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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 18 MAY 2022 VOL 48 NO 47

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 18th May, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of a delegation from the Committee on Transport, Works and Supply from the Parliament of Zambia.  The delegation comprises of the Chairperson, Hon. Mabika Mabika, the Vice Chairperson, Hon. Ms. Tasila Lungu, eight Hon. Members and a member of staff. Hon. Members from our sister Parliament in Zambia, you are most welcome - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – [HON. T. MLISWA: Mulimbwanji.] – Zikomo kwambili mabwela.

CHALLENGES WITH INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

THE HON SPEKAER: Please be advised that Parliament main internet link service provider, TelOne has technical connectivity challenges which may affect connectivity during today’s sitting.  Internet will be connected to the backup link to facilitate today’s sitting, any inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.   

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received the following apologies from the Executive; Hon. Rtd. Gen. C. D. G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Prof. P. Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Dr. A. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Hon. V. Haritatos, Deputy Minister for Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Hon. J. G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. Chiduwa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. E. Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. D. Karoro, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. M. Chombo, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. P. Kambamura, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development – [HON. A. NDEBELE: This is disappointing to say the least.] – A number of Ministers are in Indonesia and the two Ministers from Mines and Mining Development are in Gwanda at the mine site of the tragedy. Others are on national duty.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and good afternoon to you.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  May I know Government policy regarding sign language interpretation in our courts?  I 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 policy is, wherever as far as possible, sign language must be provided where one of the parties is disabled and has hearing impairments.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MOYO: May the Hon. Minister give us a timeframe as to when we can expect interpreters of sign language in the courts even in rural and urban areas.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: If you have one of the parties unable to follow proceedings, court processes may not occur.  So, whenever there is a party that requires sign language, the process cannot proceed without availing one.  I thank you. 

          *HON. NKANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, in his absence to the Leader of Government Business.  What is Government’s policy with regards to companies that manufacture Bitumen tar in this country?  I am asking in the context of the vey huge projects that we face of road rehabilitations because most of the tar is imported. What is Government’s policy with regards to assisting companies to manufacture that raw material?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MODI): May I have this question in writing so that I can come back to you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! The Hon. Minister of Transport, the matter is deferred to you with my permission.  Can you respond since you are the main consumer?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me thank the Leader of Government Business for indulging you and your concurrence.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, it is true that we also need the whole of Government approach as a nation when it comes to issues of bituminous products.  It is true that Hon. Nkani has said that importing is very costly to the nation and we are now seized together with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce through ZIMCAM, where ZIMCAM is being capacitated so that we continue to produce our own bitumen products.  This is the way we are partaking as we speak.  I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order! It appears there is a gulf of knowledge between Deputy Ministers and Ministers when it comes to answering questions.  May Ministers share information with their Deputy Ministers so that when they come to this House they are well informed?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I think what needs to be acknowledged is that if an Hon. Minister accepts that he is not in a position to answer, the Hon. Minster cannot proceed to give you a wrong answer.  The Hon. Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development works very closely with the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce and that is why he is more seized with the matter because he is the biggest consumer of the bitumen products but your point is taken that there is need for sharing between the Cabinet Ministers who attend Cabinet and are seized quite often with policy issues in their ministries.  So we encourage that sharing. 

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, it will be improper not to greet my fellow Zambians, how are you?

# I am happy to see you, I also stayed in Zambia for some time. I once stayed at UTH and I also stayed in Kamata.  I am happy to see you.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Hon. Minister is, in view of the question, how bitumen is needed and how much Government is wasting on it - before we even think of manufacturing, is it worth it in terms of the quantities and the price?  Do we have the raw materials?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  That question is more operational than policy.  It will require a written question so that proper research is done to quantify what is available and what is being imported so that Hon. Mliswa can get a satisfactory response.

+HON. M. NKOMO: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What measures have you put in place at schools where there are two teachers who teach from ECD up to Grade 7? 

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. E. NDLOVU):  We are working with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare through the Public Service Commission to recruit teachers. This particular session we were given 4 000 teachers and we have since identified and deployed 4 900 teachers.  We are working on the balance so that we have four thousand according to the budget that was given to the Public Service Commission by the Ministry of Finance but we need more teachers.  I thank you.

+HON. NKOMO: How soon is that going to happen since we are getting zero percent pass rate?

+HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: Sorry for having answered the Hon. Member in English.  We have managed to recruit teachers, so far we have managed to get 3 900 out of 4 000 that we are expecting as per the budget by the Ministry of Finance.  Some of these teachers have been listed in the newspapers and if it is not out this week, I expect Public Service Commission to release the list next week.  After the release of the list, these teachers will go straight to their schools so that we address the matter of zero percent pass rate.  There are no teachers to teach children so that we get out of the zero percent issue.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, if probably the Hon. Minister can correct her earlier statement. She had said 4 900 are the ones who have been recruited and 4 000 are what we have been given and now she has said 3 900 pushing to 4 000. So for the purpose of Hansard, I think it is important that she sets the record straight. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, what is the correct record? 

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: The correct figure is, we were given 4 000 posts and we have so far identified teachers to the tune of 3 900, my apology. 

HON. MURAI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. We heard the recruitment process from the Minister which is quite commendable that we need more and more teachers.  My question is to do with remuneration.  Do you have plans to increase their remuneration because right now I am sure they are getting something like 30 000 which is almost equivalent to less than USD 100 per month.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  That question does not follow from the original question. The original question related to the inadequate numbers of teachers and not their remuneration.

          +HON.  MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to greet our visitors. My supplementary question is that the Minister has said they have been allowed to recruit 4 000 teachers and we are grateful for that but I am requesting that she comes with a ministerial statement for this House to tell us the deficit per district and how many are being required? We want that explanation on issues of teachers and children. I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister, the question is about the distribution of teachers according to districts. The request is that you come up with a ministerial statement to indicate the deployment of those teachers, district by district.  That is the request.

          HON. Dr. E. NDLOVU: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I will bring that ministerial statement according to her request. I am able to bring the ministerial statement tomorrow. I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The request is granted and it will be presented in a fortnight.

          HON. T. MLISWA: My point of recommendation Mr. Speaker Sir, is that she must also address the issue of the total number of teachers required so that the education sector is efficient as well as the distribution in the wards because she said 4 000 are the only ones who were granted this time but what is the total number of teachers required to fully have a viable education sector?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Chair had already indicated that the Hon. Minister will bring a comprehensive statement. Thank you.

          HON. A. NDEBELE: On a point of recommendation Mr. Speaker Sir.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Recommendation! You stand up and so I stand you down because you did not stand up. You cannot address the Chair while you are seated. Thank you.

          HON. JAMES SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and it is related to the ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme. What practical policy measures is Government adopting to solve the congestion and traffic jams that have been lighting the cities of Harare and Bulawayo putting a strain to the already ailing economy? While at that, could he kindly explain the policy on spaghetti roads as a possible solution?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me also thank Hon. Sithole for that very important question. The question is in two parts. The other one is under the purview of the Ministry of Transport and the other one touches Local Government but I will try to address both questions. To allay the fears of the Hon. Member, the economy is not ailing and I want to thank the programme of Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme that was enunciated by His Excellency, the President to superintend over the issues of rehabilitating our roads.

          As you are aware, we have got four road authorities. The one which falls under the purview of the Ministry’s Department of Roads and to relate to the question that has been posed by the Hon. Member, local authorities are cities. It is true that we are rehabilitating our roads and this is something that the House can agree. You have seen that we had narrow roads, not anticipating the volumes of transport that we are witnessing. As we are traversing within the cities, we have seen that the local authorities were also supposed to maintain the roads and also to have an urban transport system that will cater for the numbers in terms of the increase in traffic and the increase in numbers of commuters. 

          So, I am happy to say to the august House that together with the Ministry of Local Government, the issue of congestion that has been alluded to by the Hon. Member is at the centre of us together with the Ministry of Local Government, to address so that we then ease congestion in our cities. I am happy to say besides the usual and traditional way of ferrying our passengers, we are also contemplating on a metro train that will cater and offload the burden from the commuters to the railway line. This is something that we are working on as the Second Republic so that we alleviate the transport challenges being witnessed by our people. Thank you.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Transport is that in view of the fact that he has said that our economy is not ailing, why does the Government not proceed to do what modern economies are doing like the spaghetti roads which were mentioned earlier and have a system in place where there is no congestion. When we look at inter-connectivity between our cities, we can have freeways. He is talking of widening of roads but in developed economies, they have freeways and they are heavy in Kenya and Nairobi. The question is, if the economy is thriving as the Minister is portraying, the Government is failing to come up with the modern trains where you actually have freeways instead of merely widening the roads and in addition, have fly overs and so on instead of malfunctioning traffic lights which are contributing to the congestion in our cities?

          THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also thank my learned colleague Hon. Gonese for that important follow-up question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is in the public domain that as a nation we are crippled by sanctions.  When it comes to infrastructure development, you do not develop from local resources. You find that infrastructure development in a number of jurisdictions is catered for by concessional loans, and we are not getting such loans.  We are actually rehabilitating our roads using our own generated resources, which then cater for the issues of timing projects where now we are currently seized with the Mbudzi Interchange.  I am sure the Hon. Member could have alluded to it that we have started.

          Look at even Harare-Beitbridge and a number of our trunk roads where we have domestic resource mobilisation exercise to cater for such roads.  So, there is no way we can do anything and I would not want to hazard to answer the question when it comes to urban transport systems which falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  What I can assure the Hon. Member is that, together with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, there is no way we cannot address the issues of transport.  We are now seized with rehabilitating the roads that were not rehabilitated for over a long time where we now need to start rehabilitating those roads before moving on to another stage of having the freeways as alluded to by the Hon. Member.  I thank you.

          HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you, good afternoon Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, my question goes back to - in fact all the questions asked on policy today, if we as Members of Parliament had the programme for the Emergency Road Repair Fund, we would know what is going on.  I brought a supplementary two weeks ago, and it was just for my area, I have not received anything.

          Mr. Speaker, it becomes pointless asking questions if ministers answer but do not supply.  I have been asking for the Road Repair Programme just for my area for months now and to date, I have not received anything.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Ask a specific question.

          HON. MARKHAM:  Mr. Speaker, I did start by saying that if all the Members of Parliament had the Emergency Road Repair Programme so that we knew which roads they were repairing then most of these questions would not be asked.  May we have the programme?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  In other words, it must spread all over.

          HON. MHONA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and let me also thank Hon. Rusty Markham.  Hon. Speaker Sir, I am sure you made a ruling and I have seen your communiqué from your respectable office to say let us furnish what has been requested by Hon. Members.

          I do concur that we are bringing a compendium, and what I can share with the august House is Mr. Speaker Sir, I get calls from Hon. Members asking me to take their roads on board.  I have been agreeing to the pleas to add on more roads.  So, the detailed report will then need to cover all those roads that were scheduled under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme.  Unless Hon. Members are saying we must not entertain requests of adding new roads but if they do concur, on daily basis Mr. Speaker Sir, I am receiving requests to add on roads.

          Therefore, we will come up with a consolidated compendium to show the roads that we have taken over, the cost and contractor.  On today’s Order Paper Mr. Speaker Sir, I have one such case where an Hon. Member asked for a particular road involving the contractor, directors and the costs that were indicated on that particular section.  So precisely, I will furnish the House with that information.  I am at liberty Mr. Speaker Sir to then consolidate and agree with Hon. Members that whatever has been taken on board that was on schedule, and was not covered under ERP2, will be brought to this august House.  I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA:  My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business.  The SDRs that we received, we were informed that they would not be disbursed, if you recall, without the Minister of Finance and Economic Development coming to Parliament.  I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister if the SDR has been disbursed.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Mliswa is very correct that any disbursements must be authorised by Parliament.  So the answer is, wait until the Minister comes for authorisation – unless you have a specific case that you know of which I may not be aware of.  You can put it in writing and direct the question to him as to why there is expenditure outside what is required by law to happen.      Ordinarily, when a draw-down is being done, Parliament must approve.  I thank you. – [HON. T. MLISWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker!] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, are you sure you really need a supplementary? – [HON. T. MLISWA:  Yes, Mr. Speaker Sir!] – The answer is very clear, no disbursements have been done – unless you are aware of some disbursement from the SDR then you can proceed with the question.

          HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would not want to equally speculate but I am equally surprised that with the economic situation that we are in, we are sitting on money without being disbursed.  So my question would be, can the Hon. Minister update us and confirm that really there have not been disbursements.  I want to ask why they have not been disbursed when we have an economic crises and the foreign currency is there.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the extra question which I believe that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in his wisdom of how he disburses funds, will be able to come and update the House as to which foreign currency he has disbursed and whether he used that particular money and why he has done that.

          It is entirely not a policy question but an operational one to say that I am going to disburse this particular amount to this department as per the laws of our country.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Minister, I think the import of the question is that if you can have some dialogue with the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development to indicate when he is coming to inform the House on the disbursement issue.  In view of the fact that there is need for foreign currency in the country, so if you may kindly transmit that message to your colleague the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  Thank you.

          HON. TARUSENGA:  Thank you Mr Speaker Sir for according me the opportunity to ask the Minister of Local Government and Public Works and in his absence, the Leader of the House.  Is it now Government policy that people can organise themselves to invade land and divide …

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, Order!  The three Hon. Members by the door there – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order!  The three Hon. Members right there, from the one by the door, please can you be attentive.  Hon. Member please proceed.

HON. TARUSENGA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for according me the opportunity to ask the Minister of Local Government and in his absence, the Leader of the House. Is it now Government policy that people can organise themselves to invade land and divide it amongst themselves for either residential or commercial purposes?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.   Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member and respond by saying Government has not changed.   We do not have a policy of promoting land invasion, I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, indeed a lot of illegal settlers are there both agriculture and commercial but Government seems not to be doing anything about it.  Is it because most of them are ZANU PF aligned and are aligned barons?  Is it because they are untouchable because they are ZANU PF aligned because most of the land is in the hands of ZANU PF members, particularly farming areas where land is being disbursed by being distributed by village heads, chairpersons of districts and all that.  When you report to the police, the police does not do anything about it, is it because they are ZANU PF members?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I had not noticed that the Acting Minister of Local Government is here but however, I will respond to the question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Who is the Acting Minister of Local Government and Public Works?

HON. ZIYAMBI: It is the Minister of National Housing.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Is he also the Acting Minister?

 HON. ZIYAMBI: He is also the Acting Minister.

THE HON. SPEAKER: He should take the floor.

HON. ZIYAMBI: With your leave Hon. Speaker, Hon. Minister, can you please answer.

THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank Hon. T. Mliswa for his supplementary question.  If the Hon. Member could furnish us with a list of the people that he has referred to so that we can act accordingly, I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections, ndo sarcasm ka iyi.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, I am not sure of your definition of sarcasm, the issue is very clear.  Hon. T. Mliswa, if you have got instances of that nature, please give the list to the Hon. Minister and indicate also the police station where the matter has been reported.

HON. T. MLISWA: I have got a letter Mr. Speaker Sir, which I can bring to this House. 

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. T. Mliswa, why not take on the Minister of National Housing and let us see what he does.  Next week when he comes back, let us hear his response.

HON. T. MLISWA: There is no response on the ZANU PF or the untouchable – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: It does not matter whether they are ZANU PF or they have come from Honolulu, they should be dealt with according to the law.

HON. T. MLISWA: He was supposed to respond exactly like that - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: I am trying to magnify your request Hon. T. Mliswa, the law is very clear; ZANU PF members cannot be above the law.  I thank you.

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

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

HON. NDEBELE: On a related matter Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: If it is a related matter, please ask a supplementary question.  

HON. NDEBELE: There is no basis for a supplementary, I requested...

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I listened very carefully you said on a related matter.  So, if it is a related matter, you ask a supplementary question.

HON. NDEBELE: I am directing the question to you Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not ask the Chair please, that is unprocedural.

HON. NDEBELE: That is my point. I am rising on a point of privilege.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You do not ask the Chair a question arising from the Hon. Minister...

HON. NDEBELE: Arikuiramba – [HON. MEMBERS: Chiita kuti supplementary kwachoka] – Supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, Hon. Member, take your seat.

HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, on a number of times today, you have denied me an opportunity to speak, I am a sworn Member of this House, I have every right to speak.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you take your seat.

HON. NDEBELE: I do not want; I want to ask a question.  Five times you did not give me an opportunity to speak.  I am also a Member of this House.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Out of the House!

HON. NDEBELE: Ruling yeiko, six times he has been denying me an opportunity.  I was voted by the people.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Out of the House!

HON. NDEBELE: Aiwa, keep your House.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Out of the House, you must follow procedure – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] go away!

HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  When will the Bill to amend the Disabled Persons Act be submitted to Parliament considering that it has been pending since the beginning of the 9th Parliament?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the Bill but we have shortage of personnel within the Attorney-General’s Office within the drafting section but it is being worked on and we hope that it is going to be expedited soon and once it passes all the Cabinet processes, it should come to Parliament. 

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is whether they can give us a timeframe, an indication as to when they will be expecting this Bill to be tabled because as indicated in the original question, it has been outstanding for the last four years from the inception of this 9th Parliament and it is an important issue. The rights of people with disabilities are covered in the Constitution and in the international instruments which we are party to, if you can give us timeframe. 

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member and proffer a correct answer because it will be recorded wrongly that if we say it has been outstanding for the last four years, we have lost a lot of time because of COVID-19.  There was a time when Parliament was not sitting until we had to come up with a system and it also applied to the Government departments.  I indicated that we are seized with that and we have staff constrains.  So, I am unable at the moment to say that the Bill will be coming to the House next week or early June but the answer that I can give is that we are definitely working on it with a view of ensuring that this side of the year, the Bill must be before Parliament.

(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you Hon. Speaker and good afternoon to you.  The Hon. Minister has alluded to the fact that the Attorney-General’s office is short staffed.  All the Parliamentary Bills are pending because the AG’s office is short staffed.  I would like to know from the Minister when he is going to beef up the AG’s office so that everything is done with speed.

HON. ZIYAMBI: That process had already started.  Cabinet approved that staff levels within the Attorney-General’s Office be beefed up but it is a process of recruiting them, having them trained, ensuring that they are now able to do whatever they are required to do.  That is why I said giving a time frame to say next week would not be honest but the desire is that this side of the year, we must be able to complete the majority of Bills more specifically those that are within the speech that the President gave when he opened this session.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is about different strokes for different folks.  The Patriotic Bill was passed within a year; the PVO Bill will be passed in the shortest time possible.  Why is it that the disabled, who are marginalised, it is taking long for it to happen? Are we not being insensitive and are we not being seen to be more punitive than progressive in terms of the disabled agenda.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, I do not know where he is getting all this.  There is no Patriotic Bill before Parliament.  On the PVO Bill, he should have asked when it was initiated, the time frame until it got to Parliament.

So, we must not compare bananas and apples, we have processes that are done to come up with a Bill and these are separate processes.  I think with all due respect, we are undertaking a process of bringing the Bill.  Those that are before Parliament, that process was done and completed.  What we need is to focus on ensuring that the Bill is brought before Parliament.

HON. MARKHAM: Hon. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister that for years now, we have been told there is a bottleneck in the Attorney-General’s office.  My question dates back to the Devolution Bill.  We have had a very long delay on IPEC but as Hon. Mliswa said, some Bills just shoot through.  It appears there are selections as to what you want to do.  Devolution Bill came and it is gone.  My question is when are you going to sort out the AG’s office?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his supplementary questions.  However, just to correct him a little bit; the Devolution or the Provincial Councils Bill, we tabled it in the format that was compliant with the Constitution.  We then proceeded to amend the Constitution and that entailed withdrawing that particular Bill so that we could factor in the new provision of the Constitution. So, I do not see comparisons there. What I said is the desire is there to ensure that we enact all Bills that are before Parliament.  It might take long to complete one or two Bills but once Bills come to Parliament, our desire is to ensure that we complete them with or without amendments.

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as the Leader of Government Business.  I would like to find out from the Hon. Minister when the Government, before coming up with far reaching measures, embarks or engages in a process of engagement with players and stakeholders and also assess the impact and consequences of such measures.  I ask this in the context of the raft of measures which were introduced on the 8th of May which, among other things, prevented the lending by banks and within a week, the Government has had a volt face and reversed its decision.  However, we have had very serious consequences on the economy, we have had shortages, companies which had been unable to continue producing and I want the Hon. Minister to indicate to us what was the motivation behind Government’s thinking in coming up with that ill-fated measure?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  An elected Government has the mandate of people to make decisions even if it means you make decisions on your feet as seen fit and then you can always review them.  Within the wisdom of Government and the information that Government had, it was necessary to come up with those measures.  It does not matter the measures were for a day or two but for that particular moment, that decision was necessary and whatever was needed to be corrected was achieved within the timeframe of a week and then the relevant authorities lifted the suspension. So, I believe that if you are the executive or if you have been entrusted to make decisions, you do not rush back and consult on a daily basis.  The law gives that executive power on those that are in power to do that.  I thank you.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, if he could perhaps enlighten us on the tangible benefits that emanated from that decision bearing in mind the fact that in terms of the exchange rate it looks like it has gone haywire, we have not seen any benefits.  As a matter of fact, we have actually seen another policy reversal whereby the duty of selected goods has been lifted as a result of companies failing to supply the market with the goods.  I want to find out from the Hon. Minister whether these policy inconsistencies and reversals are not further eroding confidence in our economy.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker. The original question spoke of the Executive being required to consult whenever they make a decision and my response was, we do not have to.  The second question now pertains to a specific decision that was done and the perceived results from the Hon. Member.  My response is, sometimes certain actions are motivated by security issues that emanate from what will be obtaining on the ground.  As for the specific responses in terms of monitoring interventions, I would request the Hon. Member to request like what happened last week, the Minister of Finance to come to the House so that he can articulate on how they are doing these policy interventions and monitoring policy interventions.  I thank you.  

          HON. ZWIZWAI:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and good afternoon.  My question is on the issue of consultation. We have institutional memory in the person of yourself Mr. Speaker Sir, during the inauguration of the President of the Second Republic, he said “I am a listening President”.  He said the voice of the people is the voice of God, I just want to know from the Minister, who did the President listen to, to come up with those draconian measures which he reversed overnight?   Who did he listen to if he did not listen to the voice of the people and the voice of God and if he is not a listening President?  I thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not fully convinced that he listened to the President when he said that speech and understood the import of what he was saying and if he can fully relate that statement to the architecture of governing on a day to day basis.  If you are a listening President, it does not mean you do to not make decisions.  There are times when you are required as a Government to make decisions that you believe are in the best interest of the people.  So, the Hon. Member is completely lost to infer that because he said I am a listening President, each time he makes a statement he cannot use the authority that is vested in him by virtue of having been elected the President of a country but he has to go back and consult; he becomes a lame President.  Any President in the world, they issue executive orders, they issues statements that ensure that the country remains stable.  I thank you.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Is the Minister saying that the law that has been put in place which was changed within eight days, was there a problem in our economy that there were enemies who were destroying our economy at that time?  Also what transpired, the eroding of faith of the people that they had in our economy, how are they going to rectify that because we see a flip flopping of policies? 

          * HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank Hon. Madzimure for his question.  In response I want to say that I had explained earlier on that what happened during that time, it was the motive of rectifying what we wanted to be rectified.  If he wants to hear more details about policies that were being put in place, you should summon the Minister of Finance to come and give a statement on how these things work. Thank you. 

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister, you have answered well.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the Minister said the Minister of Finance should come and tell us what had gone wrong, so can we get the Ministerial Statement from the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Madzimure, I think the Leader of Government Business has heard that and is going to take it on next week but one.  Thank you.

          HON. MARKHAM:  Supplementary question Madam Speaker...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Markham, I do not think there is need for a supplementary question since the Minister is going to bring a Ministerial Statement, that is when you ask for any clarification from the Minister.

          HON. MARKHAM:  Madam Speaker, my question is very simple, I would like to know if a Statutory Instrument is going to be issued on these points.  Thank you. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  It is okay, go ahead and ask your question.

          HON. MARKHAM:  Madam Speaker, my question is very simple, I would like to know if a Statutory Instrument is going to be issued of these drastic measures or are these measures going to be brought to this House?  Thank you. 

          HON. MAKHAM: My question is very simple. I would like to know if these measures that were announced where the statutory instruments will be issued and secondly, will they be brought to the House because as soon as they were issued, half of them were withdrawn? We would like to know if Statutory Instruments can be issued and what is left? I thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Policy pronouncements to banks – my understanding is they are covered by the current laws that are there. There was nothing that was done that was outside the framework. The Reserve Bank controls the lending rates and all that and it is covered within the legislation. So whatever was done, my understanding is that it was correct and did not require any change in legislation. Further to that, I indicated that the intricate details of what they are requesting for that are technical – the Minister will be able to come and articulate because I would not know off head every legislation and subsidiary legislation at policy level, that is what I responded to. I then further indicated that - can we allow this case to rest and the Minister can come and offer further explanations on what he is doing to ensure that he stabilises the currency and the economy. I thank you.

          HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. My Hon. dear mother Hon. Chibagu has been standing up wanting to speak. She once appeared in the media for not wanting to talk and I now know why. If you can give her a chance because she actually stood up and I do not think anybody observed her. It is only proper that she is given a chance.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Chibagu, your question is on the Order Paper and you shall stand up when the time for your question comes. Thank you.

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. I have got this knowledge that we have been having teachers in our system who got employed when they did not have professional qualifications. Later on, they had to go for teacher capacity development and these teachers have not been regarded because they were at temporary level and they continue to exist like temporary teachers even eight years after they have attained professional qualifications. Can the Hon. Minister shed light on that? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I will have to go and investigate because that is the issue of the Ministry of Labour, they  are the ones who hire them.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. Is the Minister confirming a fact that she is not seized with that matter that has a direct relationship with her teachers because she is the one who recommends to the Minister of Labour that here are the people who have been upgraded and are now at a certain level. Has she recommended to the Minister of Labour? Thank you.

           HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. I am sorry I have no information on that particular issue but I will have to investigate and come back to this House. Thank you.

          HON. MUDARIKWA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. I want to find out on the national policy on cannabis and its production and why is it excluding communal lands? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank Hon. Mudarikwa for the question. Any production is now under the purview of the Minister of Agriculture and it has been opened up. The one that is still regulated is medicinal cannabis by the nature of the plant being a drug but I think the other one - anyone who wants to grow industrial can approach the Minister of Agriculture for the relevant papers. I thank you.

          HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary arises on the production of cannabis.  Why is it that it is excluding communal lands especially in areas like Binga where they have got good heat units that produce high quality cannabis? Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. No one is excluded but there are certain requirements that are required to obtain a licence to cultivate medicinal cannabis. That is my answer to that.

          HON. ZWIZWAI: My supplementary is to amplify the question that was asked by Hon. Mudarikwa. If the Hon. Minister says that the policy is not exclusionary, and yet the licence fee for one to farm medicinal cannabis idzo mbanje idzodzi is USD50 000.00, where do we expect a villager, even at bank rate to get such an amount of money?  Is that not exclusionary?  Is it not the business of the elite, the fat cats, and the ruling elite? 

Honestly, the heat levels in Chikwalakwala are very conducive like he talks about Binga.  Where do you expect people in Chikwalakwala and Binga to get USD50 000.00 for the licence?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Madam Speaker, by its very nature, the cultivation of medicinal cannabis is very expensive in that setting up the infrastructure to ensure that the security component that is required to ensure that it is not abused is not cheap.  So the licencing requirements correlate with what is required to ensure that the requisite infrastructure and the inspection that is required by the relevant ministry is undertaken. 

The thinking was, we do not want Government to use its own resources for monitoring, inspecting and ensuring that there is arbitrage of the crop when the final product is produced.  So, by its nature, it requires that the licencing fee be exorbitant.  However, if we have villagers like what Hon. Mudarikwa indicated in Binga, who are desirous to grow it, they can form consortiums and approach Government for assistance so that they can be organised and be able to cultivate that crop.  I thank you.

+HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development.  It has been a number of years now since we passed the Law of Economic Zones and when we also passed legislation on ZIDA.  What makes it fail to have development in the dead areas?  We realise that people are travelling to either Botswana or South Africa to spend foreign currency.  What prohibits them from spending their money in Zimbabwe when we already have Special Economic Zones that we passed as Parliament?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was picking here and there but what I picked here is why we are not having Special Economic Zones …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Leader of Government Business, please may you be connected.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  I am not connected? 

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.  In line with the constitutional provisions regarding coverage of Parliament as a result of which, a policy position was taken that coverage on Wednesdays for Question Time would be live.  I note that the cameras are being dismantled, and yet we have not yet completed Question Time, if the Hon. Madam Speaker could clarify what the position is?  My understanding is that the position that was taken by this august House is that live coverage of Parliament is for the entire Question Time.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, I have taken note of your concerns.  I will do some consultations and come back with the answer.  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  If I got the question correctly, the concern was why are there no Special Economic Zones in areas like Beitbridge and related areas?

Madam Speaker, the law is there to ensure that Special Economic Zones are there.  So, as to the specific reason why a particular area does not have a Special Economic Zone, I think, is a very specific question that can be directed to the relevant minister so that he will be able to answer why Victoria Falls is a Special Economic Zone but Beitbridge is not.  I thank you.

(v)HON. WATSON:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In 2018, the Minister of Health and Child Care made a policy to utilise part of the Health Bill to make dialysis kidney screening free to patients.  Could the Hon. Minister please explain if the policy is still in place or not?  Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Watson, please may you repeat your question?

(v)HON. WATSON:  In 2018, the Ministry of Health and Child Care made a policy to utilise part of the Health Bill to make the dialysis in Government health institutions free to patients.  Could the Hon. Minister say if this policy is still in place or not as patients are dying because there is no free dialysis?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madame Speaker Ma’am.  There is no policy shift that is still the policy.  What happened is that there was an operational decision that happened when we were stuck by COVID-19 to ensure that we deal with the pandemic but now that things are normalising, we are going back to the normal procedures of funding of our health system.  At that particular time, what we were faced with was a pandemic that needed us to respond specifically to that and ensure that we save the majority of our citizenry. I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Foreign and International Trade.  Madam Speaker, I am happy that the Minister is here and I would want to ask this question.  I refer to the situation that is happening in Ukraine and Zimbabwe has taken certain decisions at United Nations, the first one being abstention and the second one is voting against a resolution.         What could have informed Zimbabwe’s decision as far as the invasion of Ukraine is concerned? 

          THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. SEN. AMB. DR. SHAVA): Thank you very much Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he has raised regarding what informs Zimbabwe in its position on the war between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.  Madam Speaker, when this war broke out, it was quite clear from Zimbabwe’s perspective that our desire is that peace must exist between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and that any activities that were ensuing at that time must be in the promotion of peace.

          When the vote was called at the United Nations, Zimbabwe did not want to take any sides between the two and we encouraged the two to talk, so we abstained.  In the second aspect when the other parties where agitating that the Russian Federation should be removed from the body of the United Nations, we did not think that was the right thing to do, so we voted against that and we encourage that all bodies should remain answerable to the United Nations.  Even if it was Ukraine that was being ousted out of that body we would have still voted against that procedure.  What we prefer is a situation where there is peace and continued dialogue and discussions.  This is what basically informs our foreign policy.  I thank you.

          *HON. ZWIZWAI: My supplementary is that as small as we are, Zimbabwe, we find countries like China who have a trillion dollar economy saying they will not get involved in such things.  We are seen to be taking interest where people are dying, where infrastructure is being bombed. We are not a powerful nation, what is the policy of the Government regarding this?  Looking at the Look East policy, that direction that we were given by China, they refused to go and vote but as a small powerless nation we are willing to vote yet our economy is in its doldrums. Can the Hon. Minister highlight to us regarding this issue?

          *HON. SEN. AMB. DR. SHAVA: Thank you Madam Speaker, China is China and Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe.  We do things that are of interest to our country and that help us.  People of China do what is best for their country – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjection.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zwizwai.

          *HON. SEN. AMB. DR. SHAVA: What I have said is that we encourage peace in this whole process and we will continue to do that.  If we decide to take sides we shall do that but for now, we are encouraging dialogue to bring peace.  I thank you.

          HON. GONESE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have taken cognisance of the Hon. Minister’s initial response that Zimbabwe’s position was informed by the principle that there should be dialogue and peace.  Now, in the context of the fact that the dialogue and the talks that have taken place seem to be going nowhere and at this point in time we have seen the impact of the war particularly on civilians where we are seeing that there are a lot of civilian casualities including children, is there a possibility that Zimbabwe will reassess its position in the context that Russia has caused untold devastation on Ukraine and looking at those consequences, is Zimbabwe not re-evaluating its position from a principled perspective in terms of what is happening on the ground?

          HON. SEN. AMB. DR. SHAVA: Madam Speaker, we shall continue to shout louder and louder that there should be dialogue and create peace.  We have no other way of persuading them except to indicate that they should talk together and create peace between themselves.  There is no other way that Zimbabwe can intervene which will alleviate what Hon. Gonese is suggesting with respect to the plight of the nationals of those two countries.  I am sure the situation is the same on either side but it is up to them to look at their cases and encourage dialogue and reduce the plight that is affecting the children and the women in those countries.

          HON. MURAMBIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  What measures do you have to assist special boarding schools that cater for children living with disabilities since 80% or more of those children are BEAM sponsored. Funds from BEAM are disbursed so late and those schools are left with a huge burden on boarding provisions.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): The question is not a social welfare question but it pertains to infrastructure for the disabled learners in schools.  The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education can answer to that bit.  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. NDLOVU): Madam Speaker, on issues of infrastructure in schools, we are seized with the matter to make sure that the disabled are facilitated.  Recently, I witnessed a launch of equipment at the University of Zimbabwe where one of my departments is.  We were given some assistance to alleviate such difficulties that our disabled children are facing.  We were given equipment that facilitates them in terms of Braille and we are printing more Braille material. 

          We also have funding from Government to assist children with disabilities and we are working with our development partners to try and help children with disabilities. 

          On infrastructure side, when we are building new schools, the 3 000 schools that we were asked to build, out of the 35 that we are targeting this year, we will make sure that disabled children are accommodated.

          The pertinent issue again is that the schools that cater for disabled children are very few, so we are working on strategies to make sure that we have more boarding schools for those children that have got disabilities.  I thank you.

          *HON. MURAMBIWA: My question was not responded to as I expected.  I said do we have special boarding schools that concentrate and assist those with disabilities.  Most of these children’s fees are paid by BEAM and BEAM delays its payment.  So, how do these schools survive and the ancillary staff that assist in these boarding schools in terms of their salaries?  Does that not affect their operations?

          HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: The issue of BEAM is under the scope of Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.  However, my Ministry and the Ministry of Labour are trying to have the headmasters and the committees apply for BEAM on time so that at least that money could be disbursed early.  In some years, they have disbursed the money late and I am not sure whether the delay was from the Ministry of Finance; we have to investigate and find out.  Otherwise, those children are provided for, I know the difficulties that the schools are going through in terms of revenue, and we are encouraging the Ministry of Labour to pay the BEAM timeously.  I thank you.

HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me begin by thanking the Hon. Minister for an attempt to respond to the question that has been asked by Hon. Murambiwa.  Because the issues of children with disabilities is a pertinent issue in the communities and in the country and as you may know, NDS 1 has a Mantra “leaving no one behind”; my request is that - can we have a ministerial statement which states regionally where the children with disabilities have been assisted in terms of BEAM and also entrance into the various schools that can accommodate children with disabilities?  I think for us to get an appreciation and also to give feedback as we do to our constituents, it would be of paramount importance that the relevant Minister comes up with a Ministerial Statement which states schools which have benefited in the programme including those on BEAM.

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for proposing that we bring a Ministerial Statement.   I am going to work together with Hon. Prof. Mavima to bring the Ministerial Statement on that particular issue covering the regional experiences and exposures as well as what our Government is doing at the moment.

HON. MBONDIAH: Thank you Madam Speaker.  What mechanisms have they put in place to ensure that children living with disabilities can access the CALA syllabus?  Some of these children cannot access gadgets so that they do their research.  When the Hon. Minister brings the Ministerial Statement, can the Hon. Minister also state what mechanisms are in place for these children to be able to research and use the CALA.

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU:  Madam Speaker, I think I appreciate the input that is coming from the Hon. Member.  We will incorporate that information. 

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68. 

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, we are deferring questions 1 and 2 to next week. 

(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I think it is not fair to defer that question again when we have lost precious lives.  The question has been on the Order Paper since March.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Hamauswa, I hear you, unfortunately the Minister of Mines is not in the House but the Leader of Government Business will convey the message.  Thank you

          (v)HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, your administration keeps saying I need to log-out and log-in again because my iPhone is saying Dexter’s iPhone, it is going to take me an hour to change the name of the gadget but I ask that I be registered as present because my gadget is saying Dexter’s iPhone.  I have registered my name as Dexter Nduna, I ask that I do not be registered as absent Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Nduna, I am sure they have taken note of that.

SUPREME COURT RULING ON EMA AND CITY OF HARARE

  1. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to confirm to the House whether the Supreme court judgement Case number SC263/21 (Cosmo vs Patel Meadows Pvt. (Ltd.) which ruled that both EMA and City of Harare were not following due processes in their allocations of EIA and Development permits that the Minister has and to explain;

a) What additional measures have been put in place to empower EMA to protect the wetlands and to consult widely instead of just protecting the developer?

b) Whether EMA will not support the delisting of the area as a RAMSAR sight to which we are signatories.

c) Whether, the Ministry supports the judgment, and insists that future EIA requested by developers be published.

          THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for a very critical question that he asked.  For clarity Madam Speaker, the proper citation of the case in question is SC 163/21 not SC263/21 and the Hon. Member can indicate if I am not specifically responding to the case he referred to.

          Whilst I do confirm and acknowledge that the judgement was given in favour of Cosmo Trust, who were the Respondents, it would be incorrect to declare that the judgement is speaking to all issuances or “allocations” of Environmental Impact Assessment certificates.  It must be noted that this is the first such case in which the issuance of an EIA certificate has been successfully challenged on procedural grounds.  At no point in the said judgement did the court declare that he EIA process was flawed but rather in this one isolated case, anomalies existed in the carrying out of stakeholder consultations which warranted the cancellation of the certificate on procedural grounds.

          Madam Speaker, it must also be noted that since the Environmental Management Agency (EMA)’s inception, a total of 14 755 project proponents have applied for EIA certification.  Out of all these projects, over 14 500 projects have been issued with EIA certificates and just under 200 projects have rejected for various reasons mainly due to environmental concerns which render the project unsuitable in the proposed project area. It is therefore interpretation of the judgement to say that it points to there being procedural irregularities in the public consultation processes when this is only one isolated case out of 14 500 issued EIA certificates.

          I would like to assure the House that adequate measures to protect wetlands in Zimbabwe are in place and are being constantly upgraded.  Government, in the year 2021, provided resources for the development of a robust wetlands management framework.  Your attention is drawn to the recently completed wetland mapping process spearheaded by my Ministry but working with Zimbabwe National Geo-Spatial Agency, leading to the gazetting of the National Wetlands Map.  Subsequently, Government formulated and published the National Wetlands Policy and the National Wetland Management Guidelines as key guiding documents for policy makers, practitioners and the general public.

          These efforts are geared towards empowering the citizens of Zimbabwe especially through EMA, to properly manage and protect this finite resource.  Further, Section 96 of the Environmental Management Act makes it mandatory for all authorities even down to district level to prepare and submit Environmental Management Plans to EMA.  This provides a platform for communities to be part of the planning process and ensure their input is considered in the management to the wetland resources.

          Madam Speaker, with regards to wider consultation of stakeholders, environmental legislation is adequate in dealing with this issue as it recognises firstly, in Section 136 of the Act, the right of affected persons to be heard.  This further complemented by Statutory Instrument 7 of 2007 on Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection which calls on prospective project developers to carry out comprehensive public consultation in their projects. Moreover, the Director General of EMA is empowered to exercise his/her discretion in terms of Section 100 of the Act to direct a prospective developer to carry out further consultations where there is need for such.

          In addition, my Ministry has embarked on an exercise to activate the provisions of Section 113 of the Act in identifying and listing wetland eco-systems which shall be declared as ecologically sensitive. These areas will be under the protection of the Ministry and no development projects shall be allowed in such areas unless they are in line with the above quoted guidelines that have been put in place. The aim is to ensure that we protect these ecologically sensitive areas by only approving projects which complement their natural features and maintain their natural functions.

          Madam Speaker Ma’am, regarding the Hon. Member’s question of the possible delisting of the area, there are currently no efforts to delist Monavale Vlei as a Ramsar site by designating it as a Wetland of International Importance. As a nation, we committed ourselves to promoting its conservation as required by the Ramsar Convention. However, my Ministry will apply the law fairly and respect the constitutional rights of citizens with vested interest in the area concerned without compromising the wetland nature of the area. Each case will be considered on its own merits.

          It is the duty of the courts to interpret the law and as the implementing Ministry we are bound by the Supreme Court’s decision. I must also highlight to the House that EIA documents are by nature public documents and as such, any citizen of Zimbabwe has a right to access and view these documents at the respective EMA offices. The Constitution recognises the right of access to information. Going forward, we will continue to ensure that our wetlands are safe-guarded and that the rules of natural justice are rigorously applied during the EIA process. I thank you.

          HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker. Could the Minister confirm that the detailed map of wetlands and new guidelines are readily available through EMA to the public? We are having problems accessing the detailed map.  I thank you.

           HON. M.  NDLOVU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for the question. Indeed, the detailed map is available and it is available on-line. I will also advise the Hon. Member if ever he is having challenges to contact myself or EMA directly. Just to add also that we have gone on to gazette the ecologically sensitive wetlands. I think the process will be concluded this week. We sent all the coordinates and I signed them last week. So, they will also be publicly available. Thank you.

SCHOOLS THAT BENEFIT FROM GOVERNMENT SCHOOL COMPUTERISATION PROGRAMME IN HURUNGWE NORTH

  1. HON. GANDAWA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to explain to the House schools to benefit from Government school computerisation programme in Hurungwe North.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to answer as follows to the question that was asked by the Hon. Member. I would like to thank Hon. Gandawa for raising that question. Indeed, the computerisation programme is an important thrust of the Ministry in line with the requirements of the competence based curriculum. We are taking a whole of Government approach on this aspect with the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services working on a programme to provide ICT gadgets and connectivity to schools. There are at least 653 primary schools without connectivity in Mashonaland West Province and 298 secondary schools without connectivity.

          We however have a programme that has so far connected 188 primary schools and 109 secondary schools in Mashonaland West Province. At the moment I have the provincial analysis rather than the constituency analysis, but what I can assure the House is that working with the development partners, we have a programme called GIGA. This programme has been implemented in other countries and its aim is to make sure that all schools are connected.

          This year we have a programme that we showcased at the International Trade Fair where we had a workshop supported by UNICEF, Old Mutual, Econet and other stakeholders. The GIGA programme is aimed to connect all schools in the country by the year 2030 including all schools in Hurungwe North and the connection will also take into account the access to electricity where we are intending to introduce solar systems in schools where electricity is not available from ZESA. Thank you.

          HON. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question was a bit specific or was very specific because it came from the people that I represent, the people of Hurungwe North. The question was to inform the House on how many schools or which schools are going to benefit on the Government computerisation programme. I am aware that the Government has done so much in terms of other areas but the people of Hurungwe North would want to know which schools specifically are going to benefit from this programme.

          Secondly, I might not have heard from the Minister which schools in particular are going to benefit from the Government computerisation programme going forward. If I had wanted a policy answer, I would have taken time to  make a question or bring a question during Question Time but this specific question is meant for Hurungwe North Constituency. I would be glad to hear statistics and figures which are particular to Hurungwe North to say it is your primary school, Chinika Primary School or it is Kazangarare Primary School. Probably if I can also benefit from that and know the timelines as we do the computerisation programme for all the constituencies.

          I have heard about the GIGA programme spanning up to 2030 but the people of Hurungwe North whom I represent would want to know which schools in particular. This is why I asked this question. I wish if the Minister could respond. Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU):  Madam Speaker, I appreciate what the Hon. Member is asking for.  I think in my presentation, I actually stated that at the moment I have figures for Mashonaland West.  I will have to send my staff on the ground to check on the exact schools in that particular constituency that have been provided with computers.  At the moment, I have holistic figures for each province in our database.  I will have to come back to the House to inform the Hon Member.  I thank you.

          On the GIGA programme - [(v)HON. GANDAWA:  Madame Speaker, may I be given the opportunity to respond to the Hon. Minister?] - 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  The Minister is still speaking Hon. Gandawa.  Please may you give her a chance to respond? - [(v)HON. GANDAWA:  Thank you Madame Speaker Ma’am.] – Hon. Minister, you were still responding. – [HON. E. NDLOVU: Ndapedza.] –

          (v)HON. GANDAWA:  Thank you Madame Speaker Ma’am.  I appreciate the response that is coming from my Hon. Minister.  I am not too sure what timeline the Hon. Minister may need so that I go and give feedback to the people of Hurungwe North to say these are the schools that are going to benefit.  I pray, through you Hon. Madame Speaker Ma’am, if I may be able to be given the timelines so that I go and give feedback to the people that I represent?  Thank you.

          HON. DR. E. NDLOVU:  Thank you Hon. Gandawa.  I think I will give you in a fortnight’s time because I will be out of the country next week.  So the following week when we resume Parliament – I will give you the quantities of computers, and in which schools.  I thank you.

          (v)HON. GANDAWA:  Thank you Madame Speaker, I think I am answered now.  I will wait for the two weeks before giving feedback to my people.  Thank you very much. – [(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker!] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Mushoriwa.  Vehicle Registration Number AFM 7470 is blocking other vehicles.  Please may the owner of this vehicle attend to it.

          (v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  Hon. Madam Speaker, with respect to Hon. Gandawa’s written question, to me, it was not properly answered.  Does this mean that the question is deferred also so that the Hon. Minister does not forget?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please, may you come again Hon. Mushoriwa?

