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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 21 OCTOBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 78

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 21st October, 2020

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

PRAYERS

(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of clarity Madam Speaker.

Unfortunately, we have not yet been given the zoom link, the I.D.

number and passcode.

THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA):  Have they

not been sent to your e-mail?

HON. CHIKWINYA:  It is being erratic Madam Speaker.  I rise to seek clarification over an announcement that the Chairperson of the day made last Wednesday on 15th October to the effect that Statutory Instrument 225A of 2020 had been deemed unconstitutional by the Parliamentary Legal Committee.  Subsequent media reports arising after that suggested that there was a backtrack from that announcement to which I did not hear being announced in the House.  Therefore I seek either a confirmation of that position or a restate of the correct position as of now.  Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  The announcement was made and

indeed there was nothing which was said by the Parliamentary Legal Committee which was contrary or which was an adversary report to SI

225A of 2020.  Thank you very much.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  I have got apologies received from

Hon. Ministers in respect of the National Assembly sitting on

Wednesday 21st October, 2020.  We have got Hon. Vice President K. C.

  1. Mohadi, Hon. Vice President C. G. Chiwenga, Hon. O. C. Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Hon. S. B. Moyo, Hon. N. M. Ndlovu, Hon. Dr. S. Nzenza, Hon. G. J. Moyo, Hon. C. Matema, Hon. J. B. Matiza, Hon. Chitando, Hon. S. D. G. Moyo, Hon. D. Karoro, Hon. Marapira. Thank you very much.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Point of order Madam Speaker.  Madam

Speaker, yesterday I raised a point of privilege and the Speaker made a ruling that the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education was going to come to the House to give a Ministerial Statement in regard to the situation at our schools which is a dire situation and I do not know whether the Minister turned down the invitation by the Speaker because I hear he has tendered an apology, but the situation in the schools cannot wait any longer.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Maybe he is going to send his Deputy Minister, however, let me wait for the proper communication to that effect.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon.

Mliswa?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Good afternoon to you Madam Speaker.  I am sure my colleague Members of Parliament will agree that it is difficult to have something on screen and you cannot hear what is being said.  We will all lose focus because of that.  You wonder what the person is saying.  The anti-sanctions march is very clear but it is destructive.  So may it be switched off.  May we go back to our zoom meeting so that they are seen there?  There has never been a time where Parliament can be in session while television is on.  It has never happened and it will be the first in the world.  May the televisions be switched off.   Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Mliswa.

I am sure that is going to be addressed, Hon. Mliswa, as soon as possible.  The I.T people are actually on it, so it is going to be rectified soon.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. MATANGIRA:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.

My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining

Development.  What is Government policy on the powers of the PMDs compared to the former mining commissioners?  What is Government policy because the mining commissioners could sit in arbitration as a magistrate?  Is it still the status quo and what is Government policy towards the powers of the PMDs?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The question requires me to go and look at the legislation and then interrogate the specific powers that are bestowed on the PMDs versus when we used to have the commissioners.  So if he can put that question in writing then we can interrogate and give a detailed response.  I thank you. 

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  All right, thank you.  Hon. Matangira, may you please put it in writing so that the Hon. Minister can then be able to respond.

HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Yes,

we can but what is happening in the entire country is detrimental to a

Ministry’s functions rightly and legally because the Ministry is not in control of its major duties as a Ministry for mining, hence – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

*HON. RWODZI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  How do we move forward especially on this issue where someone had his cattle missing in the rural areas and he reports to the police of the missing herd of cattle about five of them.  The police can document the case and promise to report back as soon as the cattle in question are recovered.  Later on the cattle are found in another side of the area and the owner is not notified.  After the end of the year, the cattle owner then hears that there were cattle which were sold at the market by council officials and police officers.  On investigation the owner finds that the cattle sold are his, meaning the police involved did not notify the owner of the recovered cattle which were then sold at the market.  In that case, who is guilty of an offence, the policemen or the council officials who sold the cattle at the market?  I thank you.

*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Rwodzi, what you are asking,

are you asking the Minister to give you the response in terms of the judgment or you want to ask what the Ministry’s task is.

HON. RWODZI: I am asking what Government Policy says in terms of that scenario.  He is asking what to do, he does not know whom to consult.  The police are asking him to go to the council who sold the cattle whilst council officials are accusing the police for selling, saying they are the ones who approved the selling of the cattle.  So I want to know what the law says in that scenario.

*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you for the question Hon.

Rwodzi but we want you to ask questions related to policy.  So, I am asking you to ask your issue as it relates to policy and according to the

Ministry’s policy, not narrating folk tales or stories.  So, go and rephrase your question and you will be given an opportunity to ask again.

*HON. RWODZI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thought it was

alright to ask through narrating the story since I asked what the policy says in such a scenario.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Hon. Rwodzi I am saying we cannot

ask our questions like that, we should be specific on policy questions and not narrating a case, it means we are asking the Minister for the judgment which is the purview of the judiciary.  So, it becomes problematic, that is why I asked you to rephrase your question and I will give you a chance to ask.

*HON. RWODZI: Thank you.  Will you give me a chance to ask?

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Yes if you rephrase your question.  *HON. RWODZI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  May the Hon.

Member be heard in silence.

HON. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  Many people lost their employment as a result of the lockdown, what is the Government policy regarding the protection of workers post the COVID - 19 pandemic lockdown?  How can employees be reinstated to their posts as failure to do so exposes them to poverty?  I thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: In the absence of the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, may the Hon. Leader of the House be able to respond.

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

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

Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, we have a Labour Act that governs how employees and employers relate including dismissal and other related matters.  So, that is what is followed and we do not have any position outside our laws.  I thank you.

HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary

question – before I contribute to my supplementary, allow me to cry because this week is meant for crying – [Mayibabo ngamasanctions mayibabo] – [HON. MEMBERS: Mayibabo!] – Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – My supplementary question Madam Speaker to the Hon.

Minister is, those people who suffered different challenges due to

COVID -19, once COVID is over, what measures are you putting in place to make sure that those who have lost jobs are getting their jobs back and those who suffered extreme poverty due to the same are alleviated?  I thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mathe, can you please approach

the Chair.

