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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 22 MAY 2013 VOL. 39 NO. 19
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013
The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
- CROSS: The railway workers have not been paid for eight
months and are now $46 million in arrears on their salaries. Is this the policy of the Zimbabwe Government? I want to ask that to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.
THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE
(MS. MPARIWA): I want to thank the hon. member for a very pertinent and important question focusing on the plight of the workers. Yes, as you might know hon. members and the relevant member who has asked this question, the question is three in one. On one side we are focusing on the Minister of Transport and Communication and on the other side we are also focusing on the Minister of Parastatals and on the other side you have the slight component which is part of my Ministry’s responsibility. Of course it is not Government’s wish not to pay workers. That is actually the provision of the Labour Relations Act which I actually administer as Minister responsible for labour and social services.
However, let me also inform the House that some two months ago, there were several meetings with the relevant trade unions who represent the workers and also those that represent the employer, the National
Railways of Zimbabwe, with the Prime Minister’s Office and the relevant Government Ministries that are involved, administered by my colleagues that I have also mentioned in my response. I think it will be appropriate for the member who is interested in the workers’ welfare to put it in writing so that the relevant minister or ministry should be able to respond with favourable responses. Otherwise I will actually be stepping on my colleagues’ portfolios, which is not my intention.
- MUCHAURAYA: My question is targeted at the Deputy
Prime Minister, Hon. Prof. Mutambara. We notice that in rural areas, in
Makoni South, the headman is encouraging people to come and register their presence at his homestead. Is that the law of the country? Is it allowed that people should go and register everyday in their homes?
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA):
Mr. Speaker Sir, I think we need more details of the question, number one. Number two, it must go to the Minister of Local Government so that we can investigate what the crime is and what the problem is. Let me just set the tone of Government policy and of the new Constitution which we have just signed into law today. Our chiefs, traditional leaders must operate above party politics. They are the custodians of our traditions, values and culture. They are the leaders of our communities and they must operate above party politics. This disposition enables them to facilitate and lead our communities without serving the interest of any particular political party. That is the general principle, we push. The chiefs, headmen and all our traditional leaders must operate above party politics so that they can allow their people to belong to different parties of their choice. Political affiliation should not create tension or disharmony between a traditional leader and his people.
For me and the Government to be able to adequately answer that question, let us get more details in terms of the problem and the location of the problem. More importantly, the question must be directed in writing to the Minister of Local Government. I want to thank the hon. member for that question.
- SPEAKER: Order, can the hon. member put his question in
- KANZAMA: I want to pose my question to the Deputy
Prime Minister, Hon. Prof. Mutambara, but before I do that Mr. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank you as you were leading the
Constitution which has since been signed this morning by the President. We want to thank you for leading a successful programme. I also want to thank my colleagues, hon. members for their cooperation and the successful conduct of the Referendum and the Constitutional programme -[MR. CHIKWINYA: Bvunza mubvunzo, usadhibheta.] – MR. SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Chikwinya, do not be jealous. -
- KANZAMA: Lastly, I want to thank our Principals both of them, led by our President for accepting the people’s choice and for the President’s decision of assenting the Constitution to be a law. My question Hon. Deputy Prime Minister is, in view of the fact that the Constitution is now law, there is an outcry following a programme which was carried out by the Registrar-General’s Office of registering people out there. Here in Parliament, there was a motion moved that we need more people to be registered. Is the Government ready and are funds available so that our people are prepared for the coming registration.
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA):
I want to thank the hon. member for that question. The simple answer is that, the Government has to find that money. As we speak, every Tuesday, the Cabinet of Zimbabwe is seized with the issue of voter registration and it is now a standing item on the agenda. Mr. speaker, it shows our commitment to the issues that the hon. member is raising.
Let me just put a few principles down that we are pursuing.
Principle number one, every Zimbabwean who was on the voter’s roll in the year 2008, who is not dead, must be given an opportunity to vote if they want to vote. Why am I saying this? There has been confusion created in the country where the voter’s roll from 2008 has been distorted whereby people were unprocedurally removed from the voter’s roll. This has created chaos in the country where now Zimbabweans who were on the voter’s roll in the year 2008, are no longer sure whether they are on the voter’s roll. This is completely unacceptable and unforgivable. Only dead people should have been removed from the voters’ roll. This manipulation and distortion of the voters’ roll by incompetence id ill-intention or both has led to pandemonium with people rushing to check the lists.
