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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 19 FEBRUARY 2019 46-24
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 19th February, 2020.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
JOINT INQUIRY ON VIOLENCE BY MACHETE GANGSTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform this House that
pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number 22 (4), the
Portfolio Committees on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, Mines and Mining Development resolved to combine toundertake a joint inquiry on the violence perpetrated by machete wielding gangs in mining areas across the country.
FEES FOR THE PATRIOTS SPORTS CLUB
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the Hon. Members
that the Secretary General of the Parliament Sports Club, the Patriots wishes to inform all Members of Parliament who are interested in joining the club to pay their joining fees to Mr. Nyamuramba, in office Number 4, Pax House, Third floor, South Wing, on or before 28th
February, 2020. This will enable the procurement of Members’ official tracksuits through Tobacco Industries Marketing Board (TIMB).
Members are also required to bring training fees for the morning sessions whenever Houses are sitting from 0600 hours to 0700 hours in the morning at Girls’ High School. The sports day is now on Mondays from 1400 hours to 1700 hours at Girls High School and Prince Edward Sport Field, with effect from 24th February, 2020.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I received apologies from Hon. J. Moyo,
Minister of Local Government and Public Works and Hon. M. Chombo, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
PRESENCE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT, HON. DR. CHIWENGA
If you can allow me Hon. Members; I recognise the presence of the Hon. Vice President, Dr. Chiwenga – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I think all of us are aware that he has been indisposed for quite a while and we are happy that he is back on his feet and he has joined us today.
HON. DR. LABODE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I once raised
the point of privilege in this House on my concern about the fact that the National Aids Council (NAC) one and a half years later still has no board. This is an organisation that every one of you in this House pays 3% levy every month but there is also no Chief Executive officer. So we wonder who is actually managing that funding. The same NAC is the recipient of the Global Fund and the TB Fund.
I raised this concern as one seconded to the CCM by Parliament which controls the Global Fund. I raised it in that forum where the donors were in attendance. I was told by the Permanent Secretary the reason why there is no board and why the Ministry has gone ahead and sought permission going round the Act that governs NAC to interview a CEO which they have since done as a Ministry contrary to the Act. This is because the President’s Office for the past one and half years has failed to adjudicate Members of the board. Please can the Minister be asked to come and give us further details because something is not right somewhere. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Again, in today’s question time that
would have been best treated through a question so that there will be some bit of debate.
HON. CHIKWINYA: My point of privilege arises from the fact that the City of Kwekwe, which houses the Constituency of Mbizo had two tragedies in the past two weeks which directly affects me as a representative of that community. The first one was a collapse of a mine where on record four people died although speaking to other relatives I think there are more individuals who have not yet been accounted for. The second incident was as a result of a ZUPCO bus where on record seven people died on site. I want to draw you back to the first tragedy with regards to the preparedness of the CPU, which is our disaster management body. It seems that we are not prepared as a country.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, can you go to your
HON. CHIKWINYA: It seems that as a country we are continuously experiencing incidences where the CPU is being called to action but even if you looked at some points of privilege where Hon. Members from various constituencies raised matters where the CPU was called into action, I would refer to Hon. Paradza from Chinhoyi, and other Hon. Members from Binga. I think as a country we are not capacitating that department enough to be able to respond to incidences that are befalling our citizens. I would therefore call upon the Hon. Minister responsible to come and share with us the challenges which they are facing as a Ministry to fail to respond to these incidences. We are currently depending on the members of the community for assistance. We could have saved lives had our CPU department been able to respond in time. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Again that matter has to be dealt with
under question time so that there will be some debate.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. NDUNA: My question which I could not ask last week
goes to the Minister of Information and Publicity as it relates to coverage of ...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Government Chief Whip, can we
have order at the back there please.
HON. NDUNA: My question relates to coverage of Parliamentary processes in terms of information dissemination according to Section 141 of the Constitution, which states that all Parliamentary processes need to be made public.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please do not debate. Can you ask a question?
HON. NDUNA: What is Government policy relating to coverage of Parliamentary debates, in particular, using the radio communication which disseminates and broadcasts these Parliamentary processes far and wide as compared to the television network?
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN.
MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon.
Member for the question. Government policy is to cover all processes. As a Ministry, we are mandated to ensure that we give all the people of this country access to information. Moreso, information coming from those who the peple elected to Parliament. What is important is to understand that we also have challenges pertaining to financial constraints. The Minister is here and I am happy that he acknowledged it at the last post budget.
An Hon. Member having passed between the Member debating and
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order. Hon. Sibanda you cannot go in between the Member debating and the Chair.
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: So I was saying our mandate as a
Ministry is to make sure that the people of this country have access to information. A lot of effort is being put by the Second Republic to make sure that we also licence more television stations and community radios.
This is all being done to ensure that we fulfil that mandate for Zimbabweans to have access to information. His question is about covering Parliamentary processes. I was saying this is information that is vital to get to the people because this august House is full of people who have been elected by the people and whatever they say is critical that it gets to the people of this country. We are doing everything we can to make sure that all the processes of Parliament are covered. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I see the Minister was quite lucid.
HON. NDUNA: The question relates to the radio coverage of Classic 263, are there any challenges that she is currently facing to restore radio coverage that used to be there till December, 2019. It is no longer there. Are there any challenges she might want to share with us?
HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA: That is a question which might
need some investigations so as to get the exact answer from Classic 263.
I would be happy to give you feedback as soon as I have it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, can you please put your
question in writing?
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the policy on hiring teachers that are coming from all the different provinces of the country vis a vis the law that we have in our country that says we should respect all recognised languages in Zimbabwe. When they are hiring, what is it that they are supposed to do so that they take the points that I have said into consideration?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Is the Hon. Minister of
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare here? Perhaps the Hon.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education can answer.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. MATHEMA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon. Member for asking the question. Our laws and rules are very clear on the appointment of teachers, that indeed every region of Zimbabwe has to have teachers from their areas. We are employing teachers from every district right across the country. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please take note that those at the back did not get your answer.
+HON. MATHEMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to thank the Hon. Member who asked this question. When we hire teachers, we take into consideration teachers that are native speakers of all the different languages that we have. We consider where the person comes from and the language that they speak. We do so especially when we hire teachers for ECD pupils
+ HON. MATHE: My supplementary Mr. Speaker, is that the Minister tried to answer my question but did not answer it in full. The question that I asked is on policy that they use when they are hiring teachers in a case whereby people coming from Mashonaland East are hired to teach students from other provinces that are not native speakers.
What I want to know is, is it a policy that they take certain names from a certain province and when certain names are submitted from a certain province, why is it people that are coming from that province will not be hired? Why have names from a different province?
+HON. MATHEMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The way we hire teachers comes from district level. Anyone who wants to be hired by Government to be a teacher, applications are done at district level and they are forwarded to Harare. We do not leave names that we get from districts. Anyone who applies to be a teacher has to apply through their district.
I will also emphasise that Mr. Speaker, we are not supposed to leave any district or any province and we are not supposed to hire, whether it is from Mashonaland East or Matabeleland North or any other province. We want all those who trained to be teachers to be hired. I will emphasise again that names are selected from district level. I thank you.
+THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, the question is on the names that come from the district level which are not the same names that will then come back to that district. There are names that come from a completely different district or a different province. That is the question that was asked by the Hon. Member.
+HON. MATHEMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, it is the same
thing that I have been saying. What I am saying is, if that is what has been happening everyone has to be respected and afforded an opportunity so that they are hired. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mathe, you cannot ask two supplementary questions.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is- is it Government policy to do selective recruitment of teachers because what we are observing in Zimbabwe is that teachers in local districts are not being employed there. They are coming from somewhere else.
HON. MATHEMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thought that in my answer I had covered that indeed the policy of Government is that all teachers from every district in Zimbabwe and if vacancies are there, will be employed and indeed it is good that local teachers, especially for ECD children must come from the local areas because young people are still at a formative age. They need to be taught or trained in their mother’s language. So that is what we are doing. For as long as vacancies are there in Zimbabwe, local teachers will be employed. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that the people that are responsible for recording and sending names for employment to the HQ in Harare are a human resources officer of the Public Service Commission in conjunction with a DSI.
Now, has the Hon. Minister and Government realised that there are certain provinces where you will find that all the DSIs and all human resources officers of the PSC do not come from those provinces? If he has not, what is the Ministry doing to ensure that those people when they are doing the recruitment they do not favour people from their original home areas? I thank you.
HON. MATHEMA: Speaker Sir, I thank you again. I have heard the question from the Hon. Member. I will pass it on and look into it thoroughly and will come back to the House with an appropriate answer.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, no more supplementary
+HON. MAPHOSA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Since this issue is problematic and the Minister seems not to have the proper answers that are prepared, I want to plead with him that he brings the answer that he is promising the House, that it be a Ministerial Statement so that he states correctly how many applicants have applied from each province and how many have been employed as per province as he has promised this House. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, the Hon. Minister
of Primary and Secondary Education has requested to liaise with the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to come up with a detailed Ministerial Statement and put the record straight; is this acceptable Hon. Minister?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. MATHEMA). Accepted Mr. Speaker Sir, we
will do that.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can we have that Ministerial Statement next week Tuesday?
HON. MATHEMA: Thank you Sir, we will bring the statement Tuesday next week.
HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mine is a
follow up question to the Minister of Health and Child Care. The question was asked last week it regards to the state of preparedness of the country as regards the coronavirus. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Kwaramba, that is not a question
you should have asked for a point of order?
HON. KWARAMBA: Can I ask for a point of order Mr. Speaker
Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. KWARAMBA: Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care,
may I hear from you on the state of preparedness as regards the coronavirus.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No. Hon. Member, you address the Chair
HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to know the state of preparedness as regards the coronavirus?– [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chief Whip, please assist
me in maintaining some order here, I have not replied to her yet. The
Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care the request was made last week.
Minister, when do you think you can give the Ministerial Statement on coronavirus? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Are you ready Hon. Minister?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILDCARE (HON.
- O. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, I am ready to give the Ministerial
Statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I am happy to learn that the Hon.
Minister is ready but today is Private Members’ time. Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, if you can give that Ministerial Statement tomorrow please first thing as we sit.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is important as members of this august House to give respect to the Hon. Vice
President. The issue of coronavirus when it was asked by Hon.
Kwaramba, Hon, Chikwinya shouted and said yes, we must know the condition of coronavirus because of the Hon. Vice President. What was he implying in saying the ordinary – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please finish.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, what Hon. Chikwinya was implying was that the Hon. Vice President came with coronavirus in Zimbabwe. These are inhuman people with no human dignity whatsoever and we shall not allow that here. They must respect the Hon. Vice President. It is them who go outside the country who bring the virus, it is unacceptable. You must respect the Hon. Vice President, he cannot do that. He must withdraw his statement, they are inhuman –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Khumalo please take
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Hon. Vice
President Hon. Chiwenga is a respectable Member of this House. The
Hon. Vice President went through his difficult times which you announced at the beginning of this session. To insinuate that a matter regarding the Coronavirus which emanates from China is being discussed in Parliament and therefore since he was treated in China therefore he brought that disease is an indictment and a show of disrespect by Hon. Mliswa to Hon. Chiwenga - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
I challenge the Clerk to refer to the Hansard. If there was any time that I raised the name of Hon. Vice President Chiwenga in relation to the Coronavirus, I am prepared to face any consequences if it is discovered that I related the Coronavirus to the Vice President Hon. Chiwenga. I thank you - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] - Order, order. Chief Whip! Order, order! As Hon. Chikwinya has indicated, we shall go by the record of the Hansard and a determination shall be made accordingly - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] Order, order!
Hon. Mliswa, can you please approach the Chair.
Hon. T. Mliswa approached the Chair.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In the interest of peace, I would like to say that when I was addressing you in terms of the issue that I brought up on the Hon. Vice President, I then went back to try and sit. Visibly, they blocked me. As somebody who is trained, I managed to find myself in there. In the process, I tore his suit and I am more than happy to be able to get it repaired but at the same time, as I am going back, they have equally occupied my seat. I do not want more suits to be torn - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I want to go back to my seat.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] - Can you find some place to sit? - [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
Hon. T. Mliswa forced himself between Hon. Members who had taken his seat.
Hon. Hwende gave up his seat for Hon. T. Mliswa.
HON. GONESE: I have a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. It is in terms of Parliament conventions and practices under the
Commonwealth, where in terms of sitting arrangements you have got the
Government front bench and you have got the …- [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, I want to raise the point because it is important. Then we have got the Opposition front bench …- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – if you may allow me to articulate the issue Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mliswa referred to his seat, no but I have not finished speaking Mr. Speaker …- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
– if you may allow me
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order may you please sit down Hon. Member.
HON. MAKONYA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Foreign Affairs and International Trade on his first day in Parliament. Hon. Minister, what is Government policy on investors- as we all know there was an announcement that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’. How many investors have we attracted so far since 2017? Which sectors of the economy have they invested in?
THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND
INTERNATIONAL TRADE (HON. S. B. MOYO): Thank you very
much Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you to the Hon. Member who asked the question.
First of all, I think that the question requires statistical information and I do have the statistical information now but it is something that I can avail tomorrow. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
Hon. Makonya having stood up to pose a supplementary question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Makonya. I think
that the comment by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Biti, I am speaking. – [HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker Sir.] – Thank you.
The Hon. Minister will prepare a detailed response and then present it to the august House. – [HON. MAKONYA: Inaudible interjections.] – There is no supplementary, there is no supplementary Hon. Member may you please sit down.
HON. MAKONYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled on your question and the
point of order cannot arise.
HON. MAKONYA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I need to know the timeframe? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Makonya
respectively, you will get your detailed response – [HON. MEMBERS:
When!] – Next week – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. N. NDLOVU: My question is directed to the Minister of
Health and Child Care. Hon. Minister, on the 11th February, 2020…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order may you repeat your question Hon. Member.
HON. N. NDLOVU: I am now posing my question Mr. Speaker
Sir to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care. On 11th February, 2020 the Ministry advertised applications for nurse training vacancies and set 28th February, 2020 as the deadline. As of 19th February, 2020 the applications website was still down and aspiring nurses are losing a lot of bundles trying to apply. What is the ministry doing about the website? What will be done for the 20 days of applications that have already been lost?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Hon. Speaker Sir, I think that there may be some technical challenges with the website. I will go and have a look and give a detailed response. I am sure that something can be done in terms of time lost by aspiring nurses. I am sure that we will be able to push the deadline time.