          (v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  I said because the Hon. Minister has failed to answer properly the written question posed by Hon. Gandawa, can the question remain on the Order Paper so that the Hon. Minister does not forget?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mushoriwa. Since the Hon. Minister has given a timeline to bring the response, the Parliament secretariat will conduct follow-ups with the Hon. Minister.

CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN WARREN PARK CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Primary and

Secondary Education to inform the House when the Government will construct public schools in Ward 15 covering Warren Park 1 and 2, Warren Park D, Westlea, Cold Comfort, Dawnview, Belvedere West and Parkview in Warren Park Constituency.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the information on the need for public schools in Warren Park 1 and 2, and all these areas that he mentioned. 

          The Ministry is seized with the matter of construction of schools with more than three thousand (3000) new schools earmarked by 2025.  In this calendar year, we have a budget to construct 35 new schools – from the 35 new sites, 25 are satellite schools already operating without proper infrastructure.  Construction has already started, being funded by Government, parents, and partners.  However, for this year, the areas referred to by the Hon. Member are not in this year’s budget.  Treasury has released an initial ZWL270 million which should enable work to start as soon as possible.

          It is unfortunate that we got this information late but we will make sure that we put a provision for next year to cover these very essential and important areas that have been provided to us by the Hon. Member. I thank you.

          (v)HON. HAMAUSWA:  I would want to thank the Hon. Minister for her response.  My supplementary is that whilst we are waiting for the Ministry to consider the request in the 2023 budget, I am making a humble request that the Hon. Minister may consider to adequately equip Warren Park High School since it is the only public secondary school covering Warren Park 1 and 2, Warren Park D, Westlea and Cold Comfort including also Belvedere West – there is no other secondary school apart from Warren Park High School.

          My humble request is for the Ministry to consider adequately equipping, including the laboratories, because when it is time for examinations, school children wait even until midnight to do their practical examinations yet the school covers all those areas without any other support.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. E. NDLOVU:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I humbly thank the Hon. Member for the request for laboratories but the equipment, probably we could provide because currently we are manufacturing some of the laboratory equipment.  So we will consider that particular school.  I thank you.

          (v)HON. S. BANDA:  Thank you very much Madame Speaker Ma’am.  I just want to find out from the Hon. Minister whether it is therefore possible if 35 schools are going to be built this year?  Is the target going to be met to construct over 2500 schools? I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think I said that we are going to build 35 schools this year.  We are mostly going to build schools that are in existence but have very few blocks and we are increasing the number of blocks.  The 3000 schools will be built depending on the availability of funding in the coming budgets.  So I appeal to the House to make sure that in the next budget, we propose that we build more schools in order to cover the gap that is in existence at the moment.  I appeal to Parliament to support us during the budget period so that at least we can build those schools.  The capacity to build is there because we have three Government institutions plus two ministries that could help us to put up that infrastructure very easily.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

STANDARDISATION OF GRADE 7 CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES (CALA) QUESTIONS

  1. HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary education to explain to the House why the Grade 7 Continuous Assessment and Learning Activities (CALA) questions are not standardised across schools.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank Hon. Watson for raising such an important question.  Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) is designed in such a way that they are relevant to the local environment, so they differ.  The environment differs from one school to another.  Through CALA, learners are expected to solve problems and deal with issues within their local environment using resources available within the locality. 

A standardised CALA will disadvantage the majority of learners, especially if the issues being dealt with are not in their local environment.  This is the reason why the CALA is designed, supervised and marked by the class teacher who understands the conditions the learners experience on a daily basis.  That is the answer Hon. Watson.

 (v)HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker. I ask my question in the context that Grade 7 examinations themselves are set standard across Zimbabwe.  Then I do not understand how the CALA relate to those Grade 7 examinations.  This is because it struck me looking at the Grade 7 questions from a primary school in Bulawayo, that even for a child in an urban environment frankly, they were very advanced questions; questions that, yes, if the child has access to the internet and research methods, it is possible that they could answer but even then, it will be difficult.  So, I need the Hon. Minister to tell us how CALA tie to the Grade 7 examinations?  I thank you.

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU: Thank you very much Hon. Watson.  Hon. Watson explained that she saw the CALA questions that were for Grade 7.  The questions were difficult, but those questions are designed based on the content of CALA, it is based on what the children do in the environment in which they are learning.  So, they might have looked difficult according to her, but I do not think it was difficult to the children because they are the ones practicing including their teacher.  I would like to check and she can also check.  If she can give me the name of the school so that I can look at the marks for that particular school and see if the children had difficulties, the marks were very low indicating that the questions were complicated and then we can start from there. 

I would also like to assure Hon. Watson that we are actually reviewing the syllabus at the moment.  We would like to have input from them, including the Hon. Member on how we can improve on this particular curriculum that we are using now to make sure that it suits the environment, the level of learning and so on.  This is the answer that I can give for now but I will go back and examine if she gives me the particular school so that we see how the children performed against the questions that were there.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I totally differ with you Hon. Minister by saying CALA cannot be difficult for children.  According to my observation…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please can you use one language Hon. Member.

+HON. MAHLANGU: In most cases, CALA is not done by children, it is done by us parents at home because it will be home work.  I am looking mostly at children who live with their grandparents, yes, they may know the names of trees and so on, but most of the things are researched and printed.  After printing, you do charts and staple together.  For me, that might be easy but looking at a grandmother, each and every school does not look at who the child stays with, yet most of those children stay with their grandmothers.  It becomes difficult to help their grandchildren.  They cannot go to shops where printing and photocopying is done.  When making a review of this, why do you not have these things done at school?

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, ask your question.

+HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I totally differ with the Minister that CALA cannot be difficult for children. CALA is not done by children, it is being done by parents at home as it will be homework. I will be looking mostly at children who stay with their grandparents. Hence they may know the names of the trees but most of the things are researched and printed. After printing you do charts and staple them. With me, that can be easy but looking at a grandmother and the environment, the schools do not look at who stays with the child. Most of the children are staying with grandmothers and it becomes difficult for them to help their grandchildren. They cannot go to shops where there are photocopying and printing activities. When reviewing this, why do you not have these things done at school?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member is explaining very well to me that on the ground the children are given homework, which homework is assisted by parents. Some of the children have got grandparents who are not very literate when it comes to computers because we use computers and we also print. It is difficult for parents at home, especially the elderly who are with children at home to assist the children. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that. I think that can be addressed through the provision of gadgets in schools.

One of the gadgets that I mentioned earlier on in another question was donated to one of the schools and we intend to request for more funding to put those gadgets in schools. They are better than the single computer because they facilitate monitoring by the teacher. When the teacher is sitting somewhere outside there, he would be watching the children through various screens. She can control the children. We are working very hard as Government with our partners to computerise schools so that that CALA is done in schools.

We will review in terms of homework given to children. I am noting down that so that the teachers assist the children in schools because we trained the teachers. We have a specific department Madam Speaker that is training our teachers on the utilisation of computers to make sure that we capacitate. We build their capacity and facilitate them to assist our children to implement this CALA. It is an ongoing process. We will also review the activities that are done to make sure that we make life easier for the children.

INFRASTRUCTURE FOR ZRP MUREREKA

  1. HON. MASANGO CHINHAMO asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House:-

(a) when Murereka ZRP Station is going to have proper infrastructure to operate from instead of a house they are currently using as an office; and

(b) when Murereka ZRP station is going to be provided with a service vehicle.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question. ZRP Murereka started operating as a police post for Chinhoyi Rural Police Station at two houses offered by Makonde Rural District Council on 19 March 2011. One of the houses is used as a Charge Office while the other is being used as a residential accommodation. The police post was upgraded to a police station in 2021 and was offered stand number 392 measuring 2000m2 on 5th March 2019 by Makonde Rural District Council for construction of a police station. There has not been funding for the construction of a police station at the new site, hence it is still operating at the police site. Bids for construction of Murereka Police Station will be resubmitted in the 2023 financial year. We have been submitting them year in, year out and we hope to receive support from the House.

The station was last issued with a Landrover Defender vehicle in 2012. The vehicle was boarded and auctioned in 2021 because it had developed major components defects. The station is on the top priority list of stations to be issued with a vehicle upon completion of an ongoing vehicle procurement process. I thank you Madam Speaker.

(v)HON. M. M. MPOFU: Madam Speaker, what is the policy on these station vehicles. For example in my constituency Silobela, we were issued a vehicle and it was taken. Since last year, the station now do not have a vehicle and we are having a lot of murder cases – [technical glitch] – What is the Government policy on – [technical glitch] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mpofu, you are not audible.

(v)HON. M.M. MPOFU: Madam Speaker, I wanted to find out from the Minister what the policy is on the station vehicles. The vehicle was issued two years by the DISPOL in Kwekwe at the expense of the station. The station has got a lot of crimes – [technical glitch] – because the vehicle is being used by one person. What is the policy on that?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mpofu, that is specific question. You have to put it in writing so that the Minister will do some investigations and bring the response to the House.

          HON. GABBUZA: In line with what the Minister has responded to, my question is; is it deliberate that at a police station there will be no vehicle but the Officer-in-Charge or the Propol or Dispol has several vehicles?

          HON. KAZEMBE:  Thank you Hon. Member for such a pertinent question.  It is not supposed to be happening like that.  If there are particular cases where something like that is taking place, we would want the details.  As Government, we do not allow a particular senior to have several vehicles when the police station does not have anything to use.  That is not Government policy.  I will still ask the Commissioner of Police to look into such issues.  If the Hon. Member has a specific case, I would be more than happy to have the details so that I can investigate that case.

PLANS AVAILABLE TO MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO CARRY MACHETES

 HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage what plans are available to make it illegal to carry machetes?

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE):  Thank you Madam Speaker. I did not bring a written response as I just saw the question now but I can answer it.  Currently, there are no such plans.  However, the police are allowed by the law to issue orders as and when there is need to ban such weapons as they deem fit depending on the situation.  We have had cases where the police have done that before. 

          HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response.  The challenge that arises from that modus operandi is that these machete gangs are throughout the country, so if it is left to the police to come up with an order, it becomes difficult in terms of operation.  I would propose that the Ministry makes it a criminal offence to carry machetes.  I spoke to certain police officers who actually mentioned the difficulties they are facing in arresting these machete gangs because of operation of the law at the moment.  Can the Minister please come up with the best way forward to eliminate these machete gangs who are all over the country?  We cannot wait for an Officer in Charge to issue a ban in their areas of jurisdiction because this is rampant in all areas of the country.

          HON. KAZEMBE:  I would like to sincerely thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question and the recommendation that we should look at this with a view to completely ban the machetes given the challenges the police are facing in ensuring that people do not move around with machetes; point taken Madam Speaker.  We will have a look at it and see because we need to be cognisant of the fact that yes, it may be used by some people for other reasons which are unwanted such as harming other people but machetes by their nature, are supposed to be used for various things.  Some can be used for useful and productive things.  So we will look at that but nonetheless, we have taken note of the concern raised by the Hon. Member and we will look at the possibility of implementing what he has recommended. 

PROVISION OF RESOURCES TO RIMUKA POLICE STATION         

12.          HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House when Government is going to provide vehicles, office furniture and ICT gadgets to Rimuka and Kadoma Central Police Stations

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE):  Thank you Hon Member for the question.  We appreciate the Hon. Member’s concern and it does not just concern the tools of the station that he has referred to.  We do have a challenge that we are addressing as Zimbabwe Republic Police.  We have come up with a budget and we have a plan to ensure that all the issues raised, vehicles included, are attended to.  However, as you would appreciate, ZRP does not have a retention anymore like what used to happen way back. So every resource that comes the ZRP way goes straight to Treasury.