A whole Minister of this Government, who was elected into Parliament in 2008, went and checked and found themselves not on the voter’s roll. A whole senior official, the Vice President of Zimbabwe, in her own village, she went and collected the voter’s roll which was supposed to have 2 000 people and found that only nine people were registered. I stand here to say, we will not accept a situation in this country where we disenfranchise people. If you were on the voter’s roll in the year 2008 and you are not dead, you must be afforded the opportunity to vote if you want to do so. That is principle number one.
Not a single Zimbabwean who was on the voters’ roll in 2008 should be denied to vote. This will be complete travesty of justice.
The second principle is that, if you want to register and you are an eligible voter in our country, we must allow you the opportunity to register and vote. Now, I am speaking of the young people who are coming up, who are now eighteen and above. They were not on the voter’s roll in 2008 because they were below 18. I am also now talking about the so called aliens who have been empowered by the new Constitution. These people must be expeditiously and painlessly enabled to become voters. If we uphold those two principles, we are going to have a bona fide voter’s roll.
Remember, the right to vote is a fundamental democratic right. The right to vote is a civil right. The right to vote is a human right. We are very concerned that under no circumstances should we disenfranchise people who were already voters. Secondly, we should not deny others who want to register as first time voters an opportunity to register. We must find that money. We are going to find that money so that those two principles are upheld.
You are asking how? We will do it by ensuring that we go back and recover the voter’s roll used in 2008 so that whoever is on that roll and is not dead come rain, come sunshine, they are able to cast their vote. We will also ensure that the people who have been empowedered by the new Constitution get an opportunity to register. The young people who are now eighteen can also register so that, come election time, we can say every Zimbabwean who aspires to cast a vote and has a right to vote has been given an opportunity to vote. That is the definition of success for the voter registration process. This is critical so that the outcome of the elections is not challenged on the basis of disenfranchisement and irregularities. If a single Zimbabwean is denied an opportunity to vote because their name was taken away from the voter’s roll, that will be a travesty of justice. This Government will not
allow this to happen.
I want to thank the hon. member for that question and commit that Government, ZEC, Registrar General, Home Affairs and Ministry of Justice are going to work together to ensure that we get the money that is required to do the work. By the way, money is just half the problem. There is a difference between resources and resourcefulness. In addition to getting money, let us be resourceful. In addition to getting money, let us be organised and have administrative competency. Let us have the political will to do the work. Some of the things we see happening are actually a function of lack of the political will to allow Zimbabweans to cast their votes. So yes to cash, but resourcefulness, organisational efficiency and administrative competency are equally important, so that every Zimbabwean who is illegible to vote is given an opportunity to become a voter. That is our mission and we shall not fail.
- A. NDHLOVU: In the absence of the Acting Minister of
Higher and Tertiary Education, I direct my question to the Deputy Prime Minister. I need to know what Government policy is with regards to making quality education available to the young people of this country, noting that Government has not been able to fund tertiary education in this country for the past two or three semesters. This, especially affects the girl child by making them vulnerable to some means of getting the funds to go to school and thereby reversing progress made in fighting HIV/AIDS.
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA):
We, in this Government, believe that education is a key enabler of our economy. We believe that without education there is no industry. Without education, there is no economy. However, we have to be creative in the way we fund higher education, in the way we fund education in general. The State alone cannot sufficiently and completely fund higher education. Yes, Government must play its role but let us also incentivize the private sector to play a role in providing higher education. Let us partner with international institutions and other universities so that we can provide higher education to our people. Universities and colleges are breeders of human capital. Without the university or colleges there will be no human capital to drive our industries. This means the resourcing and funding of the higher education is of paramount importance. This Government is unreservedly committed to play its role in this endevour.
With reference to girls and women, we believe that the empowerment and education of women is not just a human right. It is about economics. It is about profitability and productivity. Women are 52% of our population. When we afford them education and empower them, we are empowering ourselves. We are not doing them a favour.
We are doing ourselves a favour.