Hon. Mathe approached the Chair.

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): What was the

question?

       THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Leader of the

House. The question was - what is going to happen after COVID-19?

What is Government’s policy in terms of being able to take them back to their work after COVID-19? What empowerment programmes are there to make sure that they are going to help people after COVID-19?

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. There is a programme that was put in place, a package to help companies that were affected by COVID-19, but as per specific workers that may be retrenched or lose their jobs, my response was the laid down procedures in terms of the law must be followed in dismissing someone or in retrenching someone but as to the global picture, Government put in place a fund to help companies that are in distress because of COVID-19. I thank you.

HON. GOZHO: My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education or to the Leader of the House. Madam Speaker, since 1992, the School Development Levy policy has not changed and many schools are breaking the law by increasing levies more than 10%.

What is Government policy on school levy?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker. We have several categories of schools and only last year we debated here and passed the Education Amendment Bill. If a school is strictly private and parents and the school authorities have agreed, Government does not interfere but if it is a Government school, the Minister approves the levies and fees that are payable. I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Hon.

Mathe made some noise and I thought I need an explanation on what that meant. I took some time trying to wonder what the expression was and its relevance to Parliament. Can she be allowed to explain to us what she meant? It was like she was crying and I am not quite sure what is the problem.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Chikwinya. I am

sure we all understood what she was saying. May be you could have not  understood – so unless there are other people who have not understood what she was saying but it was an expression of interest. As legislators, we have got a role to represent people and that is one of our mandates.

Therefore, she was representing people in the call against sanctions.

Thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I was worried

because I heard exactly the same cry last night at the hotel in Room 306.

So, I am not quite sure to whom she was referring to. Thank you.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chikwinya, that is

unparliamentary.

HON. CHIKWINYA: I am not saying it was her crying – I am

just saying there was a similar cry at the hotel in Room 306.

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Chikwinya, when we are in this

House, we believe that we are supposed to speak maturely. I understand those were your sentiments but I do not think it will be good for you to be uttering words that can relate otherwise. I am kindly asking you to withdraw those words as much as it something which happened which you are very much relating to but truly speaking, it leaves a lot to be desired.  May you kindly withdraw those words. Thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA: I withdraw Madam Speaker.

 

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  His

Excellency will be addressing SONA tomorrow and it will be virtual and the ICT system is not functioning properly. They were trying to fix it but they are failing.   I am afraid that a lot of people will lose their jobs and I propose that he comes in person.

THE ACTING SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mliswa, however

everything is under control.  ZBC is not covering us today because they are preparing for tomorrow’s address to the Nation by His Excellency.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is

directed to the Hon. Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. It relates to the resuscitation, rejuvenation and maintenance of swimming pools and amenities in the local authorities where we come from.  What is Government policy relating to the rehabilitation, resuscitation, reconstruction and maintenance of the same?  I know the Hon. Minister is endowed with accolades and is an olympia herself in terms of backstroke swimming or in terms of aptitude in swimming.

HON. MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. DR. COVENTRY):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  The Government policy in terms of resuscitation, maintenance of facilities including pool facilities, the responsibility lies with the city councils.  They have a responsibility to the citizens to maintain and uplift the sporting and recreation facilities in the country.  Thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  I believe that was a well-rounded answer.  To what extent is the Ministry which Hon. Dr. Coventry heads is involved with the Ministry of Local Government in the resuscitation, rehabilitation, reconstruction of the amenities in particular of the swimming pools that she found herself coming from in terms of her talents and accolades both nationally and internationally.

HON. COVENTRY:  I originally said the responsibility is with the city councils.  As far as the Ministry is involved, what we are looking at and planning with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works is that we have been working on the National Sport Stadium since that falls within the purview of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  As a Ministry, we are working on resuscitating 40 recreational youths interaction centres across the country.  These are community centres that we are now uplifting.  Particularly to swimming pools, as I said in my first reply, they fall under city councils and as of now, the Ministry is not focusing on any swimming pool resuscitation.

HON. MADZIMURE:  What is the Ministry’s role in ensuring

that there is proper development of our young people for them to be able to compete at the highest level?  I am saying so because the Minister is suggesting that the Ministry has nothing to do with those swimming pools at local level where sports people live.  Does it then honour our sports persons when they compete out there if they are not interested in knowing the policy at that particular level?

HON. COVENTRY:  In terms of what the Ministry is focusing

on,  it is the realignment and redrafting of the Sports and Recreation Act. The Act will allow for National Sports Associations to put in place the proper development plan from grassroots all the way up to international level along with the Ministry, the National Sports Association and all the other stakeholders knowing the clear roles and responsibilities.  Right now we are working with the Attorney - General’s Office in drafting this Bill.  The principles were approved by Cabinet about three/four weeks ago.  I thank you.       

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

Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. What measures has Government put in place in preparation especially for rural folks who lost their cattle due to January disease to get tractors that they can hire at reasonable cost as well as availability of fuel for them to hire and engage in agricultural activities especially ploughing? I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  The question is

very broad and it is not specifying the category of farmers that the Hon Member is focusing on because we have the communal farmers that are benefiting from the Presidential Input Scheme whereby we have now even zeroed-in and said even if you do not have a cow, you can still produce. We moved a step further to pfumvudza and we moved a step further to those A2 farmers that produce on a large scale. Fairly recently, we have had several launches of mechanisation programmes by His

Excellency. Over and above that, we have a perennial programme run by DDF of hiring out tractors. Perhaps if the Hon Member can categorise and also advise the farmers to visit DDF for tillage programmes or speak to their Arex officers on how to access the implements in terms of the mechanisation programme. I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The Judiciary seems to be under siege. The Anti-Corruption Commission seems to be more corrupt than the people that they are looking for. A good example is other members of ZACC who are working there are said to have been given money and externalised it but they are officers. The police itself seem also to be corrupt. In the President’s speech today on the Development

Agenda, corruption is among those cited in terms of zero tolerance. We seem to have individuals like Delish Nguwaya who visited the prison while he was a complainant to see an accused Felix Munyaradzi.

