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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 FEBRUARY 2021 VOL 47 NO 25

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 24th February, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER VACCINATION AGAINST COVID-19

THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that

Parliament has secured vaccines against COVID-19 for all Members of Parliament as advised by the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care.  The vaccination exercise will be on a voluntary basis.  The process will commence today, 24 February, 2021 at Parliament.  For a start, the teams will be here today and tomorrow and thereafter, Members will be advised accordingly.  Hon. Members are advised to come through the Third Street entrance in the car park and will be admitted one at a time.  Please note that the exercise is slightly slow, so Hon. Members should be patient.  The vaccination will be done on a phased approach until all Members interested are vaccinated.

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS  THE HON. SPEAKER:  We have received the following

apologies for leave of absence:-

Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; - [HON. BITI: As always] – Hon. Biti, can you withdraw that statement because the Hon. Minister was here last week – [HON. BITI: He is a permanent ‘presentee’] – Do not be sarcastic, withdraw that – [HON. BITI: I withdraw.] – thank you.  Hon. July Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Daniel Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Sithembiso G. G.

Nyoni, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium

Enterprises Development; Hon. Kirsty Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation; Hon. Cain Mathema, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education; and Hon. Dr. Anxious J. Masuka, Minister of

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

Hon. Biti having stood up to give a point of Privilege

THE HON. SPEAKER: Not on Wednesdays.  You made a

decision that on Wednesdays, we do not have those matters of Privilege.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

(V)HON. MASENDA:  My question is directed to the Minister of

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  In view of the oncoming tobacco selling season, is there any policy to protect vulnerable farmers from illegal tobacco merchants who are making rounds buying tobacco from the barns as well as from the fields before it is even harvested?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you, Deputy Minister?  There are two deputies, where are they?  They did not send an apology, so ClerksAt-The-Table write them down.   Hon. Murwira, are you Acting Leader?

– [HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Yes!] – May you please proceed and

assist us.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you Hon.

Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, I wish to thank Hon. Masenda for the question that relates to illegal trade in tobacco by unauthorised dealers.

The Government policy is very clear.  This is an illegal activity and Government policy is against illegal activity.  Government will work to the best of its ability to acquire resources to make sure that the so called ‘small farmers’, because I do not think that there is a small farmer anywhere; they may have small fields but they are going big on contributions.  They are protected and the country benefits from their sweat.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you and as noted by Hon.

Masenda, it is an illegal activity so report to the police.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works and if he is not present, I will …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Do not worry about non-

present, just proceed.

HON. MAYIHLOME:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.

Hon. Minister, what measures has Government put in place to ensure

that devolution funds are always released to local authorities? The second part is what is Government going to do about those devolution funds for 2020 that were not released to local authorities?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): The devolution

measures are being put in place to make sure that the devolution funds are released. Devolution funds is a constitutional right and they have to be released as and when but it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance to make sure that they are released on time. Also, there is a law that does not allow a roll-over of devolution funds that have not been disbursed by the end of the year. So whenever the end of the financial year is over, the funds that have not been released are turned to the Ministry of Finance.

HON. MAYIHLOME: The issue of accountability or holding people to account, the Hon. Deputy Minister here is passing the buck, pushing the blame to Ministry of Finance. The communities that we represent want their pound of flesh like in the community that I represent, Umzingwane. They want to know why devolution funds for 2020 were not released and I want the person responsible for ensuring that those funds are released taken to account. Who is going to face that community and explain why those funds were not released because the pound of flesh is desired in my constituency?

HON. CHOMBO: When we talk of accountability it is different from the release of funds. We are accountable for the funds that would have been released by the Ministry of Finance, but as far as being accountable for the money that is yet to be released is, it solely lies within the Ministry of Finance. My Ministry is of course responsible and accountable for those monies that would have been released to the Ministry and also downstream to the local authorities. Before its release, it is entirely the responsibility of Ministry of Finance.

(v) HON. MADZIMURE: My supplementary question is: is it not the responsibility of the Ministry to ensure that all the monies that are due to local authorities are disbursed on time in order to achieve equity in the distribution of funds?

HON. CHOMBO: As I said before, it is a constitutional requirement that we release at least a minimum of 5% of the GDP to the local authorities. However, as I said before, the Ministry of Finance determines who gets what. As soon as that money or funds are released to my Ministry, we make sure that they go downstream to the local authorities, so I stand by what I said.

HON. MARKHAM: My supplementary is on the policy of how

projects are identified and my question is specifically which elected officials are consulted when it comes to identifying projects in each constituency or province?

HON. CHOMBO: The identification of projects is done from the community and mind you, these funds are not for consumption but capital expenditure like road maintenance, clinics and boreholes to uplift the livelihood in the community areas.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, the question is who is responsible for identifying the projects to be funded by the devolution fund in local authorities.

HON. CHOMBO: As I said they come from the community. So when we are drawing up the budgets, the local authorities go around the communities or wards with the councillors and they consult the community to come up with the relevant projects that will uplift their livelihood. So the projects are engineered from the local community on the ground through their wards upwards.

HON. MARKHAM: I do not know one councillor in Harare that has been consulted on the 2020 devolution funds.

THE HON. SPEAKER: That is your responsibility as Member of Parliament to attend council meetings constitutionally and in terms of the local authorities as you are permitted to attend council meetings. So find out from them.

HON. BITI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the questions that Hon. Mayihlome has asked about responsibility and accounting, point even to the question of how those funds are distributed.  The Constitution speaks of 5% of the Budget going to provincial governance.  The problem that is arising Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we do not have the necessary requisite devolution law.  The question to the Hon. Minister is why it has taken you more than eight years to come up with the relevant devolution laws so that the questions of accountability asked by Hon. Mayihlome and Hon. Markham do not arise.  Where is the law Hon. Minister?

HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think in one of the Bills that are coming up, there is one for devolution and definitely we are attending to that one.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  I think the delay is being acknowledged Hon. Biti and that is why the Bill is on its way to this House.  The delay obviously is not in the best interest of our good governance as far as the devolution funds are concerned.

(v)HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  What measures have been put in place by the Executive to make sure that there is adherence to Section 35 up to 38 of the Constitution that seek to make sure that everybody, children, adults, are documented as citizens in Zimbabwe? After all has failed in terms of that Section;  what measures have been put in place to make sure that everybody is afforded documentation, that is, birth certificates and IDs?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.

MABOYI):  I am not ready to answer Mr. Speaker Sir.

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Hon.

Ziyambi) having stood up to respond.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Leader of Government Business!  Can you please sit down?  I needed to hear the Hon. Deputy Minister first – [HON. BITI:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Biti, please cool down.  Order, order!  COVID-19 can raise tempers.  Hon. Deputy Minister, you were saying something.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.

MABOYI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I said I am not ready to answer that question.  I thought my Minister was here, I am not ready.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Alright.  I hear you – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Oh he is here.  Hon. Kazembe, you are a critical Ministry.  The question that arose was, what is the Government doing to ensure that citizens get their personal identity documents, including birth certificates and IDs in terms of the requirements of the Constitution?

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. KAZEMBE):

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Yes, indeed Government is concerned like everyone else is equally concerned that citizens should get their documents as and when they require them.  We are in the process of coming up with a strategy – in fact what has been happening of late is that due to COVID, we have not been operating full throttle.  We were only issuing burial orders and death certificates but as soon as lockdown is lifted we will be able to start processing birth certificates starting with those that are at the top of the list coming towards the current requirements.  Going forward Mr.

Speaker Sir, we have a programme that we are working on which I will be very much pleased to share with Hon. Members after it has passed through the necessary stages.  We are working with the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education to try and computerise our operations, to try and improve our efficiency so that it makes life easier.

To be honest Mr. Speaker Sir, there are a number of issues which we were attending to.  The first one being that of consumables for passports and we are attending to that one.  There is also another issue without beating about the bush or skirting around the subject, we also have the issue to do with corruption that we have to deal with.  That we have to deal with and the solution or mitigation is computerisation to remove the human interface between the client and the service provider.

So we are working on that Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank you.

