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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 23 SEPTEMBER 2020 VOL 46 NO 66
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
DEATH OF HON. PATRICK CHIDAKWA
THE HON. SPEAKER: It is with profound sorrow that we learnt about the death of Hon. Patrick Chidakwa, Member of Parliament for Marondera East Constituency on Saturday 12th September, 2020. May I invite all Hon. Members to rise and observe a minute of silence in respect of the late Hon. Member.
All Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.
Our condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I have the following apologies from the Executive. The Hon. K. C. D. Mohadi, Vice President, Hon. Dr. C. D. G. Chiwenga, Vice President and Hon. Edgar Moyo, Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
HON. GONESE: Mine was just a clarification arising from the apologies given because I just counted four apologies. I just wanted the Chair or the Hon. Leader of the House to indicate where the other Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers who are not in the House and not on the list of apologies you announced are. Perhaps we could be enlightened as to whether those Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are on their way or they have just been delayed or is it a case of them not abiding by the provisions of Section 107 of the Constitution which provides that they must attend Parliament to answer questions. If they do not, I think the time has come for the axe to fall on those errant Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers who persistently without any justifiable excuse continuously absent themselves from their obligations and responsibilities as enunciated in the provisions of both the Constitution and our Standing Rules. So I just thought
that perhaps we could be enlightened why only a few apologies and only a few of those esteemed Ministers and Deputy Ministers are in the House.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, His
Excellency is very clear on Minister’ obligations to attend Parliament. Yesterday, this was highlighted. I believe that those that are not here are delayed and they will turn up. If they do not turn up, then I do not have any excuse - but my thinking is that those that are not yet here are on their way so if Members can be patient a little and field questions to those that are already here and as we go on, we then see whether indeed they are not coming.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister Ziyambi. At an appropriate time, I do not know whether Hon. Gonese would like to pursue the matter but we will give them the indulgence. For the future, the other Hon. Ministers have been here - I am sure by ten past two or so, and they are on time. From my knowledge of Cabinet time, Ministers are there by ten to nine unless Cabinet time has changed and they respect that protocol. Parliament yes, ten past two they have to be here. So we will wait according to the Leader of Government Business and see what happens. To be added to the list is Hon. Zhemu Soda, the Minister of Energy and Power Development. He is on national duty, but I think the Deputy is here so he is covered. Thank you.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. E. MASUKU: Mr. Speaker, my question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs. What is Government policy on access to identity documents in rural remote areas pertaining to children born during the lockdown?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member
for a very pertinent question. During the lockdown of course –
THE HON. SPEAKER: What happened to your iPad Hon. Minister? HON. KAZEMBE: I forgot it at home.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am going to withdraw it from you because
it looks like it is not of any use to you.
HON. KAZEMBE: Yes, during the lockdown period we were not issuing birth certificates, but we have now partially re-opened the services Mr. Speaker. What is happening now is we are starting with those children born when the lockdown started coming closer towards –
Commotion after Ministers having walked in
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Order, Hon. Ministers you are crowded. Will the backbenchers please take the seats at the back there? Hon.
Coventry, you are too close for comfort, if you can move there. Right, order! Order, the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, please.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a pertinent question. Yes, during the lockdown we were not issuing birth certificates, neither were we providing any services besides burial orders - but we have now partially resumed some services within the Central Registry and birth certificates are some of the services that are now being offered. Because we are now aware that there is backlog since the lockdown was declared in March, we are starting with the children that were born in March coming close towards September. People who want birth certificates will call the Central Registry. They are vetted on line and are given numbers and dates on which they can visit the Central Registry. We are doing this to try and avoid crowding.
We have resumed service delivery in that regard. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question is; Hon. Minister, there was lockdown and some of the women were unable to go to hospitals and gave birth at their homesteads. What is it that you will do because there are requirements when you are going to get a birth certificate for you to show as documents from hospital? In this instance, they did not go to hospital.
HON. KAZEMBE: Mr. Speaker Sir, I did not get the question, can you assist?
THE HON. SPEAKER: During lockdown, there was a question
of transport. Transport is the issue in the rural areas. How do you reach out there?
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. In the long run, we are trying to decentralise the Central Registry. In addition, we are embarking on mobile registration and we have already done this in certain areas. In the meantime, we are aware that some people may find problems in getting to where the Central Registry office is but the issue of transport and the issue of availability of transportation in between rural areas, cities and inter cities is an issue that is under discussion within the taskforce with a view to resolving it in due course. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the
Minister did not hear the question. That was not the question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat the question?
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Hon. Minister, what
you were asked was because there was lockdown, some of the women were unable to go to hospitals and they gave birth at their homesteads. What is it that you will do because there are requirements when you are going to get a birth certificate for you to show as documents from hospital? In this instance, they did not go to hospital. What have you changed around that policy to ensure that even those that gave birth at home would still be registered?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Misihairabwi.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank
the Hon. Member for clarifying. It is an issue, to be perfectly honest that we have to look at this particular time but I would like to thank the Hon. Member. It is an issue that we will have to discuss with our Ministry and the Ministry of Health because they are responsible for the issuance of birth records at the time of birth. So, it is an issue that we need to deal with Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Anele Ndebele, the procedure is; if you are burning with a supplementary you rise up and you are recognised. Do not shout at the Hon. Minister.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In the Minister’s
response to the initial question, he talked about people being required to use internet to register and be given a number so that they are put in a queue. I have not heard of it as a Member of Parliament. Can he explain to this House how this system works and how it is going to work for the people in the rural areas where there is no internet connection and sometimes electricity itself.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought the follow up answer indicated
that the Hon. Minister will liaise with the Ministry of Health in order to deal with the mischief of communication. It cannot be better than that [HON. MADZIMURE: Inaudible interjection.] – You did not follow the question. The question was women gave birth in the rural areas, therefore ...
[Hon. Nduna having stood up.]
Hon. Nduna why are you standing up? The documentation required as per hospital records is not there. That is why the Hon. Minister says he will have to liaise with his colleagues and find the best way out to assist accordingly.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Is there any chance or proposal from the Ministry for a moratorium to grant birth certificates and IDs to those whose parents do not have the documentation to help them get birth certificates in the rural areas? At least six months because some of them do not have parents who have birth certificates or national identities because they were born from parents whose nationality is enshrined in Section 35 after Section 38 of the Constitution, which talks about citizenship to those that were born in Zimbabwe and have been in Zimbabwe for more than 10 years.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am afraid, that is a new question all together. Keep your question, you can ask it later on.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Education and in his absence...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just ask your question. It is my responsibility to direct the question accordingly.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you. My question is; since the schools will be opening soon, what is the policy to cater for the school going children by providing buses that will carry children to school?
*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. J. G. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Member for the question. When schools open, ZUPCO is going to provide buses which are specifically targeted towards students and teachers in urban areas so that children uses buses that are only exclusive to them. Hygiene measures are going to be taken like sanitising students hands, the buses are going to be fumigated after each and every trip. The school children are not going to mix with adults. I thank you.
*HON. NYAMUDEDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to find
out Hon. Minister the number of students that is allowed to be ferried in one bus? How many buses have been released to cater for the children only? I thank you.
*HON. J. G. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, before lockdown conditions were reviewed, a bus carried half its capacity but now the lockdowns conditions have been reviewed, I might not have the exact number that each bus is supposed to carry. However, that can be answered specifically by ZUPCO managers. We continue urging people to exercise social distancing even in buses - [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, please do not ask the Minister practical questions. There are different sizes of buses. To ask for a number that is an impossibility.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. In respect of inter-city travel there has been a relaxation, allowing other operators to come forward, comply with the regulations and then operate. My supplementary question is what is the policy rationale for maintaining the monopoly of ZUPCO in the urban areas when the real issue is to ensure that transport operators are able to comply with the lockdown regulations? Why are they not extending this to other operators who can then come forward and then alleviate the problem of transportation for the learners, teachers and all other urban dwellers? Can you explain why Government has not extended the same latitude to urban areas which has been extended on inter-city travel?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I will spare the Hon. Minister because the question was asked two weeks ago and Hon. Prof. Murwira indicated that it is not strictly ZUPCO buses. There are other buses that have been ropped in and they carry the ZUPCO sticker. I thought Hon. Prof.
Murwira answered that last week.
HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, from a policy perspective, this is why I am questioning the rationale for giving ZUPCO that monopoly that all other operators have to come under the ambit of ZUPCO. In respect of inter-city travel, that has now been relaxed and operators can now independently apply to transport passengers on their own accord. That is my question; why the same latitude is not being extended to urban areas.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Outside those that have been identified?
HON. GONESE: Yes, outside ZUPCO.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I get you now, thank you.
HON. J. G. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, it is truly Government policy that we rationalise the urban transport system and we have given every opportunity to every transporter in this country who has either a bus or a commuter omnibus to come and register with ZUPCO so that we rationalise the transportation in the urban areas. In the rural areas, it has been historically the same...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, are you connected because I cannot see you here.
HON. J. G. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was just saying it is indeed Government policy to rationalise the urban transport system and the choice of ZUPCO is not to create a monopoly at the exclusion of other operators. That is why every operator has been given an opportunity with their vehicles, buses or commuter omnibus to register with ZUPCO so that we can go back to making sure that the routes are well marked and we can rationalise everywhere in the urban areas.
When it comes to inter-city, which is the responsibility of the Minister of Transport, he can answer that part of it. We are very clear what we want to achieve is a rationalised urban transport system in this country. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.
MATIZA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. We have opened the inter-city to allow for other areas that are interlinked that have been opened for instance tourism. It has been opened so there is need to link the tourists who travel by bus to be able to go to places like Victoria Falls and other areas. So, those have been opened and opened to operators who will satisfy the guidelines set by our taskforce. I am happy to say that many have complied and our roads are being plied by those who did comply. The police are doing a great job to make sure that they comply and it is working very well. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I want to ask my question to the Minister of Local Government, if he may refresh our memory with respect to metred taxis. What is the position regarding those? Are they expected to register with ZUPCO because at most, they only carry two to three passengers at a time? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.
