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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 DECEMBER 2019 46-19

                                                  PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 19th December, 2019.

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

RETIREMENT OF THE SERJEAN-AT-ARMS, MR. N. MARUFU

    THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that one of

our senior officers of Parliament, the Serjeant-At-Arms, Mr. Nicholas Marufu is retiring after 39 years of an illustrious service at Parliament.

Mr. Marufu will retire on 31st December, 2019.

         It is probably the last time that he will lead the Speaker’s procession into this Chamber as we will be adjourning for our Christmas holidays at the end of today’ business.  On behalf of this institution and on my behalf as the Presiding Officer, we wish him well in his endeavours as we bid him farewell. To him I say, we are most grateful for the diligent manner with which you executed your duties as a loyal and dedicated officer of Parliament.

         I may add that Mr. Marufu is taking retirement leave together with 10 other senior members of staff who also have retired after an extension of three years of their service.  We also wish them well – [HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-

         HON. MURAI: Is it is a forced retirement or it is his wish?   Sorry, I was not in the House, I just entered when you were reading and I am surprised as to why he is retiring.

  THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have made a very

serious indictment on yourself when it says that you should be in the House not later than ten minutes past two p. m, but I will favour you with an explanation.  The senior staff members, the nine of them had served up to the age of 65, which is the legal age of pension; in other words, the pensionable age.  After that, we did give them annual contract for three years.  The 11 of them and now Treasury has given us concurrence to employ their successors.  So it is 65 years plus three years on contract.

PETITION RECEIVED FROM MR. T. GOWERE

         THE HON. SPEAKER: I also have to inform the House that on Wednesday, 18th December 2019, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Mr. T. Gowere, an inmate at the Harare Central Prisons requesting Parliament to enact legislation that abolishes the death penalty provided for in Section 48 (2) of the Constitution,  amend

Section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter

9:23] and repeal Sections 337 to 342 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07].

         The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs”.

         I have five Hon. Members who want to raise points of privilege.  This is a joke, I am sorry, this is a joke.  I want to be clear again.  Points of privilege should be raised on the rights and privileges of Members who are threatened.  So if you know you are not raising that, please do not stand up otherwise I will ask you to sit down in the middle of your presentation if you are not addressing the issues in the manner I have explained.

         HON. MUSAKWA:  I rise on a point of privilege.  After the untimely death of the son of Hon. Madhuku on Tuesday morning, the burial is scheduled for tomorrow in Madhuku village in Bikita at 0900hrs.  This is information for those who are willing to attend.

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  That is acceptable, thank you.

         HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: I rise on a point of privilege.  We have lost some of our Hon. Members.  We have been here in Parliament for almost one and a half years.  What happens to their cars now that they are gone but their families still remain?  What happens to the families of those who lost Hon. Members?

THE HON. SPEAKER: You mean Hon. Members who have

passed on?

HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Yes Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I think the matter will be looked at case by case and it should be referred to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders so that a decision is made in liaison with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.  That indeed is a correct point of privilege.

HON. SVUURE: Thank you Mr Speaker Sir.  My point of privilege was closely related to what Hon. Musakwa has raised.  So it is done.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Great minds think alike.

HON. OMAR:  I rise on a point of privilege.  As MP for Mwenezi

East, we have a problem with all the four ambulances at Neshuro Hospital which are out of order.  We repaired them a couple of months back but unfortunately there is a mad man that came with a knobkerrie and smashed all the four windscreens.  Neshuro is the only hospital that sees to all the road accidents along the Beit Bridge Road and without ambulances we have a problem.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  When did this happen?

HON. OMAR: It happened two weeks ago.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I asked that question deliberately because that should have been a question for question time yesterday and it does not qualify as a point of privilege.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the Order of the Day No. 1be stood over until the Minister has presented a Ministerial Statement.

HON. KWARAMBA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The two Hon Members there, I will not allow sarcastic comments.  You do not have to say the points of privilege are over before the Hon. Chief Whip speaks.  That is impermissible.  I seek your apology.

HON. MURAI:  My apology Mr. Speaker.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

ZERO PERCENTAGE PASSRATE IN SCHOOLS

THE MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION

(HON. COVENTRY) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. MATHEMA):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir, I have two statements – the first statement if you allow me is on behalf of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I am representing him today.  So, if you allow me, I will start with his statement which is in reply to the Hon. Member who asked a question in terms of different schools.  I will read his statement.  The first statement is on zero percent schools.

  1. There are a number of schools which are registering zero percent pass rates in all provinces. There are many reasons to that and among them is the shortage of teachers.  The Ministry has about 15000 teacher vacancies and we are grateful that Treasury is supporting the Ministry to accrue more teachers to reduce the gaps.  In 2020, the Ministry has been authorised to recruit 5000 teachers which is a step in the right direction to reduce the zero percent pass rate registered in some of our schools.
  2. The teaching and learning materials for the competency based curriculum are in short supply with books selling at prices like a $1000 each. Our current budget is grossly inadequate to meet the demand for teaching and learning materials for most of our schools especially rural day schools and satellite schools.
  3. Teaching and learning space in some schools is still grossly inadequate, for example some schools.

Teaching and learning space in schools is still grossly inadequate.  For example some schools are still using tobacco barns and grass thatched classrooms, animal handling facilities and some schools operating without specialist rooms like design and technology laboratories and workshops.  More resources will also be required for the construction of teachers’ accommodation and continuous training of teachers in the competence based curriculum.  The Ministry will also increase the targeted supervision of these schools.

Withholding of public examination results by schools and examination centres.

No institution should withhold results for candidates for whatever reason.  Arrangements should be made with the concerned parents or guardians to settle fees arrears and recovery of lost teaching materials like books.  Withholding of results by schools is an illegal practice since the contract is between the candidate and ZIMSEC, hence learners should access results timeously.

Uniforms purchase only at school

A circular was issued to outlaw the purchase of uniforms only at school level.  Parents can buy uniforms anywhere to the best of their advantage and can even make uniforms themselves.  Schools are not allowed to coerce parents to buy uniforms at their schools.