(v)HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I request Mr.

Speaker Sir, that the Hon. Minister favours the House with a Ministerial Statement that looks at whether the Executive can have a moratorium for those children who do not have parents and those adults who are above 18 years who do not have any documentation but who have failed to go and get that documentation...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  This is question time not debate please.  The Hon. Minister’s response is very comprehensive and also further elucidation will occur when we deal with item 26 on the Order Paper .

            HON. GONESE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I

have raised my hand for the second time and you did not recognise me again.

                  THE HON. SPEAKER: Is that a fresh question or it is a supplementary question?

               HON. GONESE: It is a supplementary question to the Hon.

Leader of the House relating to the original question.

             THE HON. SPEAKER: Raise a fresh question because

Hon. Kazembe, the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs is around, I do not know how this relates to the Leader of Government Business.

               HON. MISIHAIRABWI - MUSHONGA: Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. We may be opening our borders soon.  I want to ask whether Government will ensure that people are tested at the border by rapid means, like South Africa is doing, to ensure that we do not have the problems that we had last time when we opened the borders.  We ended up letting in people without COVID tests?

                 THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Mushonga for the question.  Yes, it has got two parts, the one to do with COVID issues but apparently she has addressed a very important point pertaining to border posts.  As a Ministry, we are seized now in trying to see how best we can actually enlarge our ports so as to accommodate the numbers and also promote the issue of social distancing.  So, I am sure she raised a very important point and we are seized with that in our Ministry.  Thank you.

           HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you Mr.

Speaker.  I do not think the Minister heard me well.  My question is, are we as Government ready to ensure that we make people be tested at the border like South Africa is doing.  They do an antigen rapid test so that people do not cross the border without being tested?  What plans are in place for Government to do so?

               HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I think the

Ministry of Transport only ends on the management of borders, not necessarily the actual testing.  Yes we work in conjunction with other stakeholders but our role as a Ministry is to manage the infrastructure at the border.  Thank you.

                     THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Deputy Minister of Health,

can you answer that part of the question?

              THE HON. DEPUTY OF MINISTER OF HEALTH

AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Mushonga for the question.

About screening of COVID-19 when people cross the border, it starts in South Africa.  They have to come from South Africa with a negative certificate for COVID-19.  When they come to our border as well, everyone who passes through will be screened for the COVID.  Antigen is quite appropriate because it really shows us the particles of the virus in that person or system.  So, definitely, we are going to make sure that anybody who crosses over our side is tested with the methods that are standard and fast like the antigen test.

             THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you are talking of

travelers from South Africa, the question was travelers from Zimbabwe into South Africa, are they tested?

            HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Yes Mr. Speaker Sir.  Before

anyone travels from Zimbabwe, we encourage people to stick to the regulations of the country they are visiting, which if they require an antigen test or PCR test if it is acceptable, we use that.  As the

Government of Zimbabwe, we test people before they leave the country, especially when going to the neighbouring countries.

               HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Do we have any

plans to ensure that at the border, we are going to be testing people like the South Africans are testing those that are coming into Zimbabwe.  It means we will also make money from that process, why is Government not setting centres where they test people as they get to the border, so that they do adequate testing like South Africans are doing?

            HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Her question, if I understand it

correctly, is that she is asking whether we can set up centres to test Zimbabweans before they cross the border into South Africa, right at the border.  There are laboratories by the border but we do not do it inside the border area.  We have Beitbridge hospital and other centres and laboratories close to the border where people can get tested and cross over.  To reduce crowding also at the border, we encourage people, if they are coming from Harare, their certificate should be 48 hours ready and we will still accept that.  Rather than saying everyone by the border is tested, it will be overcrowded.  Imagine travelers within buses, trucks and all those.  So the testing can be done around the border, yes but we can also do it in hospitals, laboratories or centres next or near the border.

                   It does not make a difference, if someone is tested in Chivhu

and still proceeding to the border, it is highly unlikely that the results will have changed that time.  So, really setting a point to say a whole bus stops by the border and start testing, there will be overcrowding.  In short, everyone crossing over to South Africa must be aware that South Africans require that they be tested and be negative for them to cross over.  If we find a Zimbabwean who is positive after being tested, we send them for isolation or to hospital depending on the stage or status of their disease.

(V)HON. GONESE: My supplementary question to the Hon.

Deputy Minister of Health relates to those people who come into Zimbabwe with negative certificates.  In view of the fact that there is a window period, I understand that some countries have introduced a system where there is a test on day one, day six, day 8 and day 10 for instance, to ensure that those people might have been negative at the time they would have left their country of origin but during the intervening period, that negative test would have been taken at that point they were on window period.  Is Zimbabwe thinking around that to ensure that those people who may have initially tested negative or those who may have used fake negative certificates are traced and identified?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought the Hon. Minister had answered the question, that they are working on the 48 hours period for those crossing the borders either way unless I did not understand you Hon. Minister and you may want to answer.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  As a country, we say we want...

(V)HON. GONESE:  I think the Hon. Minister is muted.  I cannot hear him.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO: When someone comes from South

Africa, he is treated the same way like everyone else, to say they must have a certificate showing negative COVID test from South Africa.

When they come into Zimbabwe, they go to different regions and areas.  We have got teams that will follow them after the incubation period of the virus, which is about 10-14 days.  If they are in an isolation centre, by day 10 we discharge them or if they get sick, we send them to isolation centres.  In short, we keep track of anybody who has crossed the border into our country whether negative or positive. If they are positive, isolation centres – if negative, quarantine centre or can isolate in related areas but we continue to follow them up to monitor and to make sure that they do not develop symptoms and signs of the disease or they can seroconvert to positivity after they have been negative.  So this follow up is very necessary and we do it quite thoroughly.

HON. MARKHAM: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs.  My question pertains to Statutory Instrument 25 relating to increase in fines.  What is Government policy on the procedure at road blocks particularly with re-introduction of the Form F265 which for the benefit of the House, you were given a form and you were given seven days to pay the fine?  If you look at the highest level, it is ZW$5 000.00.  There are very few people who can find that amount and drive around in the event of a fine.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE):  I suspect where this

question is coming from.  We have heard situations where people are finding it difficult to pay fines at the roadblock because they do not have that kind of money.  We are seized with this issue and we are trying to find out how best our citizens can find it easy to pay.  We believe all the possible methods of payments should be made available at every point.

By that, I mean people should be able to swipe, Ecocash or pay in cash. The other issue that he has also raised is also something that we will have to sit down and discuss – that of giving people an opportunity to pay after some time.  It is not something we have been thinking about at the moment but it is a very valid proposal which we will discuss.

HON. MARKHAM:  I have a supplementary question Hon.

Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for his frank answer.

However, the issue is very simple.  If you do not have the money you are then on your back for payments.  It is either you pay in US dollars or pay in Ecocash – both are very open to opening the door  to corruption.  The fundamental paper work for accountability starts with that particular form, the F265.  Once you have got that form, your money is accounted for and you can go and pay at the police station.

HON. KAZEMBE:  I thought I had answered the question when I said we will look into the issue with regards to the form but going forward, our long term plans – I spoke about the directions that we are taking, that of computerisation. It is premature for me to discuss it now but I will probably just share some of the things because it has not gone through the processes.  We are planning to eventually get rid of these challenges.  We are planning to integrate all these systems by computerising them.

This will assist in the event of someone being found guilty at the roadblock, because everything is integrated; all the information is available at the National Data Centre which was commissioned today by His Excellency.  It will be possible for a police officer at the click of a button to be able to tell where Hon. Biti comes from and where he can be found.  In that case, there is no need for him to pay immediately because they can be traced.  Everything will be integrated.  That is the direction that we are taking as Ministry of Home Affairs.  In the meantime, we will attend to the proposal that the Hon. Member has made.  I thank you.