MATIZA): Metered transport especially the taxis, we have also allowed them to start operating subject to the guidelines that have been put in place. In fact, we have gone further to allow Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and Driving Schools to allow the testing of taxi drivers as well. The whole chain has been taken care of in terms of metered vehicles. I thank you.
HON. CHITURA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What measures have you put in place to ensure safety of students who are going back to school?
HON. T. MLISWA: Hon Speaker, is it not appropriate for the
Minister of Higher Education to respond because tertiary institutions are also going through the same thing rather than the Leader of Government Business.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I will allow the Leader of the House to respond and then the Minister of Higher Education can supplement.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIR (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank
the Hon Member for the question. Indeed Mr. Speaker Sir, all the measures are being taken to ensure the safety of learners. Like in any other institution that is opening, we will ensure there is sanitisation, wearing of face masks, temperature will be taken and also the social distancing aspect will be observed. All the schools are undergoing a training exercise so that they comply with the requirements to ensure that our learners continue learning. You will also appreciate that at some stage, we have to live with this and therefore we need to prepare to ensure that everything normalises. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY
EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF MURWIRA): Higher and tertiary
education institutions are in session. In terms of the universities, they have already finished their final year examinations. What we are doing is to take all precautions that are in the guidelines as espoused by the WHO and the Ministry of Health. So far so good – we have not had any incidences. When we had incidences in July, we actually responded by closing and we went back and perfected our art. It seems to be working but we remain vigilant. I thank you.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: May I request that we
have a Ministerial Statement when the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is available because the issues around the opening of schools are too many and are causing major problems. It will be important for the Minister to come here and issue a statement from syllabi because we do not know what kids are going to write when they have not been at school. We do not know whether it is true that these masks are there. There is just a lot. If I may request that a Ministerial Statement be given to this House over the issue around schools opening.
I thank you.
THE HON SPEAKER: Hon Members, you are reminded that if
you want to ask questions, you register with your Whips so that there is order in terms of precedence.
HON. MATEWU: My question is directed to the Minister of
Agriculture. Given that urban agriculture is contributing significantly to food security, what is the Ministry doing to promote access to inputs towards this sector of our informal agriculture land use in preparation for the current farming season?
THE HON. SPEAKER: The question will arise under Written
Question No. 22
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Local Government. What is the role of Government in the cooperatives. For example Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo in Marimba where Government got the title from Rothmans, parceled the land to the cooperatives but now Billy Rautenberg is claiming the land back that he bought and yet the title deeds belonged to Rothmans International and ceded to
Government and now he has a title deed under Marimba Properties.
How did he come to owning that piece of land when it belonged to Rothmans International?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC
WORKS (HON JULY MOYO): Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member has
asked me a very detailed and technical question which I am very aware is going through so many litigations and I would not be able to give him the details that he is requesting at this particular time.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The matter is sub judice, hence it cannot
be discussed. It is before the courts.
HON. T. MLISWA: May you allow me to put it in writing so that I ask him because I do not want to go into the merits – whether it is sub judice or not....
THE HON. SPEAKER: If it is in writing, you have to allow the courts to do the due process.
HON. T. MLISWA: That is the reason why I said there are certain matters. I would not want to go into the merits of whether it is in court or not, but I think when I pose the question, he will be able to ascertain whether he should respond, or whether it is sub judice or not. I agree that it is quite a detailed issue.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why do you not wait for the due process
of the court?
HON. T. MLISWA: That is why I was saying it is not there. I would not want to go into the merits and demerits....
THE HON. SPEAKER: Even if you do not go to the merits, there may be consequential factors that relate to the matter and the Minister may be caught on the wrong foot altogether. Just be calm and wait for the courts to do their job. If you have a problem.....
HON. T. MLISWA: The Minister has invited me to his office, I will go there and talk to him.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You may also approach the Chief
Justice to find out how far the matter is through the registrar of the High Court.
HON. BITI: I would like to raise a point of order on the same two issues pertaining to the same....
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have ruled. The issue is before the
HON. BITI: If you .....
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a minute.
HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We have found the Forensic report and
we task the Minister to deal with it.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Hon.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. The Hon. Minister issued an order last week or so ordering the police to impound every vehicle that does not have number plates. May the Minister give us the policy thrust of that order in view of the fact that the country has got a shortage of number plates?
The order came in a manner that said ‘with immediate effect, any vehicle that does not have number plates should be impounded.’ That has made travelling chaotic because people cannot travel with their vehicles. It has also created chaos at the ZIMRA ....
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating Hon. Member.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I just wanted to paint the picture of ....
THE HON. SPEAKER: The question is clear.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH
MATIZA): Government is cognisance of the fact that there is a shortage of number plates. Those who listened to yesterday’s news heard the interventions by Government to solve this issue once and for all – that is localising manufacturing of number plates. This whole process has been championed by our higher institutes of learning and scientists to come up with a suitable and superior number plate. This has been achieved by our institutions and our scientists. As we speak now, Cabinet has approved the production of number plates locally –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. You are not chairing. Ndichiri panyanga, ehee.
HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Coming to the issue that was raised, there are factors that should be taken into cognisant. Firstly, the number plates came late because of COVID issues in terms of transportation. Secondly, the disbursement of number plates started in July and we noted that there were thousands of registered number plates and people were not coming. As a result of this, there was a spike in crime and accidents and all the other things relating to cars without number plates.
Security became an issue. That is why we intervened and instructed the police to do what they did. I would like to thank the police who executed this efficiently. What then happened is that people started coming in to get the number plates and the place has been congested. The COVID issue was again affecting our offices because we were operating at 15% capacity. We had to increase the number of hours. We now have decentralised to every Province and the number plates are sent there. As we speak, we have number plates that will last us up to the first week of November. We are working on it
Looking at the innovation that has been put in place by Government and looking at what we are doing, efforts are in place. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, I want to put it on record that the Hon. Minister could be misleading Parliament because currently as we speak there are no number plates in a number of cities in this country. That information can be confirmed independently from the CVR. However, my question is this, two years ago Hon. Minister you issued a statement in which you were acknowledging that temporary number plates are recognised as number plates. Your current order seems to have reversed that. Also, if you visit all places that deal with number plates like CVR, VTS and ZIMRA you will find that there is crowding and congestion in violation of the lockdown regulations. What are you going to do to ensure that people do not spread Covid-19 in those areas where people are queuing for number plates? I thank you.
HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Mr Speaker. What do I do
to make sure that people in those places do not spread Covid-19? There are guidelines that are very specific and if people there are not complying that is a problem. We have institutions that deal with that issue and if that has not come to our attention I am not quite aware of that. On the issue of temporary number plates it was a gesture that was being abused so we had to come in. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I shall not recognise Hon. Members who shout. The Standing Orders say just stand up and you will be recognised. Do not shout.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Up to mid
August there were no number plates. If we look at the numbers that had accumulated, CVR cannot process more than 200...
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. MADZIMURE: My supplementary is the capacity of the CVR to issue number plates to cover for the backlog whilst the cars are impounded and what he is doing about the corruption that is now prevalent where the cars are being impounded. The moment you pay your money you get your car without number plates even at road blocks.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Why did you not report to the police?
HON. MADZIMURE: How do I report it to the police, they are
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, the Hon Minister has addressed
the issue of congestion through decentralisation of the operations. If there is corruption report them to the police.
HON. O. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation. We have seen a lot of stories about sexual harassment of female referees in the soccer fraternity. It has been reported through the print and electronic media.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That question does not relate to policy.
That is an incident or incidences.
HON. O. SIBANDA: What is government policy on protecting female employees in football in terms of sexual harassment?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought you were talking about
referees now it is employees in general. Alright.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORTS, ART AND
RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I
would like to thank my Hon. Colleague for the question. As of right now we have just had the Sport Integrity Bill principles passed by
Cabinet. We are working with the Attorney General’s Office and this is what the Bill will be able to enact; safety and protection of referees, athletes and all stakeholders in terms of abuse, anti-doping, any forms of corruption and match fixing. So, it is work in progress. Currently there is no legislation that is protecting us hence the reason for this Bill which is being drafted by the Attorney General.
HON. P. MOYO: Now that we have seen it is so rampant for females to do sport when is the Minister expecting to put legislation that will protect women in soccer or any sporting activity. What is the time frame?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Haa veduwe. The Hon. Minister said
the Bill is with the AG’s office and the Minister cannot be expected to say when the AG’s office is going to finish but she did indicate concern that the law must come before Parliament as soon as possible.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: My question is directed
to the Minister of Health and Child Care. Could you please explain why government is not providing testing for Covid-19 privately particularly given the fact that every pregnant woman in this country is now required to have been tested for Covid-19 to avoid issues of infection when they do go to give birth? Why is it that Government is facilitating for that private testing for the private sector and losing a lot of money when we do have places in which government could actually be providing for private testing and getting that money to ensure that we pay nurses and doctors who are not going to work right now?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH (HON. DR.
MANGWIRO): The Government policy does not limit testing of Covid to Government institutions only, it allows private players to come in. The sources of their Covid testing machines or gadgets should be authentic and should have been tested by our national reference laboratories and licensed. So, Government has no policy of saying private cannot test. It is allowed for an individual to choose where they can have their tests. Government also has testing facilities in hospitals and many other places that do test as does the Government laboratories that test for Covid-19.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I do not think the
Minister understood me at all. The question is where is Government testing privately because as I speak right now Government is facilitating for Lancet to charge people USD65. They are opening another centre in Victoria Falls where they are giving Lancet the latitude to be able to get money for USD65 per person. Why is Government not using their own facilities to privately test and get that money so we can put it in our own pockets? Why are facilitating for private sector.