What is the lawful way of moving forward in terms of the prosecution case where the State has the case and the accused is Felix Munyaradzi who was denied bail on condition that he does not interface with witnesses? The complainant who is a chief witness then went and saw him in prison.  How then does the State intend to continue with that? From a judiciary point of view…

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon Mliswa, that is a case which is

before the courts and you are not supposed to be discussing it. So if you are going to be giving examples, please give your examples which are outside court issues. Secondly, is that a question or you have another question.

HON. T. MLISWA: I thank you for your diligent intervention. What is Government doing about officers at ZACC who were given money to buy property on behalf of anti-corruption but they put property in their names? They were given houses to buy here and they externalised money of up to US$1.9m but they are still there. There is also…

THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon Mliswa, we are not supposed to

be relating to cases – that will be more specific now. We are looking for policy questions. Please be specific to a policy question and not a case like I have said before.

HON. T. MLISWA: I thought I would give a background and then the question would come in from a policy question.

             THE ACTING SPEAKER: Ask policy questions, Hon Mliswa.

HON. MLISWA: How can we have confidence in the law enforcement agencies who are supposed to curb corruption when they themselves are corrupt in many ways? How can we again repatriate money which has left the country back into Zimbabwe from any official who has been given the money on behalf of Government? How do we get back those properties which were bought in their names instead of

Government institutions? How do we go about that?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Corruption was

identified by His Excellency as the number one enemy of the State. Corruption, by its nature, is performed by at least two individuals. Our police force in terms of its structure and the constitutive document which is the Constitution that gave birth to our police force is not a corrupt organ. Wherever you find individuals, there may be one or two bad elements. It does not translate to the whole organisation to mean that it is corrupt. It is our endevour to ensure that we strengthen all our institutions that support the economic development of our country.

Coming to specific issues of what transpired about 8 years ago, I believe Hon Mliswa, if he as evidence, we will gladly accept that and ensure that independent investigations are done with a view of ensuring that whatever State resources were misappropriated is recovered.

HON. T. MLISWA: Minister, you shall be getting the letter tomorrow because I have copied it to you. Is there anybody who is above the law because the Commissioner General of Police, Commissioner Matanga, has a case where he violated procurement procedures at ZACC with police. The matter is with ZACC. Secondly, there is a case of former Commissioner General Chihuri which is failing to take off because the key witness is the current Commissioner General of Police because he was the DCG in charge of administration. It is said that he appended his signature to everything that the former

Commissioner General did. What are you doing to make sure that the Commissioner General is investigated and brought to book since he likes to arrest people without any crime and this time zvavakwake. Muchamu investigater sei mukuru wemapurisa nenyaya dzeku violater procurement nekuvharidzira nyaya dzavaChihuri nekuti iye ndiye ayi sayina kuti mari ibude. Ari kunzi akapisa mapaper ese saka chii chamuchaita?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker, again I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Madam Speaker the only person that is immune from arrest and prosecution is the His Excellency the President.  Everyone else is not according to our Constitution.  In that regard like my previous response Hon. T. Mliswa will do national service if he has got evidence of the misdemeanors that were done by the current Commissioner General if that can be brought forward.

In this case he said the case is with ZACC, so I suggest that we await the investigations that ZACC is doing and when they have completed I can then take it from there.  I thank you.

HON. MADZIMURE: I thank you Madam Speaker.  It is policy that when someone in office is accused and his position does affect his current or is related to his current position; the person is expected to go on leave to allow for smooth investigations?  Is the Ministry of Justice, or Home Affairs considering to ask the Commissioner General to go on leave so that we allow for proper and effective investigations in the allegations that are being laid against the Commissioner General?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, what Hon. Madzimure said is correct and is not correct.  When investigations are still in the early stages, without having gathered sufficient evidence to warrant that somebody be sent on leave, you wait until you have sufficient evidence to say okay, there is indeed something that we feel is wrong.  Also in this case it is not the police that are investigating according to the information that we got here from Hon. T. Mliswa, it is the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.  The Commission has its own investigators and it has the liberty of inviting anyone to assist them in their investigation.  The core function of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is to investigate, once they believe that there is sufficient evidence to refer the docket to the prosecutor general and possibly arrest then they will do that.

My plea to them is that Hon. T. Mliswa has indicated that there is some work that is happening, let us just be patient and await those investigations and then we can interrogate the matter. I thank you.

The Acting Speaker and the Hon. Deputy Speaker exchanged seats.

HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you very much it is just that I wish we would know when there is a handover and takeover then we say bye, bye or welcome to the other one.  But unfortunately welcome Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: My question to the Minister is what does the State do in a matter where an accused who is incarcerated is visited by a complainant and the conditions are like the witness is in jail because the witness interfaces the accused.  What then happens in a situation like that? The Hon. Minister did not respond to that.  It is a State case; the accused is in jail on condition that he must not mix or interface with witnesses but the complainant who is the chief witness then goes and sees the accused in prison.  What then becomes of the State case and is it allowed?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  That is a very specific and unique question where the complainant visited - according to Hon. T. Mliswa.  I am not privy to the details but it is very specific and I would suggest that Hon. T. Mliswa, if you can put that in writing so that it can be investigated.  It is not the normal procedure that a complainant visits the accused in prison.

HON. T. MLISWA: I have written to the prosecutor general on this case and he has not responded to me and it falling under his ambit, it is important for you to then direct him Madam Speaker with your permission to respond to my letter of an accused who was incarcerated and was visited by a complainant and there was no recording by the prison officer in charge of the accused coming.  I gave him all the information, the car number, the time and the person.  So, there is no point for any further investigation because it is there.  Like you said you have to investigate with evidence. So, why is the Prosecutor General not responding to that issue?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I agree with

what you said Hon. T. Mliswa please may you put it in writing so that the Hon. Minister will make some investigations and report back to

Parliament.

HON. T. MLISWA: I wrote the letter to the Prosecutor General on this.  So I wanted him, with your indulgence, to tell the Prosecutor General to respond to my letter - that is all I wanted you to tell him.  I already wrote the letter to the Prosecutor General – [HON. ZIYAMBI: I will do that.] – so can you implore the prosecutor general to respond.  If you can go on record as is.  I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker, this is very

specific and it is an issue that he can visit my office with the letters and we can follow up.