An Hon. Member having stood up to pose a question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Member, as the original questioner Hon. Ndlovu takes precedence.
HON. N. NDLOVU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to know the timeframe from the Hon. Minister.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, may you give the time
frame now that the deadline is so near?
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: I will be able to give you an answer next week Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Next Wednesday? Thank you.
HON. K. PARADZA: Hon. Speaker, we have potential
candidates from rural areas where there is no network connectivity.
What is there for them?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): I am sure I need to go and check and see what we are going to do with these things first –[HON. MEMBERS:
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order can we listen please.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): We are going to make arrangements for the rural area people. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- I cannot give you a direct answer now. I will go and research and bring the answer. Thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I pray for your
indulgence. At the end of last year, I requested the Minister of Health to give a Ministerial Statement on a very important matter regarding side effects of ARVs. I am grateful that they did but I was not in the House, but that notwithstanding in your wisdom, you said the Minister might have to come back to this House to field questions because Hon. Minister Coventry as we all know she is not qualified in matters of health. So, when I heard you saying the Minister of Health will bring in a Ministerial Statement on the coronavirus on Thursday, I thought why not ask for your indulgence that the Minister refreshes his memory on that Ministerial Statement on ARVs because without any doubt, this is a very important matter to us as a nation so that he is able on that very Thursday to take questions because I have a battery of questions relating to ARVs and their side effects. Indeed the issue that Hon. Labode raised might as well be attended to on that particular Thursday. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Deputy Minister, I am sure you have taken note when the Ministerial Statement is made –[AN. HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection]- Order, order. I do not want to name you senior Member of Parliament. Hon. Deputy Minister I am sure you have taken note. If you could combine with the Hon. Minister Moyo and have a comprehensive statement to deliver tomorrow.
*HON. SEWERA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Labour and Social Welfare. I would like to know what people are getting from the social welfare using the 2006 register which indicates that they are vulnerable or they were vulnerable at that particular time. However, what I have noticed is that that same list is rotating. Are these the same people who still vulnerable? Thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question. The social welfare database is a product of local and traditional leadership. Right now they are in the process of compiling an up to date database to determine whether those who are on the database are the vulnerable and that database comes from the communities. Thank you.
HON. PHULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask a supplementary question to say what the policy of Government is with regards the same question when it comes to towns in terms of the communication process and how the names go up. Do you also include the councillor?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. There is a difference between urban settlements and rural settlements. Rural settlements were villages and we involve village heads. In urban settlements, there is a vulnerability study that was undertaken and a register will be produced that will inform us to which households are vulnerable. Thank you.
*HON. MUCHENJE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to know how many years it would take for someone to qualify to be vulnerable because some of them have died but their names still appear. So, how many years does it take and is there a way of verifying whether the people are getting the things?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker. These days the people of Anti-Corruption are encouraging us to fight corruption. Corruption involves you and me. Her question is that she knows some who are late but are on the list. So that is the corruption. If you are aware of such people, they should be reported because it is not Government policy that someone who is late – the food is collected by someone who is living. I think you know that if you see a dead person still receiving food, those people should be prosecuted.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Right now there are no banks and people are using eco-cash and swipe facilities. What I have noticed is that these transactions differ from cash transactions and there are percentages that are applied to such transactions. So, what is Government doing to correct the situation so that these transactions are at par. I thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: I only understood partial question.
The question is on the acceptability of all forms of payment. That is his question and I understood it very well. Certainly, that is our policy that there should be acceptability of all forms of payment but also, we are aware of the practical issues where citizens feel that inflation is eroding the purchasing power of their coins, therefore they prefer notes to coins. We have a programme that the Central Bank announced where we requested all citizens to voluntarily surrender their coins in exchange for notes so that they can transact. Certainly, the types of premiums depending on how you see it on the use of ecocash are on the high side and unacceptable and we are dealing with this issue. Part of the explanation has to do with the fact that there is not enough domestic cash as yet but our intention is to make sure that all forms of payment
are acceptable for whatever purpose. That is how I understood the question, perhaps I missed something. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: If I understood the question Hon.
Minister, it is on the three tier pricing system. If you pay in ecocash, cash or swipe it could be more or less; that is the question.
HON. PROF M. NCUBE: That is exactly what I was referring to. That all forms of payment are acceptable at par and it should be like that.
There should not be multiple pricing for the different types of payment. But we are aware of the practicalities on the ground and we are dealing with it. To repeat what I said was, by injecting more cash into the economy that we alleviate cash shortage so that the premiums being charged on electronic platforms are reduced. But also, as inflation stabilises over time, those coins will become more valuable and there will not be any need to surrender them for notes. This is an on-going programme. We have announced it and we are walking the talk on that programme. We did announce as Government through various fora and platforms including the Monetary Policy Statements that we will increase the denomination size of the notes that will be issued again to deal with issues of inflation. I thank you.
*HON. NYABANI: My hope is that he is going to do something. At the moment someone who is getting $1000 is like it is equivalent to getting $400. What is Government doing so that people get their money with its correct value?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir,
legally the person earns $1000 but we know practically in terms of implementation on the ground by the players it is different. Those are the facts and that is what we are dealing with. Legally it is 1:1 and it is $1000 and those are the facts.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is
important to put this clearly to the Hon Minister. This issue was raised almost 12 months ago in this House. The aspect revolves around that we have 25c, 50c and a $1 coin. All these coins have different prices for one product. Then we have prices for ecocash, $2 bond notes, $5 bond notes, swipe, RTGs and then for US$. What I am saying is happening throughout the country. The person mostly affected by this is a civil servant who is getting his/her money through the bank. They are not in the informal sector. My question then is- what policy are you coming up with to harmonise this cocktail of challenges which for the past 12 months you have completely failed to address as a Ministry?
HON. PROF M. NCUBE: Mr Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon.
Member for the question but the Hon. Member is repeating the question that was asked which I have answered in terms of multi-tier pricing. We are busy addressing that now by reforming the monetary system. First of all, we introduced a domestic currency of 20/02/2019. We followed that with the introduction of a mono currency system on 24/06/2019 and then we said we will continue to inject cash in the system. This is a process and not a one day event. What I am hearing is a repeat of the same question and I will give you the same answer. I thank you.
*HON. KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon Minister, everyday we see that the burea-de-change...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, that is a new question.
HON. BITI: My question is to the esteemed Minister of Finance. In his answer to the questions asked by Members to him on the issue of the multiple pricing system existing in our country vis-a-vis a price for the same commodity in US$, RTGs and bond note, his answer was that we introduced a new currency in February 2019 through SI. 33 of 2019 and then the mono currency through SI. 142 of 2019. My question is - not withstanding this attempt to de-dollarise, the Government itself keeps on going back to the dollar and only yesterday Hon. Speaker, the same Minister gave an exemption to Zuva Service Station to actually levy charges in United States dollars. So what kind of a currency has exemptions? If you are going to use the Zimbabwean dollar use the
Zimbabwean dollar and there is no exemption. If the local currency the Zimbabwean dollar has failed, why does the Minister not swallow his pride and repeal SI 142, 2019?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for that question. I can assure you the Hon. Member has been using the Zimbabwean dollar for transacting. If he has not then I would like to know.