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: It is not correct that we as Government
are facilitating tests at Lancet. People go to Lancet Private Laboratories at their own volition and Government has got private wards where one can be tested by private practitioners. It is not true that Government does not have private places where people can be tested. It depends on where you look for it. If you go to Parirenyatwa D-floor and B12 are all private, the same thing as UBH. If you want to go private you go but Government, even if you check at the airport, there are private players and the Government is also there. So it depends on where one wants to go but it is not correct that we planned that Lancet should have an outlet in Victoria Falls, that is not correct. Lancet is a private player, if they are doing their work and charging USD65, we did not impose that on them. It is their own volition that they are doing that but if you want to get tested privately, Government has private areas where they can be found.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I truly understand the angle of the Minister to say that Government has facility of testing in the manner in which he has explained but there is inadequate equipment to the extent that why is Government not fully equipping its facilities to the extent of matching the private sector leaving people to opt for the private sector.
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: It is not correct to say that private is testing the majority of patients. Government takes care for almost 80 to 85 percent of the Zimbabwe population and in a pandemic like this, there is no rough thing as saying private cannot test. So we have allowed them to help us during this pandemic period and our hospitals, if you go to NMRL, Bulawayo and Mpilo are fully equipped with extraction machines, and the multiplier machines that give us the virus from a particle are all there. Most of our provincial hospitals now have testing equipment and media to carry the tests or whatever will be used. So it is not correct to say private is doing the majority of the work. The Government carries the bulk of the population and privately you can be tested in Government institutions if there are private facilities but Lancet is doing it and we allow them because in a situation like this anyone who can help us should come in.
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, the point of clarity that I seek is
Government is supposed in its policy to provide affordable health care [[HON. BITI: Section 76 of the Constitution.] – and it seems they are not doing that. The second point is the reason why people are going to the private sector is the time factor on getting results. The question is while you brag about being well-facilitated why is it taking long for the results to go out. It forces people to go to the private sector which is expensive.
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: I think his question is about timing and
coming back of results. It depends on which institution you go to. If one has their sample collected say from Kuwadzana and they are all batched together, say 96 per test. This thing takes about four hours just to get the particle of the virus, and then it has to be multiplied or amplified to become a proper virus for us to then say this is Covid. The problem is there are so many problems that cause delay.
First, it could be the labelling itself that the Honourable is alluding to say this specimen has come from Kuwadzana or Chiredzi. They are all batched together then they take time to distribute. We have since moved in to make sure that the labelling and anything that causes delay is removed from the system and right now we are quite computerised especially from our central referral laboratories that people must get their results.
If someone has been tested and thinks that time has been too long, we also allow them to phone us or anyone else to help us quicken the turnaround time for the PCR testing but otherwise it is not Government policy to delay results. Our policy is that people must be served as soon as they come to the hospital, get treatment or travel wherever they want to go. Our policy is we want to improve the turnaround time so that things get well for everyone.
*HON. KWARAMBA: My question is directed to the Minister of
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. The issue Minister is that people got farming inputs through the command agriculture scheme and people did not pay back. So if you go to CBZ to get access to the command agriculture inputs you find that one is in debt and it is difficult for one to get a loan. People of Hurungwe are worried about this.
*THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER,
CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR.
MASUKA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The question is not really a question. She said that once she has sold her grain, she gets a paper reflecting the amount that she has gotten from GMB. I would advise the Hon. Member to go and engage CBZ and GMB. The loan is acquired from CBZ and the GMB is the one that takes the money to CBZ. There is need for you to expedite the process and ensure that GMB and CBZ address the issue as the rain season is around the corner for you to be able to plough on time. I thank you.
*HON. KWARAMBA: I think the issue of paying back the loan
started when Minister Shiri was still there...
*THE HON. SPEAKER: What is the question?
*HON. KWARAMBA: My question is that the money that is being charged by GMB and the amount that has been charged by CBZ is not aligned. What does the policy say? The GMB gives a statement which shows that you would have paid off the loan but when you get to CBZ you will find that you are still owing. That is what we want to know why there is such discrepancy. When a person wants to access command inputs you cannot get them because CBZ advises you that you still owe some money.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Mr. Speaker Sir, initial process was that when farmers approached CBZ, the, loans were acquired but the loans can only be repaid if one ploughs and delivers grain to GMB which in turn takes the money to CBZ. Whatever you are saying, CBZ must be in the picture. I can only assist in addressing that challenge if you bring the paper work and I have a look at it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Kwaramba, I think to get the
intervention of the Minister, if you have got the list of such cases, why do you not pass them on to the Hon. Minister for investigation? That will be quicker.
HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. What is the Government policy with regards to the connection of electricity to
Government institutions in rural areas, for example, schools and clinics?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER
DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. When it comes to the electrification of Government institutions or rural areas per se, we have got the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) which is responsible for the electrification programme. We prioritise Government institutions like schools, clinics and business centres. I think I am lost somewhere I do not know whether I have answered the question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: The question is – is it the responsibility of the communities to make the connections or is it Government responsibility?
HON. MUDYIWA: REA does the installation of the
infrastructure of electricity up to the institution. In the past, it was the responsibility of the institution to do the tubing and all the other work so that electricity is connected in the building. The new policy now is that the electrification is done up to the connection by the REA. The institutions will be responsible for paying some funds for reconnection because that is done by the ZETDC. REA does the electrification up to the administration or the important buildings that are within the institution. The institution just does the payment of the connection fees.
I thank you.
*HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Minister, REA is saying the parents should be paying. We do not know now who is supposed to be paying.
THE HON. SPEAKER: This is now a specific question. Can you give the Hon. Minister details of what is happening in that community so that the Minister can answer accordingly.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. It has been irritating me since I have been in this House that Hon. Members seem to ask what the Government policy is instead of them knowing the Government policy. You should be asking the Minister what he is doing to implement Government policy. All the time I have been here, all the Members of Parliament are asking what Government policy is. Ours is to know Government policy and interrogate the Minister through the Government policy. So, may we stop asking what Government policy is? Sorry to be a headmaster or a teacher but I am a bit fed up with that. It shows that we do not know Government policy ourselves yet we should understand Government policy and interrogate how it is being implemented. I thought I should say that because for years it has been irritating me.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, your point is taken. I hope your colleagues have understood. I have been trying to drive that point unfortunately without much success.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Point of clarification Mr. Speaker. There
is a ruling by you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: On what?
HON. CHIKWINYA: On the issue of whether we should ask
Government policy or should we ask on Government implementation. The Hon. Leader of Government business is on record to say he does not speak of implementation but speaks on policy. We want guidance once again from you. Should we ask what Government policy is or should we ask what the implementation mechanism on a Government policy is?
Can you guide us accordingly?
*THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. In Shona they say kuudza mwana hupedzisira. I have agreed with Hon. Mliswa. You are flogging a dead horse now.
HON. MADZIMURE: The Government provides the
infrastructure like the power lines...
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is not a question; follow Hon. T.
Mliswa’s advice please.
HON. MADZIMURE: The policy says the rural electrification.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question?
HON. MADZIMURE: My question is to effect the supply of power you need transformers...
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are debating, what is the question?
HON. MADZIMURE: My question is, does Government policy allow people to pay for the transformers which must be supplied by
ZESA as the policy says?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, did you hear Hon. T.
Mliswa. What is Government policy on a, b, c, finish.
HON. MADZIMURE: What is Government policy on
transformers – [Laughter.] – how else can we ask the Ministers? Why are they not supplying transformers that is not the question?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, please do not make the Chair laugh. What is Government policy on transformers? What does that mean?
HON. MADZIMURE: Mr. Speaker, I said on provision the law
THE HON. SPEAKER: Change your statement. What is
Government policy on provision of ....
HON. MADZIMURE: Exactly this is what I said.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): The policy is that REA which
does the electrification in the rural areas provides for the whole infrastructure, the power lines and the transformer up to the connection of electricity. That is the policy.
HON. NDEBELE: What is the percentage of penetration of rural electrification under the REA programme since its inception?
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is a specific question which require me I have to go and get the figures and bring them to this House.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Let us give the Minister time to find out the percentage of penetration.
HON. NDEBELE: Has she researched on the percentage of penetration? – [AN HON. MEMBER: Penetration.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, it is unparliamentary to use the word ‘she’ referring to the Hon. Minister. We say the Hon. Minister.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for that correction. Has the Hon. Minister researched on the percentage of the reach out of these – [Laughter.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is nothing wrong with the word
HON. NDEBELE: Yes, I agree Hon. Speaker. May she also...
THE HON. SPEAKER: May the Hon. Minister...
HON. NDEBELE: May the Hon. Minister also kindly apply her mind to the application of the policy that she just referred to on REA supplying the full spectrum of the equipment that is required because I know for certain I have been on a waiting list and I have been told...
THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now debating. When the
statement is made, you will then ask a question about your experience.
HON. NDEBELE: May she also canvass why...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you are refusing to
be corrected. I said you refer her as Hon. Minister, not ‘she’, please sit down now.
HON. G. BANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
What is Government policy with regards to the credit bureau that is continuously blacklisting people without any court orders?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I did not follow the question.
HON. G. BANDA: What is the Government policy with regards to the credit bureau that is continuously blacklisting people without any court orders?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The Bureau de Changes are governed by an Act of Parliament which is the Banking Act. Any violations, there is a due process that has to be followed by whoever is aggrieved and I think the best advice is for whoever is aggrieved to follow the due process. If they exhaust all the local remedies, then they can approach the courts. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home
Affairs as it relates to section 35 up to section 38 of the Constitution.
What is Government policy relating to giving of birth certificates and identity documents to people who might then be termed internally displaced persons who have been born in this country and have been living in this country for over 10 years but do not have identity documents? What is Government policy in relation to giving them a moratorium for them to acquire the same? We continue to perpetually have generations without birth certificates or identity documents.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL
HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank the Hon.
Member for asking such an important question. Mr. Speaker Sir, there are so many ways of getting a birth certificate even if your parents were dislocated. There are a number of requirements, quite a cocktail of them, to say the very least. So, I am sure those in those situations should be able to get birth certificates either by bringing to the Central Registrar their relatives and in some cases I am aware that even the local chiefs can assist in ensuring that such people get birth certificates.