HON. BITI:  My supplementary question to the esteemed Minister of Home Affairs is - firstly, the police do not have point of sale machines, the minimum fine is ZW$5 000 and the maximum cash withdrawal you can get from the bank is ZW$1 000. Naturally, you cannot pay.  Ecocash has had serious restrictions since the Reserve Bank took the measures it took in July 2020.  Therefore, as citizens we are finding ourselves in an invidious position because we cannot pay.  We do not have the cash. Hon. Minister, why not follow the law and allow the issuance of tickets so that we can pay after seven days or present ourselves to cour?

Secondly, who actually made Statutory Instrument 25 of 2021 because unlike other Statutory Instruments, it has no paternity?  Is it you or the Minister of Finance and you know that there is a court case asking you to clarify whether it is you or the esteemed Minister?

HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I would like

to thank Hon. Biti for a number of questions.  I will start with the last one, the issue of the Statutory Instrument.  He has mentioned that it is before the courts, so it is sub judice, and I will skip it.  The other issue he has raised which is very important is that of allowing people to pay in different forms.  I thought I had addressed that Mr. Speaker when I said this is an issue that we are seized with currently to ensure that people are able to pay using Ecocash, swipe, et cetera.  We are going to look at the form which will enable people to pay later. We have not considered it at the moment but I have admitted that it is a very good input which we will look at and see whether it is something that we can run with.  I thank you.   

(v) HON. JOSIAH. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  There are grain deliveries that have been made to the GMB depots but such grain cannot proceed to the wards because it is said there is no money to pay transporters.  Considering the need for food among our vulnerable communities during this COVID-19 era, what measures have been put in place to ensure that such grain gets to the intended beneficiaries in time?

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Let me thank the

Hon. Member for such an important question.  Indeed, we have had few logistical problems.  The first part is that we have had few instances where some of our GMB depots did not have grain and we intervened with coordination between the Department of Social Development at GMB to make sure that wherever there are deficiencies in terms of grain, grain is quickly moved to those depots.

The second aspect relates to transport money.  Government took a very deliberate stance to say we should provide transportation money to ward centres where distribution of grain takes place.  There have been a few instances where the release of those funds to the Department of Social Development has been late but I am glad to say most of the time, it is a one week delay and then after that the money is released by Treasury and grain is moved to those centres for distribution.

Mr. Speaker, we have had a few cases where the local leadership has made arrangements for delivery prior to payment and then transporters are paid once the money is released.  By and large, we have managed to solve the problems where we have had delays. Generally, funds have been coming regularly from the Ministry of Finance and

Economic Development. I thank you

HON. T. MOYO:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I am seeking your indulgence for me to make a request before asking my question.  Internet connectivity here in Parliament is problematic.  We cannot connect our gadgets since 1200 hours and, it is not like we are born before computers (bbc). We are able to connect them but there is a problem.  I think we want to appeal to Parliament staff to upscale connectivity.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Alright, point taken.

HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question goes to the Leader of the House.  One of the key policies pursued by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education as a mitigatory measure against COVID-19 is the issue espoused in the booklet which looks at the issue of downsizing of classes for Form 1 students. In that regard, we have witnessed schools which used to recruit 100 Form 1 students now being forced by circumstances to recruit 60 students, my question is how sustainable is that policy?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  As we move

forward in reopening schools, we are guided by the WHO guidelines in terms of social distancing and how we should operate.  That is the thrust we are following.  Should there be challenges, they will be addressed accordingly but in the meantime we cannot deviate if we are to open from WHO guidelines that guide us so that we ensure safety of learners at schools.  I thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  What measures have been put in place by the Ministry to ensure that the vice of corruption has been solved because for one to be able to be recruited there is a lot of money going around in schools.  As we speak, several students have failed to secure Form 1 places.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I do not think the question arises because you were talking about enrolment numbers and not the issue of corruption.  That is a different question altogether.

         HON. MAVETERA: I feel that the question was not very much answered by the Hon. Leader of the House.  The question is what measures have been put in place considering that now we have reduced the amount of children that each school was supposed to be enrolling?  What is it that the Ministry has done to make sure that all children will be able to go to school? As it stands, it means that if Goromonzi was enrolling 100 pupils, now it is enrolling 50 - so what then is going to happen to the other 50 that naturally or traditionally used to been taken by these schools?

         THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND

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

Speaker Sir.  My response was that there are standard guidelines that we cannot deviate from.  Every school would then have to determine how they are going to operate moving forward and that becomes a specific question that will deal with how each and every school will handle the situation that will arise because of the scenario that they have to adhere to WHO guidelines and other guidelines as determined by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  I thank you.

HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker, my question is directed to the esteemed Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. Mangwiro.  In view of the fact that the country  has only imported 200 000 Sinopharm vaccines against a population of around 16 million, would it not be prudent that the Drugs Control Council of Zimbabwe registers other vaccines approved by the WHO, the Russian Sputnik 5, Sinovac, Astrazeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson to allow medical aid societies, pension funds, trade unions, big corporations such as Delta and Econet to also import these registered drugs, with the Ministry playing a regulatory role to ensure that our people are safe?  I think this supplementary private effort will then help the people of Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Hon. Biti for that pertinent question and suggestion.  I must say the 200 000 vaccine that were delivered from Sinopharm is just the beginning.  We are in the process of bringing more vaccines not only from Sinopharm but we are almost through with registering the Sputnik he is talking about, Sinovac, Indians are also producing their own vaccines.  So there are many vaccines that are being registered and the registration process has been made easy, instead of taking three months or so, it is now taking 2 to 3 days if all documents are there.  Therefore, we have already registered 3 or 4 already.

Secondly, private players like medical aid societies for example CIMAS and other big corporates like Econet have already approached the Ministry with the wish to help out.  As a Ministry, we said they are welcome, they bring in their money, tell us what they want to do and buy through the Government so that all the vaccines that are bought are registered in the country.   So we will only monitor to make sure that the vaccines are registered here and that they are going to be kept safely. We are also going to be inspecting where the vaccines are going to be stored or if they want, they can come and pick their vaccines in drips and drabs tubes and give to their CIMAS members or all those people.

So, in short we have registered plenty of them and we are in the process of having applications from other vaccine producers so that we can register them as well.  If you have any private company that wants to do this, they approach us and we redirect them to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who has opened a special account for private people who want to buy these vaccines.  We want to make it easy for all Zimbabweans to get it and we will not deny private players. I thank you.

HON. BITI: I thank the Hon. Minister for his answer but I do not understand the logic of the policy that you want Government to be paid the money to do the importation.  For everything else in this country including drugs, ARV’s etcetera, private companies are bringing in, even food.  The Government should only play a regulatory role to ensure that the drugs that we are brining are registered, safe and are kept in the proper refrigerated conditions.  I thank you.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Yes, it is correct that Government is making sure that things are safe for this new vaccine.  We also want to make sure that Zimbabweans get this vaccine for free no matter the level.  So the private players, if they want to bring in their vaccines, if there is any particular one that they want that is registered here, they are allowed to bring it but make sure that it goes through Government channels that they then distribute it.  If the vaccine is meant for their workers, of course Government workers and nurses will ensure that they monitor and   help them roll out these new vaccines which are coming into the country, no matter which ones but what we are saying is that it is Government that will allow them to buy through Ministry of Finance. How they are going to do it and making sure that they give the people free the vaccine, we definitely will be allowing them to but we monitor how they give that vaccine to make sure that it is safely given and kept and that every Zimbabwean is not then put into a position where they have to buy the vaccine or are unable to access the vaccine. The private players genuinely, many of them who have approached us, we have made it clear to them that if they are buying for their workers or members like CIMAS can buy for its thousands of members via Ministry of Finance coffers, then the vaccine comes CIMAS will have the ability and capacity to then distribute it to their workers as long as we make sure that these things are closely monitored.  We do not want to miss  any Zimbabwean who wants to be vaccinated should get the chance and we make sure that it remains for free for everyone.

HON. NDEBELE: I wish to seek clarity from the Minister, if everyone has to buy through the Ministry of Health, what is the exact policy that his Ministry pursues in choosing the covid-19 vaccines that are deployed in the country to say covid-19 vaccine X can be deployed here. What is the policy followed. What is the hesitancy around Covax - why is it taking us so long to sign up to this facility that ensures that poor countries get access to covid-19 vaccines cheaply?