The point I am heading to is as follows. If you look at the transactions in the last 12 months, we have had about 190 million transactions. Those 190 million transactions are of the value of ZW$460 billion in the form of transactions. That tells you that we are well on our way to dedollarisation. The bulk of the transactions in this country are in the domestic currency, they are not in foreign currency and the Hon.
Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: The Hon. Member is using Zimbabwean dollars to transact – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can you allow the Hon. Minister – [HON. CHIBAYA: Inaudible interjection.] - Hon. Chibaya, can you allow the Hon. Minister to complete his response.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. At the risk of repeating, the Hon. Member who posed the question is transacting in the domestic currency, I am sure of that. So we are making progress on the adoption of a domestic currency, on the mono currency. The bulk of our transactions are in the domestic currency.
Of course this is not a silver bullet type solution where we wave a magic wand and on the next day everything happens in domestic currency. It takes time and I think we have done very well to achieve $460 billion dollars worth of transactions in 10 months. In a new domestic currency, it is a miracle and I think we are doing very well in that direction. We have no intention of reversing to a hard currency situation.
For a start, you know Mr. Speaker Sir, the hard currency that is being referred to which is the United States dollar, there are issues around it. Before we introduced the Zimbabwean dollar, a circular was done globally where certain banks were told they can no longer supply Zimbabwe with United States dollars. So it is quite clear that we could not continue using that currency as anchor currency.
Secondly, this shows in the earnings of companies. Most exporters in Zimbabwe have done very well in terms of the performance of their earnings in 2019. Their competitiveness has been restored and that is part of the benefit of using a domestic currency. I could go on in terms of the benefits of a domestic currency going forward including the fact that we now have full monetary policy where there is a monetary policy committee. We can set an interest rate, and now we have a monetary policy in conjunction with a fiscal policy.
The Hon. Member, when he was Minister abolished the monetary policy. You cannot do that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You abolished monetary policy and fiscal policy and now we have restored monetary policy to walk alongside fiscal policy. We have a full bouquet of micro economic tools to run this country. I thank you.
HON. BITI: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: A point of clarification not supplementary.
HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker, only yesterday the same Minister of Finance and Economic Development, in his wisdom or more appropriately lack of it, granted an exemption to a chain of gas outlets called Zuva. If you look at the Finance Act (No. 2) of 2019 which we passed in this august House on 21st December, Mr. Speaker…
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating. What is your
point of clarification?
HON. BITI: We were approving and allowing the Government to levy charges in United States dollars. That is proof beyond reasonable doubt Mr. Speaker Sir, that the attempt to dedollarise has failed. Conditions for dedollarisation simply do not exist. So once again is to say to the Hon. Minister, do the right thing and repeal SI 142 of 2019 –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order - the final response from the Hon. Minister.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, once again I thank the Hon. Member for the question and suggestion. I politely decline that suggestion that SI 142 can ever be repealed. It will never be repealed. We are well on our way to a mono currency and that is where we are headed. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Please. Thank you.
There is a Toyota Hilux, registration number AEX-1819 and Toyota Hilux with no number plates. It is white in colour. These two vehicles are blocking other vehicles.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to revert to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, in particular back to welfare. The Leader of the House can take this up.
The Leader of the House, in his previous question to the same thing differentiated between urban and rural areas -my question refers to the welfare in urban areas that have been ruralised where we collect water from the river. We do not have any electricity other than firewood. My question is -how are you going to treat those people on welfare because in our area, for example the rice that was issued to every constituency excluded Harare and Bulawayo. When you consider the urban population, 95% is unemployed. How are we supposed to survive? 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 and state that issues of water reticulation are administered by the local authorities
– [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.
HON. ZIYAMBI: When the Hon. Member refers to ruralisation
of urban areas, he is better placed to answer that because the local authorities in urban areas particularly Harare, is run by Council that is MDC run. So, I am sure you can answer that. As to the second part of the question, I indicated that there is a vulnerability study that is being undertaken in urban areas because we did not have a policy towards feeding urban areas; the poor urban. Until recently, Government started that process of ensuring that the poor in urban areas also need to be catered for. So, there was a vulnerability study that was done and you also appreciate the set up of rural areas is different from urban areas. The way we approach rural areas is different from the way urban areas have to be approached. So, that study will inform us how we are going to roll out our programme of ensuring that the urban poor are catered
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you for the
response. My question is that the Hon. Minister is trying to play football and nzvenganzvenga the question. The issue is very simple.The Rapporteur from the United Nations came here and said 2.2 million urban people are facing hunger this year out of 8 million countrywide. Why did the Government exclude these urban areas from the rice programme for the welfare because we have starving people in the areas that are under State land? These areas under State land are very simple and they do not fall under Council, the services are not supplied by
Council and as Minister, he should know that.
My concern and the question is why are we not getting the welfare equivalent to other people? That is all I am asking. Leave politics out of that. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, in my response, I said that Government is committed to ensuring that the urban poor are catered for. Already we have started in Bulawayo and Epworth; we have programmes where the urban poor are getting some food assistance. What I indicated is for us to have a broader picture to the extent of the need of our people in urban areas. There is a vulnerability study that will inform us so that we can adequately cover all the areas. Indeed there is a programme of feeding people in urban areas.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, but I think that the Minister is avoiding the issue of peri-urban. There are urban constituencies which are the areas which fall outside the local authority area and are in rural council areas but they lack- apart from a Member of Parliament that I have seen, they lack either Sabhuku’s, councillors or those who bring them the food aid or provide for it. You have not actually specifically addressed those areas. Bulawayo Central is one very good example. It has a total area that stretches from the City boundary to the Bulawayo Airport. Those people are in Umguza Rural Council and they do not and have not as yet have access to food aid. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I answered the question. Epworth is run by a town. It is peri-urban and we have food assistance being provided there. My answer was Government is committed to ensuring that all the vulnerable people in Zimbabwe get food assistance but starting even now, we are giving – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – as we speak, we have food distribution in parts of Harare and Bulawayo but her question which is relevant, we will have a study that will cover all the peri-urban areas as well as all the urban areas. I thank you.
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Allow me to
prefix my supplementary question by thanking the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare for allocating 15 tonnes of rice to each rural Member of Parliament. However, that is where my supplementary question arises. I will give an example of where I come from that is about 1280 km from Harare. You have given me 15 tonnes of rice. How do you and how does the Ministry expect me to transport that rice so that the people may benefit – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – You can say that but that is my question. How am I expected to transport that rice 1300 km away? I thank you Hon.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I only respond to policy question not logistical and operation questions. The policy was every rural Member of Parliament will get 15 tonnes. The logistical issues are operational, the Hon. Member can put it in writing then I can request a written answer to be availed. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. P.D. Sibanda, just put your
question in writing and it will be dealt with next week.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question goes to the Minister of Environment and Tourism. Do we have a fire fighting policy in Zimbabwe?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Fire fighting where? Can you clarify
your question please?