There are a number of ways which ensure that those people are taken care of. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: I thank you Hon. Minister for your well rounded response. I ask a supplementary as follows - is there a way you can provide a moratorium for those who do not have birth certificates or identity documents who have not been able to get birth certificates or identity documents under the set rules and conditions so that you invoke and align the Birth and Death Registration Act that speaks to 42 days after birth for somebody to get a birth certificate and for Section 35 and 38 of the Constitution that says no matter what, you need to a have citizenship according to birth certificates and identity documents according to that section. Align the Birth and Death Registration Act and the Constitution. A moratorium of about six months, no questions asked of people to get birth and death and identity documents. I thank you.
HON KAZEMBE: To be perfectly honest, I did not really get the question. What I heard is a moratorium but I will attempt to answer. There is no need for a moratorium in the first place because it is quite open because there is no threshold or specific period within which someone should be able to get a birth certificate.
Secondly, the Hon Member referred to a situation where somebody has just been born and they want us to give them time. I am seeing some inconsistencies Madam Speaker because initially, the Hon Member had asked that how can we allow people whose parents may have been relocated or may not be within the same location. I am not so sure how that is feasible with someone who has just been born. They are born and all of a sudden the parents disappear. Nonetheless, like I mentioned earlier on, there are a number of requirements that can be provided for such people so that they can get birth certificates and there is no threshold or specific period, so there is no need for a moratorium. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: I request that I put explicitly my presentation in writing to the Minister of Home Affairs so that he can effectively, eloquently, efficiently respond to this very gigantic, magnus and very important issue of birth certificates and identity cards.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: My question is directed to the
Minister of Local Government and Public Works. What is Government’s policy concerning the naming and denaming of roads?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON M. CHOMBO): Thank you very much
for that pertinent question on naming and denaming of roads. The naming and denaming of roads and streets is done through gazetting through the Ministry. When you are changing names of roads, the local authority has got the powers or mandate to do the renaming.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Deputy Minister
for her response. There is a policy that says there are no roads that should be named or renamed after living people. My question is why is it that Government finds pleasure in rewarding people after they have died in naming roads after them instead of naming roads using names of people that are still alive?
HON. M. CHOMBO: There is no policy that really binds
Government that you have to restrict yourself to the living only. This has been going on since time immemorial that most of the roads or streets are named after the departed. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: There is a circular that was written by the former Minister of Local Government, Hon Kasukuwere addressed to all local authorities saying that no living person should be accorded the honour to be named after a road.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May the Hon Member put that
question in writing and the Minister will research on that.
HON. TOGAREPI: What is Government’s policy where it is
apparent that the local authority has totally failed its citizens in terms of service delivery? Do we keep it there? Do we do something to ensure that the interest of the people are protected?
HON. CHIKWINYA: The Hon Member may assist the House by the tools which they have used to come up to ‘apparent’, otherwise we are shooting in the dark. What tools have been used to come up to apparent? Is it an audit, survey or vote? Where are you getting the term
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT,
AND PUBLIC (HON. M. CHOMBO): According to the Constitution,
we can only replace – I think he is trying to say are we going to keep the few councillors that are left; The Constitution says only 50%, let us say they have been relieved of their duties...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Maybe you did not get the
question correctly. Hon. Togarepi, may you please repeat your question.
HON. TOGAREPI: Let me repeat the question and also add what Hon. Chikwinya wants to know. We have done a lot of investigations on local authorities. Audits have been done. We now know that this is a corrupt authority, this is ....
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Togarepi, may you
please go to the question?
HON. TOGAREPI: What is Government policy where it has become apparent or very clear that this local authority is no longer performing to the expectations of the citizens of that local authority?
HON. M. CHOMBO: When we found out that the local authorities are not performing as per standard, we have carried out investigations and where somebody has been found corrupt, they have been suspended or the corrective measures have been taken. That is what has been done so far.
*HON. MAKONYA: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. Where are you getting the statistics for people who have recovered from COVID 19 because these people - including Members of Parliament here, have not been re-tested after the ten days?
How do you then know that the virus is no longer in one’s system?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD
CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): This virus, SARS-Cov 2 ‘dies’ in the system after ten days and will be visible in the blood. Even WHO has confirmed that after ten days, there is no need to retest because the virus will no longer be active. If you are tested, one will still test positive after those ten days but that does not mean that the virus is still in your blood. Panenge pachingoonekwa hudanzu danzu hwe virus but does not cause illness. That is what we use in diagnosing.
If someone has been put in a quarantine centre after coughing or having lung infection – when the person starts to heal, we know that the virus is now dead. If a person continues to be sick, it will be the heart, lungs or kidneys that will have been damaged, but if one had a headache and was coughing, we say that person has been healed.
*HON. MAKONYA: I would like to know if the Minister is doing follow ups by calling the affected/infected people and getting the statistics?
*HON. DR. MANGWIRO: If a person was in an isolation centre, as doctors and other specialists make some observations; they check if a person could not breathe properly or was coughing, and if those symptoms are no longer there, then the person is healed. Testing whether the virus is there or not after 10 days does not add any value to a person’s healing. A healed person has records that show they were positive and sick but if you are found positive but not feeling sick in terms of headaches, diarrhoea or failing to pass water because the kidneys are not functioning properly, we can only say you are healed if the symptoms clear.
For instance jaundice, because of liver dysfunctionality if the eyes clear and become white again we know you will have been healed. I want to guarantee you that as government, we document everything on people who will have contracted COVID-19. You can be found positive and may not even know you are sick. Such people, after staying in isolation for 10 days we know they will be well. We will be making follow up using the knowledge gained from our experience with this disease. For those in hospital failing to breathe properly – let us say the saturation was around 50 to 70, the person needs to get to 98% saturation but it could be stopping at 48 or 39. If we see the person improving saturation to around 90 we know the person is healed and all information is documented.
The major issue is that all the statistics that we give you pertaining to recoveries is coming from an analysis of the patients’ history as well as follow up made on all people affected. Some of them we physically follow at their homes and others we go to their work places. Some even phone us telling us they are healed but we do our work professionally, so there is no way we can say someone is healed; without having seen the person. If the person had breathing problems because of damaged lungs, we cannot say a person is healed when they are not. Some people can live for about two months before getting healed, but in most cases we make follow up on such cases wherever they will be. 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
RESURFACING OF MURAMBINDA- BIRCHENOUGH ROAD
- HON. NYASHANU asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to explain to the House when the Murambinda- Birchenough road resurfacing will commence.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.
MATIZA): Mr Speaker Sir, Murambinda-Birchenough road was allocated funding in 2019 (ZWL 9 million) to construct 10km. The department of roads only managed to construct and resurface 2.5km due to inflation that eroded the funds and also because some funds were channelled towards cyclone Idai disaster. Commencement of road resurfacing works in most provinces this year has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot has been done by the government to save lives and in this regard, the 2020 budget for the road development programme has been re-prioritised to focus on road sections that are at priming stage.
Funding for the resurfacing of such roads was released by Treasury two weeks ago and resurfacing is expected to start soon in all provinces. With regards to Murambinda-Birchenough Road, there is a 2 km section on Base 1 and therefore not part of the re-prioritised primed sections.
Thus resurfacing of this road shall continue next year upon release of the 2021 budget funds. I thank you.
*HON. NYASHANU: Madam Speaker, I would like to let the
Hon, Minister know that this road that we are talking about is a very important road when speaking of Buhera. It has been many years since this road has been prioritised for rehabilitation. I have seen that the road was being fixed by people from his Ministry using hired equipment. My request to the Hon. Minister is if it is possible to get contractors with own equipment who can do a good job - because those we were hiring equipment from were taking a lot of time, and at times they withdrew their equipment from the road,thereby causing no progress at all as at times they would just do 5 metres and leave. This is my request to the Minister.
*HON. ARCH. MATIZA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I want to
thank the Hon Member for his request. As government, we are in the process of doing away with hiring equipment and start using contractors. So contractors can tender their bids and sign contracts to do the work. It is something we have started looking into to phase out hiring of equipment.
REGRAVELLING OF RUPIKE-NYAMANDE-NYIKAVANHU
- HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructure Development to inform the House when the RupikeNyamande-Nyikavanhu road in Masvingo South Constituency will be regravelled.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH.
MATIZA): Madam Speaker, Rupike-Nyamande-Nyikavanhu road is a gravel road which is under the District Development Fund (DDF) and DDF will again be able to respond to timelines of gravelling of this road.
I thank you.
DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
IN MBERENGWA EAST CONSTITUENCY
- HON. RAIDZA asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to inform the House when the Ministry is going to develop sports and recreational facilities in Mberengwa East Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND
RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question and as we see in Section 32 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, it states that the State must take all necessary measures to encourage sporting and recreation activities including the provision of sporting and recreation facilities for all Zimbabweans. With that being said, right now the active project that the Ministry is pursuing is a project where we would like to initiate reconstruction and refurbishment of 40 sports recreational facilities around the country.
Right now, there are six that have been initiated starting in
Masvingo, Esigodini, the Concession Country Club, Mufakose, Shurugwi and Wedza. The areas in which the Ministry are looking now, the way in which we have started to target these areas are areas that have limited access to sport or recreation facilities that have very high numbers of communities that need access to these very important recreational facilities.
It is also my plea Madam Speaker, that in this august House Hon. Members also deploy their influence in their respective constituencies to lure development partners that will be able to establish the sporting and recreational facilities that are needed throughout the country. We know that we have 270 constituencies, 73 districts and 1 963 wards, and we need all of those constituencies to have viable sporting and recreation facilities. Again, I would like to thank the Hon. Member. We also look at ensuring that when we start moving forward and looking at the next phase we include his constituency to be looked at. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am being advised that the Minister has indicated that he has already answered questions 14, 15 and 16. So we will refer to the Hansard.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
RESURFACING OF THE MATSVANGE-MASHOKO AND
- SITHOLE asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructure Development when the resurfacing of the MatsvangeMashoko and Chikuku-Makuvaza roads in Bikita South Constituency will commence.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. ARCH. MATIZA): Mr. Speaker Sir, the rehabilitation and construction of Matsvange-Mashoko and ChikukuMakuvaza roads in Bikita South constituency have been prioritised under the first 5 year National Development strategy from 2021-2025. Hopefully funds being availed the roads will be surfaced under the five year programme.