          HON. ZWIZWAI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker, when we ask questions without notice, a Minister can answer from the top of his/her head but if they are written questions, we need written responses and not for the Minister to answer using his common sense without submitting a written response.  That is unprocedural.  The reason why we have written questions is meant for the Ministers to do a thorough study and research around the written question.  You always rule us out of order and ask us to put our questions in writing.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: But the Minister is reading from his paper.

          HON. ZWIZWAI:  He is not even reading.  The last question he responded to, he said he had just seen the question and he could respond.  The last question he answered, he did not submit a written response but that is the procedure that a written response should be submitted.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Zwizwai, please take your seat.  I have been advised that the Minister can respond if he knows the answer.  There is nothing written that says the Minister must not respond even if he does not have a written answer. There is nothing that says the Minister must not respond if he does not have a written answer.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I was in the middle of responding to the question by Hon. Chinyanganya. We do have plans to address all those issues. The issues raised do not only pertain to the particular station that the Hon. Member has raised. It is countrywide and the Minister is aware of it and we have already started addressing some of the issues – [HON. ZWIZWAI: It is a specific question why are you generalising?] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why are you disturbing the Minister Hon. Zwizwai. I will send you out – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjections.] – Please may you leave the House –[HON. ZWIZWAI: Why?] – You are disrupting the smooth running of the House – [HON. ZWIZWAI: I am sorry.] – No, no, may you leave the House – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Okay, I will leave it for you.].

          HON. KAZEMBE: As I was explaining that we are aware of the challenges as Government and we are addressing them. As you would appreciate, every time the police receive any resource or income, it goes straight to Treasury and we all bid to try and get some resources to try and meet some of these expectations. We have forwarded our request to the Ministry of Finance and as you would appreciate, we have competing demands but we are seized with the matter and we hope and trust that the Minister of Finance will provide us with the resources to ensure this particular station and other stations are attended to with regards to the requirements that have been raised by the Hon. Member.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68

          HON. TEKESSHE: Madam Speaker, I move that we extend Question Time by a further 20 minutes.

          HON. CHINYANGANYA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          HON. MARKHAM: I just want clarity from the Minister pertaining to resources, in particular to vehicles. Are the vehicles allocated to police stations, allocated to individuals or the stations for operations? Secondly, what happens when that vehicle now moves off to another station permanently? Is the Ministry aware because we could say that one area has been given a vehicle but that vehicle has been moved off to another area and this is quite rampant particularly in this province?

          HON. KAZEMBE: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up questions. I think I answered the first question when it was raised as a follow up question by another Hon. Member. It is not expected and that is not what is allowed in terms of policy but what then probably happens is that one particular person may end up keeping the vehicle for one reason or another but that is not procedural as far as the vehicle is concerned. If a vehicle is issued to the station, it is supposed to be used by the station.

          On the second question, as I have alluded to, we do have a shortage of vehicles. In fact, we do have a lot of stations that do not even have a vehicle. This is an issue that Government is seized with and there is a programme already in place which was authorised by Cabinet and His Excellency the President where Treasury is buying vehicles in batches. If I remember very well a couple of months back, His Excellency commissioned vehicles to the police about 83 vehicles and this is an on-going process. As I mentioned earlier on, the issue of resources, we have a situation where we have 5 or 6 police stations sharing one vehicle. Depending on the challenges or work that is supposed to be done at a particular station, they may end up asking for a vehicle from another station. It is not an ideal situation but that is what is confronting the ZRP at the moment. However, Government is addressing it by way of buying vehicles as we have witnessed in the past few months. It is an ongoing process and we hope that we will be able to get the vehicles that we require in due course. I thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA: As they procure these vehicles and as Ministry, how do they ensure that they get appropriate vehicles for policing job because we see a lot of substandard and unsuitable vehicles for policing duties.

          HON. KAZEMBE: I am not so sure what the Hon. Member means when he refers to unsuitable vehicles. Unless if he has particular unsuitable vehicles then maybe I can respond better but as I have mentioned, it is a question of resources. As the Ministry or police, we know very well what kind of vehicles we require for whatever job. In the police, there are various tasks or duties to be performed and it is not every job that requires a 4 x 4 or pick up for example. Certain duties require small vehicles. Also, remember we have investigating officers who may not even require fancy vehicles that they can even drive mushika shika or any of those vehicles.

So, depending on the type of work that is supposed to be done, we know what vehicle to allocate. However, even if we know what vehicles we require, I have mentioned the issue of resources so we have to do with what we can afford at the moment as we go forward as long as we can get the job done. In any case, I would like to thank the ZRP. Given all those challenges, I think the House will agree with me that they are doing a commendable job. I thank you.

LEGALITY OF USING SPIKES ON MOTORISTS BY ZRP OFFICERS

  1. HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain to the House the legality of using spikes on motorists by officers of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: He is asking about spikes, is it not overtaken by events?

Clerks at the Table having given advice to the Hon. Deputy Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry, I am being advised that question No. 13 can be answered so that the response will be officially recorded.

LEGALITY OF USING SPIKES ON MOTORISTS BY ZRP OFFICERS

13 HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to explain to the House the legality of using spikes on motorists by officers of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker and I would also want to thank the Hon. Member for such a pertinent question but this issue has actually been dealt with, it has been attended to.  The police have officially banned the use of spikes.  I thank you.

DOMESTICATION OF THE KAMPALA CONVENTION AND THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE

22 HON. WATSON asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House when will Zimbabwe domesticate the following international agreements ratified by Parliament;

  1.      The Kampala Convention; and
  2.     The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam President. Let me start by thank Hon. Watson for posing a very significant question which speaks to some of the challenges our justice system is facing on trying to comply with international standards that Zimbabwe has ratified.  The matter that the Hon. Member raised is the issue domestication of International Conventions.  To be more specific, the Hon. Member asked when Zimbabwe will domesticate the provisions of the Kampala Convention and the African Charter on Democracy in Elections and Governance. 

Madam Speaker Ma’am, section 327 of the Constitution provides for the procedures for ratification of international treaties.  It further explains the term international treaties to include all conventions protocols, charters and other agreements between States and International Organisations.

Madam Speaker, domestication of treaties takes place after a treaty has been ratified by both Houses of Parliament.  After ratification process, the treaty goes for publication in the Government Gazette, Public Agreements Advisory Committee (PAAC) must publish a notice indicating whether the treaty is self executing, that is it is enforceable in Zimbabwe without the need for legislation or whether it needs to be domesticated.  That is being incorporated into the law of Zimbabwe by legislation. 

If the latter, the Ministry responsible for negotiating the treaty will have to send the treaty to the Attorney General’s office for the necessary legislation to be prepared. Unfortunately, the law does not provide for the time-limit, a treaty has to be domesticated. 

Madam Speaker Ma’am, allow me to answer the Hon. Member’s question with regard to domestication of Kampala Convention.  The facts are that the African Union Convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons in Africa commonly referred to as the Kampala Convention was found on the 23rd October, 2009.  The Convention was ratified on the 22nd July, 2013 and then deposited on the 7th November 2013. 

          Immediately after the completion of ratification, the Ministry started to work on the domestication of this convention.  The process of domestication started with conducting consultation. Drafting of relevant legislation were in progress until they were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As the COVID-19 subsides, the work will resume soon in earnest and we expect the Bill to be tabled before Parliament in the next Parliamentary Session.

          On the domestication of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the convention was ratified in 2019. Deposition of instrument of ratification with the chairperson of African Union Commission was done recently.

  Kindly, we are waiting for the confirmation from African Union Commission on the effective date of Zimbabwe’s ascension.  Once we are confirmed, we begin the process of domestication.  The first step will be to examine and identify the provisions of the convention which are not currently covered by the Constitution and the Electoral Act. Once we have identified these provisions, we will decide on the way to domesticate this convention that either by way of General Laws Amendment or by having a separate legislation.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

SCHEDULE OF ROADS REHABILITATED IN KWEKWE CITY COUNCIL UNDER ERRP 2

  1. HON. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House:

(a) A schedule of roads that were rehabilitated in Kwekwe City Council under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme-2

(b) Amount allocated per each road.

(c) Details of the company that undertook the rehabilitation work including name of company and names of directors.

(d) Proof of tender process.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. Allow me to respond to the question raised by Hon. Chikwinya. I wish to respond to the question as follows:

Tremendous progress continues to be registered in rehabilitating the national road network through the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP2). As asked by Honourable, 10 roads have been rehabilitated so far in Kwekwe City Council. Seven roads were taken over by the Ministry of Transport and three roads have been rehabilitated by Kwekwe City Council. Table 1 below is a schedule of roads rehabilitated under ERRPS so far and is at various stages of completion.

Table 1 – Schedule of Roads under Kwekwe City Council

Road Name

Nature of works

Scope (km)

Contrast value (USD)

Contractor

Procurement method

Name of directors

Mbizo Road

Selective reconstruction and reseal

9

 

 

 

3,194,510.55

 

 

 

CMED

Direct

D. Mhaka

Amaveni Road and Colin Fraser Way

Selective reconstruction and reseal

15.1

 

 

Mvuma Road

Selective reconstruction and reseal

14

1,682,462.96

Birthday Construction

Competitive

Wedzerai Motose

B. Muroyi

Cobar Street

Reconstruction

1.5

292,990.62

Release Power

Restricted

Christian Matope

Bessemer Street

Reconstruction

2.1

309,020.62

Release Power

Restricted

Christian Matope

Fifth Street

Reconstruction

0.4

146,725.45

Linash Construction

Restricted

Elinah Shoko Charntelle

Murombwi

Railway Avenue

Reconstruction

4.1

 

 

 

1,561,216.69

 

 

 

ZADA Construction

Open tender (competitive)

Leons BJ

Gino Jacob

 

Kaguvi Drive

Reconstruction

1.1

 

 

Vendors Market Road

Reconstruction

1.8

 

 

 

(b) The amount allocated for each road:

Madam Speaker, the amount allocated per each road is shown in Table above, column 4.

USD3,194,510.55       CMED                

USD 1,682,462.96      Birthday Construction

USD 292,990.62         Release Power

USD 309,020.62         Release Power

USD 146,725.45         Linash Construction

USD 1,561,216.69      ZADA Construction

(c) Madam Speaker, the details of the company that undertook the rehabilitation work including name of company and names of directors; I refer to Table 1, columns 5 and 7 where the name of the company and names of directors are stated respectively. CMED is a State owned enterprise and the other companies are private players duly registered in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe.

(d) Madam Speaker, the proof of tender process: Let me hasten to say the awarding of contracts has been above board with due processes being followed, including reviews by the Special Procurement Oversight Committee (SPOC) under the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ). Further, SPOC through SPOC resolutions, reviews and provides the accounting officer with a procurement directive. I will use 5th street done by Linash Construction as an example.

The contractor priced their bids as presented below in their ascending order:

 

CONTRACTOR

AMOUNT

CORRECTED AMOUNT

RANKINGS

1.

Apatron Mining

$102,003.14

Nil

1

2.

Release Power

$92,386.39

$115,286.39

2

3.

Linash

$146,725.45

Nil

3

4.

Transit Homes

$157,669.52

Nil

4

5.

Pevimag

$170,048.10

Nil

5

6.

Road Trackers

$177,475.00

Nil

6

7.

Bitumen Resources

$315,375.00

Nil

7

 

After evaluation, Linash Construction was awarded the tender. This is an example of how a plethora of tenders have been reviewed and awarded. I thank you Madam Speaker.

FOR PRINTING OF PASSPORTS BY GARSU PASAULIS

  1. HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House:-

(a) whether or not the Government entered into a contract with Garsu Pasaulis a subsidiary of Belgium Company Semlex for the production and printing of passports; and

(b) to give a breakdown of the financial terms of the contract specifying the cost of the passport to end user and how much is the Government going to get from each passport and how much for Garsu Pasaulis.