HON. TOGAREPI:  Madam Speaker, I would want to ask the Minister of Sport what Government is doing to ensure that rural communities access sporting equipment and sporting facilities because as you would know sport has become very much a part of people’s lives,

even in the rural areas.

MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  Thank you Madam Speaker

and thank you to the Hon. Member for the question.  In terms of what

we are doing, I mentioned that earlier the Ministry is this year focusing on trying to resurrect 40 community centres.  The centres are a holistic overview of the Ministry where there will be youth, sport and arts facilities.  We have started in Mufakose, Chambuta and I can get a full list and share it with the Hon. Member.  The goal is that all the community centres in each of our district will be resurrected as part of the Ministry’s goal over the next three years.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. T. MLISWA:  My supplementary question is the issue of the rural constituency for sport has gone in for a long time.  Is there anything that the Government has done to create these centres because the former Minister of Sport Hon. Makosini Hlongwani had gone far in doing this?  Being the Minister, I thought there would be a continuation.  For as long as sport is not spread in the rural areas we will never tap on the best talent as you know.  What do you think should be done to ensure that sport gets to the rural areas, because that is where most of the talent is?

HON. COVENTRY:  Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member.  This is a continuation of what was already done and there has already been a lot of work done in terms of ensuring that every part of the country is put into the new Sport Council Act so that there are proper care roles and responsibilities of every community, about every national sport association of the Ministry so that we all work together.  Part of the resurrection of these community centres is so we can identify talent.  Madam Speaker, the idea will be the Ministry would resurrect the centres and we will bring in the national associations to identify talent to coach coaches.  Once the talent is identified, we can work with the National Associations and the Sports Recreation Commission in order to then propel those talented athletes to the next level, depending on where that is and what that means.

HON. NDIWENI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, and in his absence to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy on unscrupulous AREX employees that facilitate the issuance of the fake documents to undeserving fly by night farmers that lead them getting command agriculture inputs that end up being sold in the streets year in year out?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I did not get the

question.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You were not listening Hon.

Leader of the House.

 THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Sorry Madam

Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Sorry Hon. Ndiweni, please may you come again – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Please may you ask your question Hon. Ndiweni:

HON. TOGAREPI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Ndiweni.  What

is your point of order Hon. Togarepi?

*HON. TOGAREPI:  I am asking Hon. Sikhala to withdraw his words that he is rebellious.  Are we dealing with rebels in this

Parliament – [HON. SIKHALA:  inaudible interjections.] –

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sikhala, we should

respect the august House.  To say you are rebellious is unparliamentary.

HON. SIKHALA:  Madam Speaker, I was trying to say you cannot give one Hon. Member of Parliament four times of attempting to ask one question when on your list you see there are over twenty other Members of Parliament also waiting to be given chance.  We cannot operate like that in this House.  This is not a village…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sikhala, I hear you.  Please may you take your seat?  Hon. Ndiweni, please may you go ahead? - [laughter.] -

 

*HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker, I am unable

to connect.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  You will ask

your question next time.

HON. CHIKWINYA: My question is directed to the Minster of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. COVID-19 regulations are drafted in compliance with advice from the global regulations as provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Now, the WHO has advised that elections can be conducted and indeed so many countries have proceeded to conduct national elections, Malawi included.

We have by-elections which are pending and in his announcement, the Speaker said Statutory Instrument (SI) 225 (a) of 2020 was deemed unconstitutional by the Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC).  When is Zimbabwe going to hold the by-elections that are now overdue to replace the seats that were left vacant by members who left this

Parliament this year?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  When we make

regulations, we make them according to our enabling legislation.  We take advice as and when we see it fit according to our local condition.  We do not just take advice for the sake of advice otherwise it will not be advice at all; it will be a directive.  In our case, we analyse the advice or the statements that are issued by international organisations and we apply them to our local condition.  Let us not worry about what WHO said.  We take what we believe is applicable to our own environment.

Coming to when the by-elections will be held, we have a state of public health emergency or a state of pandemic that was declared by His Excellency.  That declaration is ending next year in January.  Pursuant to that, which is perfectly legal; several Statutory Instruments were enacted to give effect to that declaration in order for us to control the pandemic and among the S.I. that was issued was one that dealt with holding of elections to say that they are suspended for the duration of the pandemic.

In other words, we have just simply suspended the right for some time.

Once we believe that the system has normalised and that we do not endanger the lives of our citizenry we will then proceed with the byelections.  We also have to be mindful that there is a curfew that is still in place. When people are campaigning and there is a curfew, we are bound to criminalise a lot of our people.  So we took into consideration several factors in coming up with that position.

However, this is merely a suspension of that right of holding byelections for the duration of the declaration of the pandemic and they will be held as per our constitutional provisions and our enabling Act – the Electoral Act.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am being advised by the

Clerk here that the PLC is still considering the S.I. in question and has not pronounced its step on the matter.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  The question does not only speak to the S.I.  The S.I. was only augmenting the gravity of the matter but he touched on a number of issues which require supplementary.

The Hon. Minister alluded to the issue that they do not take the advice from hook, line and sinker but we have seen that in all other S.Is which he has mentioned, there is reference to WHO guidelines. That is number one.

Number two; we have seen the opening of spaces that even endanger people to the extent of contravening COVID 19; exercises like political parties gathering and certainly in his case, the DCCs of ZANU PF are currently gathering.  Primary elections are happening across political parties; churches are gathering – why is it that specifically for elections, the Government is not comfortable to hold by-elections when people have the right to be represented by persons of their choice?

+HON. MATHE:  On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is to see Hon. Chikwinya contributing in this Parliament.  I am pained by the way he treated me when I was contributing.  He did not treat me well as a woman yet I have a right to express myself and issues that are happening in my community in this Parliament. He insulted me Madam Speaker.  I am appealing to you to assist me because I am really pained – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Members, please may you take your seats. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order Hon. Members! Hon. Members, this is what we are always advised, to respect this House and always use appropriate words. Let us never denigrate women especially from you as leaders.  I have spoken to Hon. Mathe; she has understood and has gone to sit down after I assured her that will never be repeated, otherwise we will take action.