We believe that investing in the education of women is smart economics. Investing in young girls is smarter economics because once you empower a woman, you empower a nation. There is a new doctrine and research that says actually, women are better managers than men.
Women are better leaders than men, meaning this country will do much better if we have more women ministers – [HON. MEMBERS: Ah!] - and more women Members of Parliament –[HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections] -. It is a very painful thing for me to say because I am a man but facts are there and the data is there, saying women are better leaders than men. Women are better managers than men.
The doctrine is called womenomics, the economy as driven by women. The economy as influenced by women. The economy as experienced by women. Womenomics I am just saying to the hon. member, we will try our best to find funding for higher education. We will find ways of funding for women in particular, because women will be able to drive this economy better than these men.
- SPEAKER: You speak like a woman advocate. –[MR.
CHINYADZA: Inaudible interjection]-
- A. NDLOVU: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. The Hon. Member directly opposite me shouted womanizer. Sn, he must withdraw because that is unhonourable.
- SPEAKER: Hon. member, it is0unparliamentary to refer to a Deputy Prime Minister as a womanizer. It is not only unparliamentary but also disrespectful of the office that h% holds. Can you withdraw that?
- AHINYADZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, A withdraw Mr. Speaker.
- CHIMHINI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is tirected to the Minister of Scyence and Technology. Minister, there has been a lot of talk abïut science aîd technology in the country. Is there any clear policy for introducing science and technology in schoo|s and I want to check at what level you can introduce science and technology in our schools? Thank you.
T E MINI3TER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (MR.
DZINOTYIWEI): Mr. Speacer Sir,!as you can see, I am often very hungry of questions on science and technology and I want to extend a word of appreciatioî to the Hon. Mei`er for arkmng`that question.
The position on science and tebhnology is broadly guided by now our second policy on science, technology and invention that we launched in June last year. Within that policy, we defined six major thrusts for the development of science and technology in this country. One of the thrusts indeed focuses on the aspect of capacity development linking it more with the field of education. The position is that, for science education particularly at primary schools, we emphasise that the level of content that is scientific that pupils must be exposed to must not be less than 30%.
So, indeed, there is a clear policy that says from Grade 1, at primary school, the content must be no less than 30%. When we say no less than 30%, it does not mean that 30% of the time is entirely spent on studying science subjects. It also means that they must be exposed to certain projects that enhance their ability to develop a mental inclination towards scientific concepts. It also means that they must learn certain skills that are relevant for ICT. That is at the level of primary education.
When you go to secondary, we extend that percentage to no less than 60% and again it is an understanding that with time, we can develop more scientific issues in our education process. Again, let me underline that it does not necessarily mean that all the subjects are 60% science. But, it means that even if they are studying history, the pupils/students must have an opportunity to make use of scientific concepts in understanding that history. History is not just about mankind and how life has been, how our nations have been built, but it also involves how elements that are relevant to technology have been developing with time.
When we go to university level, we again highlight the need to maintain no less than 60% for science. So indeed Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to underline that if we were able to implement that policy, I can assure you, it is the intention that over a period of something like five years, we must be experiencing a totally different scenario within our societies. That is of course, subject to funding and to the nature of the environment that we will be having in our country so that the productive activities that are necessary to generate revenue, will also be active. I thank the hon. member and I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*MR. NDAMBAKUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The
previous speaker thanked you for a job well done in the Constitution making process. My question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister.
We find that Government has been encouraging all the people to go and vote and also the new Constitution is saying that it is everybody’s right to go and vote. Also, hon. leaders came from God through votes, but, we also find that in this country, we have some churches which do not allow people to go and register or to vote. These are such as the
Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
These people deny their people to go and register to vote but when they want to have places where they can conduct their services from, they come to these political leaders to ask for this permission. My question is, is that not denying somebody’s Constitutional right to elect leaders?
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA):
Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This is a hard question and a very difficult one.
When we say in the country we have rights, the right to do this and that, we can force citizens to exercise a right. We cannot force you to vote. It is your right to exercise the right or not. So, if a Zimbabwean says I do not want to exercise my right to vote, we cannot force them. We cannot create a law or a mechanism to force a citizen to exercise a specific right. However, we cannot allow institutions to actually stop citizens from exercising their rights. So, it is up to the individual to say,
I want to vote or I do not want to vote. It is one’s constitutional right not to exercise a right.