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): I will start with the last one about joining the Covax group. We have already signed for that long ago. Covax group includes all vaccines that are manufactured on earth and have been approved by WHO and has gone through the phases 1, 2 and some 3 and have all been registered and certified by WHO that they are safe. The policy is that before we bring in any vaccine into the country, our scientists must be satisfied that the requirements for any safe vaccine to be brought into the country are met. For instance, they must go through the dossiers for the first phase that was done, second phase and we also cross check with other peers in the world and finally we go to WHO to make sure that vaccine is registered. Whatever country that needs to have their vaccine brought here they are allowed to come in and register their vaccines via MCAZ and then the vaccine can be brought into the country. The most important thing is that our scientists and researchers have to be satisfied that this vaccine is going to be safe for the Zimbabwean population and wait for the next for the next deliveries because we are in the process of making sure that at least 10 million will be covered in the shortest time period.

Most of the buying is not done through the Ministry of Health but done by the Ministry of Finance. Those are the ones who are processing the buying, negotiating prices on how much we are going to get the vaccines. In short that is it, our scientists have to be happy. If anyone from the private wants to buy, they go to the Ministry of Finance and not Ministry of Health because even ourselves we buy through the Ministry of Finance. I thank you.

(v)HON KASHIRI: My supplementary question to the Minister is that do we now have oxygen concentrators in all covid centres around the country. Are consumables like testing kits available?

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  I want to thank the Hon Member for

the question. Oxygen supplies in the country are there, we have producers like BOC – the country has oxygen tanks in tonnes in central, provincial and other smaller hospitals and clinics have got oxygen cylinders that are filled up and ready to be used for the patients who need the oxygen. Oxygen concentrators are also a bonus, they have been brought in several hospitals and they are there and individuals also have those. Oxygen concentrators are there and we really encourage those who can afford them or as Government we have definitely oxygen supplies and we have made sure that we explore any other supplies of oxygen that may not be BOC.

Yesterday we were talking to oxygen producers in Kwekwe, the Steelmakers people, the oxygen supplies are quite safe but oxygen concentrators are a bonus. The oxygen that is required for use on a day to day basis has always been there and it is going to be ramped up like we have done and we have made sure supplies are there in oxygen tanks for bigger hospitals.

HON NDEBELE: On a point of order. I noticed that you just granted Hon Kashiri audience when he was not appropriately dressed. The gentleman had no jacket; this is why I have spoken before in this House that we must put these rules of interfacing on the digital platform in black and white so that they are predictable.

THE HON SPEAKER: Noted.

HON. MARKHAM: In view of the pandemic and the issues we

have got, I have been inundated with a number of businesses wanting to privately import. May I humbly suggest to the Minister that a statement or advertisement be placed on how people can import because all those who can afford it, let them take that burden off the state. Let them import and I do not care who it is. If they are going to pay for it, let them do it.

THE HON SPEAKER: Hon Member, there is no room for

suggestion. You can ask rhetorical question in future. The suggestion is taken.

HON. T MOYO:  Thank you Hon Speaker Sir.  My

supplementary is that if you allow private players like multi-national corporations to import COVID-19 vaccines, are we not shooting ourselves in the foot whereby we pave way to profiteering by the private players?  I thank you.

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Thank you Hon. Moyo for the

question.  I said it several times that even the corporates, when they bring in their vaccines via Government, we want to make sure they are bringing in registered safe vaccines into the country.  However, private players like Econet are allowed to buy this vaccine for use by its workers for free as is the process and procedure.  We are not going to have people who buy the vaccine as a commercial business entity because we are very clear that CIMAS is going to buy its vaccines but the policy is it will be provided to the CIMAS clients for free.  So, if the large corporates can buy, it would be good for Government and we encourage it. We would love to have many of them buying and help vaccinate their workers and other people.  So, we are not shooting ourselves in the foot because this is for free and the policy is clear to all corporates that the vaccine will be given for free.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  From next week all Hon. Members who

want to ask questions must submit their names to their chief whips so that we are more orderly.

HON. DUTIRO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement.  What is Government policy on providing safe potable water to small centres where councils might not be able to do so.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY

EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA) on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank

you Hon. Dutiro for the question.  It is Government policy that to the best of our ability, we provide our population with safe water and

ZINWA is there to do that.  In most centres that are small like that, ZINWA is actually providing that safe water.  So, in terms of policy, it is very clear that we want to provide safe potable water to our population wherever they are.  The percentage of achievement is another question but the policy is very clear.  I thank you.

HON. TSUNGA: The Hon Minister has indicated that the level of achievement is another question and that question warrants a response from the Hon. Minister.  What measures have been put in place by government to narrow the gap between what is and what ought to be in terms of provision of potable water as per the dictates of our Constitution?  Thank you very much.

HON. MURWIRA:  Thank you Madam Speaker, I wish to thank Hon. Tsunga for the question that I seem to have asked myself and he took it.  Government’s policy is to make sure that we provide safe and clean water to our people.  There are a lot of examples that I can give of what has happened to date.  You would know that for example the Gweru City Council has been helped by Government to make sure that they are able to provide safe and clean water.  You would also want to know that work has been going on at Morton Jaffrey Water Works to ensure that there is safe and clean water especially in Harare and you would know that at this moment, the Prince Edward Dam has also kicked in to narrow the gap between expectation and capability.  So, the issue is that Government at this moment is trying to make sure that we narrow the gap between expectation and effort. Just recently His Excellency, the President Hon. E. D Mnangagwa declared a state of disaster in our roads and service provision which means that these are efforts that are very visible in terms of making sure that we bring service to the people of Zimbabwe.

(v)HON. KASHIRI:  Thank you Madam Speaker...

HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I raised the issue that you cannot grant the gentleman an audience as he is inappropriately dressed. If we can respect our own rules, it will help.  He needs to put on a jacket.  It becomes unfair when the rules apply to this other side of the House and they are not applied to the other.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Ndebele.  Hon. Kashiri, please may you put on your jacket.  You have to be dressed properly.

(v)HON. KASHIRI: I want to find out from the Hon. Minister, there has been talk around the expenses that are incurred in purchasing chemicals for purification of water which are imported from Zambia into Zimbabwe. The price goes up three, four times. What is the Minister going to do to try and reduce the cost of purifying water?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Kashiri for the supplementary question.  The question is on the purification of water.  As the Ministry of Agriculture, we are concerned with the provision of bulky water.  When it comes to the purification of that water, it is the responsibility of the councils but at the same time, what is very important is to know that the only way this country will be able to reduce the price of the purification of water is to start working on the local provision of chemicals making sure that we are capable of providing the chemicals locally that are used in the purification of our water.  We cannot always import these things because we cannot control that price.  So, the method which we can use as a policy, is as His Excellency the President has always said, let us do things that we can do locally. So, this is the policy and we believe as we move into this innovation and local production route, we will be able to reduce all the prices that have got a forex component.

(v)+HON. M. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare. When Government recruits what measures are they putting in place to ensure that they recruit teachers who speak vernacular languages that are spoken in those communities especially teachers who teach ECD and Grade 1 up to 3?

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon.

Speaker.   I did not hear the question.  Can the Hon. Member repeat please?

 (V)+HON. M. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare. When Government recruit what measures are they putting in place to ensure that they recruits teachers who speak vernacular languages that are spoken in those communities especially teachers who teach ECD and

Grade 1 up to 3? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. NDEBELE: The Minister can understand Ndebele.  It is only that the Hon. Member was not audible enough; I understood the question because I have big ears.  I think the import of the question is that the Ministry – [HON. MAPHOSA: Can the Minister respond.  It is a very pertinent question Madam Speaker] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I hear you Hon. Maphosa,

please wait, Hon. Ndebele, please help the Minister understand the question.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  He seeks clarity on which policy the Ministry pursued in hiring or engaging teachers recently, teachers that will be tasked with teaching from ECD up to Grade 3, what we call the infancy stage when those teachers are unable to speak the local languages, that is the import of his question.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon.