The Hon. Member also understood that since Hon. Chikwinya withdrew the offensive statement the issue has been resolved.  So let us not have a repeat of the offending issue because as women, we will act. I thank you.   - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order Hon. Members, new question please, Hon. Khumalo S.S.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker!  The

Hon. Minister is yet to respond to my question.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you

Madam Speaker, the first part … - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible

interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please order Hon. Members,

may the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please!

HON. ZIYAMBI:  The first part of Hon. Chikwinya’s question was, why do you make reference to WHO Guidelines in S.Is.  It is perfectly okay to cite the opinion of WHO as a body that has authority in terms of health matters but I said it is persuasive in that we look at our local conditions and say, against this advice and our local conditions,  what is it that is applicable to us?  We do not take everything that they say as if it is from the Bible.

The second issue was on the conduct of Zimbabwean citizens.

There are two issues Madam Speaker – legislating and enforcing.

Perhaps what he needs is to ask the Minister of Home Affairs and

Cultural Heritage and the relevant organs that deal with enforcement, why they are allowing the flouting of regulations under COVID-19.  I thank you.

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of clarity Madam Speaker, there is a very crucial part of the question by Hon. Chikwinya that the Hon.

Minister did not answer.

His question was; primary elections are being held across the political divide and in holding those primary elections they are not distinct from by elections that could be held in this country.  Why are primary elections being allowed to take place but when it comes to by elections, the Government changes goal posts?  That is the question and we want an answer to that question Madam Speaker.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker, Hon. Sikhala was not listening.. – [HON. SIKHALA:  I was!] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Please may you listen now

Hon. Sikhala?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Allow me to respond – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  Madam Speaker, there are two processes.  We put in legislation here and we do not enforce it.

Primary elections are governed by any other law that is there to control COVID-19.  I am not aware of whatever was happening, whether there were primary elections or not – I do not know – [HON.

MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -  What I know is that we came up with legislation to ensure that we continue surviving because the dead do not vote.  So we said to ourselves, in terms of our capabilities and the nature of the pandemic we are going to suspend the right to vote until the pandemic is over.

The issue of enforcement that Hon. Sikhala is talking about is a separate matter from the legislative process.  I thank you.

  HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, re-engagement, as the

Government would want us to believe, is based on upholding democracy and constitutionalism. It is very clear that all the regulations have been relaxed. We now have people travelling from here to Bulawayo in a 75seater bus. The regulations that the Government of Zimbabwe follows are like scientifically proven and it is a fact that elections can be held because we are already doing that. The Minister is the Chairperson of Mashonaland West and they have held primary elections in every ward that is vacant. In Kadoma, they have done so. Can the Minister have other reasons other than citing Covid-19 as a reason? If you look at the statistics, the science, you are not even testing. Masvingo, for the last two weeks was zero testing. Where are you finding that science that informs you not to hold by-elections when you are not even testing people?

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank Hon. Madzimure but he has

raised several unrelated issues. The question of testing, surely if it is not being done, I think the Minister of Health can deal with that. Secondly, we have not said the pandemic is over. The state of public health emergency that was declared is still there. Our position is that we cannot endanger our people. The dead do not vote and we are not in a rush to ensure that our people die and we have several regulations that are still in place. We are still monitoring the pandemic. At such a time that the declaration is removed, that is when we will start talking about the exercise of that right. It was simply suspended according to our laws and perfectly constitutional. I just urge the Hon. Member to be patient before he endangers the life of the majority of our people.

          HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: My question is directed

to the Minister of Finance. There was an issuance of a Statutory Instrument a week or two weeks ago which compelled retailers to charge in foreign currency or put the cost of goods or price in foreign currency. My question however is, if that is the case, why are we still having those retail shops having an exchange rate because what should generally happen is if I am buying in foreign currency, I should just be issued my receipt in foreign currency. So, there should not necessarily be any exchange rate and I am surprised because I would have thought that the Ministry of Finance would be wanting to get taxes or VAT in foreign currency. So why are we still having shops displaying an exchange rate when we should just be paying in foreign currency and be given your receipt in foreign currency and the Government receiving that foreign currency so that they actually have foreign currency as part of their tax that they are receiving. Perhaps he could explain that policy.

         THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I thank the Hon.

Member for the question. Basically, we are trying to achieve several things. The first one is to make sure that agents adhere to the auction rate. We have said that we must also remit taxes in the currency of trade and that is why we want to continue to enforce the display of the exchange rate because we have noticed that some will display it correctly at $81.3 or whatever it is and some will use some other exchange rate of $100 and above, surely that is wrong. We are doing other things as well.

Those who are accessing money from the auction, we are compelling them to sign an undertaking that having access to money from the auction, they will sell their goods in terms of display of the exchange rate which we are compelling them to display. So we just want to make sure that there is compliance. The Central Bank (RBZ) has issued six hotline numbers which any citizen can call in order to make sure that we know who is violating the law. You can also inform the police so that they can act. We want to make sure that we enforce the law as stipulated and everyone complies. I thank you.

   HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I think the Minister is

not getting me at all. When you are now paying in USD and they are pricing their goods in USD; you merely give them your $10 and pay your goods at $5, you are given your $5 change and you pay VAT in USD for the $5 that you are paying. So, I do not understand why we still have an exchange rate because at the point that we had said you can pay in your currency of choice, they should just receive the money that I am giving them. If I pay in RTGs, I get my receipt in RTGs and I pay my VAT in RTGs. If I pay in USD – I still cannot understand why they are having an exchange rate because we are now paying in USD and I would have thought that the Minister would have been quite excited about wanting to get whatever money that is being paid in VAT in hard currency to be registered as hard currency. So, I am still not getting that explanation Madam Speaker.

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you very much, I think I am

clearer now. The question is very clear.  When the customer pays in the currency of their choice and the retailer accepts, they ought to remit the tax that applies to that transaction in the currency of trade. So, if the customer has paid in US dollars, the retailer must remit the tax in US dollars as well.  If they are not, as the Hon Member is saying, they are breaking the law and we will enforce the law and catch them.  I will instruct ZIMRA to go around doing the relevant inspections to make sure that those who are breaking the law are brought to book.  We must enforce that, otherwise we are losing revenue because they are playing around with the exchange rate when they are keeping the forex, depriving us of foreign currency.  We will make sure that we deal with them.  I thank you.