HON. MUNETSI: I am clarifying my question, fire fighting policy. I have gone around the country with my Committee and we have seen veld fires all over which are not attended to. My question is, does the Government have any policy to safeguard such kind of incidence.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Indeed we have
a policy and we even have a schedule of fines for those that cause veld fires. The Hon. Member can visit the nearest Environment Management Agency (EMA) office. They will be able to avail literature regarding how we are supposed to combat veld fires.
HON. MUNETSI: My question has nothing to do with fines. My question is, we have a lot of fires that break out up in the country. Do we have any policy in the event that a fire breaks out? Do we have a policy to extinguish that type of fire?
HON. ZIYAMBI: In my earlier response, I referred to EMA and it is an agency that is tasked to ensure that we preserve our environment. I alluded to the fact that we also have a schedule of fines for those that cause veld fires. I also implored the Hon. Member to visit EMA offices so that they can also give him literature on the policy of Government and how we approach the issue of veld fires.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order, Wednesday Question
Time is a time which is given to Members of Parliament to interact with Ministers so that they at least articulate Government policy. It is very unfair for the Hon. Minister to refer to an Hon. Member who has asked a question to offices where he says he is supposed to go and read books. The Hon. Member wants the policy to be explained in Parliament and not for the Minister to refer the Hon. Member to an office where he is supposed to go and read books. It is very unfair and very demeaning to an Hon. Member.
HON. ZIYAMBI: With all due respect to the Hon. Member, he is lost. I indicated that we have a policy in place and I said further to that, the Hon. Member can visit EMA offices so that they can give him more information that he may want.
We have a policy where we have a board that is called EMA that is tasked with preserving our environment and in preserving the environment. One of the tasks is to ensure that we do not destroy our forests and our grasslands. We have fines to the effect that if you destroy those, you will be punished accordingly. It is not out of context in referring the Hon. Member. In fact, we cannot explain the whole policy of Government in two hours. That is the reason why I refereed him to the relevant organ that deals with that – [HON. NDEBELE:
Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Ndebele.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: We are talking of a policy that in my own view is a failure. Why do I say that? Every time around the month of August to around October, we see veld fires everywhere around the country wherever you go. Can we say we have a policy when we have never heard of anyone being arrested or fined for causing veld fires? What is the Government doing to make sure that the policy is maintained or upheld?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Even in first world countries, veld fires occur and there are policies to fight veld fires. It is not an indication of failure that a veld fire has occurred but there are several programmes that have been put in place by the relevant agency to ensure that there is public awareness so that we minimise the veld fires.
The Hon. Member is not very correct to say that because veld fires occurred, there is no policy. I also submit that he is also not correct to say that he has statistics. I am sure if he can go to the relevant body, he can be given statistics of what they are doing to ensure that we mitigate against veld fires.
HON. J. CHIDAKWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Can the Minister share with this
House why he introduced a Statutory Instrument exempting Huawei Technology from paying income tax? Is it not that such a move is contrary to the principles of good public finance management as codified in Section 298 of the Constitution which clearly states that the burden of taxation must be shared fairly?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): Huawei is in the
same category as one or two other Chinese companies. The projects that they are implementing are covered by an agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Government of China. In those agreements, it is quite clear that the companies that are implementing projects covered by that agreement ought to be exempted from tax. So there has been unequal treatment. If you look at Jiangsu which is upgrading R.G. Mugabe International Airport and they also upgraded Victoria Falls – they are already enjoying the tax exemption status which was given to them quite a while ago while Huawei was not at par with them. They ought to be at par because that has to do with loans that are utilised to roll out base stations by Netone. This was to put them at par under an agreement between two Governments which states that there ought to be tax exemption on them as well. I thank you.
HON. BITI: Madam Speaker, I have a supplementary to the esteemed Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development. The Income Tax Act allows the Hon. Minister to give tax exemptions, the problem he has with this particular transaction is that the law does not give him power to give a tax exemption that applies retrospectively.
My supplementary question is what is the legal basis that he has given away a retrospective tax exemption? I thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank Madam Speaker Ma’am. I
thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. I did consult the legal counsel of Government - the Attorney-General, naturally, and they made it clear to me that this was within the law. So therefore, I was able to extend this tax exemption to Huawei so that they could be at par with the other peer companies that are covered by the agreement
between the two Governments i.e. that of China and the Republic of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
Hon. Vice President Chiwenga having left the House accompanied by several Hon. Ministers.
*HON. MUTSEYAMI: Madam Speaker Ma’am today is our
opportunity as Hon. Members to pose questions to Hon. Ministers.
However, I have noticed that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry have gone out.
My plea Madam Speaker Ma’am is that the Hon. Ministers should return to the House so that we pose questions to them and so that the business of the House is conducted.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have noted your
concerns Hon. Chief Whip. I think that they are accompanying the Hon.
Vice President and I am sure that they will be returning to the House.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Madam Speaker, if the Hon. Ministers are
escorting the presidium - is not best, in the interest of the progress of our country, to wait for them to return? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] - They are not respecting this House. Why would they leave the House at the expense of questions from the country? They are also disrespecting the Office of the Speaker by leaving en masse even if they are to impress the leadership. Why are they not respecting the Speaker?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEAGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you
Madam Speaker, you have called for the attendance of ministers and … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – They are making noise but they want a response.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members!
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, you have called for the attendance of ministers and indeed we relayed the message to the ministers and they were present today. The Hon. Vice President and the said ministers have another engagement but they respected this House and came so that they can field questions.
We have the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development here and other deputy ministers. We can still continue whilst they engage with other activities so that the business of the House can proceed. I want to thank my colleague ministers and the Hon. Vice
President. Today’s attendance was very good and they sat until 1600 hours responding to questions. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Leader of the
House, I concur with you. The business of the day will continue.
FINALISATION OF RECONSTRUCTION OF BRIDGE
ACROSS PIRIVIRI RIVER
HON. MASENDA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House (a) when the reconstruction of the bridge across Piriviri River which was destroyed by floods twenty years ago will be finalised considering the importance of linking up Makonde and Hurungwe Districts; (b) when the road linking Piriviri River, Charariro, Chiwende, Tengire and Karoi Road will be resurfaced to facilitate the resumption of ZUPCO bus services which used to ply the route, thereby alleviating the challenges of high transport charges by private transport operators. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – My apologies Madam Speaker, I thought that you were on Question Number Four on the Order Paper.
Madam Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events. I thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development and in his absence the Deputy Minister. What is the Government policy regarding the use of the USD$ as legal tender considering the fact that the market has refused the ZWL$ and the RTGs? People and almost every shop are issuing RTGs receipt but you will have paid in USD$.
What is the policy? What is Government doing? People have lost confidence in the ZWL$ why can we not simply revert to the USD$?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Madam Speaker
and thank you so much for the question Hon. Member. I think that my response is going to be partly a follow-up to what Hon. Minister Prof. Ncube had submitted that – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members,
may the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please? Order, order!
HON. CHIDUWA: What we are doing here is an issue of compliance. We have S.I. 142 which states that we are moving away from a multi-currency to a mono-currency. The issue that the business community and the people are being charged extra because of arbitrage activities is no reason for the Government to move away from a prudent policy.
So I think what is important as a way of ensuring that people adhere to S.I. 142 is an issue of compliance. My response is that there is need for us as Treasury and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to ensure that there is compliance.
HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, it is not a question of compliance because if it was a question of compliance, the Government could have enforced the law. If you go to every till in Zimbabwe right now, there is a US$. You are disadvantaging the Government which is collecting tax in RTGs when the retailer or the entrepreneur will have been paid in US$. This is a fact that is facing you. Are you trying to pretend that people are not trading in US$?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you so much. Madam
Speaker, de-dollarisation is not an event, it is a process. If you check other countries that have gone through the de-dollarisation process, it takes years. The process cannot be done like it is an event. It cannot be done overnight. So Madam Speaker, the Government is on course to make sure that we are going to achieve the process of de-dollarisation.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.
DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order NO. 64
HON. MADZIMURE: Order Hon. Speaker. Ministers moved out
of the House also during the start of the House Hon. T. Mliswa and the rest of the people from this side, it took about ten minutes. So can you extend the time?
HON. NDUNA: I object Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. There
is an objection so we are going to Questions with Notice. –[HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
FREE MEDICAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY
- HON. CHAMISA asked the Minister of Health and Child
Care what the Government is doing to facilitate free medical services for the elderly.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. MANGWIRO): I think the Minister has got the notes on that question. I was not prepared for that one. He will be answered next week.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER; The Deputy Minister has
promised to bring the answers next week on Wednesday. What is your point of Order Hon. Madzimure?
HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, Question No. 21 was one
of those first questions after the Official Opening of Parliament last year and the questions have been on the Order Paper for that particular period. The Minister and his Deputy come here to tell us that they are not ready when we expected them to have answered these questions only two weeks after the question was tabled. Question No. 21 is a policy question – Treatment for the Elderly. Do we mean that Zimbabwe does not have a policy to deal with its aging population? For the Minister to say that he cannot respond to that question on his feet, then it tells you that we do not have a Government that cannot respond to such a question immediately. You have got no policy.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure it is wrong
for you to say that we do not have a Government but I hear you. The Hon. Minister will bring the answers next week.
*HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member is saying that Hon. Madzimure should withdraw the statement that says that we do not have a Government, yet we have a
Government. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, please
may you take your seat. Hon. Madzimure can you withdraw your statement that we do not have a Government.
HON. MADZIMURE: If I am asked to withdraw a question - it is a question, I asked the question that, do we have a Government? That was the question. If he does not understand English, that is not my problem – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Hon. Chikwinya, order.
MEASURES TO CONTAIN THE UPSURGE OF VIOLENCE AND
MURDERS AMONG ARTISANAL GOLD MINERS IN SILOBELA
- HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House the measures that the Ministry has taken to contain the upsurge of violence and murders among artisanal miners in Silobela, in the Midlands and also in other provinces.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND
CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Thank you Madam
Speaker Ma’am. I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question and concur with him that illegal artisanal miners are not only committing violent crimes such as murder, robbery, rape and assault but are also causing serious environmental degradation. These encompass soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity as well as contamination of soil, ground and surface water caused by chemicals emitted from the illegal mining activities.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, allow me to inform the Hon. Member that from January, 2019 to date nine murders and 27 attempted murder cases were recorded in Silobela, of which, nine and 20 accused persons respectively were arrested and referred to court. On this note, it is critical to highlight that none of these crimes occurred on mining sites but at beer outlets and in homes following misunderstandings and domestic disputes. However, there are numerous outgoing measures in all the provinces aimed at containing violent crimes perpetrated by artisanal miners such as Chikorokoza Ngachipere and the following measures were taken;
- Raids at panning sites conducted from time to time to arrest illegal artisanal miners and vendors.
In this regard, it is interesting to note that from March 4, 2019 to date, 6 229 illegal artisanal miners and 1 922 offenders were arrested and either made to pay funds or referred to court for possessing dangerous weapons.
- Road blocks which are set up to search for machetes, knives, weapons, iron bars and other dangerous weapons that can be used to murder, rob and harm innocent citizens;
- Prohibition orders for carrying dangerous weapons which are issued by officers commanding districts who are regulatory authorities barring the carrying of dangerous weapons.
In addition, ‘stop and searches,’ are being conducted in areas infested with illegal artisanal miners and those found with dangerous weapons.
- Campaigns which are being conducted with a view to dissuade members of the public to desist from committing all forms of violence, respect the sanctity of human life and resolve any differences amicably.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, ZRP is engaging the Judiciary by its commanders at national level, provincial and district levels to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of violent crimes and mines and minerals offenders. Once again, I want to thank the Hon. Member for such an important question which will enable us to inform the public on what measures are being taken by ZRP. I thank you.
HON. M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think the Hon. Minister has been misinformed about the statistics at home. As of last week, I had a school which was raided by a machete gang where teachers were robbed and the police failed to respond in time and a shop was also raided at Mtsuku Business Centre. The problem we are having Hon. Minister is that the police stations do not have vehicles to attend to those scenes. Even if people report, it takes time for the officers to come and respond or rescue people from these murderers. So I want to know what you are doing to secure these people especially these schools.
HON. MADIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The
specific reference to a school which was raided by machete gangs, we
are not privy to that information. The problem of delays by the police to respond to such crime scenes is not the operational policy of ZRP but we encourage our officers to respond to such areas on time.
Hon. Mliswa having been speaking on the top of his voice.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, order.
HON. MADIRO: With regards to non-availability of vehicular resources at the stations, this is what the Government is attending to. There are many other stations which do not have such resources but action is being taken to make sure that we avail such vehicular resource to stations. Thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Minister said they have recorded nine murder cases and all of them are domestic violence related. Is the Minister confirming that all these murder cases we have heard about, artisanal miners at mines, his Ministry has no record of such murders? Did I hear him say that?
HON. MADIRO: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the response is directly
in relation to Silobela and not the murders throughout the country. The nine murders which occurred in Silobela were not at the mining sites but were pertaining to domestic violence.
HON. GABBUZA: The question says, “In Silobela, in Midlands
and also in other provinces.
HON. MADIRO: Yes, it is true. My response and the statistic of nine is in reference to Silobela but not to the generality of the country. However, when you come next time, we are going to make sure that we avail the rest of the figures throughout the country.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order! If a question is on the Order Paper and the Minister is given ample time to study the question and then decides in his wisdom or late thereof to come here with a half baked answer, it therefore means that the Hon. Minister has not answered the question. The question should be put back on the Order Paper and the Hon. Minister must do his research and bring proper answers to this august House.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: My understanding on this
question is that this question is referring to Silobela and Midlands only not the rest of the country.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Let me read the question to you Madam
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is alright, I have understood the question. It includes other provinces and I am sure the Deputy Minister has taken note of that. I thank you.
HON. MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker. In light of the machete gangs around the country, is the Ministry considering reintroducing in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Trespass Act and review the Stop and Search Act. I thank you?