REPAIRING OF TUGWI RIVER BRIDGE
- SITHOLE asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructure Development to inform the House when the bridge across
Tugwi River which links up the resettlement areas in Ward 26, Save
Valley Conservancy, Ward 3 and Mashoko hospital will be repaired.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MATIZA): Madam
Speaker, the road which links up the resettlement areas in Ward 26, Save
Conservancy, Ward 3 and Mashoko hospital is under strict District Development Fund (DDF). DDF is therefore in a better position to answer this question. I thank you.
OPENING OF A NEW BRANCH FOR THE EMPOWERMENT
BANK IN LUPANE
- HON. M. NKOMO asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans to open a new branch for the Empowerment Bank in Matabeleland North’s provincial capital of Lupane so as to cater for the needs of the youth in the province.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND
RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): EmpowerBank’s medium to
long term plan is to have physical presence in all the 10 provinces of the country to fulfil its financial inclusion mandate. Physical branches come with a heavy financial burden to the Microfinance Bank whose balance sheet is still weak. Therefore, EmpowerBank is currently consolidating its current position in the market before opening more physical branches.
The bank currently has branches in the following provinces:
- Bulawayo (the branch is also responsible for Matebeleland North and part of Matebeleland South and Midlands provinces).
- Harare (the branch is also responsible for Mashonaland West,
Central and East Provinces).
- Masvingo (the branch is also responsible for parts of Matebeleland
South and Midlands provinces).
- Mutare (the branch is also responsible for part of Mashonaland East province).
The bank is in the process of recruiting bank agents across the country with a view of having at least an agent in all the districts of the country. The agents will allow EmpowerBank customers to easily access its products across the country.
Currently, EmpowerBank services can be accessed through its:
- Outreach programmes wherein bank staff visit districts in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and
- ZimSwitch enabled Debit card on POS Machines; and
- Mobile banking.
STRATEGIES TO ALLEVIATE PLIGHT OF YOUTHS
- HON. E. MASUKU asked the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to explain to the House the strategies that are being implemented by the Ministry to alleviate the plight of youths under the prevailing conditions of the Covid 19 pandemic.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH, SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION (HON. COVENTRY): The initiatives being
implemented to alleviate the plight of youth during this Covid 19 pandemic:
The Ministry is doing the following:
- SMEs Relief Fund;
- Artists and Sports Relief Fund;
- Financial inclusion, financial literacy and loans for projects through EmpowerBank; and
- Consistent dialogue with youth and youth groups in order to stay connected and up to date with challenges they may be facing. This has helped us keep our leadership informed and able to make delivery on how to bring relief.
PLYING OF ZUPCO BUSES IN DUSTY FEEDER ROADS OF
- HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Local Government and
Public Works to inform the House when the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) buses will be allocated to ply areas with dusty feeder roads such as Nyajena in Masvingo South Constituency.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC
WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is in the process of rebuilding the robust DAF 825 bus suitable for all terrain for its reintroduction on the unsurfaced routes in the rural areas. The reintroduction of the bus is scheduled for the beginning of November, 2020. Currently, the fleet that is available is suitable for tarred roads only.
GRADING OF ACCESS ROADS IN MASVINGO SOUTH
- HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House when access roads in Masvingo South Constituency will be graded considering that the roads are in a state of dilapidation since this rehabilitation exercise was last done three years ago.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC
WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, there are three road authorities in Zimbabwe namely; Ministry of Transport and
Infrastructural Development – for primary or trunk roads, the District Development Fund - for tertiary or link roads and the local authorities – for tertiary access or tertiary feeder roads. The access roads that Hon. Maronge is asking for fall under the jurisdiction of the local authority and in this case, Masvingo Rural District Council. It must be noted that due to various challenges, road authorities have not managed to regularly maintain their respective roads.
The local authority thus has taken it upon itself to maintain all roads in the district including those that are under the care of the District
Development Fund (DDF) and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, albeit with limited resources (one motorised grader and fuel shortages). The reason for grading all the roads being that, one cannot fly to an access road but has to pass through primary or trunk and tertiary-link roads that need maintenance. The single grader that Masvingo Rural District Council has was on breakdown and is scheduled to start grading a tertiary (main link) road – Bhati-Ngomahuru Road in Wards 21 and 34, which is under Masvingo Central Constituency. It will then go to all wards in Masvingo South. This is subject to availability of fuel since most fuel suppliers are not accepting local currency (ZW$) yet ZINARA disbursed funds to local authorities in local currency.
EXPEDITION OF THE FOOD DEFICIT MITIGATION
- HON. MARONGE asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House measures being taken by the Ministry to expedite the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme in view of the fact that vulnerable persons in some parts of Masvingo South Constituency such as Wards 24, 26 and 28 have not received maize for the past months.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): The Government of
Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare is assisting food insecure households and individuals affected by the recurrent dry spells that have affected the country during the 2019/2020 farming season as well as those affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. The Food Deficit Mitigation Programme has been rolled out to all the 10 provinces of the country. The eight rural provinces are receiving support in kind whilst cash for cereals is being paid to urban areas. The in-kind support where a household receives a 50kg bag of cereal is targeting 735 455 households on a monthly basis.
The Ministry is aware that some parts of the rural population has gone for more than a month without receiving their monthly allocation of grain due to the current grain shortages that the country has been experiencing. The Government is seized with grain importation which has been hampered by the COVID 19 travel restrictions which has witnessed slow movement of grain into the country. With the relaxation of COVID 19 restrictions, more grain will be expected in the country. To ensure no one dies of hunger, the Ministry is working with development partners to ensure that grain is readily available in all rural areas.
ALLOCATION OF AGRICULTURAL INPUT ASSISTANCE TO
PERI-URBAN FARMERS AND URBAN PLOT HOLDERS IN
- HON. B. DUBE asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture,
Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House the Ministry's plan regarding the allocation of agricultural input assistance to peri-urban farmers and urban plot holders in the Gweru Urban area, particularly Ridgemont and other surrounding areas.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR.
MASUKA): Hon. Member, I am pleased to inform this House that the Government input programmes are dedicated to provide farming inputs to all legally resettled farmers with a view to achieve food selfsufficiency, hence the rolling out of the Presidential Climate-proofed (Pfumvudza) Inputs Programme and the Grains Import Substitution Programme dubbed Command Agriculture. Accordingly, all deserving farmers should approach Agritex in their respective areas for the necessary guidance on registration and assistance on access to inputs.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 36 be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 37 has been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
CYBER SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION BILL [H. B. 18,
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER
SERVICES (DR. MUSWERE): Madam Speaker, I rise to present my second reading of the Bill speech, which is the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill [H. B. 18, 2019]. The purpose of the Bill is to consolidate cyber related offences and provide for data protection with regard to the declaration of rights under the Constitution and the public and national interest, to establish a cyber security centre and a data protection authority, to provide for the functions, provide for the investigation and collection of evidence of cyber crime and unauthorised data collection and breaches and to provide for admissibility of electronic evidence for such offences. The Bill will create a technology driven business environment and encourage technological development and lawful use of technology.
I now turn to the specific clauses Madam Speaker. Clause 1 sets out the Short Title of the Bill, date of commencement. Clause 2 provides the objects of the Bill which are to curb cyber crime and promote cyber security in order to build confidence and trust in communication networks. Clause 3 provides for the definitions of terms used in the Bill. Clause 4 sets out the scope of application of the Bill to include the processing data wholly or partly by automated means.
Clause 5 provides for the designation of the cyber security centre with the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ). A cyber security centre is an integral part of the cyber security efforts of a country. It provides and operates in an advisory role to the various actors in the cyber space. It coordinates cyber security efforts by operating the national computer incident response team. Globally, national regulatory authorities stimulate competition to provide the infrastructure for the transportation of data by making a performing market analysis and encouraging the development of next generation networks. The telecommunications operators play a critical role in the data economy regarding the provision of a reliable identifier using exchange data to limit the proliferation of false data. The telecommunications regulator is better placed to control such operations.
It is proposed Madam Speaker that the cyber security centre shall be managed by a Committee of eleven members chosen for computer and
telecommunications, law Q & R t445505 23rd
September 2020 and policy knowledge and skills in respect of any aspect dealt within the Act as follows. One representative nominated by each of the following; the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, the Ministry of Higher
Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Postal and
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the National Prosecution Authority, the Central Intelligence Organisation, the Prisons and Correctional Services. One representative chosen by the organisation representing Information Technology Communications Sector and Computer Professionals, one person with appropriate information technology expertise chosen by the National Association of non-governmental organisation to represent civic society.
Madam Speaker, Clause 6 provides for the functions of the Cyber
Security Centre which will be among other functions to advice Government and implement Government policy on cyber crime and cyber security. The Cyber Security Centre shall also promote and coordinate activities and coordinate activities focused on improving cyber security and prevention of cyber crime.
Clause 7 and 8 provides for the designation of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe as the data protection authority and functions thereof. Madam Speaker, Clauses 9 to 14 provide the minimum standards and general rules for a data controller and for the processing of data. As data is an integral component of ICT and operates across the territorial borders and jurisdictions, there is need for the providers of goods and services to be disciplined and exact in the manner in which they handle data. The Bill outlines the rules permissible and non-permissible of the transfer of data outside the Republic of Zimbabwe and the requirements for the authorisation and non- authorisation of the same.
This is provided in Clauses 28 and 29. The obligations of collectors, processors, storage and communicators of information and telecommunication systems are prescribed minimum standards. Clause 30 Madam Speaker requires the authority to provide and approve codes of conduct and ethics to be observed by the data controller and categories of data controllers.