Speaker.  This is a question that appropriately would have been answered by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  It is a question that I can also answer.  Government policy is very clear on who should teach at infant level.  It states very clearly that those in ECD up to Grade 2 should be taught in their mother language.  Hiring of teachers who should teach in the various localities should follow that because these learners should be taught in their mother language at that stage.  We start introducing English as a medium of instruction at the junior level which is Grade 3 going forward.  I am not exactly privy to how the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education conducted the latest hiring which I understand was concluded a few weeks ago.  Government policy is very clear; it is part of the competence based curriculum to say we should teach our learners in the infant module using their mother tongue. I thank you Madam Speaker.

(V) +HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I do not agree with the Minister when he says this is what recently happened.  As we speak right now, we have teachers who teach infants who cannot even pronounce the sound ‘nxa.’ So what is the Minister doing to make sure that they make a follow up with regards to those teachers that are teaching ECD to make sure that they teach those students in the languages spoken in those communities?  I thank you.

HON. PROF. MAVIMA: The question is not audible to me.  I am asking if Hon. Ndebele can help again.

HON. NDEBELE: With all due respect Madam Speaker, I did not

get the direction of the question but I believe it is the same.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mahlangu please repeat

your question.

(v) HON. L. MAPHOSA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

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

(v) HON. L. MAPHOSA: I think we had problems with the issue of languages when we resumed the Ninth Parliament Session, it was announced that Parliament has now engaged interpreters.  Why is it that whenever an Hon. Member speaks in a language that she understands, there is always a request for another Hon. Member to interpret? Madam Speaker, may we all be treated the same whenever Parliament is in session.  I thank you.

  THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I hear you Hon. Maphosa,

you have raised a very important issue.  I think Parliament

Administration is sorting that out … - [HON. MAPHOSA:  Inaudible interjection.] – Yes, it is going to be sorted out Hon. Member.

(V) +HON. MAHLANGU:  Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister

understands SiNdebele.

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

Hon. Minister understands SiNdebele but Hon. Mahlangu, you are not audible – maybe it is because of the network.

(V)+HON. MAHLANGU: Let me come again Madam Speaker

Ma’am.  My supplementary is that I do not agree with what the Hon. Minister is saying when he is alluding to the fact that these are people who were recently employed.  This is something that has been going on for quite some time.  I want the Hon. Minister to tell us what measures they are putting in place to make sure that infants are taught by teachers who are conversant with languages spoken in local schools that they are teaching in.  If this teacher who is teaching infants cannot pronounce ‘qa’, how possible is it that the same teacher can teach this class without them being conversant in local languages?  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mahlangu, can you hear me?  Maybe we lost Hon. Mahlangu. – [(V)AN HON. MEMBER:  How can we have a new question without the Hon. Minister responding to a previous question?] – Order, Order Hon. Members, Hon. Mahlangu! – [[(V)HON. MAHLANGU:  Madam, I am here.] – You were not audible and also I am being advised that it is not a question but a complaint. Maybe you can put that in writing so the Hon. Minister can respond to your question.

Please Hon. Mahlangu, put that in writing so that the Hon. Minister can respond to your question.  You were not all that audible and I am also being advised that it is a complaint and not a question. – [(V)AN

HON. MEMBER:  Hon. Mahlangu was very clear and you could hear her.  She was speaking very clearly.  Can the question be responded to?] – Hon. Members, Order please Hon. Members.  Hon. Mahlangu, please put your question in writing so that the Hon. Minister can respond to your question.

HON. A. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question

also fortunately or unfortunately runs on more or less similar lines.  In the absence of the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, I will direct it to the Leader of the House.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  But if it is similar to the

question that was asked before, I do not think you have to repeat it.

HON. A. NDEBELE:  But it is substantially different Madam Speaker.  It has emerged that most of the IsiNdebele textbooks for the new curriculum are substandard with poor use of the language.  In other words, with a plethora of corrupted words.

What is Government policy in ensuring that there is quality control in the selection of appropriate textbooks and that the introduction of the new curriculum does not reverse the gains in the education sector?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY

EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Thank you very

much Madam Speaker and I wish to thank Hon. Ndebele for such a very important question.

Education is a very important aspect of society because that is how we become what we want to become.  We know that the introduction of the new curriculum is meant to improve the way we do our education by introducing the aspect of being practical, especially even at primary, secondary including at higher education.  The aspect of quality is very important.  I am sure that the Hon. Member asked specifically on the IsiNdebele language. that there might have been some errors spotted but errors may be in many other languages.  So it is a very important question in terms of ensuring that we do our quality checks but quality checks are always a continuous process that we have to do.

In terms of policy, we know very well that Zimbabwe has these 16 languages and every one of them must be very well represented in terms of quality.  So, Government policy is very clear.  It follows the Constitution and if there are any errors that are noted, if every book that is written is written underneath, any errors noted should be given to a publisher – that is one of the quality checks so that we do our things properly.  When things are noticed not to be well, it is very important that they are stated so that they are rectified.  The issue is about; do we have a mechanism for rectification?  I say, yes we do.  Whenever an error has been spotted, it will be rectified.

(V)HON. NGULUVHE:  My question is directed to the Minister of

Health and Child Care.  In view of the current heavy rains, what is

Government’s policy with regard to malaria control?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): We know definitely with these heavy rains that malaria is quite rampant and is all over. Government policy is; we continue to make sure that we keep our citizens safe by encouraging them and making sure that pools of water do not spread this disease. As Government, we continue to make sure that we provide medication for those who have contracted malaria. We are sticking to prevention and treatment of the acutely sick by giving them what they require and this time we are actually doubling the effort because we know that malaria is much more rampant because of the large amounts of rain that we have received. We are also encouraging that we continue with the awareness programmes that have always been there.  We also encourage Members of Parliament here present, that we continue to spread the word of the dangers of malaria, prevention and treatment and that people should visit their hospitals early and be treated. Most of the medicine is well supplied in the hospitals and everywhere. So the policy is straightforward.  We need to continue fighting malaria at high scale, particularly that this is a rain season. 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

RELEASE OF FUNDS BY ZINARA FOR COMPLETION OF ROADS

IN KADOMA

  1. HON. CHINYANGANYA asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) will  release funds for the completion of the two projects, namely; Bonda Road and Leopold Takawira Street in Kadoma.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me

take this opportunity to thank Hon. Chinyanganya for asking this question. Due to the declaration by His Excellency, of the disaster of road infrastructure, all local authorities are to submit their projects for funding. It is therefore up to local authorities to identify their priority projects.

HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response. I had submitted the question last year around August, so the funds were finally released last year and those roads were completed.

However, just like he said that the roads are now terrible, I think it is now urgent that Government releases funds to local authorities to address the roads that have been damaged by floods. Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your question then?

HON. CHINYANGANYA: When is ZINARA going to disburse

funds to local authorities to address the roads that have been damaged by the incessant rains?

HON. MHONA: Let me thank the Hon. Member for seeking

clarity on  that issue of the disbursement and truly with this declaration, we are currently on phase one where we are going to attend to urgent issues which have been referred to by the Hon. Member. As we speak, funds have been disbursed towards that noble cause.  So I am sure local authorities are now busy prioritising their roads and the Hon. Member will be seeing works on the ground.

(v)HON. MBONDIAH: My supplementary question to the Minister is; what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that bridges that were washed away by the rains are replaced or repaired putting into consideration that schools will be opening soon and the COVID-19 vaccine is in our midst which needs to be transported to rural areas?

HON. MHONA: Let me assure the Hon. Member that there are working groups as we speak from the road authorities that are busy and are seized with the logistics.  Truly speaking, the first phase will actually take care of the wash-aways so as to facilitate movement of goods.

Thank you.

STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE EFFECTS OF DIVERTING FROM

BEITBRIDGE ROUTE TO KAZUNGULA BRIDGE

  1. HON. RTD BRIG GEN MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House the strategies that the Ministry has put in place to mitigate the effects of diverting from the Beitbridge route to the Kazungula Bridge whose construction will be completed soon.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Brig. Gen. (RTD) Mayihlome for the question.  Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is centrally located and is a transit country for most countries in Southern Africa.  The movement of traffic into South Africa from countries such as Zambia, DRC and Malawi has primarily been through Beitbridge, mainly because of the distance to the ports in eastern and south-eastern South Africa. Key to the response is identifying the problems emanating from Beitbridge Border Post and the related routes.  As you may be aware, the Ministry adopted a number of strategies which will see a number of projects being earmarked for rehabilitation and upgrading.

This includes the country’s major trunk roads and border posts such as Kazunglua and Beitbridge Border Post located along the North South Corridor.  The aim is to increase capacity and movement of traffic in and out of Zimbabwe.

Kazungula Bridge and One Stop Border Post

There are a number of issues at Kazungula, which will need

Government to consider.  This includes consideration of the swampy

area at Kazungula, the movement of wild animals in the area, the existing traffic passing through Kazungula and the corridor, the development of similar infrastructure, as Botswana and Zambia and the resultant need to develop a One Stop Border Post.  The Ministry is engaging a consultant to carry out a study on the border post and bridge and how Zimbabwe can be part of the project.  The terms of reference for the consultant include the issues raised above among other issues such as office space and relevant IT systems for integration purposes.

Beitbridge Border Post

Construction started in 2019 and expected to be completed in 2023.  The scope of the project includes the upgrading of the border post with new terminal buildings and commercial facilities, construction of a fire station, upgrading of sewer and water reticulation for Beitbridge Town including a reservoir plant and animal quarantine facility and the construction of staff housing for border agencies.  Progress however stalled because of the COVID-19 outbreak as the contractor based in

South Africa could not be on site for the major part of 2020.  Once the project is compete, this should be able to streamline operations at Beitbridge and increase the movement of traffic as it normally becomes congested.

Major Trunk Roads

Work is underway to rehabilitate the major trunk roads in the country to become more trafficable and efficient.  The Ministry prioritised the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Road as one of the key roads in Zimbabwe.  In addition to the proposed works by the Ministry are the Harare-Karoi-Chirundu Road and the Harare-Nyamapanda Road.  These are among other roads the Ministry is working on.  As you are aware, the Ministry engaged local companies to work with the department of roads in the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Beitbridge-MasvingoHarare and Harare-Karoi-Chirundu Roads.  Current works are being done on the Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare Road.  Progress has however slowed down due to the rains and the limited workforce due to the covid-19 outbreak.

HON. NDEBELE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Could the Hon.

Minister kindly explain to this House why the selection of a South African contractor at the expense of so many experienced Zimbabwean companies that are involved in civils.

HON. MHONA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Ndebele.  It is unfortunate we did not cover the first part of the question whereby the Member was asking for the update on the Beitbridge road.  Apparently, we have got local contractors and pursuing the issues of domestic resource mobilisation and trying to empower our people.  We are using the available resources within the country.  You will find that even the contractors that have been engaged are also local but not necessarily saying that foreign contractors are not good contractors at the end of the day.

HON. MARKHAM:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question

to the Minister is with regards to restrictions that have been reported in the Press by the Zambian Government on commercial traffic lorries crossing the Victoria Falls Bridge into Zambia.  Can the Minister confirm exactly what this is about?

HON. MHONA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Markham.  I think those are hearsays and I am sure as a Ministry we are also trying to look into it, but I cannot respond to the Hon.

Member to that effect of hearsays.  Thank you.

DELAYS IN TOLLING OF URBAN ROADS

  1. HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House what it is that which is delaying the tolling of urban roads and

Government investment in urban mass transportation systems.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  Thank

you Madam Speaker.  Let me also thank Hon. Brig. Gen. Rtd.

Mayihlome for the question.  Madam Speaker, at the initial attempt there was no by in from the stakeholders.  The programme is being reconsidered.  Thus, consultative processes are to commence with stakeholders to be conducting including the motoring public.  At the same time, studies will be done on how other countries have done it, how they set up their institutions and how they are managed.

The investment in urban mass transportation systems is very critical and is part of Government’s key strategies for efficient and economic transport systems.  The Ministry in one of its strategies in the National Transport Master Plan and also as highlighted in the National Development Strategy (NDS1) identifies the need to promote mass transportation.  Mass transportation reduces congestion in the urban areas and at the same time promotes green transportation by reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions.  As you may be aware, Government engaged in a drive to capacitate ZUPCO and partner other bus operators to buttress efforts of Government for mass transportation.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE:  Madam Speaker, please allow me to check with the Hon. Minister when he intends to expand the toll plaza into and out of Harare along Bulawayo Road.  I notice it remains a two way plaza whereas the one in Kadoma is a three-way plaza.  – [An Hon. Member

on virtual having said Hon. Ndebele is inaudible.]I am connected, audibility is a question of network.  Please allow me to check with the Minister when he intends to expand the toll plaza in and out of Harare along Bulawayo road as it is frustrating people who are willing to pay money into his Ministry?

                 THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank

you Hon. Speaker.  Let me thank Hon. Ndebele for that question.  With your indulgence Madam Speaker, I still need to consult with my team and then revert back to the House.  I thank you.

UPGRADING OF MAWABENI-ESIBOMVU-MBIZINGWE-

BULAWAYO ROAD

  1. HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME asked the Minster

of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain to the House when the Mawaben- Esibomvu-Mbizingwe-Bulawayo road in

Umzingwane/Matobo Constituencies will be upgraded and surfaced?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank

you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Let me also thank Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd.) Mayihlome for the question. At the moment the road is on the priority list provided by the Department of Roads and when funding is made available for the implementation construction will start with the identified projects in priority order.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION WORKS OF THE SHAMVA-GOORA ROAD

HON. BUSHU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural

Development to inform the House:

  • When construction works on the Shamva –Goora Road will commence?
  • When resumption of work that had stalled on the Shamva-

Nyaguwe Road will resume?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank

you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I also want to thank Hon. Bushu for the question.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, Shamva-Goora Road in the Shamva

district is currently being maintained by the Department of Roads.  The activities which can be done on the road are shoulder widening or shoulder gravelling.  At the moment the road is on the priority list provided by the Department of Roads and when funding is made available for the implementation constriction will start with the identified projects in priority order.

Hon. Speaker Sir, ZWL$500 000.00 was disbursed towards the Shamva-Nyaguwe Road re-gravelling in 2018.  With the availed funds the Department of Roads, Mashonaland Central Province was able to re-gravel 5 km.  The project stalled due to lack of funding.  The regravelling project will continue as soon as additional funding is made available to the project.  I thank you.

           *HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would

like to ask the Minister of Transport in relation to the question he was responding to.  Those areas with damaged roads due incessant rainfall which need gravelling and like, local communities are doing this on their own right now because they want to use those roads to ferry their produce to the market..  Can you not assist those local communities by providing funding or resources through local authorities so that they continue working on the roads?

             *HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like

to thank Hon. Togarepi for the issue he raised. Every time when there are road works in an area, local people usually come to assist because they value development in their area.  He had also raised an important issue of supporting local communities with resources so that they work together with other departments on the road rehabilitation.  Committees that are ceased with roads should take Hon. Togarepi’s advice.  I thank you.

HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  His

Excellency has declared our roads a  state of disaster, correctly so and in good time, what has the Minister done in terms of plucking financial loopholes that we learn about year in, year out at ZINARA in anticipation of huge sums of money that are going to be moved through this agent to fix our roads?

               HON. MHONA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.