HON. ZIYAMBI: The provisions of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act allows the regulatory authority to ban certain weapons in certain areas and if you are found with that weapon, you will be prosecuted. There is no need for a general ban or a general policy to stop and search people. It will be infringing unnecessarily on the rights of people but where there is a problem and it is identified that in this particular area this particular weapon is being used, they can ban for a specific period to say that you are not allowed to move with this weapon and then they control the situation. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I appreciate that the provisions of the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act has the provisions as said, which are deposited to the office of the DISPO. Our problem which was carried over from the provisions of the Public Order and Security and plagiarised into the new Act are such that the sentence is not given to the extent that if you are then found with these weapons, this is the sentence. The problem now is that the perpetrators of this violence are going away with fines. They are charged $20 to $100 fine and there are no deterrent measures. The issue now is that the Leader of Government Business once promised to bring into Parliament a law that outlaws the use of machetes and he was riding upon a statement which had been said at a particular meeting between senior Government officials and small scale miners. Where are we with regards to that particular law which deals with machetes and the violence around machetes which then prescribes deterrent measures so that at least we curb this nature of violence?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member
asked a question and then answered himself when he referred to the fines. His concern was that the fine was not punitive enough. The fine that he is referring to is when the regulatory authority finds you in possession of a banned weapon; it is not supposed to be as deterrent as somebody who had used that particular weapon. So there are two issues. If you are found within a banned area with a weapon, surely the fine or the punishment must be commensurate with the offence that you have committed. Not necessarily to send somebody to jail because he was found in possession and not having harmed somebody but if it is a combination of you having that particular weapon in an area that has been banned then the punishment is more severe than that of somebody who has been found with a weapon alone.
The second part of his question that I promised to bring a law; I do not have a recollection of me having said that in this august House.
HON. B. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister. What plans do you have particularly pertaining to danger areas like Silobela which have a high prevalence of cases that are similar to what is happening in Shurugwi and Kwekwe. It shows that you just treat these things; you look at them as business as usual. I believe that such areas should be looked into such that issues are rectified. Sometimes we can talk about resourcing of ZRP in general, particularly maybe Harare Central but I believe that these areas should be looked into.
Hon. Minister, what plans do you have on targeting violent prone areas? Your answer Hon. Minister was very general particularly looking at resourcing of ZRP.
HON. MADIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker. The question that was asked by the Hon. Member, I believe when I responded to another question, I spoke about the Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere which was done a few weeks ago. I believe the Hon. Member concurs with me that such cases are going down as a result of this operation. If such cases are still happening, I would urge people to bring that information to the ZRP.
You asked what is being done in areas like Silobela; the ZRP has intensified their patrols, particularly in Silobela and other areas. I would like to assure the Hon. Member that the police are vigilant and alert, particularly towards such cases especially the machete wielding gangs that have been happening in the past few weeks. Police will continue doing a splendid job until we reduce such cases. Thank you.
*HON. B. DUBE: I would like to find out where the Hon.
Minister is getting this information from because I believe that there are some people who are misinforming the Minister. My request is that if there are any sources that the Minister is using, the Minister should consider changing those sources particularly in Silobela. There are no patrols and there are no additional Police officers and such cases are not declining like the Minister said. My plea to the Minister is that the Minister should find reliable sources because what he is saying to the House is far from what is happening on the ground. The point that there are patrols happening in these areas does not reflect what is happening on the ground.
My plea to the Hon. Minister is to change the source because the Hon. Minister will be embarrassed when he goes to the ground only to find that that is not what is happening. Thank you.
*HON. MADIRO: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the information that
we are given is not false. Local police officers discovered that there are
260 areas where such cases are being perpetrated. However, if the Hon. Member has specific information that we do not have and that we have not responded to, the Hon. Member should feel free to bring such information to our attention. However, on the 260 areas, the Police have done its part.
*HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question
touches the Ministry of Mines as well. At one time, there was Operation
Chikorokoza Chapera. Gold which was supposed to go to Fidelity dropped to around one tonne because this operation ended up targeting some people who are not necessarily criminals. What plans do you have as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Mines to ensure that this operation does not affect those contributing legally?
Madam Speaker, at times we are informed at the end of the year about how much gold we will have lost. So what plans do you have as a Ministry to make sure you rectify that? Small scale miners gave us 30 tonnes of gold last year. So, I wanted to find out what plans are there so that the operation does not affect even those who contribute legally.
*HON. MADIRO: Madam Speaker Ma’am, this is not
necessarily a question but he is proffering advice and I agree with him. What I can say is that the Police try by all means to do thorough investigations so that those who are not guilty are not affected by the operation and they continue doing their jobs. However those who are guilty will be arrested.
*HON. T. MLISWA: Hon. Minister, I would like to thank you
for your explanation. My question is that of course illegal miners are being arrested. At times we know that when they are arrested and set free they will continue mining. Those who send them to mine are not prosecuted. Through investigations that are being carried out by the Police, I would like to find out what you are doing to arrest those who send artisanal miners? If you ask illegal gold panners Madam Speaker, they will tell you who send them. Also in your investigations, what steps are you taking particularly looking at going to Fidelity to find out whether they are bringing gold or not? This will help you to know where they are taking the gold to. We know that resources are scarce. What is needed now is a joint operation command between police and
We know that in Shurugwi, there are some police officers who were arrested who were part of these illegal activities. Why do you not rotate police officers so that we alleviate this issue? If some police officers are also partakers of these activities, this means there is conflict of interest. We need your intervention as a Ministry and the Ministry of Mines so that there is regularisation of those who are prospecting and panning. In other areas, you discover that there are some people who are mining illegally. What is the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Mines doing to regularise gold panning?
*HON. MADIRO: Thank you Madam Speaker. The last part of
his question would require a responds from the Minister of Mines.
However let me say that Ministries work together and as Home Affairs Ministry, we expect artisanal miners to be guided so that they can do their mining in a legal manner. On the first part of the question, of course it is true that those who commit crimes are arrested regardless of their status. Anyone who commits a crime, it does not matter what status that person has, that person should be arrested. We also agreed that corruption has spread to different areas in our country, that is why the President and Government speak about corruption mentioning that corruption should be nipped in the bud. There is no discrimination in the application of the law, whether you are a police officer or not, you will be arrested.
I would also want to agree with Hon. Mliswa that it is important to enhance the operations of the police in terms of integrity. For police officers to discharge their duties with fortitude, it is important for them to work with the communities. The communities should bring information to the police so that action can be taken against such individuals. Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
*HON. T. MLISWA: When illegal panners are arrested, it is important to find out where they are taking the gold. There are some issues that are leaking, particularly that gold is being smuggled.
HON. MADIRO: Regarding the Fidelity issue, during the operation chikorokoza chapera, I will not say that police officers were not adequately resourced but I believe that they were sufficiently resourced and we need to appreciate the resources that were availed for this particular operation. What we need is to have enough resources to sustain such an operation so that we continue to maintain peace and security.
Regarding the issue of where the gold is being taken during the first week, the gold that was recovered was a tonne. This shows that the operation was a success. So, whether the gold is being smuggled, we are working on alleviating that. Pertaining to those who send gold panners to pan for them illegally, whoever will be identified will be arrested. There will not be any sacred cows. We would very much appreciate if such information is brought to our attention. I thank you.
PATHOLOGISTS IN MIDLANDS PROVINCE
- HON. M. M MPOFU asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House why there are no pathologists in the Midlands Province, a situation which results in bodies having to be taken either to Bulawayo or Harare thereby causing more suffering to bereaved families who have to endure protracted periods of mourning before burying their loved ones.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND
CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MADIRO): Madam Speaker, I
wish to inform the House that there are only three pathologists in the whole country. There are two in Harare and one in Bulawayo. There is little doubt that such a situation is unhealthy and we believe that the Ministry of Health may wish to look into this matter so that it is improved.