Clause 31 provides for the management of a whistle blowing system by the authority and Clause 32 provides for the Minister to make regulations in consultation with the authority. The other offences and penalties under this Bill are set out in Clause 33. Madam Speaker, Clause 35 deals with consequential amendments to the Criminal Code by the introduction of this Bill. The Criminal Law, Codification and Reform Act [Chapter 9:23] by the repeal of Section 163 to 166 which I therefore expanded in scope and application.
Madam Speaker, Clause 163 (a) to 163(e) deals with hacking and to prevent interfering, impairing the functions of a computer system which house data which is vital to the country that the incapacity of such would have an impact on security. It further deals with security and protection of data on computer so that data is not obtained, installed, downloaded or modified illegally by means of technology. It also curbs acquisition possession, production, and selling, procuring, distribution for the use imports designed or adapted for the purpose of or damage to the property by committing an offence.
Clause 163(f) in this part is when an offence is committed in aggravating circumstances if committed or in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a crime against the State specified in Part III of the Criminal Code.
Part II of the Bill deals with the offence relating to electronic communications and materials and are provided in the following clauses: Clause 164 deals with the transmission of data messages inciting violence or damage to property. Clause 164 (a) deals with the protection of citizens from receiving threatening messages. Clause 164 (b) deals with cyber bulling and harassment, it also deals with any data message or intimidation which is send to coerces, harass or intimidate. In 164 (c), in section 6, to punish any person who distributes, makes available or broadcasts data containing an identifiable person knowing it to be false intending to cause psychological or economic harm.
Madam Speaker, transmission of data message with intimate images without consent is dealt with in Clause 164 (e) whilst production and dissemination of racist and xenophobic material such as the use of language that turns to lower the reputation of feelings of persons for the reason that they belong to a group of persons, distinguished on the grounds set out in section 56 (III) of the Constitution which clearly stipulates that every person has the right not to be treated in an unfairly discriminatory manner on the grounds of their nationality, race, colour, tribe, place of birth, ethnic or social origin, language, class, religious belief, political affiliation, opinion, custom, culture, sex, gender, marital status, age, pregnancy, disability or economic or social status or whether they are born in or out of wedlock.
The protection of any person whose identity is acquired, transferred, or possessed or used by using a computer or computer information system with intend to commit or assist in commission is provided for in Clause 164 (g). Madam Speaker ,offences against children are set out in Clause 165 and 165 (a) which are pornography involving a child or exposing pornography to children.
Madam Speaker, issues of procedural law are provided in the following clauses, which is 165 (b) which deals with the search and seizure in electronic evidence and 165 (c) which provides the manner and form in which data is preserved for use in terms of investigation. This is where the Magistrate may, on application made by the police officer in a prescribed form that there are reasonable grounds to suspect or believe that traffic data associated with specified communication is required for the purposes of investigations.
Subsection (a) orders any person in control of such data to or preserve itto collect, record, preserve the traffic data associated with the specified communication during a specified period. The obligations and immunity of a service provider who has not initiated or modified the transmission or selected the receiver of a transmission as provided for in Clause 166.
Madam Speaker, Clause 166 (a) deals with the jurisdiction issues of courts in Zimbabwe when dealing with offences in this Bill, for instance a court in Zimbabwe shall have jurisdiction to try any offence under this Act where the offence was committed wholly in part. Subsection (a) is about any offences committed within Zimbabwe by any person in or outside Zimbabwe using a computer or information system or device software or data located in Zimbabwe. Subsection (b), on a ship or aircraft registered in Zimbabwe. Section C subsection (c), by a national permanent resident of Zimbabwe or a person carrying on business in Zimbabwe whether or not the offence is committed in Zimbabwe.
The admissibility of electronic evidence is provided in Clause 166(b). The court upon conviction may order forfeiture to the State of proceeds of such offence covered in Clause 166 (c). Madam Speaker, Clause 166 (d) provides that the Cyber Security Committee may, with approval of the Minister, issue such guidelines as may be necessary for the carrying out of the provisions of this Act as relates to its functions under the Bill. Madam Speaker, I now move that the Bill be now read a second time.
The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill (H.B. 18, 2019) was gazetted on 15 May 2020.The Bill intends to address cyber-crime and increase cyber security in order to build confidence, trust and the secure use of ICTs. The Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill is an advanced, modern Bill that aims to consolidate cyber-related offences, establish a Cyber Security Centre, provide for investigation and collection of evidence of cyber-crime, provide electronic evidence for such offences, and encourage lawful use of technology. It will create a technology driven business environment and encourage technological development and the lawful use of technology. The Bill also seeks to amend certain parts of the Criminal Law, (Codification and Reform) Act
[Chapter 9:23] by repealing sections 163 to 166.
2.1 The Joint Portfolio Committees on Information
Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Information,
Media and Broadcasting Service and Thematic Committee on Peace and
Security had a meeting with the Officials from the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Service on 15 June 2020.The purpose of the meeting was for the Ministry to unpack the Bill for Members.
2.2 The Committees conducted public consultations on the Bill in terms of Section 141 of the Constitution from 5 to 10 July, 2020. The Committees covered part of Harare, Midlands, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and South provinces.
2.3 During the hearings, the Committees received submissions from youths, pensioners, church representatives, business organisations, representatives from media industry, government officials, resident associations, and the general public. The
Committees expressed their heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders who contributed at the public consultations and those who made written submissions.
2.4 The Joint Committees also had a virtual hearing on Zoom to cater for interested people who were not able to participate in the hearings.
3.0 SUBMISSIONS ON THE CYBER SECURITY AND
DATA PROTECTION BILL
3.1. In all areas visited by the Committee, members of the public were aggrieved because they were not aware of the content and context of the Bill. In addition, they were concerned about the bill being too technical for ordinary citizens especially those in remote areas. Members of the public in different areas were of the opinion that the Bill was supposed to be compiled in different recognised languages in the Constitution. It was therefore, submitted that before Parliament engage on public consultations, there was need to conduct awareness and unpacking of the Bills.
Stakeholders highlighted that there is need to provide for two separate Bills; the Cyber Security Bill and the Data Protection Bill in accordance to international standards and best practices, for instance the SADC Model Law on Data Protection and the African Convention on Cyber security and Data Protection. Stakeholders highlighted that by combining the two legislations, the Bill becomes difficult to understand.
3.2 CLAUSE 1: APPLICATION
3.2.1 Stakeholders recommended that the date of commencement of the Bill should be clearly defined because a good law should not apply in retrospect.
3.3 CLAUSE 2: OBJECTIVES
Stakeholders noted that the objective of the Bill does not accurately describe its provisions. They mentioned that the provisions of Bill regulate the collection, processing, transmission, storage and use of personal data by the data controller. It was stated that the Bill creates new offences relating to cyber-crime and its investigations, therefore the objective of the Bill must be amended to include the criminalisation of computer and network related crimes
3.4 CLAUSE 3: INTERPRETATION
Clause 3 of the Bill defines a data controller as “any natural person or legal person who is licencable by the Authority.
Several stakeholders including Google were concerned about three issues on this provision which are as follows:
(i) the definition of a data controller in its present form suggests that a data controller must be licenced by the Authority. This is the only reference in the Bill to a licencing requirement. (ii) The powers of the Data Protection Authority (the Authority) under Section 8 of the Bill do not include the power to licence data controllers.
(iii) It is unclear whether persons or entities seeking to collect, record or otherwise process data within Zimbabwe will require any form of licensing or registration with the Authority.
Stakeholders suggested that the Bill should have an inclusion of a comprehensive definition describing what entity or person qualifies as a data controller.
The stakeholders highlighted that definition of “data controller” is limited to natural or legal persons licencable by the Authority. This means the Bill’s application is currently limited to persons providing telecommunication services. It was submitted that the definition needed to be broadened to include public bodies and any other person who determines the purpose and means of processing data.
Stakeholders indicated that the Bill in its current form aims to regulate the collection, processing, transmission, storage and use of personal data by telecommunication licence holders and excludes the entities who collect personal information such as banks, insurance companies and hospitals. They recommended that definition of a data controller should be widened to include these entities since they are not currently licencable by POTRAZ.
Members of the public mentioned that the definition of “critical database” does not include a definition of what “critical data” is. It was submitted that there is a need to specify what “critical data” means, particularly because the Bill in the amendment of Section 163 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] seeks to make it an offence “to copy, move, add or change critical data”. This makes it imperative to define the term because of its inclusion as an essential element of the offence of hacking.
It was submitted that the definition of “code of conduct” seems to extend to IT resources and internet for the data controller which is extremely wide definition. The stakeholders recommended that IT resources be removed from the definition of code of conduct and confirm the definition to IT processes, which means any processes related to the data controller or processor.
Stakeholders suggested that ‘Personal Information’ definition can be expanded to include objectives and subjective elements of personal information.
3.5 CLAUSES 5-8…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gandawa, is your gadget muted?
HON. GANDAWA: I think the link is going on and off. The link must be a bit bad; it is going on and off. I am sure Members will also benefit from the Hansard. We will provide the soft copy.
Clause 5 to Clause 8: DESIGNATION OF THE CYBER
SECURITY CENTRE AND DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY
WITHIN POSTAL AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF ZIMBABWE (POTRAZ).
There were mixed views from the people regarding POTRAZ being the Cyber Security Centre and Data Controller. There were concerns from some stakeholders that if POTRAZ is established as the Cyber
Security Centre and Data Controller, this would limit the effectiveness, efficiency and independence of the board since POTRAZ reports to the Executive. They pointed out that the POTRAZ Board was appointed by the Minister hence the board would be a rubber stamp of the Executive decisions. The stakeholders proposed a separate institution as a Cyber Security Centre that is appointed by Parliament and reports to Parliament. Alternatively, it was proposed that POTRAZ should report to and be accountable to Parliament in the discharge of this new role as the enforcement of human rights requires oversight by a body independent from Government.
Other stakeholders however, were of the view that POTRAZ is the perfect Cyber Security Centre as it already has the requisite data and infrastructure in place.