Exorbitant fees

Fees charged by schools are exorbitant and beyond the reach of most parents.  As Ministry, we are collecting information on schools and levies being charged by schools.  The fees are increased through a decision by parents at properly constituted meetings and schools should adhere to the decisions and recommendations of the School Development Committees.  There is need for 20% parents consent at those meetings.  Our fees currently should comply with Statutory Instrument 121 of 2019 or pricing is done by local currency and this does not give room for rating the approved fees according to the prevailing bank rates since all fees are in local currency.

Application for fees increase should be below 20% increases and any other increases should be approved by the head of Ministry as directed in Secretary’s Circular Minute Number 6 of 2018.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister Coventry, perhaps before you read your second statement there may be some need for clarification by the Hon. Members.  Thank you.

HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you very much

to the Acting Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I know Mr. Speaker that she may not be able to address the issues.  She indicated to me that she was not fully briefed, but I think it is important that she takes some of these issues as they are very urgent, given the fact that we are not going to come to the House.  By the time we come to the House the schools would have been opened.

Firstly, I think it is important to actually give us a full appreciation of why particularly certain regions have had 0%.  I think that is what we were asking.  So the answers were too general.  We know that there are problems with schools, but why is it that certain regions did better than others?  For example the region that we raised, the Matabeleland region had a high level of 0% and we need to understand what exactly is peculiar about that region.

The second one is that those things to do with the withholding of results are urgent because children cannot go to school in Form 1.  They are unable to register, including those that also want to get into ECD.

We know that it is not legal, but it continues to happen.  I think our clarification is what is the Ministry of Education doing to ensure that schools do not do this?  The parents know it is illegal but the schools are still using the same things that are not legal in spite of the policy things that you have sent to the schools.  So I think what is urgent for us is to know what the Ministry is doing so that the parents and the children do not necessarily suffer.

The third point I think that we needed clarification on is a gender disaggregation of the failure rate, so that we can understand whether these are girls or these are boys and what does that mean in terms of supporting it.  So yes, it is a good statement but I think really we need proper responses that indicate that there is more research that is being done by the Ministry.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. KWARAMBA:  Further to what Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga has said, there is the issue of uniforms which are being sold at schools.  School heads continue to sell uniforms.  We would like to know what the Ministry is doing so that those uniforms are not sold at schools.  We know the uniforms are very expensive and parents can sew them on their own, but we would like clarification on that.  Thank you very much.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, I also would like to thank the Hon. Minister for the statement that she has presented in which an attempt is made to explain the circumstances leading to the poor pass rate.

I shall not repeat what the two Hon. Members who have spoken before me have said. However, it is important, Mr. Speaker Sir, to understand why we have 15 000 unfilled teaching posts whereas we have got a good many trained teachers who are unemployed and who are roaming the streets.  What is preventing the Ministry from enlisting the services of those teachers who are qualified but remain jobless. On the deficit of 10 000 because the Minister has indicated that authorisation has been granted to employ an additional 5 000 teachers out of the 15

000 vacant positions.  So the gap is still glaringly too high.

Hon. Speaker, the second issue relates to the use of animal handling facilities by students as classrooms.  I think there is need for the Ministry to give a position and let the nation know how the Ministry proposes to address that position because 39 years after independence, I do not think that it is acceptable.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the statement is devoid of an explanation in regard to the working conditions of teachers as a contributory factor to the poor performance, because it does not look like teachers are being paid for working, but they are being paid for going to work because that money, the salaries that is, is only enough to enable teachers to go to work.  So they go to work and they do not work.  I think the Ministry must also address that whole question of teacher remuneration and conditions of service.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Acting Minister for Primary and Secondary

Education, Hon. Coventry.

I also seek clarification, Mr. Speaker Sir, on issues that perhaps the report or the statement did not really bring to the fore or highlight.  In particular, what is the Ministry going to do about those students or pupils who fail these exams?  Seventy percent of them have failed.  Are there any plans to re-sit, are there any plans for them to rewrite the examinations.  What are they going to end up as if they cannot go through Grade 7?  It is seven years wasted.  The nation has wasted resources for seven years and these pupils are coming out empty handed.  What is going to happen to them and what guarantees do you have that it is not going to recur?

Secondly is the issue of the implications of having teachers who do not understand local languages at ECD and lower primary levels.  To what extent can you attribute the lower failure rate to the problem of languages which has been raised several times, particularly in the Matabeleland region that we have students or people that are being taught by people who do not understand the languages. Also, we do not understand as to who is taking responsibility in this Ministry for this poor failure rate or it is not just an incident that is going to happen and people forget and life goes on. We cannot have life goes on for seven years where monies and lives are wasted and people come empty handed and life goes on without a head rolling. We need to know whose responsibility it is.

         Also we need to know the issue of infrastructure and facilities. I am talking about infrastructure that is affecting the curriculum. Elearning facilities - are they available in those schools that we have people failing dismally? The education infrastructure is it available or people are just asked to explain the teaching concept and curriculum in theory only? We want to know – it should be disaggregated to see whether there is any relationship between the poor infrastructure and the poor pass rate. Some of the issues I think my colleagues have raised those issues. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

       Hon. Mutseyami having stood up on a point of order.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: You have a point of order when there is no debate why? What is your point or order Hon. Mutseyami.

  HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Bearing in

mind the gravity of the contributions which are coming from the Hon. Members and as well the importance of the Ministry and the challenges that we are having as a country, how valid is it for the Hon. Minister to respond to this cocktail of questions bearing in mind that she is not the Minister directly responsible? This is coming as a result of simultaneous questions. How does she come up with a copped up response?

   THE HON. SPEAKER: I take note of your observation Hon.

Mutseyami. At the same time I would not want to prejudge the response from the Hon. Minister. Let her speak for herself and we will deal with the matter accordingly.

         HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it will be fine for the Hon. Minister since she is in acting capacity on behalf of the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education – she will take these issues up with him and they can provide answers in the next session. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- My points of clarity Mr.

Speaker Sir...

   THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member, you are not

in the Chair – ask youyr point of clarification.

     HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just wanted

clarity on the percentage of zero pass - urban versus rural schools. It is important for us to zero in on the statistics so that we know where to direct our resources to. If we have bigger percentages of zero in the urban, we know our resources are to be channeled in the urban viceversa if the great percentage is in the rural, we need to direct our resources into the rural schools. Secondly, on the 15 000 vacancies that are available, it would be also important for us to know how the percentages are – what percentage of the 15 000 is urban and what percentage of the 15 000 is rural? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

         HON. T. MOYO: I seek clarification on two issues from the Acting Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. The first one concerns the shocking zero percent. I personally got bamboozled to hear that several schools scored zero. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that woe do not have a recurrence of that? We need to form a Commission of Inquiry because the number of schools that I have heard which scored zero is very high. Are you not going to set a Commission of Inquiry to find out what exactly has happened which culminated in the zero percent.

         The other issue concerns recruitment of teachers. What are doing to ensure that people are not coming from Harare to go to Binga or to go Gokwe? I will give an example – two months ago there were 100 prospective teachers who applied, the list was sent by the Ministry of Education in Gokwe North. Of the 100 who were recruited, none came from Gokwe but they all came from Harare. What are we going to do to ensure that this system is going to come to an end? Thank you.

     HON. MAPHOSA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point is also

on the issue of the zero percent pass rate and most of these schools are from Matabeleland South and North provinces. My observation is that these schools are from the resettlement areas where the land reform programme happened during the 2000 era. My point of clarification is we have homesteads that were in those areas as schools and we find that in those homesteads, four classes share the same room where a teacher has to share between four classes happening simultaneously.

I want clarification from the Minister that it is now almost 20 years and we still have situations like that in our country. How serious are we with education and what are the plans set out to make sure that adequate infrastructure and adequate teachers are available in these resettlement areas, noting that we cannot reverse their settlements because families reside in those places. Thank you.

         HON. P. MOYO: The results are out and in rural areas it is very difficult for parents to get places and quickly get computers to apply on line. What is the Ministry doing especially to the parents and children who are traumatized by not getting places until this date?  They are still roaming about looking for places without any success.   I thank you.

       HON. RAIDZA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.  My point

of clarification is regarding the aspect of supervision of what is happening on the ground especially in the schools. What mechanism is the Ministry employing to make sure these schools or many of our schools in the country are properly supervised? This is taking into consideration the fact that the education inspectors and the district educations inspectors are incapacitated, they do not have vehicles; they are always just sitting at their offices and not effectively supervising some of these teachers and the schools, especially in the rural areas.

What is the Ministry doing regarding that aspect?  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.

   HON. KAPUYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my point is on the

teacher to pupil ratio.  Yes, my colleagues could worry about the pass rate, but if you look in the urban areas and some of the rural areas - in one classroom you have 68 pupils against one teacher.  The concentration there when you look at it is zero so the teacher will be forced to concentrate on the bright side of the kids and leave those who want more assistance or more attention. Hence the failure from ECD to grade 7, there is need to increase the schools both in rural and urban areas. That is my plea to the Ministry so that the child to teacher ratio is reduced may be to 1:30; it is much appreciated than to have 1:100. I thank you.

       *HON. ZEMURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I add my

contribution to the debate on Matabeleland.  I come from Matabeleland North. A lot of students are failing, I attended at Mazimavili School, I visited the school last year and there are only 3 trained teachers.   Many of the teachers are temporary teachers who just stop coming to work without giving any notice.  This is the problem we have in

Matabeleland.  We implore Government to introduce inspectors who would come and supervise the education system.  I leant at that same school but during my time, inspectors used to come and supervise how children are being taught. Now we no longer have these inspectors.  I once placed my grandchild at that school but later removed her after the child said he was placed in a grade 7 class when the child was only in grade 3. They wrote a test and he came first out of the grade 7 class.

         I am Ndebele by birth, I came to Mashonaland and taught grade 2 and my class passed by far compared to other classes.  I was not very fluent in Shona by that time. I am surprised when Members of

Parliament complain that Shona teachers must not be placed in Matabeleland and vice versa.  Teacher does not matter where they come from – [HON. DR. LABODE: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker Sir may you protect me from this woman.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zemura seek clarification and also you cannot say to Hon. Member ‘this woman’, please withdraw that statement.

         HON. ZEMURA: I withdraw Hon. Speaker Sir. It is better that we send trained teacher to schools in Matabeleland because there are no trained teachers.  We must select them by language.

       HON. DR. LABODE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

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

         HON. DR. LABODE: Mr. Speaker Sir, a teacher who was born and bred in Mashonaland and does not know just one word in Ndebele, you go and put that person in Nkayi to teach a grade 1 pupil who has never heard one word in Shona, how do they communicate?  What type of teaching are you talking about?  You want to destroy Matabeleland, that is what you want.  You are making sure they do not go to school.

         HON. MKANDLA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. According to ZIMSEC findings there is 5% drop in pass rate from 52% for 2018 candidates to 46% for 2019.  If the factors affecting this trend of drop in pass rates, if they are not attended to, it will be a mockery for

Zimbabwean education.  It is not just the zero percent pass in rural areas.  It is scattered everywhere, in most areas – so if we say we are number

3...

       THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, seek clarification.

         HON. P. ZHOU: What is the Ministry doing, is it carrying out a research, we want to make sure that our standards of education do not go down because the trend is 52% last year and now it is 45%.  So in 2020 what will it be, I seek clarification?

    HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, two quick

ones, the first one is when the Minister started, I was not too sure

whether or not she managed to explain the reason why she is presenting the statement on behalf of Hon. Minister Cain Mathema.  Is he already on leave for Christmas …

        THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, he is on leave.

         HON. SARUWAKA:  Alright, I had not picked that one.  The second is, I am aware from her presentation that we have very few schools in the country compared with the demand.  The clarification that I want to get from the Hon. Minister is, why is the Ministry making it so difficult for communities to establish schools?  I have a situation where, from my community, since 2011 I have been trying to establish a primary school because school children are walking more than 8kms to the nearest primary school.