*HON. B. DUBE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I think the question was how will you know that the retailer sold goods in forex because all the receipts are in RTGS?  That is where our issue is.  Even if you are looking forward to receiving tax in forex, how will you know how much they sold in forex because by the end of the month, you will be given receipts in RTGS while they keep the forex.  That is where we need clarification from the Hon. Minister.

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

follow up supplementary question.  If the retailers are producing receipts in RTGS having conducted transactions in US dollars, that is illegal and indiscipline.  We will follow up on it and enforce the law because they are breaking the law.  That is why we want to send our inspectors around from ZIMRA to make sure that we catch them and the law can be enforced.  Thank you very much.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister speaks of a dual regime of accepting RTGS and US$.  Government departments, in particular the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, through the CVR, is refusing to accept RTGS even at interbank rate for the purposes of paying for number plates.  Is it your instruction that a government department refuses to accept RTGS, our own local currency?

HON. PROF. M. NCUBE:  Madam Speaker, that is a new

question but I will still answer it with your permission just for the record.  Certainly it is not my instruction.  Thank you very much.

HON. MADZIMURE:  Madam Speaker, the Minister has said he

is ignorant of what is happening at a government institution.  CVR is a

Government institution which works hand-in-glove with ZIMRA.  Is the Minister really ignorant that CVR is refusing people to pay in RTGS and they accept only US$?  As a Member of Parliament, I actually paid in US$ and I was denied the right to use RTGS.  Is the Minister saying he is not aware and does not know what is happening in his department because this was a policy decision that was made?  Is he saying CVR made its own unilateral decision?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon, Madzimure, on that

one, I think we can give the Hon. Minister the chance to investigate.  He said he is not aware.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Hon. Members, this is a very important

question for you.  May the Minister clarify whether retailers are selling in US$ at auction rate. Why are Members of Parliament not also being paid auction rates so that there is buying power?  It is a simple question.

         THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

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

Mliswa for that very important question.  It is about the welfare of Members of Parliament.  I am going to reveal something that he is aware of, which is that we are currently in discussions with the leadership of

Parliament.  We want to adjust the sitting allowances for Members of Parliament.  I think we have reached a position that is based on affordability and the budget projections of Parliament up to year-end.  We have a figure and I think at the right moment, leadership of

Parliament and the office of the Clerk will communicate to Members of Parliament.  We have done something in response.  I cannot reveal the figures because it is up to the leadership to communicate that position.

We covered a lot of things such as sitting allowances, vehicle issues, aah they are many.  I thank you.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Maám.  My

question is directed to the Leader of Government Business in the absence of the Minister of Public Service.  The current position is that when the Public Service is filling in vacancies for junior employees, they advertise in the State Media, print and electronic, thereby disadvantaging those in the rural constituencies.  My question therefore is, when is the Ministry going to decentralise the filling up of vacant posts in the Public Service to districts and provinces?  Currently, clerks, drivers, cooks and security guards are being recruited centrally.  As a result, the people without access to information are losing out and people are just coming from the centre which is not fair.  Thank you very much.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you

Madam Speaker.  The Government position is that our Public Service Commission is decentralised to provinces and districts.  We have people who work in those areas and their duty is also to assist Members of the Community when there are vacancies that exist.  I am not aware of any area that does not have members of the Public Service Commission that are employed in those respective areas.  If the Hon. Member has any, then perhaps he can put that in writing so that we can investigate why that specific administration district does not have members of the Public Service Commission who are supposed to conduct their duty in those respective areas.  I thank you.

HON. CHINYANGANYA: In those towns and districts, there are Public Service Offices, can they advertise for those offices rather than centrally as Hon. Mayihlome has said.  I thank you.

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up question which is a very good suggestion.  The very reason why they are in those areas is to ensure that they serve the public including interviews.  If that is not happening, I will engage the Minister of Public Service to find out why that is not the norm, but the general policy is

that we have those officers in every administration district.  Should a vacancy exist, naturally they are supposed to take charge rather than centralise it.  I will make a follow up or also the Hon. Member can engage the Minister so that he can get more clarity as to the specific reason why that is not obtaining at the moment.

HON. SIKHALA: This question is motivated on the grounds that the Government has failed to implement devolution as provided for in the Constitution.  We do not want to hear this question again at the next Parliamentary session.  When is Government going to fulfill the call to devolution in our country in terms of the Constitution so that all these questions and grievances will not emerge again?

HON. ZIYAMBI: The Government is committed to devolution and the Hon. Members are aware that His Excellency even changed designation of Ministers of State to say Ministers of State and Devolution.  The previous budget, the esteemed Minister of Finance allocated funding to cater for that.  We have had some activities going on in terms of devolution, so it is not very correct to say Government has done nothing in terms of devolution.  A lot has happened and a lot is happening, what we are going to do is to identify certain inconsistencies in our laws starting with the Constitution.  Once we tied up the legislative framework, then we will roll out in a clearer manner our devolution agenda.  I thank you.

HON. MARKHAM: Why are you not pushing the Devolution Bill quickly to Parliament?

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  in my earlier

response I indicated that in order to give effect and more clarity to our devolution agenda, we identified certain inconsistencies that are obtaining in the Constitution.  We have before the House Constitution amendment Number 2 to deal with that and we will then bring the legislation that will give effect to devolution after we have undertook that exercise.  I thank you.

HON. A. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have a question for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof.

Ncube.  Madam Speaker, the budget strategy paper remains an important document in the budget processes and consultations in particular.  Despite its significance, the 2020 budget strategy paper was only released on the last day of public consultation, thereby defeating its purpose of informing the submission of the public to the budget consultations.  This has been recurring over the last two years.

Madam Speaker, allow me to check with the Minister what the policy position that informs this delay of the release of the budget strategy paper is.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

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

Speaker, the Hon. Member has raised an important question about the timing of the release of the pre-budget storage paper.  The reason for the delay was because of a few things.  It was because of the national development strategy.  That process and consultations for it was delayed due to COVID-19.  We conducted nationwide consultations so that there has been a delay, but now I am happy to say it is back on track.  We have been able to extract the pillars of the NDS which we are using as the foundation for the pre-budget strategy paper as well as the 2021 budget which is a follow up to the pre-budget strategy paper.