3.6 CLAUSES 9 – 14: STANDARDS AND GENERAL RULES
FOR A DATA CONTROLLER FOR THE PROCESSING OF DATA.
The stakeholders indicated that the principles in the Bill needed to be expanded as it relates to the aspects of processing of data as the current drafting makes data subjects rights after-thoughts and hidden in the Bill’s text.
3.7 CLAUSES 13-14: SENSITIVE INFORMATION, GENETIC DATA, BIOMETRIC SENSITIVE DATA AND HEALTH DATA
Stakeholders highlighted that the Bill is not explicit on the issue of sensitive information. Stakeholders were not sure if they will be consulted first before their information and data is used. The stakeholders pointed out that government institutions and network providers already had personal information and at times the information is already used without their consent.
Stakeholders submitted that Section 13 (1) (c) of the Bill gives the Authority the power to determine circumstances where the processing of data is prohibited despite the consent of the data subject. It was highlighted that this provision gives wide powers to the Authority to prevent the collection of sensitive data, even for legitimate purposes where for instance:
- the data subject has freely and voluntarily consented to the collection or processing of his or her personal data;
- all the necessary disclosure requirements have been met; and
- there is no real risk of infringement of the data subject’s right.
In relation to consent, it was recommended that Section 13 (1) of the Bill should clearly set out the circumstances under which consent is considered unequivocal and freely given to avoid any confusion surrounding the nature of consent that has been provided.
3.8 CLAUSE 19: SECURITY BREACH NOTIFICATION
Members of the public highlighted the need for the provision to stipulate a timeline under which the security breach should be communicated rather than leaving the provision open to interpretation on what “undue delay” means.
3.9 CLAUSES 23 and 24: OPENNESS OF PROCESSING AND ACCOUNTABILITY.
Stakeholders highlighted that level of openness must manifest throughout the Bill by registering all data controllers in a register that is open for public inspection. They noted that accountability must be listed as one of the duties that controllers are required to comply with. This principle should be included in the Bill for the Authority and Data Controllers.
Stakeholders also stated that the Bill does not speak to algorithms and explained that algorithms mutate due to the developments in artificial intelligence hence the Bill might have been overtaken by events, by speaking to the 1990s state of affairs.
3.10 CLAUSES 26 AND 27: PROTECTION OF RIGHTS OF
Children representatives submitted that there is need to accommodate the right to be heard when considering consent given on behalf of a child. They indicated that this was in line with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides that State parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views, the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
Stakeholders submitted that there should be a provision for data processors and service providers to protect and ensure children rights are upheld. It was mentioned that the Bill should incorporate the five core provisions which are namely:
- Clear on minimum age limits on content.
- Protections for accounts that are opened by under eighteen years.
- Management inappropriate or illegal content posted on their platforms
- Use of age verification and identity authentication solutions.
- Clear safeguard to ensure children rights online
The Committee was informed that the Bill of rights sets out rights and freedoms that the people of Zimbabwe are entitled to by virtue of being human beings. These rights are constitutional rights and therefore legally binding. These rights include
- freedom of expression (protected in section 61 of the
- freedom of the media (Section 62);
- access to independent and impartial news.
- right to personal security (Section 52),
- right to dignity (Section 51),
- right to privacy (Section 57),
- right to petition and demonstrate (section 59)
Stakeholders were concerned with the rights that the Bill is likely to violate. They highlighted that the Bill should include rights of data subjects as a standa-lone clause as the Bill does not adequately address and protect data subject rights. These rights include freedom of expression, right to privacy and many other fundamental rights.
Stakeholders strongly recommended Section 164 relating to electronic communication be thoroughly revised to bring them into line with the constitutional provisions relating to freedom of speech and freedom of media.
The public highlighted that new rights have emerged over the years due to the coming into age of the internet. Therefore, there is need to include new rights in the Bill such as the right to oblivion also known as the right to be forgotten. Thus, information uploaded on the cyber space should have a specific timeline to be disregarded and should be forgotten.
3.11 CLAUSE 31: WHISTLEBLOWER
The Committee was informed that much of the cases of corruption were being unearthed by whistle-blowers. The public underscored the need to put necessary safeguards to protect whistle-blowers in the statute as well as other concrete steps in the handling of investigations that result from whistle-blowers revelations.
3.12 CLAUSE 163: UNLAWFUL INTERFERENCE WITH COMPUTER SYSTEM
The Committee was informed that this Bill stifles innovation and creativity by completely criminalising hacking without recognising the potential benefits of ‘ethical hacking’. They pointed out that ethical hackers identify loopholes and vulnerabilities in computer systems and use them to strengthen cyber security systems technologies and applications.
3.13 CLAUSE 164E: TRANSMISSION OF INTIMATE
IMAGES OR VIDEOS WITHOUT CONSENT.
Stakeholders highlighted that information on social media platforms is shared through forwarding messages. Effectively, anyone who forwards or distributes messages should be criminalised in terms of this Bill. They indicated that the Bill should be clear on determining the source of the criminal activity.
Some stakeholders proposed that on Clause 164 (f), the Bill should also include the terminology that criminalises the recording of upskirting, and nudity. It was suggested that any person who unlawfully and intentionally records an image or video without the person’s consent should be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 10 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.
3.14 CLAUSE 165: CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
The stakeholders submitted that the term ‘Child Pornography’ should be replaced with the term ‘child sexual abuse material’ throughout the Bill so that it broadens the focus of the law towards other child sexual harassments and violence to children within the cyber space. It was suggested that any person who unlawfully and intentionally produce, offers, distributes and possess child sexual abuse material should be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level fourteen or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years, or both such fine and such imprisonment.
3.15 CLAUSE 165A: CYBERGROOMING OF CHILDREN
The stakeholders suggested a penalty of a fine not exceeding level 10 for any person of the age of eighteen or above who unlawfully and intentionally, through information and communication technologies, proposes to meet a child who has not reached the age of consent to sexual activity as set by the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) [Chapter 9:23] for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with him or her.
4.0 COMMITTEE OBSERVATION
4.1 The Committees were of the view that admissibility rule should not be restricted to criminal acts established under the Bill, but to all criminal offences recognised under the laws of Zimbabwe.
4.2 The Committees agreed with stakeholders that POTRAZ should not be designated as the Cyber Security Centre and Data Protection Authority. The Committees suggested that the functions that the Bill assigned to the Cyber Security Centre need to be carried out by an independent body due to the sensitivity of matters relating to cyber security.
4.3 The Committees also supported the need to include in Section 31(1) of the Bill, provision for the guarantee of the protection of whistleblowers.
4.4 The Committees were in agreement with stakeholders that Clause 26 of the Bill should protect the rights that are enshrined in the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.
4.5 The Committees were of the view that the Cyber Security Centre and Data Protection Authority should also be separated into two standalone pieces of legislations.
4.6 The Committees further supported the need to criminalise the recording of up-skirting and recognition of the rights of children on Clause 164E.
In light of the above submissions and observations, the Committees make the following recommendations;
- Clause 2 - objectives of the Bill should clearly describe its provisions.
- Clause 3 - The Bill should be amended to improve on definition of terms as they should be clearly defined.
- The need to split the Bill into two; namely the Cyber Security Bill and Data Protection Bill.
- Clauses 5-8 should establish an independent body which is set up as the Cyber Security Centre and Data Protection Authority instead of POTRAZ being the Cyber Security Centre and Data Protection Authority.
- Clause 31(1) of the Bill should be amended, to have a clause that guarantee the protection of whistle-blowers in terms of handling investigations.
- The Bill should be amended and have a clause that provides for the right to oblivion, that is the right for deleting information and records of the past in the cyber space, and clearly spell out the data retention period.
- That the Bill should be amended to include a stand-alone clause that recognises the rights of data subjects which are enshrined in the Constitution namely;
- right to personal security (section 52), ii. right to dignity (section 51),
iii. right to privacy (section 57), iv. right to petition and demonstrate (section 59) and
- the right to freedom of expression (section 61).
- That Clause 19 should be amended to include the time under which security breach should be notified.
- The Bill should strike a balance between the protection of national security and the exercise of rights of ordinary individuals.
- Clause 164E of the Bill should be amended to include the terminology that criminalises up-skirting and recording of nude images without a person’s consent.
- Clause 165 on child pornography should take into cognisance offences relating to child sexual abuse materials such as using social media to lure minors for the purposes of exploitation.
The introduction of the Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill is welcomed as it is drafted to apply to all sectors of the economy. It will put in place one of the final pieces of much needed data protection reforms. The Bill is a baseline legislation that will operate concurrently with other legislation. Effective modern data protection laws are central to securing public trust and confidence in the use of personal information within the digital economy and the fight against cybercrime. Members of the public have raised many different scenarios about the protection of individuals. However, Government must strive to ensure a proper balance on how best to use the proposed Bill to effect a positive outcome for the public and the private sector. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MUSWERE): I move that the debate do now adjourn.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 24th September, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
LIAISON AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
FOR THE FIRST SESSION OF THE NINTH PARLIAMENT
Thirty Third Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Liaison and Coordination Committee Annual Report for the First Session.
*HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like
to thank our Chief Whip for presenting the LCC report in this august House. The report touched on a number of issues that transpired, so what concerns me is that in this august House we have 22 Committees.
We also have the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus which is comprised of all political parties, MDC and ZANU PF. We meet as we discuss various issues.
However, we face a number of challenges in our meetings because these committees have different responsibilities. We are supposed to meet on Fridays, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic we are not meeting. However, we have made a number of plans to meet on Fridays.
I would like to appreciate that the Parliament Administration allowed us to meet on Fridays and the fact that a budget was set aside for these meetings. The other point is that our Committee has a lot of female parliamentarians and we teach our Honourable female Members of Parliament a lot of things. Women parliamentarians always remain doing parliamentary business as men leave this House engaging in other things. They do not engage in any other deals but they are committed to their parliamentary duties. I would like to appreciate that commitment. However, what surprises me is that this Committee which is comprised of all women and chaired by myself, Hon. Kwaramba is not much recognised.