         It has been very difficult to get approval from the Ministry for the community that is prepared to build a school for our children.  Due to the long distances involved, the pass rate for my particular community is very low because school children walk long distances when they are very young.  The question is, why is it so difficult for the Ministry to allow communities to build schools so that school children can walk short distances to school?  I thank you.

       THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  I had said that Hon.

Saruwaka is the last one.  Hon. Minister, do you think that you can have a bit of the cherry or you are going to suggest something?

        THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

What I will promise this House and yourself Sir, is that I have taken note of all these very important questions and I will take it upon myself to work with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to make sure that they come back with a fuller statement that addresses all the concerns, mainly the concerns around infrastructure, the working conditions of teachers, the failing of students.  What the Ministry is doing to prevent that from going down, the local languages, the redirecting of finance to schools that are really in need of it as well as the recruitment of teachers coming from similar areas and similar backgrounds and knowledge especially when it comes to our younger students as well as the supervision of the District Inspectors and where they are with that and also the not enough qualified teachers in our schools.   Along with the question that the Hon. Member just asked with communities that are willing to come to the party and help Government – there should be an easier fast way to fast track.

         Mr. Speaker Sir, if you allow me to take all of these questions back,  I will put this in their process today and make sure that the answers start coming to you, especially as the Hon. Member mentioned before the beginning of the year that some of these questions get tackled.

I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  I need the guidance of the House as some of the questions require immediate responses, especially on the issue of what happens to those who failed, will they be allowed to repeat and so on.  Also, there is the issue of stopping schools from selling expensive uniforms and so on, that a directive be given by the

Ministry for the practice to stop.

         All this needs preparatory work before the schools open.  My question is - would Hon. Members be happy that the Ministerial Statement is distributed in your pigeonholes?  I do not know how best you want to get that information before the schools open,  I seek your guidance.

       HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Thank you very much

for coming in and intervening in that way.  The problem like we indicated is when schools are not directed to do certain things.  There are merely policy issues but they have not been directed.  So it would be important that as soon as possible, the Ministry issues a memorandum to all schools indicating the following: - Firstly, you cannot withhold examination results.  Secondly, indicating that the issue of school fees is the right of a parent to find the school fees whicht is cheaper in whatever manner that they do.

         I think that would be crucial to send a memo but it would also be important because the Ministers are not here to issue a public statement - whether the statement is on radio or television, to allow the communities to use those particular statements when they are going back to schools.  It would be important for us to actually get the memo as Members of Parliament because it then helps us in our constituencies when we are having problems. We then can use that as an official document that is coming from the Ministry to those schools that are violating those particular issues.

The Ministerial Statement would be good to get but I think that those two specific issues before schools open would be important for the Ministry to do.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You want to make further guidance to the Chair?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Yes Mr. Speaker Sir.  May I propose to the Chair that this is a very important issue – Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you very much for putting a lot of thought to this. It is quite serious and I know very well that the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education chaired by Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga has been very thorough in what they want to achieve.

May I suggest that the Portfolio Committee meets with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education even on Monday because the Permanent Secretary and the technocrats are the ones who are key.  There is nothing wrong in also inviting the former Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Prof. Mavima because if you look at it, this more or less happened under his tenure.  While Hon. Mathema is the Minister, it would be quite impossible for us to think that he can comprehend everything in this short time that he has been there.

The Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is educationist himself, he was involved in education.  The Permanent Secretary is an educationist and inviting Hon. Prof. Mavima to come and also explain, I think would actually give us many answers and so forth.  So the Portfolio Committee is capable in its role of oversight, of making sure that this is attended to.  I think that they would have the time to go through quite a lot and Monday – I am sure they are quite committed or any other time before the schools open because people need to know now what is going to happen and what measures are going to be taken.

That would be my proposal Hon. Speaker and I think that next time the President - I know you talk to him, in his wisdom maybe if he could appoint Ministers who have an education background – primary, higher and tertiary, it helps to get things going. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – To be honest with you because it makes it difficult for other Ministers and so forth – education is key.  You are a teacher and an educationist – you know that.

The former President Robert Mugabe, due to his credit - give it to  him was very thorough about education and made sure that people with an education background ran education. That is where we are and tribute must go to him in terms of that.  He was a stickler for allowing the educationist to run their portfolio. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

         THE HON. SPEAKER:  I am not sure about Monday, I would have preferred tomorrow afternoon.  What do you say Chair?

    HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I was

not going to say this but we had to push very seriously to even get the

Acting Minister to come and issue this statement because both Minister and the deputy are not available – they have both gone on leave.  –

[HON. T. MLISWA:  The Permanent Secretary!] -  Yes, the Permanent Secretary is the one who then prepared this particular statement. This is why we are saying Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of trying to call them in,  I am not sure that we will get a lot from them at this time, which is why we were asking that in the short term, for those things that need to be urgently dealt with they be dealt with.  For the other broader issues, we had already agreed with the Minister that the first week of January we would sit with the Portfolio Committee to deal with the broader issues that are in the statement but I know that they are not available and it has been difficult to force them to actually bring even this one because we felt it was important to at least respond to the urgency of people.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Do you have a suggestion Hon.

Minister?

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  There is an officer from the

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education standing outside waiting.

I am not sure who he is but I am sure they can come through and ask for the Permanent Secretary to be told to come to Parliament to answer any further questions because this is a serious matter.  I do not know if it is her outside or another officer.  I believe they will be available to meet with the Committee as soon as possible. In terms of the technocrats, I am not sure if the Minister and the Deputy are around but I believe the Permanent Secretary is around and they will be willing to meet.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you very much for your suggestion Hon. Minister.  Let me have a tete a tete with the Permanent Secretary.

Thank you for your patience Hon. Members.  What is going to happen is that the Permanent Secretary was at another meeting.  She is now here.  They are going to sit down immediately with the Hon. Minister to discuss those issues and a press statement that will not be dissected by the editorial editors that should come out in full, giving direction to the schools and what is key here, is the Inspectors are being urged according to your points of clarification, to go to the school and ensure that the policies that have come from the Ministry are being implemented.  Where they are not being implemented, seizure must take place.  Are we agreed on that? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes.] – Thank you.