I think, what is problematic is when you have institutions or organisations that are now saying to their followers or members thou shall not vote. That becomes problematic because you are now interfering with the right of that individual. Let them make that decision on their own. You cannot force them not to vote or to vote but to come and say thou shall not vote becomes problematic. However, I think that our lawyers and our justice system will be able to address these issues to see whether we can pursue those institutions so that they do not act in a manner where they are denying or coercing their members in a manner that violates the rights of those members or violet our Constitution.
However, having said all that we should encourage every Zimbabwean to exercise their right to vote. A people get a Government that they deserve. Everyone enjoys the services of a Government. The WatchTower folks, whoever they are, – they are benefiting from the activities of the Legislature, Judiciary and Government. Surely, they must have a say on how they are governed.
Sure, it is their right to say I will not exercise my right to vote but as a Government, our policy is to encourage every Zimbabwean who is eligible to vote to register and then exercise their vote so that together we can work in a manner that will create a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe.
- S. NCUBE: What is Government’s policy regarding the use of GMO seeds in drought stricken areas?
THE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
(PROF. H. DZINOTYIWEYI): This might turn out to be a good day for me. Yes, I wish you were asking this question in my constituency where primary elections are coming very soon. Let me explain that the position from the sciences is that it is vital for many of our countries that have challenges on food to introduce the growing of GMOs. However, this must be understood against the background interest of other sectors and the need to carry consensus with other sectors.
In terms of the agricultural sector here as headed by the Ministry of Agriculture, it is not comfortable with that position. To them, they often cite economic reasons on certain products from Zimbabwe which might be marketed to those countries, where you may find certain persons with excitement for organic foods. They are more interested in those organic products to be availed from countries that do not grow GMOs. It is an economic issue that needs people to weigh facts and assess whether or not that is correct.
From our own assessment, many of such persons would be in Europe and even in America for that matter. In Europe and America, they are a very tiny minority even if you go to any of the big cities and assess the number of shops that sell strictly organic foods. They are very few. There may be here and there in London and a few isolated, you may find in Europe. Strictly speaking we see no reason of doing so. I must underline that the issue of GMOs, we have to move with the times. We have no option. The extent to which there are scientific developments that are waiting to flood our societies and transform our lives is so enormous. We cannot make judgments based on reasons other than a scientific assessment of the same issues.
They are healthy, you have many Zimbabweans in South Africa and that is what they consume. They do not interfere with the environment. You can look at the environment in South Africa. They are assessed to be medically suitable. The United States of America is a very sensitive country when it comes to the relevance of health on food items.
The Food and Drug Administration Authority in United States of America has long been endorsing GMOs.
In an attempt to fight drought, as you have indicated and to cut down the cost on chemicals, we believe from the scientific angle that it is vital to introduce GMOs. As I indicated, this is an issue that requires Government to have consensus and then move on.
Let me say as an interim, the policy is that GMO food can be imported in milled form at moments when there is a crisis, where we have shortages of food in the country or it can be imported as a seed provided it is monitored right the moment it enters the country to the point where it must be milled so as to ensure that at no time, do we actually have a seed dropping in Zimbabwe. That is the position.
- ZHUWAO: My supplementary questions relate to the ability or Government’s position on traceability taking into consideration that GMOs have got a massive impact as you move down the food chain. For example, with GMO cotton, cotton seeds account for more than 50% of cooking oil. Is there a position with regards to traceability and labelling, firstly with regards to cooking oil and secondly, is there capacity for traceability because cotton cake is also used for stock feed manufacture? Will that not impact on our ability to trade internationally especially with our meat products? – [AN HON MEMBER: Usunge tai mhani] -
- SPEAKER: Hon Zhuwao, make sure that you are properly dressed. Can you kindly go and dress properly for the House.
- MUDARIKWA: The august House ratified all the protocols on GMOs. Who is the Ministry of Agriculture to stop something that has been ratified by the august House and brought by the Minister to the august House?
- SPEAKER: I am not sure whether that is descent enough to question who the Minister of Agriculture is. We are just about to conclude the Seventh Parliament and hamusati madzidza the culture in the House. It is amazing.