The NDS process was delayed by COVID-19.  That is really the issue there.  Covid-19 plus NDS are the reasons why there was a delay, but I would like to encourage Hon. Members to make use of the document as usual.  They will find it clear, I think they will find it logical, but it is up to them to judge.  I am saying it because I wrote it so I have to say that.  Also, remember we are going to do a four or five day retreat together with Hon. Members and we will continue to use the document.  I do not think there would be a big loss at all.  There is still time to consult, and I hope that you will find the document useful.

I will be very happy, Madam Speaker, later today to officially table it before you, before the House as our official document for the prebudget strategy discussions.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON.

DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am being told that questions

number 1 and number 2 were already submitted by the Minister.

         THE HON. MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Madam

Speaker, seeing there are no questions there…

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Leader of the House,

please may you approach the Chair.  Order Hon. Members, order please!

Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY

SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you

Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker there was a request that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation presents a Ministerial Statement.  With the indulgence of the House, I request that she be afforded the opportunity to present that Ministerial Statement.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Leader of

the House.  I call upon the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to give us a Ministerial Statement.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RESUMPTION OF SPORTING ACTIVITIES

         THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND

RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY):  Thank you Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is indeed pleased to learn of the anxiety and apprehension that has gripped the nation over the continued sabbatical of some of the sporting discipline as related by Hon. T. Biti.  This shows that appetite and the deprivation by the Hon. Member of Parliament that underline the length and breadth of the role of sport in our life as Zimbabweans, particularly in these periods of distress, somberness, isolation sponsored by the corona virus.  It is also a depiction of this House’s consciousness on the role of sport in generating national feeling as well as up scaling the happiness index amongst our own citizens.  It is to that end the Ministry would like to submit its appreciation of this enquiry by the Hon.

Member of Parliament.

On the resumption of activities, Madam Speaker, on 14th April, 2020.

         THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Sorry Hon. Minister, please may you unmute your gadget.  Thank you, you may proceed.

        HON. COVENTRY:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  On the

resumption of activities, Madam Speaker, on 14th April, 2020 the WHO developed an interim guidance paper for sports federations, sport event organisers to consider when planning match sports and recreation gatherings in the context of covid-19.  In view of this development by WHO the Ministry and its arms, the Sport and Recreation Commission and the Zimbabwe Boxing and Wrestling Control Board developed a schedule classifying sporting disciplines according to risks as related by WHO in the interim guideline.

The Ministry and its arms made consultations with the National

Sports Association and the following categories were developed:

  • Low risk sport with physical distancing is possible, for example archery, shooting and some athletics events. These will be less of a risk if physical distancing advice for athletes, coaches and spectators is followed.
  • Medium risk sport which was classified as sporting disciplines where contact is possible but can be managed and distancing maintained. In such activities participants though vulnerable can devise mechanisms to abstain from contact vulnerability to risk.
  • High risk sport was catigorised as physical and close contact among players which could increase the transmission of covid-19.

Following the consultations sporting disciplines were classified as outlined in the table below:-

LOW RISK MEDIUM RISK HIGH RISK
Archery Badminton Soccer
Pool Baseball Wrestling
Swimming Lawn Bowls Boxing
Athletics Soft ball Basketball
Rowing Triathlon Water Polo
 Cycling Weightlifting Volleyball
Equestrian   Taekwondo
Fencing   Rugby
Golf   Netball
Gymnastics   Judo
 Motor Sport/BMX   Handball
Shooting   Field Hockey
Tennis    
Chess    
 Darts    
 Draughts    
Goal Ball (Visual Impaired)    

 

Criteria of Resumption

Madam Speaker, after following the recommendations by WHO in consultations with National Sports Associations, the Ministry of Youth. Sport, Arts and Recreation advised low risk sports to apply for resumption and share their covid-19 precautionary measures for consideration.  Each and every National Association was tasked to develop its precautionary measures suitable for the sporting discipline.  Seventeen National Sports Associations applied, and as you may recall

Madam Speaker, during one of the post Cabinet briefings on Tuesday, 19th May, 17 sporting disciplines were allowed to resume activities with the only restriction being crowd presence.  They were archery, swimming, athletics, rowing, cycling, equestrian events, fencing, golf, gymnastics, motor sports and BMX, shooting, tennis, chess, darts, draughts and pool.

Given that and for the record, allow me to reiterate that sport in Zimbabwe resumed on 19th May, 2020 starting with low risk sport as guided by the World Health Organisation in a communication which has also caught the attention of the Hon. Member of Parliament.  Madam

Speaker Ma’am, the absence of our favourite sporting disciplines in the initial phase of resumption should therefore not mean failure by the Ministry to put mechanisms for the recommencement of sport in the country.

Hon. Speaker Ma’am, as the Ministry trudges ahead with the staggered resumption of sport guided by the set criteria, high risk sporting disciplines have begun to apply for the resumption of activities.  In their application, they have also been requested to put the measures that they are putting in place to mitigate contraction and spread of Covid-19 as guided by their international federations.  Zimbabwe cricket has successfully re-applied following its undertaking to follow Covid-19 procedures as well as guidelines by the International Cricket Council.

Zimbabwe will tour Pakistan at the end of the month of October, 2020 and the domestic cricket league as well as club cricket is also set to resume.

Football has also applied for the resumption of the domestic league and their application with the recommendation of the Sports and Recreation Commission has been approved.  The domestic league will resume in a staggered way starting with the PSL and Women’s League as well as international matches which will resume with the use of biosecure bubbles.