I would like to propose that this Committee should have the same status as other Committees. We must not be despised and looked down upon. If we are a Parliament which has gender balance, why is it that people look down upon us? Myself, as the Chairperson, I deserve that status that is given to other chairpersons of other Committees. This is a concern that I want the LCC to look into. Just like the Public Accounts Committee which is like any other Committee, we share reports; we chair meetings so that female parliamentarians are capacitated.
Looking at the debates and contributions that are made by female Members of Parliament, these robust debates prove that women are capacitated and are able. So my plea is that let us empower female Members of Parliament. Parliament should not discriminate against a certain gender because we have the same responsibility of representing our constituents.
HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the report that Hon.
Togarepi brought to this august House. I would also like to support our Chairperson for the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus with regards to the way the Women’s Caucus is treated.
The Constitution is very clear about gender equality and yet the women’s Parliamentary Caucus is being treated like a second class citizen. I would urge that the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus be given equal status as Hon. Kwaramba, our Chairperson has alluded to. We need to be given a day which is not Friday because it is a day as well where we will be going back to our constituencies and families. So we need a day during the week where we are treated equally. We are being given a day at the end of the week, it is almost like a favour is being done to us. As a Women’s Parliamentary Caucus we ask that we be given a day during the week.
Madam Speaker, if you look at the contributions or the evaluations that are done to women Members of Parliament, you will find that every Member of Parliament that is female is graded as to how often they have participated in Parliament and their contributions in Committees. This is done by the civil societies. However, I have never seen the men being graded. You will be surprised how many men have actually not participated in any debate in Parliament. So we should be equally graded as well. We need to make sure that when the nation is looking, they are not only looking to see what women are doing and say women are doing nothing, whereas that same treatment is not given to men. I would like to say that the way parliamentarians are being evaluated is also very unfair. We need also to see how men have not contributed in Parliament and so on. Just to support Hon. Kwaramba, our very able
Chairperson of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus. I would like to thank her for bringing this up. We have been talking about it in the corridors. Thank you.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Chief
Whip mentioned that we need to talk about the welfare of Members of Parliament because this motivates MPs if they are also represented. I saw this when we were discussing about vehicles because Government made payment for these vehicles. The Chief Whip engaged companies to provide MPs with vehicles. However, the Chief Whip also spoke about what is expected from Hon. Members of Parliament, how they are expected to conduct themselves. So, I believe that the report that was presented is a report which was comprehensive and it demonstrated what the Chief Whip is expected to do in this House. This made us to realise the role of the Chief Whip in the National Assembly. I thank you.
HON. NDIWENI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
Madam Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Togarepi for the report that he presented. Every incident that happens makes people think and see whether they are going positively ahead or you are making one step forward and two steps backwards.
Madam Speaker, I want to draw your attention to the impasse that we had in Parliament whereby Committees can be incapacitated and see if we were moving forward. Upon assessment, there are some grey areas in our Standing Rules and Orders. We want to promote what we call democracy but then let us look at jurisdictions that we want to copy, mainly the American jurisdiction, other jurisdictions and so on.
Madam Speaker, if one has to look at those jurisdictions you realise that what they are preaching is not what they are practicing. Why am I saying this Madam Speaker? It is seldom that you find in those jurisdictions non ruling party Members chairing a committee. Every Committee is chaired by the ruling party member and the opposition are ranking members. So we try in our Parliament to promote democracy and leave opposition party members chairing committees. I personally feel we should have a relook so that the ruling party chairs all Committees because we are ruling. We are the ruling party and the opposition are ranking members. They do checks and the balances but they should not chair Committees. I gave an example of the Americans, they have all their Committees chaired by the ruling party members.
If we maintain the current scenario, the other alternative is that we need to have a situation whereby if we have the ruling party chairing a Committee the opposition should be a ranking member who is appointed. Let us remove this idea of having an acting Chair voted for because there will be no continuity.
HON. GABBUZA: I just want to give support to the report presented by the Liaison Committee Chairperson. It is our report and we totally agree with him and the issues raised in that report are very correct and to some extent they need the support of the whole House. However Madam Speaker, there are a few things that I need to bring to your attention which could be added to the report. If you look at the volume of the output of work by Portfolio Committees, particularly the reports clearly there is a problem. It is not like in the other previous sessions of Parliament. Generally, the number of reports that have been presented, some Portfolio Committees had almost nil and yet we are moving towards the end of the session. What needs to be addressed particularly in most of the Committees is the composition of the Committees. The composition of the Committees in the sense that we get some
Committees which out of the number of persons that are recorded to be members of the Committee, you might find 50% are just names and they have never attended a single meeting of the Committee and because of that, you find in most cases the number of no show meeting, the number of aborted meetings because of lack of quorum continuously increases.
This is affecting the work of the Committees.
Secondly, one issue which needs to be addressed is the process through which reports goes through in the system of Parliament before they are presented. This is another problem that needs urgent attention from the Administration of Parliament. Reports are agreed in the Committee and it will take another one month or so before they are presented mainly because we find the process a bit slow as Chairpersons. Sometimes in the report there is a deadline set and we want the Ministry to have done this by the 31st of October and 31st of October comes and you present the report and the report is not yet ready for presentation.
So, it forces Committees to relook at the recommendations especially where deadlines are put. Sometimes by the time you present the report, the deadline that you will have set in the report only gives the Ministry or the Executive just one week because we will be left with one week as quoted in the report. This is quite serious and it needs urgent attention from the Administration of Parliament. Not only that, we find this as one of the major challenges, the Committee agrees on undertaking fact finding visit to a particular area and the process of approving that fact finding visit, if it takes too long, you miss some certain targets. In the end, you might eventually not even undertake that visit because the process of approval, I think we find it a bit too slow and we would appeal to the Administration of Parliament, through you Mr. Speaker, to come up with a quicker way of addressing or perhaps put up some time so that a report or if a proposed trip is put before the table or it goes through the system, it may not take so many days or beyond so many days so that there is some bit of urgency in attending to some of these issues.
As we speak, we have a report that has been in the system of Parliament for a month and small nitty-gritties made the report to be thrown back, reconsidered, send it back and another item is raised. As you do that, you can imagine Mr. Speaker if this was a petition, the petitioners become impatient or the problems that they had raised in the petition may be overtaken by events by the time you go to seek out the problem or to attend to the petition – that problem might no longer be of urgency. I think it is important that when our systems attend to these issues, time must be of the essence so that urgency is looked at. These are some of the things that I wanted to raise or bring to your attention so that if possible, the work of the Committees can be expedited if these issues are attended to.
+HON. MABOYI: Hon Speaker, thank you for recognising me. I thought that we were supposed to be called because the Committee belongs to us but that is as well good. Thank you Hon. Chief Whip for bringing up this matter for the Women’s Committee. I want to talk about the women not being handled well at Parliament especially if we are women. Why are we always being given Friday to hold meetings because as women we also have to travel to our constituencies?
If we spend some days here, I will give an example of myself. On
Saturday, I have to drive the whole day to my constituency and on
Sunday return back here. Why are we given Fridays – is it because we are second class citizens? This should be amended because we also contributed to Parliament that we should be there. So, may you please take note of that? You should not always give us a Friday because they need us in our constituencies.
If a woman stands up in Parliament and makes a mistake they laugh because we all learn from mistakes even though there are some other people with degrees. We are made a laughing stock outside Parliament. You should teach those who do not know. May you please recognise us as well and help us. There is nothing new about being a parliamentarian because as women or men, we are all hear to learn. You should give us a chance so that we can be raised aboard. So, may you please give us another day other than a Friday because on Friday I will be going back to my constituency for we are at par with you people who have got constituencies? Thank you.
HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have got three
items to highlight. The first one is on the capacitation of new members. I think from the report, after having more than 160 newly elected MPs, there is no deliberate programme specifically for only new Members of Parliament so that they can acquaint themselves to the terrain of Parliament. I think that is first thing rather than to have an induction comprising of those who know how to contribute in Parliament and the newly elected. The moment you have more than 160 Hon. Members, I think there is need for a deliberate programme for only newly elected Members of Parliament so that they can be capacitated.
The second thing is, you realise that when we were trying to contribute as newly elected Members of Parliament, the Presiding Officers would pinpoint those Hon. Members who have been there because they are already known by and just try to say no, Hon. Member in a black suit, you know that kind of thing, the Presiding Officers will prefer to point those who are maybe in their second term or third term because they are already known. Therefore maybe it is disadvantaging the newly elected Hon. Members. So I think that must be corrected in future.
Then the second one, Mr. Speaker Sir, is on travel visits. I am a member of the Industry and Commerce Committee as well as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee. You will hear that the chairman was in South Africa on reengagement and next time you hear our chairman was in Equatorial Guinea on reengagement. What it means is we are capacitating maybe only the chairman and not all Hon. Members of that particular Committee. I think something must be done to ensure that as much as a chairman can have more visits, but we can also expand so that the other Hon. Members will benefit from those travel visits. So I think rather than to have the chairman globetrotting, let us also open so that Hon. Members of that particular committee will benefit from the experience they can gain after those visits.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, especially in Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee, I think I need to highlight that so that tthe relevant committee will look into that so that the Committee will be run efficiently and effectively. You realise that when the chairman is not there, he will say I am appointing someone to be the chair on that very day. You try to highlight that sorry Hon. Chairman, the fact that you are not there, let us do things procedurally and he will say I am the Chairman, I will tell you how things are done and especially you, newly elected MP. So the moment he highlights in that regard, it means he is disadvantaging us as newly elected Members, but he is also doing things unprocedurally.
So I think we need to follow how things are done. As much as we are newly elected, we are also able to read and see how things are supposed to be done properly. I think those are my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir. If these are looked into, I think we will run our Parliament effectively and efficiently.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the report be now adopted.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion with leave, adopted.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER
SERVICES (HON. MUSWERE), the House adjourned at Ten Minutes
to Six o’clock p.m.