THE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
(PROF H. DZINOTYIWEYI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the hon. member and at the same time, acknowledge the previous comments of the previous Deputy Minister of Science and Technology. What we approved here in Parliament these are some of the unfortunate misconceptions. What we approved in Parliament had nothing to do with GMOs. It was endorsement so that Zimbabwe can become a member of the international centre for genetic engineering and biotechnology. That centre is based in Trieste Italy, but has two main branches in Cape Town and in New Delhi. At that centre, if anybody has a chance to go to Italy, he will think that all the rats in this world are there. It is a massive hive centre of activity on biotechnology issues.
Genetic engineering constitutes a tiny portion of it but because of the expertise, it is a very reliable international centre acknowledged by WHO, FAO and the UN, Generally, issues stand to be assessed there. What Zimbabwe wanted to do by joining is to be able to access those high level facilities and the information at the centre, GMO included and the broader genetic engineering and bio-technology issues involved.
Turning to the element of our own differences, what I am emphasising is that often, we find that our Cabinet is best when there is consensus. No matter how valid your points might be, there has been a tendency to unnecessarily retreat into some kind of negative caucus, may be party support and so forth instead of looking at the facts. The facts that we have presented to the Cabinet are those I said. The facts that agriculture presented are those at variance to ours.
I hope that we should be able to reach a point in future as Zimbabwe, where consensus can be arrived at. We were anxious to engage the farming community to understand. We have had delegations involving agriculture and our bio-technology authority to Burkina Faso, they saw it for themselves what it means. South African peasants who grow cotton now produce no less than three times what they were able to earn before. These experiences are happening in India. So, to deny the use of such an opportunity on the basis of unsubstantiated scientific issues is not good for Zimbabwe. I thank you Madam Speaker on behalf of the ministry and the member.
- MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of National Housing. May I know the Government policy on the provision of accommodation in the private sector for their employees? Are there some allowances or anything which the Government is guiding them for the provision of accommodation for their employees?
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (MR. MUTSEKWA): Thank you Madam Speaker and
let me also thank the hon. member for raising that question which is pertinent. I would like to preface my answer by explaining that it is true that the world over, governments alone, will never be in a position to provide adequate accommodation. This is not only to government employees, but to citizens as well. So this is why I am so happy that the hon. member has raised this particular question.
There are efforts that are being undertaken by various organisations. I would like to single out Mimosa for example, who have been outstanding in aiding and helping Government in providing their employees with decent and suitable accommodation. This has been on a voluntary basis. What I have been doing is that, whenever I get a chance to interact with various organisations and employers, I have encouraged them that they take this issue seriously. However, because we have no legislation in place to encourage these people to be involved, it remains voluntary until now.
During our interactions with employers when we were doing the national housing policy, I am pleased to announce that most employers have now realised that it is their challenge to make sure that their employees are properly housed. Many organisations are now taking part in that. Madam Speaker, once this national housing policy is unveiled in the next few weeks, I am hoping that the employers, most of them who will be present when we launch the national housing policy, will regard this as a challenge, not only to Government but to them as well.
I am happy to repeat and say that most employers that we have spoken to have taken that as a challenge and are beginning to realise how beneficial it is both to them and their employees. It is also good for morale of the employees that they provide accommodation. What we lack at the moment is the kind of incentive that we can give to the employer so that they get encouraged. In the national housing policy, I made a suggestion that they even get some compensation from the Ministry of Finance if they provide for housing. So it is being spelt out in our national housing policy. I have had discussions with my counterpart in the Ministry of Finance. He takes that and hopefully when we unveil this, employers will come forward and we give them some kind of incentive in terms of their tax returns so that they are encouraged more in providing accommodation for their employees. I thank you Madam Speaker.