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Yes, the Government entered into a contract with Garsu Pasaulis IAB with its registered office in Lithuania for the production of passports. This was necessitated by the fact that locally we were failing to cope with the demand of passports because of sanctions mainly. Money that we would send directly as a country to purchase consumables for the production of passports was always returned back because of sanctions imposed against the country, hence we ended up with serious backlogs. Government then decided to engage a private entity into a partnership and this has gone a long way in assisting the citizenry in this regard.

Madam Speaker, the collected revenue is deposited into a Government account managed by the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ). The cost of an ordinary and emergency passport is USD100.00 and USD200.00 respectively. However, for an electronically readable passport, an additional USD20.00 is paid to cater for the acquisition of a Quick Response code and other application costs.

Honourable Member, on the issue of financial breakdown in terms of what the Government and the company would get is confidential in terms of the signed contract between the parties hence I cannot disclose in detail to protect both parties. I thank you.

UPGRADING OF SEKE TEACHERS COLLEGE INTO A UNIVERSITY

20 HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology to inform the House if the Government has plans to upgrade Seke Teachers’ College into a university.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF.  MURWIRA):  Thank you for the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members, it is important to know that Seke Teachers College is already a university college of the University of Zimbabwe and therefore, there are no such plans of upgrading Seke Teachers college into a university.  Precisely, Seke Teachers College is already part of a university.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF GWANDA STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS

21  HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology to explain to the House plans available towards the construction of Gwanda State University campus.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you for the question Hon. Mokone.  Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members, I will start by explaining that Gwanda State University has two campuses, one in Gwanda Town and another one at Epoch Mine. Construction of Gwanda State University has already started at the Epoch Mine campus.  To this end, under the 100 day cycle projects at Epoch Mine, three out of six students’ blocks are complete with the overall completion at 60%. Overally, 21 out of 26 blocks that accommodate 378 students have been completed while 10 out of 72 houses are complete and accommodate 40 staff members.  The lecture block is at 15% completion whilst the engineering laboratory is at 40% completion, and renovations of the Jahunda Town offices are at 30% completion.

In addition, under the Agro-Innovation Programme, 229 bullying heifers and 240 breeding goats were purchased and are now at the Gwanda State University Epoch Mine campus farm.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am pleased to announce that Government of Zimbabwe granted Gwanda State University ZWL200 000 000 for rehabilitation of infrastructure and ZWL160 000 000 for construction of the lecture block in the year 2022.  Mr. Speaker Sir, construction of Gwanda State University has already started.  I thank you.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RESPONSE TO QUESTION ON PROTAIS MPIRANYA’S

STAY IN ZIMBABWE

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  On Tuesday, 17th May, 2022, Hon. Tendai Biti requested a response from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on an issue of how Zimbabwe allegedly harboured the world’s most wanted Rwandan fugitive, Protais Mpiranya, how he was allegedly killed, why he was using a false identity and why he was buried in Zimbabwe.

          Madam Speaker, allow me to present the answer as follows; let me start by highlighting that Zimbabwe has a history of openly receiving people from other countries including refugees who come into the country fleeing wars or civil strikes.  Currently, we have around 15 000 refugees, the bulk of them comes from the Great Lakes region, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and from the horn of Africa.

          In terms of obligations assumed by Zimbabwe when it became a State party to the Refugee Convention of 1951, which now falls part of Domestic Laws through the Refugees Act, any persons who present themselves at our borders claiming asylum are entitled to receive protection regardless of whether they carry passports or not.

          It is the duty of Immigration officers to carry out an international assessment and to refer such individuals to Tongogara Refugee Camp where they have to register.  Thereafter, the asylum seekers are assessed by the Refugee Status Determination Committee chaired by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is a member of the Committee.  The interviewing and approval or rejection process is done in close collaboration with UNHCR.  

          It is important to note that international law prohibits Zimbabwe from returning asylum seekers to countries of origin.  The principal fulfillment specially forbids countries from returning asylum seekers to countries where they face persecution or they have war founded fear of harm to their lives.

          Hon. Members, you may wish to note that as is now evident, the late Protais Mpiranya entered Zimbabwe after having presented a valid DRC passport and complied with Immigration regulations and procedures.  Zimbabwe has no knowledge that Ndume Sambao was in fact Protais Mpiranya and only learnt of the alias that he was using after the International Criminal Tribunal Residual Mechanism requested Zimbabwe to check this name in our records.

          The facts are clear Hon. Members that Protais Mpiranya came to Zimbabwe as a Congolese national, fell sick, died and was buried in Harare’s Granville Cemetery.  The allegation that his death was homicide has no basis as the records of death indicate that he died from natural causes. He was buried in Zimbabwe as the law does not discriminate in terms of burial rights between citizens and non-citizens.

          The Hon. Member may wish to note that the tribunal had a USD 5 million bounty on Protais Mpiranya which was widely publicised but no one person came forward with credible evidence to claim this price money.  We had no knowledge that this visitor from DRC Congo was a wanted man by the tribunal until we received an official request from the tribunal prosecutor to help search for him. 

          Therefore, to suggest that Zimbabwe harboured a wanted criminal is a clear distortion of facts. Anybody could have volunteered information on his whereabouts to our law enforcement authorities which could have resulted in him being apprehended. 

          From day one, Zimbabwe cooperated fully with the investigation team, actually the office of the UN Prosecutor and the Zimbabwean authorities established a joint taskforce to coordinate in investigative activities and strengthen cooperation. 

          We took the following concrete and positive steps to facilitate the investigations on the whereabouts of Mpiranya:-

  1. We set out an Inter-departmental Task Force with the mandate to investigate, chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
  2. We worked with representatives of the offices of the UN Prosecutor;
  3. We provided resources to fund investigations on the activities of the Taskforce;
  4. We comprehensively investigated leads on fugitive Mpiranya and followed up on the new leads;
  5. We facilitated a visit to Zimbabwe by the UN Prosecutor and his meetings with the two Vice Presidents of Zimbabwe;
  6. Shared the stage by stage investigations reports, summaries of interview suspects and documentary evidence from various sources; and
  7. We produced and submitted Taskforce reports to the office of the UN Prosecutor.

Furthermore, as demonstration of its collaboration with the office of the prosecutor, the Government of Zimbabwe authorised and participated in the exhumation of Mpiranya’s remains. 

Other concrete steps taken by the Government included securing the grave, seconding pathologists, issuing certificates to authorise the extraction of DNA sample and facilitating the analysis at the Netherlands Forensic Institute.

     Let me conclude by noting that the criminals have been eluding many justice systems all over the world.  After Mpiranya was found here, another fugitive was found in the Netherlands last week and in 2020, Felicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted criminals was discovered in France living comfortably under the nose of the justice system of that country.  In both cases, nobody has alleged that these counties harboured them.  We are surprised that when one criminal is found here, people are quick to allege that they are harboured.  The Government does not harbour criminals and is guided by the rule of law as a member of the international community which is conscious of its obligation under international law.  I submit. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Deputy Minister for the Ministerial Statement on the Rwandese fugitive allegedly buried in Zimbabwe.  May I please have any Hon. Members who would like to raise any points of clarity to the Hon. Minister?  I am kindly requesting that we stick to this Ministerial Statement. Whatever we are going to raise which is outside the Ministerial Statement, I am going to put you to order and the Minister will not respond.  Let us have points of clarity relating to this issue.  Thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker, just to seek for further clarification.  If this fugitive was indeed a refugee and recorded at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Manicaland, did he live there?  Did the Minister find evidence that he indeed was living there?  Again, is it true that he ran businesses?  Did they find any trace of him having been running businesses outside Tongogara Refugee Camp and where was he living?  Lastly, are there chances that there could be even other fugitives in this country given that it looks like our systems are so porous as long as you can change your name even if you are internationally being looked for, you can still hide in our country without any trace.  Thank you.

          (v)HON. GANDAWA: I would like to thank the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Ministerial Statement.  He presented quite a comprehensive Ministerial Statement.  He chronicled that Government is a Government which upholds rule of law which implies that Zimbabwe is part of the international community which observes and respected international law. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gandawa, may you ask your question. 

          (v)HON. GANDAWA: It is quite an informative statement.  We are grateful for such an informative communication. May you continue in the same vein. 

          (v)HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I just wanted to know if the systems of verification when registering these refugees have been changed to make them even more difficult than the last time?  This fugitive came, also to double check if the system has not been changed.   Then it means that there could be many more others who are in similar cases who committed crimes against humanity.  I want the Minister to clarify if the system has changed since the last time this person came into Zimbabwe?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND ITNERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. MUSABAYANA):  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I want to thank the Hon. Members who have raised points of clarification.  Also I want to thank Hon. Gandawa for affirming that our response was indeed comprehensive. 

          Hon. Gabbuza raised an issue where he was saying if this person was actually staying as a refugee, from my statement, I did indicate that the late Protais Mupiranya entered Zimbabwe having presented a DRC passport.  The passport actually satisfied all the immigration procedures. At no point did I indicate that he came as a refugee and stayed at Tongogara.  These are just the records that are now showing that he entered using a DRC passport and all along could have been in the country but from the evidence that we have, we have not said he was staying at the Tongogara Refugee Camp. 

          Madam Speaker, on the issue of people who stay at Tongogara Refugee Camp, we have said there are procedures for you to stay there and we have a working committee which is chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. We also work with UHNCR and UN to make sure that those who are staying there meet the minimum qualifications to be accommodated as refugees.  As for whether or not there could be other refugees in this country or other fugitives from this country, we cannot tell because if we knew, we would have submitted their names to those countries where they are wanted.

Madam Speaker, as you know, when these fugitives come, they will be using different names or some of them might even undergo some plastic surgery or any other form of disguise that will make it very difficult to identify them.  So, we do not have a policy to harbour fugitives and if there are any, we will assist.  Like what was alluded to in this statement that Zimbabwe fully cooperated with the investigation to assist in the process and we have other that could have been requested and we have always cooperated, collaborated in making sure that those people will face justice.  So, we do not have any at the moment.  I submit Madam Speaker.

(v)HON. BITI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am the one who asked for the Minister to bring that Statement but I could not make it to the Chamber, I am coming from a funeral.  I hope the point I want to raise has not been raised.  I think part of the challenge with this issue is that we have a very weak Refugee Act.  We have a very weak legal regime that deals with persons that seek refuge in our country. If you compare us with Zambia and I know one or two things about Zambian law because I once sought asylum in Zambia. My suggestion is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs must consider updating Zimbabwean law so that it incorporates the variousinstruments that now deal with the refugees and asylum seekers into Zimbabwe. That law will also deal with the obligation to report all unwelcome asylum seekers in Zimbabwe connected, for instance with genocide or international crimes against humanity. So, can I have the undertaking from the Minister that the Ministry will look at all the international instruments that Zimbabwe acceded to? Some of them are SADC Protocols that are already in existence. If the Minister should look at competitive law, particularly laws that exist in countries that receive huge volumes of refugees – Zambia being one of them, Tanzania and South Africa also being another so that our laws are updated.

          Finally, this may have been covered up, so I apologise if it had been covered but has there been formal communication between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Rwanda to clear the air because certainly from where we are sitting, the statements that they have issued, particularly the embassy do not appear to be a complimentary and can they also be guarantees that this kind of thing should not happen again. I thank you very much Madam Speaker.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (HON. DR. MUSABAYANA): I want to thank Hon. Biti for his contribution and I also want to agree that as a nation, it is important that we always keep our laws in sync and in speed with the contemporary trends in the way refugee laws are being framed the world over. Having said that, Hon. Biti is a Member of this august House and we know him as a lawyer. We appreciate the recommendations and I think Parliament can play its part in ensuring that those necessary reforms are taken into consideration as we build our nation together.