Unfortunately, I do not know which question are now relating to or you have just opened the floor for discussion.  However, let me hasten to thank Hon. Ndebele for that question. Let me assure the Hon. Member that according to the programme that has been put in place by His Excellence, the Emergence Rehabilitation Programme Tool, which is going to be in four phases and the anchor, the funding partner there being ZINARA, the one that he has referred to.  I can actually relate to the national policy on monitoring and evaluation, which has been enunciated by His Excellency to safeguard against such malpractices whereby people were just engaging in projects without supervision.            I can say now with the NDS1, wrapped together with the national policy on monitoring and evaluation, we are now going to be monitoring the projects.  It is no longer an issue of project funds being released and no monitoring mechanism.  If you look at eh way the programme has been designed, the first phase, which is going to take about 60 days has been allocated 20% of the fund, which in this particular case, the $400  million.  So $80 million is going towards the first phase.  Soon after completion of the first phase there will be monitoring and evaluation of the project.  I am glad that with the work the Committee will be doing together with the Ministry – I wonder Hon. Ndebele if you are in the Transport Committee.  If you are in that

Committee, you will also be engaging and working together with the Committee so that they will also witness what has been done on the ground. I want to assure the Hon. Member that yes, funds were actually flowing in wrong hands previously but with the advent of the new dispensation, mechanism and policies that have been put in place, we now want to emphasise the issue at hand of monitoring and evaluation.  I thank you

MEASURES TO ENSURE EXPEDITIOUS REHABILITATION OF

MALFUNCTIONAL MORTUARIES AT PUBLIC HEALTH

INSTITUTIONS

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House the measures being implemented by the Ministry to ensure the expeditious rehabilitation of mal-functional mortuaries at public health institutions.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): We have functional and non-functional

mortuaries in the public health sector.  The Ministry of Health has set aside a budget for the refurbishment of the non-functional mortuaries in 2021.  Some of the mortuaries require upgrading to meet the demand and we have put in place plans to do phased upgrading and rehabilitation of the mortuaries in the 2021 financial year.

PROVISION OF ADEQUATE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE

EQUIPMENT TO FRONTLINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House whether the Ministry has provided adequate personal protective equipment (PPEs) to front line health care workers including Village Health Workers (VHWs) countrywide during the COVID-19 pandemic era, and if not, to explain measures being taken to ensure a constant supply of PPEs to this key group.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Continued procurement of PPEs is being

done at national level.

Health education on rationale use of PPE to be continuously given to health workers.

Continued engagement with Ministry of Finance to avail funds to procure PPE on time.

Ministry is advocating for use of Results Based Funding (RBF) funds at clinic level to procure PPEs for clinic staff including VHWs.

COVID-19 RISK ALLOWANCES FOR VILLAGE HEALTH

WORKERS

  1. HON. TSUURA asked the Vice President and Minister of

Health and Child Care to inform the House when Village Health

Workers will receive their COVID-19 risk allowances and to state the amount to be paid per individual.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): The Ministry of Health and Child Care has disbursed COVID-19 risk allowances for VHWs to all the provincial accounts and the provinces are currently disbursing the allowances to the individual accounts for VHWs.  However, some of the VHWs are facing challenges in opening bank accounts.  The COVID-19 risk allowance for VHWs is $1.500 RTGs per month and US$75 per month on top of the usual US$45 per quarter.

HON. MARKHAM:  Hon. Speaker, I would like to clarify on

COVID allowances.  The COVID allowance for nurses in urban areas as well is not being received. Harare and Bulawayo have both received two at the local Government level.  This has led to approximately a 100 nurses resigning from the local authority here in Harare. Could the Minister give us assurance that the US$75 is being paid to front line workers in the medical profession?

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  Payments are being directed to the individual’s accounts.  If there are any specific problematic accounts or anything, I will be glad to entertain that together with my team at the Ministry.

OVERCROWDING OF WARD 3 BIKITA SOUTH CONSTITUENTS

IN A MAKESHIFT STRUCTURE

  1. HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE asked the Vice President and

Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House why people from Ward 3 in Bikita South Constituency continue to overcrowd at a makeshift structure at Odzi Clinic while a new standard clinic which was constructed and completed long back at the site, using the utilisation of devolution funds, still lies idle.

        THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE

(HON. DR. MANGWIRO):       The construction of a new clinic in Odzi is now complete.  The Ministry of Health is currently working on additional room loading and commissioning as well as handover from the Rural District Council.  Plans are in progress to open the clinic this year 2021 and the paperwork is being processed.  I thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  

HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in some rural areas where distances between clinics and communities are still very long, sometimes members of communities decide to use some idle buildings they might have or to build a structure for them to receive basic medical care. Will you be able to supply nurses in such areas?

HON. DR. MANGWIRO:  I want to thank Hon. Togarepi for that

question.  Yes, as Government, our job is to make sure we reduce the distances that the populace walk to get treatment or get availability of any help they might need medically.  It is our policy that if communities work together with our Ministry of Health officials to make sure the structure is built and also that the quality of the building is good and if it needs to be upgraded, it should be upgraded and then we work together and be able to supply personnel since this thing will have been done together with the Ministry of Health, that we can make sure everyone is helped.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PROGRESS ON RESURFACING HARARE-MASVINGO-

BEITBRIDGE HIGHWAY

  1. HON. I. NYONI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to apprise the House on progress made in resurfacing the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge Highway.

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): The

number of kilometers completed to date on Harare-MasvingoBeitribrdge road is now at 153.15 km.

Bitumen World               40 km (184-224km) Bubi section

Fossil Contracting        33.22 km (146.2 -186.2km) Chivhu

section

Masimba Construction                  29.33km (241-281km) Chartsworth

section

               Tensor Systems

section

27.10 k. (59.6-99.6 km) Beatrice
Exodus & Company 16.3 km (50 – 90km) Maringire section
               DoR Inhouse

section

7.20 km (56.6 – 59.6 km) Beatrice
+ (142-146.2 km) Chivhu section
               Total                             153.15 km

                          CURBING OF ROAD CARNAGE ALONG HARARE-

BULAWAYO HIGHWAY

  1. 8. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Transport and

Infrastructural Development to:

  • inform the House the measures being taken to curb the road carnage along Harare-Bulawayo Highway, particularly the high accident-prone zone between the Harare Agricultural Showground and White House suburb?
  • explain whether the Ministry has any plans to redesign this road stretch?  

                 THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND

INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):  The

zone or section has got speed limit of between 60 and 70 km/hours derestriction falls away after White House suburb.

                            The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development

had plans to design traffic circles at each junction but due to lack of funding these developments remain outstanding.  The major causes of accidents in this zone are over speeding and road indiscipline.  The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will only be able to put rumble strips selectively as a speed reduction measure.

CRITERIA ON SELECTION OF BENEFICIARIES

OF THE COVID-19 CUSHION ALLOWANCES

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister Public service, Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House the criteria used to select beneficiaries of the COVID-19 cushion allowances and to further elaborate on the measures being taken to ensure that all eligible persons benefit from this programme and other Government support considering that most deserving citizens from Warren Park Constituency have not yet received anything at all.

         THE MINISTER PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Selection of the COVID-19 cushion allowances is drawn from diverse interest groups such as;

  1. Local authorities
  2. Vendors Associations
  3. Informal sector groups
  4. Small to Medium Enterprises Department
  5. Women’s organisations
  6. Walk-in clients to our district offices

If you have persons whom you feel deserve to be beneficiaries under any of the Government’s Social Protection Programmes, you may refer them to our District Social Development Offices for assessment and possible assistance.

The Ministry is also working with cooperating partners in providing social protection to vulnerable populations through the country.  There is also an emergency Social Cash Transfer Programme which is covering Warren Park community. Those being covered under this programme cannot be covered under the Government scheme.

Development and Cooperating partners are there to complement Government efforts.  However, some stakeholders do not understand the complementarities between Government and development partners.  As a Ministry, we are also working hard to eliminate double dipping in all social protection programmes.  Under the emergency cash transfer programme, beneficiaries are entitled to receive USD$12 per head up to four members per household.  In Harare, a total of 5 906 households are being covered.

DESIGNATION OF WORK SPACES TO INFORMAL SECTOR

OPERATORS IN WARREN PARK CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Local

Government and Public Works to inform the House when the Ministry will designate work spaces to informal sector operators in Warren Park Constituency in view of the fact that structures were destroyed by the Harare City Council during the COVID-19, lockdown thereby leaving thousands of people without any means for their formal livelihoods.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC

WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): Harare City Council is currently working on constructing smart markets in all the areas including Warren Park that are COVID-19 compliant and meet WHO guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in urban centres.  Plans for each suburb have been approved and Public Private Partnership (PPPs) are at advanced stages.