- DZIRUTWE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Science and Technology. There is a trail of thought that says our low rainfall areas like the Low Veldt suffers perennial hunger because people are reluctant to produce small grains because they are so difficult to process. I am talking of such grains like sorghum, rapoko and mapfunde. What is SADC doing to come up with the appropriate technology to service the areas that can grow small grains to alleviate drought? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
(PROF. DZINOTYIWEYI): I would like to thank the hon. member for his question. Let me reiterate that I often say one of the most unfortunate situations with us, like other developing countries in Africa, is to keep on doing things the way they were done before the birth of Jesus Christ. All those particular grains were grown before Jesus Christ was born. The challenges that we are facing are for us to be able to adapt and move on with the changing times. Even for the small grains for that matter, it does not necessarily mean that you will have a reasonable yield in this particular period of climate change. They will tend to do better but those bio-tech crops that have greater resistance. Let me underline Madam Speaker that in China, every year, they will announce not less than 25 new varieties of crops meant to suit particular regions of China. What the hon. member is saying is very important that why do we not embark into more scientific research that suits particular regions. Let me underline that, merely all that research is largely bio-tech based research to suit particular regions. We can encourage people to grow small grains, yes, and I think that is already being done by our colleagues in agriculture but to a large extent, the research is minimal.
Let me however add that there are also other varieties of seed that have been developed that are suitable, drought resistant, not as effective as the GMO seed but they have been developed at SIRDC for maize for instance. If you go to the shops, last year one could see them, they were actually launched by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture. He attended the meeting at SIRDC. So, in a way, there are indeed some efforts taking place, both at the level of small grains and other grains to address the general challenges of climate change that is taking place in the country.
I thank you Madam Speaker.
*MRS SHIRICHENA: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. Minister, do you have any plans with regards to farmers who sold their grain to the
GMB in 2010? To date, these farmers have not been paid. What is the situation on the ground? My second question is that farmers who are in winter wheat crop farming have not had any cash advancements to assist them. What plans does the Government have to assist these farmers?
*THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I want to
thank the hon. member for the two questions. May I take this opportunity to inform you that most of the farmers who delivered grain to the GMB have been paid. Of course, there could be some who may not have been paid because we had problems when we changed currency from the Zimbabwe Dollar to the United States Dollar.
Your second question has to do with the winter crop. Serious wheat farmers are already in the field and doing what they know best. This year, we did not have adequate funds to fund the winter crop. We know that it is difficult for the farmers to start farming without any assistance from Government. We also know the challenges these farmers get when they approach banks to have loans, the interest rates charged are so high and most of the farmers cannot afford and so they need Government assistance. We hope that farmers who are serious in the winter crop should not be deprived of electricity. ZESA should sympathise with these farmers because winter wheat farming relies very heavily on irrigation unlike other crops that rely on the rainy season. Therefore, we implore the powers that be, to let these farmers access electricity.
We also have farmers who grow barley. These farmers do not have problems because Delta Corporation assists these farmers; they advance them through contract farming so that they grow the crop which they later sell to Delta. We also look forward to have contract farming coming through to wheat farmers. We are looking into this issue because we have got a feeling that little attention is being paid to the farmers because the millers know that they will import wheat. As Government, we have to assist our farmers so that our consumers get wheat.
- MUDIWA: What is the Government’s position with regards
to the election date? There is confusion as to when we can have elections in this country.
THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (PROF. MUTAMBARA):
I want to thank the hon. member for that question. The determination of the date for our election is work in progress. Today, we had a great day where we signed into law the new Constitution. Things are going to be much clearer. So, what we need to do is to look at two categories of issues. The first one is our law. What does our law say about the timelines we must go through towards these coming elections? I am fairly educated but I am not a lawyer. I am very learned but not a lawyer. So the lawyers will help us read our Constitution, the new one and the old one, the transitional mechanisms and all those things to say, what the law says in terms of when we should have elections, these upcoming elections.
The second category of issues is political because we are in a political arrangement of an Inclusive Government. What is politically meaningful in terms of the date of our election? Why is this category important? Musakanganwe chezuro ngehope. We are in this Inclusive Government; we are at this juncture of our history because of a problematic election we had in 2008 whose outcome was challenged, whose outcome was inconclusive. So in addition to the law, we must also look at the political environment so that we create conditions that are conducive for a free and fair election so that after the elections are done, the losers are able to congratulate the winners. The winners are able to form a bona fide democratic and legitimate Government. That is why the political considerations are important. Moreover, we are in a framework where SADC and the AU are working with us. So we need to make sure that, without compromising our sovereignty, we keep our colleagues from South Africa, SADC and the AU in the loop. These are political considerations. We must not do things that bring us into disrepute vis-a-vis ourselves as the people, the facilitator, President
Zuma, and the AU.
