019. Consequently, in accordance with Standing Order No. 135 the Bill was referred to the Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services requiring the Committee to discharge its scrutiniSing function, so as to make appropriate recommendations. The Bill seeks to repeal Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and also give effect to sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution.

The Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services conducted public hearings from 19-22 and 26-30 August 2019 in Harare, Bindura, Marondera, Mutare and Masvingo, Plumtree, Tsholotsho, Bulawayo, Kwekwe and Kadoma and considered written submissions from various stakeholders.

 Clause 1: Short title: Freedom of Information Act

The title of the Bill be changed from Freedom of Information to

Access to information Bill to represent the African law model.

  1. Clause 2: Interpretation

It was recommended that there should be a clear definition for a

(holder of statutory office) for example Registrar General Department.

Moreso, the definition of a ‘responsible person’ should include the principal officer or one of several officers of a private entity.

It was highlighted that the minimum qualifications for information officers should be clearly outlined in the Bill.

 Clause 3: Objects of Act

It was recommended that there is need for pro-active disclosure of information rather than entities only providing information upon request.

       Clause 5: Duty to Disclose Information

 It was recommended that public entities must draft policies, manuals on public rights and privileges , and other documentation that detail handling of information request and how to resolve complains relating to access to information.

 Clause 6: Act not to apply to certain public entities and persons.

It was recommended that the Bill should provide for the time period beyond which records and information relating to deliberations and functions of Cabinet and its Committee may be declassified and shared, 10 to 15 years would suffice for the declassification

Clause 7: Request for access to Information

Stakeholders informed the Committee that Clause 7 states that information request be done in written form, thus excluding the illiterate, disabled people and visually impaired. Information requests should also be done orally to promote information requests from people that have low literacy and proficiency levels in written languages as well as people visual challenges.

Information Officer would receive the verbal request and then reduce them to writing with the assistance of the person making the request. It was suggested that the information should be requested through use of internet.

Stakeholders emphasized that information from the Private entities be accessed in the same manner as information from the Public entities is accessed.

Clause 8: Response to Request

It was submitted that the period for request responses is too long and should be reduced to at least five days or less, with some advocating for 48hours or 3 working days since information easily become obsolete.

Clause 9: Extension of time

The stakeholders proposed that an Information Officer must furnish adequate reasons for extending the time to process a request and the reasons should be provided to the applicant in written form.

The Bill is silent on redirection of irrelevant submissions to the rightful entities. Information officers should ensure that such submissions be forwarded to the rightful boards rather than stalling and rendering these submissions as obsolete and meaningless. Such transfers must be made within 5 days of receiving a request for information.

 Clause 10: Deemed Refusal

Stakeholders highlighted that this clause is prone to abuse and creates laziness. There should be formal communication from the information officer either verbal or in written form providing the justification for failure to notify on a decision for the request made by the applicant.

The Bill should include a fine of $500 for an officer who fails, refuses to provide and mis-inform the applicant of the required and requested information.

        Clause 13: Forms of Access

The stakeholders informed the Committee that this section does not specifically provide for other forms that would cater for people with disabilities such as visual impairment. It was recommended that the Bill must be cleared and more expansive on the forms in which access to information may be secured to cover for all the population groups including people with visual impairments, through for example braille documents, at no extra cost to the applicant.

Clause 14: Severability

Stakeholder highlighted that the inclusion of a severability clause is commendable; however it was recommended that the clause should further provide for redaction as an alternative.

Clause 16: Language of access

The stakeholders highlighted that information must be availed to people in the language of choice and also taking cognizant of sign language and oral communication to cater for the people living with disabilities.

Clause 17: Fees

Stakeholders acknowledged that fees are necessary as they are used to purchase required stationary necessary to facilitate information requests. However, stakeholders highlighted that the bill should not permit the charging of repetitive fees for example search and inspection fee as they are prone to abuse in a way that prevents people from seeking information and Government should bear the costs for translations and not the people.

Clause 18: Report to Commission.