So hon. Minister, you will act like- wise as soon as you finish the other statement.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Sir, we want to thank you for the attention you have given to this issue.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

SPORTING EQUIPMENT ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN

SURREPTITIOUSLY REMOVED FROM THREE STADIA IN

BULAWAYO

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): Mr. Speaker Sir, on Tuesday

10th December 2019, Hon. Anele Ndebele raised a point of order requesting a Ministerial Statement on sporting equipment that is alleged to have been surreptitiously removed from three stadia in Bulawayo after the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under 20 Youth Games.

After the successful hosting of the 2014 African Union Sports Council Region Under 20 Youth Games in Bulawayo, an asset disposal plan was put in place and approved by the Region 5 Secretariat, Government of Zimbabwe and the local Organising Committee.  In terms of that plan, all sports equipment bought for use during the games was to be managed by the Sports and Recreation Commission and respective National Sports Associations whom the equipment was bought for.  Office furniture was to be used by the then Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture. The sporting equipment is currently stored at various locations in Bulawayo and I shall indicate these.

White City Stadium

All athletics equipment is currently stored at the stadium which was refurbished during the games.  The equipment belongs to the Sports and Recreation Commission whilst Bulawayo Athletics Board and City of Bulawayo manage its use.

The equipment stored at the stadium included hurdles, starting blocks, electronic timing devices, laptops, landing mats and tape measures.  In addition, equipment for other track and field events like discus, shot put and high jump is also stored at the stadium.

Luveve Public Works Storage Depot

Due to limited storage space at White City Stadium, some athletics equipment is stored at the Luveve Public Works Storage Depot.  The equipment includes landing mats, javelins, pole vaults, boxing ring, boxing floor mats, boxing ropes and floor boards.

Bulawayo Club for the Disabled (Khanyisile) for Basketball

Equipment currently stored there includes basketball floors, basketball hops (rings) and an electronic score board.

Evelyn High School 

Basketball hoops (rings) are currently mounted there.

Government Complex Ministry of Sport, Arts and Recreation store rooms

Equipment stored at the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation offices in Bulawayo included small boxing ropes, boxing gloves, weighing scales and bells.  The equipment is easily accessible whenever it is needed for use.

Office Furniture

As already been indicated, office furniture procured during the games was allocated to the then Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture as per the asset disposal plan.  This is the furniture now being used in the offices of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation throughout the country’s ten provinces.

In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, besides office furniture, all the sporting equipment bought during 2014 African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games is stored in Bulawayo for use by any stakeholders upon request who will be undertaking sporting activities which require this equipment.  It is also used during national and international events by sporting associations who will return the equipment for storage and use by Bulawayo based sportspersons.

It is therefore not correct that the sporting equipment was surreptitiously removed from Bulawayo.  I invite the Hon. Member to visit our offices in Bulawayo where arrangements can be made to visit locations where this sporting equipment is stored.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Minister for your statement.  What is important is that the sporting equipment has been there for so many years and Hon. Ndebele is correct in saying that it is not being used.  It is supposed to be used.  If I am not mistaken, one of the conditions of having the games was that after they are done, the equipment is then distributed to the various clubs or associations and so forth.  I do not know if Government has shifted that policy of distributing the equipment after the games to the various sporting associations.

The Ministry administers sport and there are associations which run the sports, athletics, cricket, rugby and so on.  So why do they not give rugby equipment to the Rugby Union, because they are an affiliate of the Sports and Recreation Commission?  For athletics, why do they not give it to the Athletics Association, wrestling to the Wrestling Association?  This is because this is where the expertise of the coaches is.  The Ministry does not have expertise in coaches but it is through those associations.  Anybody who wants to take part in cricket will go to the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and ask where this equipment is, it is in the various clubs and as a result they have access to it.

For a very long time, this equipment has not been accessed. To actually say that, it is there and it is in the offices is wrong; it is supposed to be with the association.  Has the Ministry shifted on a point of clarity from distributing it to the association, accounting for it and is there any agreement? Right now, there is also the fact that they have given to certain associations to use it, is there a contract or an agreement and how do they see that it is there?  The other issue the Minister spoke about is that it is also stored with Public Works when people are dying for that equipment.  What have we done about taking it to the rural areas too because this is just urban?  Why are we also not taking it to the rural areas?  With the vision that the Ministry has on sporting centres of excellence, why do they not decentralise that equipment in those areas because in their budget, they also talk about equipment and it is there.

  You take the sport to the people by ensuring that the rural areas too have centres of excellence with equipment. What all people need is equipment and expertise and their personnel is able to superintend - whether they have ward officers or constituency officers to ensure that everybody has access to that equipment.  It is not for storage or for the offices, it is for sport out there.  What have they done in terms of ensuring that after every game, it is distributed to every centre equitably?

HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My other contribution was taken by Hon. Mliswa but I just want to find out from you, we had also requested the Minister to come and give a Ministerial Statement pertaining to the affairs at ZIFA.  This was just after our embarrassment in Egypt and you ruled that she must come and give the Ministerial Statement then.  We had also requested for a forensic audit from the Auditor General to determine how ZIFA was using the money to date since the day they came into office.  I think the episode is still continuing at ZIFA, embarrassing our country and we cannot continue to keep quiet like this.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  With Region 5 games, there were a lot of issues to do with contractors who had done their work and were never paid.  I remember as a Member of the former Committee on Sport, we used to ask that question and there were promises that the contractors who had spruced up the venues for the Region 5 Games would be paid.  They were never paid and I wanted to know whether the Minister is in a position to tell us whether there was any movement because it really affects us in future when we have to host other games.  We do not have people who are prepared to work with the Ministry to attend to our stadiums and other facilities.  We have a big problem in Bulawayo where people had put in their investment to support the country in hosting the games and were never paid.  I just wanted to get an update on that particular matter.

HON. COVENTRY: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  To Hon. Mliswa, yes, I fully agree with you that the sporting equipment should go to the national associations.  The national associations in my understanding of this, all agreed that some of the equipment they could not house physically, because the equipment was to stay in Bulawayo.  National Associations in Bulawayo are too small and they did not have the appropriate warehouses for this equipment.