Madam Speaker, if we take into account the legal requirements and the political considerations and sit down together as Zimbabweans, as team Zimbabwe, in an inclusive manner, we will be able to come up with a date for our elections. A date which is acceptable to all of us. A meaningful date which will allow us to deliver an outcome that will be bona fide and a legitimate, which will in turn allow us to have a
Government which is not challenged by those who would have lost. So I do not want to pre-empt myself by giving you a date. After today, we are going to be able to sit together in an inclusive manner and determine the date for our elections. Working together as team Zimbabwe, we shall overcome.
*MRS. MATIENGA: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. We found that we have received rains in the past two days. My question is, are we supposed to be planting crops or it is a climate change. Therefore, is it possible for you to tell us the type of rains which we are having now? *THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (SEN. DR. MADE): Thank
you for that question honourable member but I am not responsible for the weather changes and the rains that fall. I am simply a farmer and also doing my farming according to the rain seasons. The rainfall pattern falls under many departments and ministries. These are the meteorological office, the Ministry of Environment and you also find that in the science side, we have the Minister of Science and
Technology, Prof. Dzinotyiwei all looking at the rain patterns.
We all know that as farmers, we use any rains in our farming projects as long as there is rain. So, the winter rains can also be fully utilised by a farmer who is well planned. Thank you.
Questions without notice were suspended by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 34.
WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
RESUSCITATION OF THE SHAGARI DAM
- MR MADUBEKO asked the Minister of Water Resources Development and Management to explain how the Ministry intends to resuscitate the Shagari Dam so that irrigation in Lower Gweru is enhanced.
THE MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES
DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT (MR. S. S. NKOMO):
Thank you Madam Speaker.
ORAL ANSWER TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
PLANS TO ALLEVIATE PROBLEMS FACED BY PHYSICALLY
- MRS MANGAMI asked the Minister of Labour and Social
Services to explain to the House –
- the Ministry’s plans to alleviate problems faced by physically challenged people in acquiring equipment such as wheel chairs, crutches, hearing aids and lotions for albinos, among others;
- Whether duty is paid on such equipment and on special types of motor vehicles and
- The requirements for acquiring such equipment duty free.
THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES
(MS MPARIWA): Let me thank the hon. member for the question. On the first part of the question, Madam Speaker, my Ministry, through the
Department of Social Welfare Services, and as provided for in the Social
Welfare Assistance Act (1988) and the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter
17.01); of 1992 provides assistance to persons with disabilities. These are devices that enhance or assist persons with physical challenges in undertaking their daily, social and professional routines. To access this facility, the prospective beneficiary has to approach the nearest District
Social Services office which is found in every district Madam Speaker. One has to go with three quotations from different suppliers of the enabling technology required. This facilitates the initiation of the application and subsequent processing of the payment using funds from the Disabled Persons Fund. The Disabled Persons Fund is a statutory fund set aside for the welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.
The second part of the question that is (b) and (c), is that duty is not paid on assistive technologies and special type of motor vehicles. The pre-requisite for being exempted from paying duty is a presentation of a Registration Certificate in the case of registered Private Voluntary Organisations. In the case of individuals, there is need for presenting details pertaining to certification of disability which is done at any public hospital or registered orthopedic technicians or centres. These prerequisites should be submitted to ZIMRA officials before initiating the importation of specialised vehicles or assistive technologies.
Let me explain this Madam Speaker, that there has been many occasions where one acquires the required equipment without prior notice or without notifying ZIMRA or my Ministry or without the documents that are needed. Then that takes time. By the time one gets the go ahead of actually going back to the border, they may have lost the equipment or lost patience.
I encourage hon. members to assist their communities by way of going to the social services office, communicate with ZIMRA and to also get a quotation. Madam speaker by the time one acquires something, everything will be in place, they will not take time running up and down the boarders. You know that there is bureaucracy in Government, so, you need actually to bear with the officials.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL
SERVICES, the House adjourned at Twenty Five Minutes past Three
th June, 2013. o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 4