It was recommended that the Zimbabwe Media Commission should not be given powers to oversee the bill but rather ZHRC be given the mandate to deal with the administration of the freedom of Information Law while others  were of the view that giving the powers to ZHRC is like overburdening the Commission which should be looking into Human rights appeals.

 Clause 20:  Refusal of Access

The Committee was informed by the public that the bill must have a mandatory public interest override clause included in Part IV Grounds for refusal of Access to Information. It is important for the public interest to be protected at all costs and information should be proactively published in those circumstances.

  Clause 31: Manifestly, frivolous or vexatious requests, or request involving substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources

It was highlighted that the clause is prone to abuse by information officers and stakeholder recommended that terms and justifications on frivolous request should be clearly set out in the Bill. Other stakeholders recommended that the section be repealed.

       Clause 41: Repeal of Cap. 10:27 and savings

Stakeholders recommended that this section should fall out and fresh regulations should be created.

COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

Regarding the proposal for the title of the Bill to reflect as “Access to Information”, the Committee was of the view that it would associate the Bill with the AIPPA which it seeks to repeal. A new title therefore, would reflect a shift from the infamous provisions in AIPPA.

The Committee commended the Ministry for the inclusion of a provision which require public entities to pro-actively provide information through voluntarily publication rather than just to act on requests.

Additionally, the Committee noted that the objects are formulated in a language that reflects a strong consciousness of the constitutional benchmark and as such, the Committee expressed satisfaction with the objects of the Bill.

In clause 5 the Committee was of the view that the duty of information officers should extend to that of assisting applicants requesting any information in their custody.

The Committee highlighted that as a matter of policy each entity should publish its policies in line with the regulations on handling of information requests and resolutions of complaints relating to access of information.

Under Clause 7 the Committee was in agreement with the submissions from the public for information to be made available to anyone in need of it. In its current form the Bill provides just for written information and does not take into account the information needs for disabled persons such as the blind.

In Clause 17 the Committee was in support of the submissions that fees should be nominal and avoid charging repetitive fees such as search fee and inspection fee. They commented that there should be one fee that encompasses related fees and coexisting payments.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee makes the following recommendations:

That in the Clause 5, the duty for Information Officers should be extended to include that of assisting applicants requesting for information;

That in Clause 5 as a matter of policy, each entity should publish its policy on handling of information request and how to resolve complaints relating to access to information;

That Clause 6 (a) should not apply to information which is classified and the Bill must specify the period of declassification;

That in Clause 7, there should be acknowledgement forms that record the assistance given to a person making the request orally.  More so, there should be a provision of information in the language used in requesting such information;

That in Clause 8, the request by the media practitioners should be responded to within 48 hours and that by the general public should be provided within a maximum of 7 days;

That in Clause 9, there should be transferability of information requested to the entity that holds such information. In the event that the request was made to the wrong entity, the extension time should not exceed five (5) days;

That Clause 10 relating to deemed refusal should be expunged from the Bill as it violates section 68 of the Constitution which provides for the right to administrative justice. The clause is prone to abuse by information officers as the bill does not provide the specific reasons for refusals;

That in Clause 16, an entity holding the information should recover translation costs from the applicant if such information is requested in other languages not officially recognized in Zimbabwe;

That in Clause 17, fees should be nominal and that the Bill should not permit the charging of repetitive fees. Additionally, the Ministry should gazette a schedule to act as guidance of the statutory fees charged;

Clause 18 provides for the submission of annual reports on the number of request for access to information received and request for access granted in full to the Commission. In this regard, the Committee recommended that Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) as an independent commission should be given the powers to oversee the Reports which then reports to Parliament through the Minister as provided for in the Constitution;

There is need to revisit Clause 30 to ensure public entities should not be insulated against public scrutiny;

That in Clause 31 the Bill should clearly define the frivolous or vexatious requests, otherwise in the absence of that, the clause must be expunged;

CONCLUSION

The Freedom of Information Bill is commendable as it has some positive departures from the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), including measures aimed at promoting transparency and accountability.  However, there remain other issues related to the accessibility of information that must be given immediate attention to bring the Bill in line with section 62 of the Constitution. The Bill is silent on a number of issues which include the inability to transfer requests from one entity to another among others. Nevertheless, the recommendations proffered above could assist the current Bill in achieving its stated objectives and the Committee will bring amendments during Committee Stage.  