          In terms of guaranteeing that such things cannot happen again, remember I said this man disguised himself by bringing an I.D. which can be very difficult especially when you do not have digitalised systems at our entry points where people are scanned through the eyes to identify them. We still use the ordinary passport and unless and until we have upgraded to that level, it might be difficult. We cannot also be able to guarantee because there could also be some human trafficking that goes on and we have been part of that corridor because we have a challenge with the Mozambican area where there are land mines that were planted there during the Rhodesian regime. Some of those areas are difficult to access and at times criminals can take advantage of that.

          So, the best way moving forward is to ensure that as Parliament we pass budgets that ensures that we are fully capacitated in our borders so that we close in on such leakages, but the world over it is very difficult to come up with a system that is full-proof. Otherwise it will not be efficient or effective. We aspire that one day we will get there but world over fugitives are found and they always find their ways.

          In terms of upgrading our extraction laws and so forth, we have started that process where we have some bilateral with certain countries. Rwanda is one example where we have signed such a treaty where possible and there is evidence and proof beyond reasonable doubt that a fugitive is here, he can be extradited but using the international laws and procedure. That can be done and we are streamlining those laws. On the issue of communication, that was raised in terms of our sister country Rwanda. As you know Zimbabwe and Rwanda, we enjoy a very cordial bilateral relationship.

          If there was a statement that was issued, unfortunately I am not privy to it.  It could just be the tone but in terms of the cooperation, we have been working closely like as I went through this document, we created or formed Joint Committees with Rwandese and they know as Rwanda that we are working together. So, there is no way they can end up saying we were harbouring or we were hiding this fugitive. We were working together and we cooperated from day one as we went through the paces. I think Hon. Biti when he goes through my statement will realise that we had done everything beyond reasonable doubt to show that we were working together with Rwanda which is our sister country and we continue to work well with Rwanda. So, if there was a statement that was issued which was not appropriately worded, we may not respond to that. As Zimbabwe, it is not our policy to try and bad mouth other countries but we continue to open our arms to the rest of the world so that we work with them well. I submit Madam Speaker Ma’am.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 21 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 22 has been disposed of.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON THE STATE OF SERVICE DELIVERY AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT ZRP ESTABLISHMENT

          Twenty-Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the State of Service Delivery and Infrastructure at Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Establishments. 

          Question again proposed.

          HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I just want to say to this august House that this Committee is humbled by the contributions made by Hon. Members in support of the report that we tabled in this House on the state of affairs in the camps of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. I am sure now going forward, it is clearly understood that the police are doing the best they can do under meager resources. I commend the spirit that the Hon. Members showed at very short notice in debating this motion and I hope in future when we discuss the requirements of the budget of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Hon. Members will come to our support.  On that note Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that the report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the State of Service Delivery and Infrastructure at Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Establishments be adopted by this House.  So I submit.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 2.

          HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE, HOME AFFAIRS AND SECURITY SERVICES ON THE PETITION FROM ZIMBABWE NATIONAL LIBERATION WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION HARARE PROVINCE

          HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:  I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Petition from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association-Harare Province, calling for the Amendment of the State Services (Pensions) (Uniformed Forces) (Amendment) Regulations (Number 17 Statutory Instrument 257 of 2020 (S. C. 3, 2022).

          HON. TOGAREPI:  I second.

HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  This is going to be a very short report on the Portfolio Committee of Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services on the Petition from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association-Harare Province, calling for the Amendment of the State Services (Pensions) (Uniformed Forces) (Amendment) Regulations (Number 17 Statutory Instrument 257 of 2020.

INTRODUCTION

Madam Speaker Ma’am, pursuant to Section 149 of the Constitution, the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services received a petition from Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) - Harare Province appealing to Parliament to amend the State Service (Pensions) (Uniformed Forces) (Amendment) Regulation (Number 17) Statutory Instrument (S.I) 257 of 2020.  The petitioners prayer was that the fixed date in the 257 of 2020 be amended from 1st December, 2017 to 17th April, 1995.  The fixed date, as per the current Instrument, was said to have had the potential of dividing ex-combatants into two groups, that is, those in active service as from 1st  December, 2017 and those who served in the uniformed forces prior to that date.  The bone of contention basically rested on three issues as follows: disparities in monthly pension payments between the two aforementioned groups due to differences in the manner in which monthly pension was calculated for the same rank; non-monetary benefits awarded to retired ex-combatants who served in the uniformed forces and; and one-up promotion system on retirement. The report will highlight its findings, observations and recommendations.

OBJECTIVE OF THE ENQUIRY

The objective of the enquiry was to enable the Committee to fully establish and appreciate the petitioners concerns and come up with informed recommendations.

 METHODOLOGY

The Committee received oral evidence from the petitioners in order to get first-hand information on specific issues that were raised in the petition.

The Committee undertook the following activities as part of the inquiry:

      It gathered oral evidence from Permanent Secretaries of the following ministries;

              Defence and War Veterans;

              Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage

              Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and;

              Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

COMMITTEE’S FINDINGS

Submissions from the Petitioners

Representatives of ZNLWVA-Harare Chapter submitted that the

Statutory Instrument in question was divisive in its application for the reason that the fixed date of 1st December, 2017 excluded retired ex-combatants who were in active service in the uniformed service prior to that date. They argued that most ex-combatants retired within the period 17th April, 1995 and 17th April, 2017 while a small number has remained in active service.  They were concerned about the disparities on calculation of monthly pension payment between the two groups of ex-combatants, that is, those who were in active service and retired before 1st December, 2017 and those who retired on or after the fixed date of 1st December, 2017. They stated that monthly pension payment for the former group was 48% of current rank salary whilst the pension for the later ranged from 72% to 90% of the same rank.

The petitioners also bemoaned the discriminatory nature of the

Statutory Instrument in respect of non-monetary benefits awarded to ex-combatants in the two groups.  They noted with concern that only those ex-combatants who were or are still in active service after the fixed date would benefit from the list of non-monetary benefits awarded according to one’s rank upon retirement.  They called for a situation where the Instrument should be implemented retrospectively so that ex-combatants in the uniformed forces who retired prior to the fixed date can also benefit accordingly.

They proposed that the same benefits should also be extended to

cover those who served or were still serving in other ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Child Care as well as in the private sector as opposed to covering the security sector alone. They implored Government to enact regulations that would cater for those categories of ex-combatants so that no eligible veteran was left behind in terms of both monetary and non-monetary benefits.

The petitioners informed the Committee that some ex-combatants, especially those who served in the Police Force, did not benefit from the one-up promotion system on retirement. They were aggrieved by that irregularity considering that the Police Service is equally a Security Service sector, hence benefits for retired ex-combatants should be the same across the sector for similar ranks. 

The petitioners emphasized that amending the fixed date was a

legislative measure aimed at empowering the ex-combatants as provided in Section 23 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 (2013) which implores the ‘State to take reasonable measures, including legislative measures, for the welfare and economic empowerment of veterans of the liberation struggle.

In coming up with the proposed fixed date, 17th April, 1995, the petitioners argued that an ex-combatant who joined the uniformed or security service on 18th April, 1980 for example, would have completed 15 years of service on the proposed date. In that case, it follows that the fifteen years of active service plus the minimum pensionable five years credited to the ex-combatant would add up to twenty years’ pensionable service. Thus, amending the date to the aforesaid would ensure that all retired ex-combatants benefit from the S.I. 257 of 2020 “special provisions for active ex-combatants in the Uniformed Forces.

Submissions from Ministries

The Committee engaged stakeholders from the ministries of

Defence and War Veterans Affairs; Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. While the first three ministries were requested to submit their views on the petitioners concerns, the later was invited to respond to the call by the aggrieved members.                                                                                        

          They concurred with the observation and plea made by the petitioners and thus, called for the amendment of the date from 1st December, 2017 to 17th April, 1995.  They alluded to the fact that the majority of ex-combatants who had served in the Uniformed Forces had retired prior to the fixed date given in the Statutory Instrument. They noted that amending the date would ensure that those ex-combatants who left the Uniformed Forces or Security Services prior to December, 2017 also benefitted from the special provisions enunciated in the Instrument.

          COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS

The Committee noted that the call for the amendment of the

aforesaid Statutory Instrument was justified since the set date of 1st December, 2017 left out ex-combatants who were in active service since 1980 but may have retired between 1980 and 2017 after reaching pensionable age as well as benefitting from credited years awarded to them for their role in the liberation struggle.  It was, therefore, established beyond any reasonable doubt that the fixed date in SI 257 of 2020, indeed covered only but a section of the affected ex-combatants and unfairly excluded others.

          While acknowledging the petitioners’ plea to amend the date to 17th April, 1995, the Committee observed that even this date would not cover all the affected members. It was found out that the first group of ex-combatants retired from active service in the uniformed forces as from 17th April, 1993. A typical example is when an ex-combatant who turned fifty-seven years on 17th April, 1993 retired from service after serving thirteen years in the uniformed forces. That person would have seven years credited to him or her so that the credited years plus the thirteen years accrued in active service would add up to twenty years’ pensionable service. Taking the above circumstances into consideration, the Committee noted that it was rather necessary to settle for 17th April, 1993 as the fixed date as it would ensure that no eligible ex-combatant was left behind.

The Committee observed that the current Instrument only covered active ex-combatants in the uniformed forces, that is, the security sector, and excluded active ex-combatants in other government ministries and departments. Having equally participated in the struggle for Independence, all eligible ex-combatants in public and private sectors had to benefit. To that end, the Committee suggested that Government should put in place legislation that would cater for ex-combatants who did not fall under the category of uniformed forces but were and may still be in active service in other government ministries and departments.

          Contrary to the petitioners’ claim that the one-up promotion

system was not implemented in the Police Service, the Committee established that it was actually applied starting from the rank of Superintendent and above. The regulations took effect in 2015. However, the Committee noted with concern that the system does not apply to junior ranks and therefore, has the potential of discriminating between ex-combatants of the same organisation and sector. This required redress so that sanity could be restored among ex-combatants in the Police Force whose historical background as veterans of the liberation struggle and their loyalty to the nation remained intact when they joined the uniformed forces in independent Zimbabwe.

          The Committee also observed that petitioners needed to take into consideration the fact that monthly pension payments and associated non-monetary retirement benefits such as residential accommodation, transport, staff, medical and funeral assistance were awarded depending on one’s years in service and rank at retirement.

          The Committee also observed that the call by the petitioners imploring Government to enact legislation meant to regulate private organisations to award similar retirement benefits to ex-combatants in the private sector was misplaced. It was argued that private institutions operate independently, hence pension payments and associated retirement packages are determined by the contractual agreements made between employer and employee, among others.

          RECOMMENDATIONS

          The Committee recommends that:

  •              By 31st August, 2022, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour

and Social Welfare in liaison with the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should amend the State Service (Pensions) (Uniformed Forces) (Amendment) Regulations (Number 17) of S.I. 257 of 2020 to reflect 17th  April, 1993 as the fixed date for awarding pension benefits and non-monetary benefits for retired ex-combatants in the public sector taking into consideration the individual’s number of years in service and rank at retirement.

  •              By 30th September, 2022, the Ministry of Home Affairs and

Cultural Heritage should put in place measures to enable the implementation of the one-up promotion system at retirement so that it covers all ranks in the Police Service and should also benefit those who retired prior to 2015.

          CONCLUSION

The Committee recognizes the indisputable sacrifice of the country’s veterans of the liberation struggle who, after the attainment of independence on 18th April, 1980, continued being in active service in both the public and private sector. It is the united opinion of the Committee that the fixed date be amended to also cover every ex-combatant who was in active service in the Uniformed Forces but retired before 2017 after reaching pensionable age. I so submit Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 19th May, 2022.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Four Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.

 

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