It was agreed that it would stay at the different depots and stadiums and when they wanted to use it, they just requested it and come and collect it for use.  My understanding is that the policy has not changed that the national associations can have use of it but if they cannot have the capability of storing it, we took on the responsibility of storing it in different areas and that is where it is.  I think moving forward, what we can do Mr. Speaker Sir is to encourage the national associations to use the equipment that has been sitting there and to maybe remind them that

it is there.

The second question from the Hon. Member on ZIFA – I fully agree and I think there should be a forensic audit not just for last year but probably the last 10 to 15 years.  I fully agree that it is something the Ministry fully supports.  In terms of terms of a Ministerial Statement on ZIFA, I am more than happy to put something together and come back to you at the beginning of the year next year because I believe there are still a few things that are outstanding from ZIFA that I need in order to come and present to you Mr. Speaker Sir.

The third question on Region 5, some of the contracts have now been paid, there is a small amount of debt that is still due and we are now working with Treasury to get the finance to close up those books.

However, we are working on it Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. TSUNGA: Hon. Speaker you appear anxious.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you overruling me?  I said Hon.

Saruwaka is the last one.

HON. TSUNGA: Yes, but it is arising from what the Hon.

Minister has just said.  Just a very short one Hon. Speaker, I thank you.

The point of clarification is whether you are allowing or the Ministry is allowing access to equipment or it is transferring ownership?  I think there are two things, it has not been clear to me whether it is just allowing access by associations or transfer of ownership and control of the equipment.  The other point of clarification is whether it is prudent to keep computers in storage because there is a real risk that the computers may become obsolete and redundant if not used.  Thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Speaker, may I propose to the Minister that if the associations do not have equipment, the schools have space, can they not just get the equipment to the schools, because ultimately that is where the future of sport is, it is through the schools.  So if the associations do not have, the schools are affiliated to the associations too, so in a way, they can identify one that can be a centre of excellence, that would be my proposal.  The other one is, is it not difficult for the Minister – just so that Parliament can assist Mr. Speaker Sir; it is like back and forth; Public Works manages the stadiums and so on, is it not better for you to just have the total control

of these stadiums so that even when people are asking for equipment they go to the Ministry of Sport and get a letter, but if you go to Public Works you still need to get a letter.  I think moving forward, it is better that the Ministry of Sport manages the stadiums and Public Works is out of it for avoidance.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you say stadiums?

HON. T. MLISWA: Yes, stadiums or sporting facilities in fact.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Stadia.  Unfortunately…

HON. T. MLISWA: Sir, the whole purpose of language is to understand what I am saying not to correctly pronounce it.  I am glad you understood what I was saying.  The last one is; may the Minister extent the forensic audit not just to football, but to rugby and every sporting association so that at least she has an understanding because they get monies from international associations.  Why does she not just extend the forensic audit to all associations so that it is dealt with?  Cricket had a forensic audit done, so why do they not extend to other associations because it seems to be selective; it seemed it was just cricket and not soccer or rugby.  All associations which receive money and subscriptions must account and I think it must be extended to all associations so that she is in a better picture on the state of affairs of the accounts of these entities.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I

take on all of those very good ideas that have been put forward for clarification. On the issue about ownership and equipment,  it was agreed between the different parties, the organising committee, the national associations which were part of the organising committee, the region five and Government who was going to take ownership and who would have access to it.  I can go back and clarify on that again but I believe some of the equipment was given ownership to the national associations.  They did not have the capacity to house it so it was agreed to house it at certain stadia and they would move forward with that.

In terms of the national associations not being in a position to use the equipment and the idea from the honourable in terms of locating or giving it to schools, those conversations are already happening with Primary and Secondary Education and ourselves as Ministry on how to better use each other as clogs in this big wheel.  Mr. Speaker Sir, on the forensic audit, I take note of that.  That is something that will be coming with the National Sports Strategy where all national associations will have to provide tenure and plans.  Part of those plans will be audited accounts.   That is coming Mr. Speaker Sir.  I believe that answers all the questions that were raised.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Hon. Minister will read a Statement from the Hon. Leader of Government Business who is answering questions in the Senate.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

TREATMENT REGIME FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV

THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE) (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am reading this on behalf of the Leader of the House who was presenting this on behalf of the Minister of Health and Child Care.  This is a Ministerial Statement on the treatment regime for people living – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – with HIV in Zimbabwe.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care has successfully rolled out the ART programme with over 1.1 million people receiving the life-long treatment.

The Ministry regularly updates its national treatment guidelines informed by evidence and safety of the medicines from scientific research on most effective treatment for people living with HIV.  We normally adapt treatment recommendations from the World Health Organisation as advised by the multi-disciplinary team of experts from our own Zimbabwe National Medicines and Therapeutic Policies Advisory Committee.  We select the best available ARV regimes for people living with HIV in Zimbabwe based on their safety, availability in the global market and cost.  We have abnormal distribution of fat among people living with HIV as one of the side effects of some ARVs that were used during the earlier years when the ART programme was introduced in Zimbabwe.  These medicines that include stophavine and donus were phased out of our national programme some years back and therefore we stopped buying these drugs.  However, patients who were experiencing severe cases of abnormal body fat distribution were advised to consult a specialist physician for medical advice.  With the discovery of more effective and safer ARVs, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has recently introduced a new ARV drug known as dolutegravir, in short DTG which is more tolerant for people mostly living with HIV because it has less side effects.  DTG is effective and causes a rapid treatment response with evidence of viral suppression.

The Ministry will continue to mobilise resources to ensure that the best

ARV medicines are available to all that are in need of them.  The Ministry advises lifestyle changes including low fat diets, regular exercise and cessation of smoking.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue of HIV is very sensitive and I don’t think we want the nation to think that we take it lightly.  It requires the Ministry of Health and Child Care to be able to respond to such issues or they will think that we just want to get on with the work.  The ARV situation right now has not been good and the Minister must respond.  I do not think it is that urgent so it can wait for him to get back and respond accurately to the issues, because it will not be taken well by the people for us to have someone who is not in charge of health to respond to issues of health.  He is an experienced person who has been involved in the Health Sector from

Chitungwiza hospital so may I propose that we defer this until the Minister of Health is available.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I think this is a very important observation.  Can you officially move for the adjournment of the debate on this statement until the Minister of Health and Child Care is available to answer questions from the Hon. Members.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I move that the debate be adjourned until the

Minister is available to respond.