HON. M. M. MPOFU: Hon. Minister, I have cases where people were asked to pay money for fuel to go and collect bodies from Kwekwe after the police had taken the bodies from their homes to Bulawayo mortuary, they bring and dump them in Kwekwe. Then they asked the bereaved families to go and collect their bodies in Kwekwe. Is that Government policy? Also most of the bodies come back rotten after all those days when they will be waiting for the doctors. I would like to know what Government is doing about that.
HON. MADIRO: The Hon. Member’s question is specific to the situation in Kwekwe but generally, it is not Government policy to ignore bodies to the extent that they decompose. However, in specific cases like the Hon. Member highlighted, we will be very happy to have all the information so that we get to the bottom of the issue and give you feedback on what actually happened.
HON. TOFFA: As much as I appreciate the response from the Minister, can the Minister tell us what plans they have in place to correct the situation because it is not enough just to say it is an unhealthy situation because it is also an expense to the people.
HON. MADIRO: Madam Speaker, in my response, I made
reference to the need to improve the situation in terms of the availability of pathologists. However, that falls outside the purview or jurisdiction of my Ministry and probably the Ministry of Health may respond to that. But basically the situation is to have enough pathologists who service all the provinces and that is not police responsibility. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence
on this matter since the Hon. Minister of Health is not in the House. Basically the question is, why do we have three pathologists in the whole country? All provinces are affected and if you let us know the challenges, then maybe we will be able to articulate to our constituencies when we are faced with such circumstances.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. MANGWIRO): Although this is not policy issue. The forensic pathologists are specialised. It is a specialised area. The other pathologists are there but those to do the forensic investigations or pathology, these are pathologists trained to do investigations and trace a crime to a probable cause. These are trained to say okay, this person has been run over by a car but we look at the blood or whatever position or other findings to say no, he was actually run over by a car after being murdered.
So these are forensic pathologists. It is a super specialised area so we need to encourage more training in that direction, but normally these are voluntary people who would want to specialise in that field because it is a supper specialised area. It is quite different from the ordinary pathologist who can just look at your brains and say you had a huge stroke or you had a big heart attack. So I think it is to do with encouraging our populace or the doctors to specialise in that area.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I hope you were also following. The question originally speaks to pathologists, which I think you want to refer to as ordinary pathologists and these are the ones which have been referred to as being three. Certainly, I also come from the same province which is Midlands. All our cases that require pathological services are referred to Bulawayo or Harare and this has been alluded to by the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs that the situation is the same in all other provinces.
There is no other province save for Bulawayo or Harare, unless maybe you can vouch, that has a pathologist, even an ordinary pathologist. Why do we not have ordinary pathologists in our respective provinces?
HON. CHAMUNORWA MANGWIRO: What I am trying to
say is that these forensic pathologists.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Ordinary pathologists.
HON. CHAMUNORWA MANGWIRO: Okay, any doctor can
do a postmortem or look at a body and give you an answer. So any doctor in any province can do if he gets a bit of training without being a forensic pathologist, but forensic pathologists pertain to say murder cases which have to do with crime, but any doctor can do a postmortem.
MEASURES TO PROTECT ZIMBABWE NEW CURRENCY
- HON. TOGAREPI asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House what measured have been put in place to protect Zimbabwe’s new currency against the black market.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Madam Speaker.
In terms of our policy response on this question, as a Ministry what we are saying is the Government has put in place policies and it is currently pursuing fiscal and monetary measures to protect the local currency and these measures will ensure that there is price and exchange rate stability so that the local currency can store value over long periods. I think this is an area that we need to take note.
Currently the economy has managed to achieve a sustained decline in month on month inflation since October 2019 and there is relative stability in the exchange rate as a result of fiscal consolidation undertaken in 2019. This positive development will result in demand for local currency gradually increasing and we expect the black market activities to dwindle as we go in the future.
Government has no policy to reverse the dedollarisation process but to buttress the current measures aimed at stabilising the negative shocks that emanated from the economic reforms that the country went through in 2019 which were necessary for rebuilding confidence within Zimbabwe. So I would say in terms of the specific response the fiscal and monetary measures that we are taking in order for our currency to have value is what is critical for us to deal with the black market.
HON. NYAMUDEZA: My supplementary question is how much
are you injecting per year in the economy in order to reduce the black market?
HON. CHIDUWA: Maybe let me cover the issue of how much cash is needed against the money supply that is in the economy. According to international best practices, what is generally needed as cash is 10% of the total money that is in supply. So if you check the money supply that we have at the moment, we have got about $32.5 billion. So in terms of the cash that is supposed to be available, it is supposed to be 10% of that which is the international best practice, but at the moment what we have as notes and coins that are in circulation we have got around $1.1 billion.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Is it in circulation?
HON. CHIDUWA: Cash is circulating, but the problem that we are having at the moment is because of the scarcity of cash there is the commodification of cash where cash is being sold. So I am sure I have responded to your question to say how much do we have. At the moment we have got $1.1 billion against the expected $3.2 billion which is supposed to be notes and cash that is supposed to be in circulation.
HON. S. BANDA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. S. BANDA: Mr. Speaker Sir may I humbly ask that this same question, may it indeed be on the next Order Paper because it has not been fully addressed. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker. There is no procedure for supplementary questions to be put on the Order Paper. Mr. Speaker the request is unattainable –
WRITTEN SIBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
OBLIGATIONS BY MINING COMPANIES OPERATING IN
PARTICULAR JURISDICTIONS TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS
REHABILITATION OF ROADS
- HON. NKANI asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to explain the Government policy on obligations by Mining Companies operating in particular jurisdictions to contribute towards rehabilitation of roads that they use and the infrastructural development, for example building of schools and clinics within such locations.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOMENT
(HON. CHITANDO): Currently there are no provisions in the Mines and Minerals Act to enforce mining companies to contribute towards rehabilitation of roads that they use and the infrastructure developments.
The Government through the Environmental Management Act EMA Act 13/2002 Chapter 20:27 requires companies to have environmental impact assessments before the beginning of any project and also at the end of that project. EMA requires mining companies to have an environmental impact assessment done before the beginning of any mining project. Rural District Councils do charge a levy on all mining operations which is meant to cater for, amongst other things, infrastructural requirements. Government is putting in place mechanisms to ensure that all mining title can only be renewed after payment of RDC levies. Mining companies can do such initiatives under CSOT and in the spirit of corporate social responsibility.
SECURING OF AN INVESTOR FOR SIWALE METHANE GAS
PROJECT IN LUPANE
- HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to update the House on the progress that has been made to secure an investor for the Siwale Methane Gas Project in Lupane as this will go a long way towards resolving the country’s energy challenges.
THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHITANDO): There is a prospective
investor for the Cewale Methane Gas Project. The external investor has secured project funding for a 15 MW Pilot Power Production Project from Coal Bed Methane Gas. Production is scheduled to start by July 2020. Phase 2 will scale up the project to 200MW by 2023 and phase 3 will scale up the project to 1 000MW by December 2027.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Fifteen
Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.