         HON. A. MPOFU:  Hon. Speaker, allow me to make just a brief observation regarding the public hearings that have produced this wonderful report.  Firstly, I would like to say that the success of any public hearing among other factors also depends on the obtaining political environment.  When citizens feel that they can express themselves without fear, they robustly and openly express their views on issues that affect their daily lives.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it was evident as we conducted these public hearings that the general public felt very safe and free to express their views.  I would like to add that this is in great measure, the political atmosphere prevailing under the new dispensation as championed by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - In addition to the general atmosphere where people feel free to express themselves was another factor Mr. Speaker

Sir.

This was the earnestness around that time when the public hearings were conducted which the Executive through the Ministry engaged with stakeholders regarding the repeal of AIPPA and its replacement with three pieces of legislations that include this Freedom of Information.  Indeed, the crowds that came to the public hearings were not necessarily very impressing, let me say at least by political rally standards but the engagement of those that had attended were very intense and they were very forthright, robust and there were no holds barred.

 Therefore, as already expressed by the Chairperson through his report….

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, is that his

report or the Committee’s report?

         HON. A. MPOFU:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the report that has been presented to you has been comprehensive but I would like to just pick a few issues.  These may have already been mentioned but it is very important because this Bill from the impression that your Committee got is very important to our people.  Therefore, it is very important that

some of the points we do in fact repeat them so that we can give all the perspectives that came out.

         First, is the issue of the scope of the Bill. This Bill says every citizen has a right to information held by public bodies.  As already pointed out, in other jurisdictions, information held by private bodies is also deemed to be necessary to be accessed by the citizens.  This point came out very clearly that especially in this digital age a lot of private bodies actually hold more information on citizens and issues to do with the economic and political developments of the country more than even public bodies. Therefore, it is only essential that may be subject to public interest test that this information should also be accessed by citizens.

The second aspect Mr. Speaker Sir is the duty to produce information.  There was a very strong feeling that it should be the duty of whoever is responsible, whether the information officer designated, that information officer should not just have an obligation to release information requested.  The law should expressly require public bodies to search for information that they should in fact hold and assist those who request to get information from other bodies that may hold the information which they themselves may not have at that particular moment when a request is made.

Moreover, the public feels that it is the duty of the public body to proactively disclose information which implicitly imposes a duty to collect or generate certain listed categories of information.  So the public feels that there is definitely some information which should proactively be given out there to the public.

The issue of language has already been touched on Mr. Speaker Sir.  This is a very sensitive matter.  What came out was the fact that language, citizenship, empowerment are greatly tied together and that citizens feel immediately disempowered if they are not allowed to express or to request information that they need in the language of their choice – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – especially within the constitutional obligation of 16 languages.  So there is a general perception that this law, excellent as it is, might not be properly delivered as a public servant.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the public were of the opinion that information officers or those responsible to deliver the information should have adequate training and this should be specifically obligated on those who have to deliver the information.  So the training, behaviour, culture should show that they are actually committed to delivering that important public service.  What this says Mr. Speaker, is that the public is concerned with the behaviour of those who might actually be tasked and that the law should state that it is obligatory for all bodies to train not only on the law but also on the behaviour and attitude of delivering good public service – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] ….

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, I want to make a

very important observation.  This Bill is one of the Bills under reforms and Members from the left side of this House have been crying about these reforms but they are not here.  May leaders from the left side please call Members to come back to the Chamber because this is a very important Bill in terms of reforms.  You can continue Hon. Member.