HON. KWARAMBA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister Coventry, if you could so advise the Minister so that when we resume sitting in January he should be prepared to take over from where you left.

SECOND READING

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL [H. B. 6, 2019].

         First Order read: Second Reading: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Reading of the Freedom of Information Bill [H. B. 6, 2019].

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you very much Mr Speaker Sir.  I rise to add my voice to this very important debate on the Freedom of

Information Bill.  To begin with, it is important to state that the Freedom of Information Bill is one of three envisaged laws that will cancel and replace AIPPA which was considered by many to be notoriously draconian.  The Bill seeks to give effect to the constitutional provision that guarantees the right to information.

It is also important to state that AIPPA came into effect in 2003 and was some kind of three header law that provided for access to information, protection of private information and also provided for the regulation of media in Zimbabwe.  So the Freedom of Information Bill will contribute to the unbundling of AIPPA so that these different aspects are stand-alone different pieces of legislation.  We all know that at present AIPPA limits access to information and how such information can be used by individuals, entities and organisations.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the major issues contained in the Bill that I am going to reference include the following; that the Bill sets out procedures for accessing information from public institutions.  The Bill also outlines procedures, Mr. Speaker Sir, for appeals in case information is denied.  The Bill also sets time limits or time horizons within which processes in attempts to accessing information can be completed and also outlines voluntary mechanisms by which public institutions can share information.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill also assigns additional powers to the Zimbabwe Media Commission, of oversight to ensure that citizens have…

HON. T. MLISWA:  Wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year, Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. TSUNGA:  Thank you and welcome to the hot seat.  The Bill assigns additional powers to the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) of oversight to ensure that citizens have fair and wide access to information.

I wish to raise the following issues, that are probably areas of concern in regard to the Bill.  First, an issue of concern arising from the Bill is the time horizon for which one can be able to get feedback for request for information.  Twenty-one days Mr. Speaker Sir, is provided in the Bill and the Bill provides a further 14 days if the information cannot be availed within 21 days for a total of 35 days before one can appeal.

So this period is obviously too long because, for example if one went to ZIMSEC to get information about maybe missing examination results which they want to use to enroll at some university, they might have to wait for 35 days before they can get that information and meanwhile perhaps the closing date for enrollment would have long passed.  So that time lead is too long, it has to be looked at and reduced maybe to something like one to seven days so that information is not  withheld by public entities for too long.

Mr. Speaker Sir, another concern noted in the Bill is its insistence on request for information in writing and in a prescribed format.  This is discriminatory because obviously we have a good many of our citizens who are unable to write and who may not be able to follow the prescribed format. They may then have to end up requiring the services of a consultant or a lawyer in order that their request can be in admissible form.  So my submission, Mr. Speaker Sir, is that request for information should be admissible in any form – verbal, written, text, email so that our people are able to make their requests and the information is granted.

Another area of concern that the Bill talks about is that of language.  The Bill insists on payment for translation if the information that one requires is not maintained in the language that they use that is readily available in the offices.  So I think the language must not be a barrier for accessing information from public entities.  Our Constitution provides for 16 official languages and people may not be penalised for requesting information in a language of their choice.  I think the Bill must address that and ensure that – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible

interjection.]-

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): 

Honourable, may you address the Chair please.

HON. TSUNGA:  Kana usina chekutaura nyarara titaure.  Mr. Speaker Sir, one area of concern that I think the Bill also needs to address is that of the appeal mechanism in cases where an individual has been denied information or they have not been satisfactorily responded to in terms of the information that they require.  The ZMC is provided for as the appellant and the impression one gets is that this becomes a sector specific Bill that relates only to the media sector, whereas this Bill is cross cutting and any citizen may require to appeal because they have not been attended to in a manner that satisfies them.

So for example, if somebody wanted some information about  their grandfather’s, grandmother’s or whosoever’s death certificate and that information is not forthcoming and 35 days lapse before they can get that information, they must appeal. They must go to the Zimbabwe Media Commission because it is given as the appellant body.  So there might be need to fine- tune that dimension because in my view, this is a human rights issue and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission may substitute the ZMC as appellant body so that there is not this bias towards media personnel only.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I also believe that the clause, although we are not yet in the clause by clause state, that information held by public entities may not be issued to somebody who has requested it.  It needs to be removed outright because an information officer in a public entity may arbitrarily deny giving information as requested by citizens. It might not augur well because there is no assurance that when you require some information you will get it if an information officer can arbitrarily deny you information that you want. The Bill confines itself to information from public entities, Government institutions, Government departments and so on. There is no consideration for information from private entities that hold information of public interest.

         That area also needs to be considered so that we have recourse in cases where citizens require some information held by private entities which information is of public interest. So that dimension has to be looked at. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Bill in other instances still has the tone of some draconianism where it states that classified and other information may not be availed to be availed and while it is important that certain information may not or perhaps it is of a security nature and may be prejudicial to the State.-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-            THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon.

Mliswa please!

  HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I got

quite a few things and we will be looking at these later but suffice to say this is a very important Bill Mr. Speaker Sir. I think we need to look at it very closely and ensure that it is reformist in character and that the true spirit of aligning our laws to the Constitution is upheld. Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon.,

Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Tsunga and I hope that when we resume debate, because he is raising quite interesting points he will be given an opportunity to complete his debate. I move that the debate do now adjourn.

        Motion put and agreed to.

       Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th February, 2020.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

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

I move that Orders of the Day Nos. 1 to 6 be stood over until Order No.

7 has been disposed of. I thank you.

        Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK

OF INDIA RELATING TO DEKA PUMPING STATION AND RIVER

WATER INTAKE SYSTEM PROJECT

        THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY

AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, I move

       THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the

President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

  AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import bank of India relating to Deka Pumping

Station and River Water Intake System Project being implemented by

Zimbabwe Power Company concluded on 3 June, 2019; and

       NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327 (3) of the

Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved. I thank you.