You may also be aware Madam Speaker Ma’am, that Government gave a reprieve for the Zimbabwe National Football team to play Malawi in an international friendly where warriors drew one all with The Flames of Malawi.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, as a Ministry and Government, we have noted the commencement of activity in other countries but the solutions to the containment of COVID-19 do not require a copy and paste attitude but systematic approaches in the interest of our athletes and athlete support personnel.  You may want to know that in the run-up to the international friendly with Malawi, Kudakwashe Mahachi, one of our top players who plies his trade in South Africa tested positive as he was preparing to travel to Zimbabwe and join camp.  He became the first Zimbabwean player to test positive of COVID-19.  The detection was as a result of the conditions of travel and had the player not intended to travel, it could have risked colleagues at his base in South Africa.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, as a Ministry, we understand the anxiety

for sport particularly football but for the love of our athletes and support personnel, let us be patient as the best environment is being created for the resumption of the ‘world’s most beautiful game’.

Above and beyond mainstream sporting disciplines, the Ministry has also been monitoring activities around gyms, fitness and wellness facilities.  As of 1st July, 2020, the following fitness and wellness facilities were reviewed on a case-by-case basis after their applications were given the green-light to resume operations:-

  • Gyms and recreational facilities.
  • Pro Fitness.
  • Sweatnation Fitness.
  • Body Active.
  • Total Fitness (Longchen).
  • Total Fitness (Borrowdale).
  • Innovate Sport & Health.
  • Curves Gym.
  • Olympus Health and Fitness.

The resumption was sponsored by the need to foster active life styles amongst Zimbabweans and every citizen keen on participating on physical activity has the liberty to do so with these accredited facilities.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, it would be amiss if I do not share with you the evolution in cost centres that have been caused by the emergence of COVID-19.  For every National Sport Association to resume activity, there should be adequate presence of personal protective equipment (PPEs), testing funds and even more the use of bio-secure bubbles.  This equipment that is for the safety of athletes and athlete support personnel do not come cheap and require the net capacitation of our National Sport Associations as well as clubs.  The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, through Treasury has been able to share funding with National Sport Associations through the Athletes Relief Fund but is not enough for these requirements.  The onus is on this House Madam Speaker Ma’am, to determine if more funding can be channeled to sport for such purposes.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, I would like to once again take this opportunity to appreciate the hunger for sport as contained in the inquiry and would be glad if the same can be invested in the support, maintenance and sustenance of the sport in our various constituencies for an active Zimbabwe.  More- so, I would want this House to note that investment required to deliver sport is now different as the uses of bubbles and testing has severely transformed the cost centres of sport.  It is therefore my plea through you Madam Speaker Ma’am, that as we prepare the budgets for sport, let this new development be considered.  I thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you.  My first question relates to rural area soccer. My observation is; since the advent of COVID 19 soccer has been going on in rural areas and maybe because it is done in an open area environment, would it not be wise to allow it to proceed as it is the only source of entertainment in rural areas?  The other question; we see your Sports and Recreation Commission distributing sport equipment throughout urban areas. When will this equipment also come to rural areas for rural youths to be able to enjoy the same?  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  If the Football Association is given the go ahead to commence the soccer activities, the few questions I wish to raise are; what would happen to their leagues because we are already moving towards the end of the year?

Secondly, what would happen to those rural constituencies where soccer is played particularly at division level less than Premier League level? Certainly, they may not afford to abide by the World Health

Organisation regulations on COVID.

Lastly Madam Speaker, we have seen internationally - because the soccer bodies can afford it, they are able to play in vacant stadiums to reduce the transmission of COVID virus.  As a country, can our soccer teams afford that. What would be the implications in terms of the generation of revenue because most of our soccer teams do not have income generation ventures which can sustain them other than the use of gate-takings?  Thank you – [HON. NDUNA: Hon. Speaker Ma’am, I ask you to recognise me if you may.  My name is Dexter Nduna.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You may proceed, Hon.

Dexter Nduna.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I

just have two questions that I have for the Hon. Minister.  The first one is nearly the same as the one that Hon. Gabbuza has just spoken to and above ,in particular we currently have social leagues that are not competitive in terms of Division 1, Division 2 or Premier League. What is Government’s position relating to regularisation or allowing those social leagues to go ahead and start playing because even without the authority, we have seen the proliferation, the continuation of these social league clubs playing in particular in peri-urban areas. The second one is that the Hon. Minister sits on the board of the Global Olympics. What is it that is accruing through you Hon. Minister, in the game of swimming to the nation in relationship to the position that you hold so that we can have the children emulate you, use you as a pedestal for swimming excellence enhancement. Those are the two issues that I have Hon. Speaker Ma’am.

HON. COVENTRY: Thank you Madam Speaker. I will just

respond in order of the questions.  First on the question of rural soccer and the social leagues, as we have seen and mentioned and allow me to give some background; what we did with the Ministry and SRC is to put together a taskforce made up of medical doctors that will allow us to help assess which sports should start in terms of the capabilities in upholding the guidelines of the WHO as well as the Government guidelines to COVID-19. Let me proceed to say that our first priority is the safety of our people and secondly, is the resumption of sport.

With that being said in terms of soccer directly, we will start with the PSL and the Women’s League. Once that bubble concept is done in the form of a mini-league, we will be able to see the capacity and the capability of the other divisions and leagues that fall below them and ZIFA will be reporting to the Ministry and to SRC in terms of the capacities that the other divisions have. As Hon. Members have mentioned, some of the social leagues have continued and I would hope that the social leagues have, above all put the safety of their players and themselves first in terms of at least adhering to the national law of social distancing, sanitising and wearing face masks.

Allow me to address the question on distribution of equipment. I will have to come back to this Hon. House because I would be very interested to see in terms of the distribution whether they have been made. As far as my offices are aware, that distribution is supposed to be done nationally and be given no importance to urban over rural.

In terms of what would happen with the vacant stadiums, the Hon.

Member brings a good point that a lot of teams may not have other income sources but in terms of the PSL and the Women’s League and mini-tournament, we would want to be focusing on broadcasting the games which will allow the teams to potentially gain some sponsors.

In terms of the other divisions again, unfortunately this is the pandemic that we find ourselves in and it is faced by all countries across the world. In terms of the last question, the International Olympic Committee as Hon. Members are aware Madam Speaker, represents all sports not just one in particular and so, as that pertains the question in terms of what word the country would be acquiring specifically to swimming, does not really pertain to the position that I felt as the IOC and the International Olympic Committee represents over 55 different sports and not one in particular. Thank you.

HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that the House do now adjourn.

HON. K. PARADZA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. K.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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