The markets meet minimum health standards.

TABLING OF AUDIT REPORT

ALLIED TIMBERS FORENSIC REPORT

         THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE

CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY (HON. M. NDLOVU): 

Mr. Speaker Sir, following the ruling that you made on the 3rd March, 2020, regarding the tabling of forensic audit report. I rise to table the forensic audit report for Allied Timbers, 2015 in terms of the Audit Office Act, [Chapter 2218].

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE

CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY (HON. M. NDLOVU):

I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 28 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 29 is disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

FOREST AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 19, 2019]

Twenty-Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the

Second Reading of the Forest Amendment Bill [H. B. 19, 2019].

            THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE

CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY (HON. NDLOVU):

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank you for the opportunity to give responses to the debate on the Forest Amendment Bill.  I wish to start by thanking the Committee on Environment and Tourism for conducting informative and interactive consultations and indeed for coming up with progressive recommendations which, I have no doubt,  seek to improve the Bill.         I also want to thank all the Hon.

Members who debated the Bill and the report.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I will then address the recommendations that came from the Committee as well as the input that came from the Hon. Members.  The first recommendation from the Committee is that the Minister of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and

Hospitality Industry should include guiding principles in the text of the Bill.  Mr. Speaker Sir, this recommendation is duly taken note of and I will cause for the inclusion of the guiding principles.

The second recommendation that the Minister of Environment,

Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry must ensure that the Bill includes a person recognised for his/her ability or expertise in human resource management on the composition of the board;  I also do not have any objection to the inclusion of this recommendation.

The third recommendation was that the Minister must ensure that the Bill provides for competence based gender balance recruitment on the Commission’s employees.  While I do not have any objection to this recommendation, I however believe this is an issue that can be addressed in the guiding principles which we are going to include as part of the text in the Bill.

The fourth  recommendation that the Minister must consider the upward revision of penalties that are stated in the Bill in all instances– the penalties that are in the Bill are in terms of the levels that we have seen the Minister of Finance and Economic Development revising upward.  While I welcome the recommendations that the levies should be deterrent, we believe that the recent review of these levies have brought in the deterrent sought by the Committee.

Recommendation number 5; the Minister must include a clause that outlines the specific timeframes for appeals.  This is an important recommendation considering the devastation occasioned by fires.  However, the suggestion for determination of appeals is rather difficult considering that the responsible person maybe seized with other matters similar or otherwise.  Therefore, I humbly suggest that the matter be determined within a period of 10 working days.  In this instance, the matter may still be determined expeditiously even within the proposed two days or more but the period will not exceed the 10 working days.

So again, it is a recommendation that I have taken on board.

Recommendation number 6; that the Minister must include a clause in the Bill stating the minimum precautions and responsibilities an employee should effect before requiring an employee to use fire for operation - while the Act provides for precautions, specific details will be included in the regulations to avoid overcrowding the Bill.

Recommendation number 7; that the Minister must include a clause to provide for a calculation of an approximate value of forest resources lost during veld fires - Mr. Speaker Sir, again this is an important issue but rather also very complicated.  I will therefore, duly consider the best way to proceed but I must hasten to add that this is a complex issue with no quick fix and one that may not be operationally feasible to be included in the Act.

On the eighth recommendation that the Minister must also include a provision on civil and criminal liability - I duly take note of this recommendation.  However, considerations to do with civil and criminal matters are competently dealt with in other laws of the land.

Recommendation number 9, that the Minister must specify limits of the search powers given to forest officers to avoid abuse of power - I have noted this concern and will duly streamline powers of the forest officers contained in the particular clause.

Recommendation number 10, the Minister should specify the purpose for which occupants in forest areas may be permitted when making regulations - this matter is noted and will be addressed.

The eleventh recommendation from the Committee was for the Minister to establish a forest levy under the Forest Act that should be deducted from persons who use forest resources for commercial use. This is a welcome recommendation.  However, it is important to note that Government approved a tobacco levy which is already being used by the Forestry Commission to implement the Tobacco Wood Energy Project.  I however request Parliament to assist with imploring Treasury to give the Forestry Commission further regular budgetary support for forest management.

I now turn to other interventions that came from Hon. Members as they debated the report.  Hon. Togarepi; I want to thank him for his comments.  However, most of the issues raised by the Hon. Member have already been addressed in my responses above.  A number of interventions were made by Hon. Mayihlome and I wish to thank him for his question on how we can derive benefits from forests. On this issue, the Ministry has already commenced a process of quantifying our forest cover to establish our carbon credit which will be sold on the international market for the benefit of the said communities.

I wish to point out that the commercial value of trees is just but one of the many values that society derives from trees.  Others of equal importance include ecosystem service value, social value, cultural value, nutritional value and medicinal value among many innumerable benefits.

Concerning accessing benefits of trees by local communities, inhabitants of communal areas are provided with legal access to exploring forest produce for own use under Section 4 of the Communal

Land Forest Produce Act which is also administered by  the Forestry Commission.

In terms of establishing exotic plantations in all parts of the country, this is a function of the prevailing growing conditions for such trees in various localities.  Some types of trees cannot successfully grow under certain agro-ecological conditions.  However, our research continues to explore opportunities for suitable exotic trees desired by communities to be grown in various parts of the country.

Concerning conflicts between forestry and mining operations, Government is seized with the matter and the Mines and Minerals Bill and Statutory Instruments are currently being developed to bring about harmony in mining on protected areas.

Mr. Speaker, I turn to Hon. Dutiro who raised the issue to do with chiefs and headmen which is an important one.  Under the Traditional Leaders Act and the Rural District Councils, chiefs and headmen have powers that allow them to be involved in forest matters. In this instance, SectionS 5, 9 and 12 of the Traditional Leaders Act allow chiefs and headmen an important role in overseeing the sustainable management of natural resources including trees. This Act is administered by the Minister of Local Government.  It is therefore not prudent to include this in the Forest Act as it is already covered.

Issues on fire management are currently covered under the

Forestry Act as well as Statutory Instrument Number 7 of 2007, the

latter being administered by the Environmental Management Agency also under my Ministry.  Some of the issues are already catered for but we appreciate the additional suggestion which we will consider seriously.  The disbursement of the forestation fund money to the Forestry Commission is a matter that I am currently seized with and engagements are underway within my Ministry and Treasury.

I want to thank Hon. Nyabani and his observation on educating communities first before punishing them for tree cutting.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the suggestions and observations.  Community education and awareness is part of what the Forestry Commission does as part of the extension service delivery. I would appreciate the need for intensifying these.  We are also exploring ways of increasing tree planting and ensuring that all planted trees survive. National Tree Planting Day commemoration which was held in December was not only a launch pad for the tree planting season but it has always encouraged the nation to plant trees all year round as long as we can water them and the growing conditions permitting.

I wish to attend to the contributions by Hon Chikukwa whose view is that the Bill should address how to plant medicines which can be accessed legally. We sincerely appreciate the observation by the Hon Member and we will consider an appropriate statutory instrument route to address the proposal.

From Hon A. Mpofu, it is the link between conservation of forests and the need for energy and other forest products to appropriate research on forest issues. Again, I want to thank the Hon Member and this proposal will be taken into consideration.

Hon Masenda’s contribution was that we should legislate a requirement for tobacco merchant companies who contract tobacco farmers to produce resources to prevent deforestation. I want to thank the Hon Member. Mr. Speaker Sir, we have that covered in our current proposed amendment to Statutory Instrument 116 of 2012.

As I conclude, I would like to thank all the Hon Members for raising pertinent issues as well as proffering recommendations with the sole purpose of advancing sustainable management and development of forest matters. It is only with such commitment and dedication that we will continue as a country to progressively realise the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health and well being as well as the protection of the environment for posterity. I move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage: Thursday, 25th February, 2021.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT,

TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. N.

NDLOVU), the House adjourned at Nineteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m. 

 

 

 

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