                       Motion put and agreed to.

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

           THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

   HON. HAMAUSWA: Hon. Speaker, when we were debating

similar agreements, there was a concern that was raised to say possibly it was good that respective Committees will have a look into the agreements so that they will also give informed debates such that when as Parliament we are approving the agreements, there is also a basis to say this agreement is good for our country.  I do not know if that was done or it is something that the Leader of the House will look into in the future. I thank you.

        THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

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

Speaker Sir, I think it is well acknowledged and in future we will do so.

       HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker Sir.

           THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point or order?

         HON. T. MLISWA: My point of order is that His Excellency the President came into my constituency and I am now going.  I would like to wish all Members of Parliament a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, they must drive safely.  If there is anyone that I offended, I am sorry, I did not mean to and I hope that you will like me in 2020. So all the best and drive safely. Thank you very much and thank you to the Chair again, may you extend the same to your colleagues on the panel and to the staff.

   THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much that is

so kind of you.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT

BANK OF INDIA RELATING TO RENOVATIONS OF

BULAWAYO THERMAL POWER STATION PROJECT

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

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

Speaker Sir.  I move the motion standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS, Subsection (3) of Section 327 of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the

President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament.

AND WHEREAS, the Loan Agreement between Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import bank of India relating to renovations of

Bulawayo Thermal Power Station Project being implemented by

Zimbabwe Power Company concluded on 3 June, 2019; and

NOW THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(3) of the

Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.

This loan agreement Mr. Speaker Sir, is US$19.5m, it has a low interest rate of 1.75 percent per annum and then the loan is basically long term, with a very nice grace period that really makes an affordable loan and I think it will go a long way in resuscitating power production for use by the City of Bulawayo.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT

BANK OF INDIA RELATING TO THE NETONE MOBILE

BROADBAND EXPANSION PROJECT PHASE 111

                     THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker, I move the motion standing in my name; – [AN. HON. MEMBER: Are you going to approve?] Yes, ikuapprover, if it was equity I would be asking, I must address the Chair but he asked a very basic question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Address you Chair.

        THE MINISTEROF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): THAT WHEREAS,

Section (3) of Section 327 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by

Parliament;

  AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import bank in China relating to the Net-one

Mobile Broadband Expansion Project Phase 111 being implemented by

Net-One Cellular Private Limited was concluded on 26th June, 2019 in

Beijing, China; and

         NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.

         This loan agreement Mr. Speaker Sir, to elaborate is US$71 million; the interest rate is set at 2% per annum with China Exim Bank.  There is a grace period of 5 years. The maturity period of the loan is 20 years and in terms of repayment, we will pay twice a year or rather 30 semiannual installments.  I thank you.

        Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT OF THE

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE

      THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER

DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  I move the motion standing in my name;

         THAT WHEREAS in terms of Section 327 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that international treaty which has been concluded or executed by or under the authority of the President does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament.

                   AND WHEREAS the Framework Agreement of the International

Solar Alliance was opened for signature at Marrakech on 15th

November, 2016; and it entered into force on 6th December, 2017;

       AND WHEREAS the said Framework Agreement of the

International Solar Alliance was signed on 17th July, 2018 on behalf of the Republic of Zimbabwe;

AND WHEREAS Article VII (1) of the Agreement provides for signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and accession:

         NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (2)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved for ratification.

       HON. HAMAUSWA:  - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] - Thank you Chair for the protection. My issue is that we did not hear the amounts involved in this Agreement.  I think that it would be important for us to know the amounts that are involved.

         HON. MUDYIWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, there are no payments from the Zimbabwean Government that are required.  It is just being a full member of the International Solar Alliance so that we have access to the many benefits that are accorded to the various members of that alliance.  There are no subscriptions but if members feel like donating – they can donate, but there are no payments for members.

Actually the Agreement was signed in July this year – so it is just a matter of ratification and no payments are required from the Government of Zimbabwe.

              HON. HAMAUSWA:  What about the key benefits to Zimbabwe?

         HON. MUDYIWA:  The key benefits – let met… I thought that in the interest of time but let me go through it. – [HON. HAMAUSWA:

Just briefly!] – Let me start with the objectives of the International Solar

Alliance (ISA).  Let me start by saying that the International Solar

Alliance is a multi-partnership organisation which was launched on 30th

November, 2015 at the opening of COP 21 in Paris by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France.  The Alliance was found on the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/193 of 1981 which underlined the need for cooperation among developing countries and mobilisation of financial resources for new and renewable sources of energy.  It is also supported by the Sustainable Development

Goal Number 7 among others.

The ISA’s agenda is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich counties where global community, including bilateral and multilateral originations, corporate, industry and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilisation of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.  The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security and sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.  These are some of the benefits: -

  • Collaboration for joint research; development and demonstration; sharing information and knowledge; capacity building; supporting technology hubs and creating networks;
  • Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries;
  • Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols, creation of partnerships among country specific technology centers for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access;
  • Exchange of officials/technology specialists for participation in the training programmes on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
  • Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures ...

         I can go on and on but these are some of the advantages and by being a full member, we can benefit a lot from that.  I thank you.

        Motion put and agreed to.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER

SUSPENSION OF COMMITTEE BUSINESS

  THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  May

Hon. Members please note that all parliamentary Committee business is hereby suspended to 11th February, 2020 except for Committee meetings and Public Hearings that had already been approved.

MOTION

ADJOURNMENT OF THE HOUSE

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I take this opportunity Hon. Members to thank you so much for the way you have deliberated business for 2019.  May I also take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year – [HON. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.] – 

I just want to appeal to you Hon. Members that during this festive period, please can we try to observe and drive according to the road recommended speed limits.  You know our roads have got roaring lions that are waiting to devour anybody who actually over-speed especially this holiday period. Please can you stand guided.  Thank you very much for your cooperation. Have a blessed holiday.   

The House accordingly adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes past

Four o’clock p.m. until, Tuesday, 11th February, 2020. 

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