HON. A. MPOFU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Of course, a

clash of views during public hearings is quite healthy and this happened on one aspect which is very key.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there was a lot of debate concerning what to do when a request is refused or the conduct of the person responsible to give information leaves much to be desired.  There was a lot of argument as to whether one should resort to the Human Rights Commission when rights have been violated or whether the Information Commissioner should be the person to whom an appeal should be made.  A robust debate took place and your Committee noted that this is a very important consideration.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, the public out there is not naive.  The public states that it is their right to access information but they also recognised and they said this very clearly.  Whilst the public wants to exercise their right to access information from public bodies they were also very clear that the right to access information is not absolute.  They do recognise and acknowledge that freedom of information should be subject to limitations to protect certain types of information from disclosure.  These are exceptions necessary to protect national security interests, and legitimate commercial interests.  In these cases, the public is clear that the limitations on the right to access information would be responding to a very legitimate national purpose and the legitimate aims for exceptions to this freedom of expression as recognised by the publics themselves include national security, public safety, public order and the protection of public health and the protection of the rights of others.  I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

    HON. SHAMU: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make

my contribution to this very important debate.  As you rightly pointed out, these are the necessary reforms that people have been clamouring for, for a long time.  I would like to thank the Chairman of our Committee, Hon. Prince Sibanda for the way he delivered the report emanating from the findings and recommendations of our Committee.

He did provide a refreshing clarity on the nature and skill of change that is needed.  The report also gave a sense of momentum behind the

Committee’s recommendations.  Hon. Mpofu who seconded the report raised the bar as he delved into the core of the philosophy of the new dispensation in the Second Republic where His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa emphasised the need for genuine openness and freedom to information.

In his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on 1st October

2019, His Excellency said, “we cannot change the past but the future is in our hands”.  Mr Speaker Sir, we are now looking into the future.  We are saying where did we come from, where are we and where do we want to go.

In looking to the future, I cannot but go back in history and remind this august House that on 6th November 1960, Zimbabwe then Southern Rhodesia introduced television broadcasting becoming the first country in the region to do so. Despite this, we still have one television station yet our regional neighbours may have more than one television station, for example Zambia has 10 television stations.  This means Zimbabwe was overtaken by many countries in Africa in terms of media development.  So the new dispensation is saying let us move with speed to ensure that we catch up with the rest of the world.

    Mr Speaker Sir, access to information is indeed a prerequisite for

Zimbabwe to occupy its rightful place in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR).  The fourth industrial revolution will make a significant change in the way that we work.  This is made possible by the emergence of digital systems, networked communication and large scale data analysis.  That now is where the question comes in.  You need to have access to information.  There must be freedom of information and that is only possible if we ensure that we buttress all our efforts with availability of information to the general public.  This increasing integration of technologies in business and production processes will make even self sustaining and more efficient.  Information is power, information empowers more people nationally and even worldwide when it is availed freely.  People can then become entrepreneurs; individuals can reach out to new customers if they are in business without incurring a huge huge investment cost in brick and mortar.  In other words we are saying let us grow our economy, our country, production and the spirit of unity.

Let that message go loud and clear to each and every individual that in talking about freedom of information we are not saying let us abuse that privilege.  Yes, it is a right, yes we must get it, but we must also look after it.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will go back in history.  In the early 80s the late

Hon. John Oliver Manyarara, a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, himself a former broadcaster, presented a paper in which he called on Zimbabwe to follow media trends practiced elsewhere in the world.  Today, Mr. Speaker Sir, through the Government of His

Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. Emmerson Mnangagwa and indeed, Mr. Speaker Sir, through this 9th Parliament, the late Manyarara’s wish is now being realised - freedom of information.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I stood up in order to add my name in supporting the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act so that the Government of Zimbabwe can give access to information as enshrined in Section 62 of our Constitution, through the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill into law.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON.

MUTODI):  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Thursday, 18 December, 2019.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF

INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING

SERVICES (HON. MUTODI), the National Assembly adjourned at

Ten Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

          

 

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