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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 25 AUGUST 2021 VOL 47 NO 79
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 25th August, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
PETITION RECEIVED FROM THE 31ST JULY MOVEMENT OF
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): I have to
inform the House that on 24th August 2021, Parliament received a petition from the 31st July Movement of Hatfield, beseeching Parliament to oversee the protection and promotion of good governance and the upholding of the Constitution by urgently coming up with electoral reforms, measures to end rampant corruption and uphold children’s rights.
The petition was deemed inadmissible as the petitioners did not comply with the rules of procedure on petitions. The petitioners were notified accordingly.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I do not know if you have received any apologies from Ministers and Deputy Ministers who sit in Cabinet? According to Section 107 of the Constitution, they must be present in Parliament today. It seems the number that the public funds take care of them being at work does not reflect what I see here, which means it is a waste of tax payers money. With a lot of decisions being passed in Cabinet and subject to us having oversight, there are Ministers who are not here whom we would like to ask a lot of questions. As you know, Cabinet is Executive and we have oversight over the Executive. Too many deals are happening; pipeline deals, we want to ascertain what is happening. The reverse of the Land Reform indirectly is happening and we also want to know. Therefore, today I want to really push on the issues raised in Cabinet so that we can get the truth but the Ministers are not here. How do we continue a session without them?
Madam Speaker, you have ruled several times about Ministers coming to Parliament. They do attend Cabinet, the deals happening in Cabinet, they attend to but they are not prepared to come and explain the deals here. The Deputy Ministers, as much as you want to say are here, Section 107 talks about Vice Presidents, Ministers and Deputy Ministers; which means the Minister of Home Affairs can be here but if the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs is equally here, my question can be directed to the Deputy Minister and not the Minister. So, what you are doing is allowing them to be absent. If their deputies are here, you think that they have been covered, it does not work like that.
So I wanted to clarify that today in this House, that because the Deputy Ministers are here does not mean that the Ministers must not be here. Section 107 is very clear about that. So do not give us the excuse that the deputy ministers are here today; they are supposed to be here but deputy ministers do not sit in Cabinet. So each of them, the Ministers and their deputies have a role to play. Therefore, I would like that explanation why Ministers are not here, but in Cabinet they are signing these dubious deals which are subject to scrutiny by this House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. We are
checking with the Journals Office but as of now, we have not received any apologies. So, we are going to update you as we go if we are going to be getting any apologies coming forth.
HON. K. SITHOLE: On a point of order! – [HON. T. MLISWA:
Inaudible interjection.] – May you kindly share with us the names of
Ministers and the Deputy Ministers who are – [HON. T. MLISWA:
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Mliswa, can you please
leave the House!
HON. K. SITHOLE: May you kindly share with us the names of the Ministers and the Deputy Ministers who are present today?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Let me furnish you with Hon
Ministers who are here: Minister of Defence and War Veterans Hon.
O.C.Z. Muchinguri; Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting
Services, Hon. Sen. Mutsvangwa; Minister of Higher and Tertiary
Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Hon.
Prof. Murwira; Minister of Home affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon.
Kazembe; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sen. Dr. Shava; Minister of
Energy and Power Development, Hon. Soda; Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Hon. Coventry; Minister of Housing and Social
Amenities, Hon. Garwe; Minister of Transport and Infrastructure
Development, Hon. Mhona; Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs and Leader of the House, Hon. Ziyambi; Minister of State for
Masvingo Province, Hon. Chadzamira; Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof Ncube.
Deputy Ministers here present - we have Deputy Minister of
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Paradza; Deputy
Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. Chombo;
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon.
Chiduwa; Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon.
- Moyo; Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Hon. Mhlanga; Deputy Minister of
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon. Mabhoyi; Deputy Minister of
Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Machingura; Deputy Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Sen. Matuke, Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Musabayana; Deputy Minister of Housing and Social Amenities, Hon. Simbanegavi, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. Mangwiro.
HON. MURIRE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Industry and Commerce. Before asking my question, I want to thank the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank for having stabilised the exchange rate market. However, my question is premised on the fact that whilst the formal exchange rate has stabilised, the black market rate is actually going up and determining the prices that we are buying goods at in shops and wholesales. What is the Ministry’s policy on stabilising the prices that are being pegged using the black market rate? It is so apparent that even in the hotels where we are staying, prices are pegged using the black market rate. What mechanism is the Ministry putting in place to ensure that we achieve the programme that has already been set by the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON CHIDUWA): As has been identified by the Hon. Member, what we have seen with quite a number of pricing models that are used by supermarkets and wholesalers is that the prices are linked to the parallel market rates and in terms of the position of Government having noticed what was happening - this is why we came up with S.I. 127. Statutory Instrument 127 is very explicit that we should make use of the obtaining interbank rate or auction rate. The challenge that we are having is that of compliance. In terms of the position of
Government, it is very clear that we should make use of the auction rate.
The other issue that we can consider in terms of stabilising our currency is the issue of production. As long as we are producing, doing value addition and exporting, the foreign receipts that we will get are what will stabilise our currency. The issue is on production, where we are going to earn more foreign currency thereby stabilising our currency and then this is going to filter into the pricing models of service providers.
HON. MURIRE: The Minister has actually addressed my question from the Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank. Yes, they have stabilised and what is left is to produce. My question is based on the compliance aspect that he has mentioned. There is deviant behaviour in the market. My supplementary question is what mechanisms are you putting in place to ensure compliance in a situation where we have got shortage of that foreign currency and not producing enough? I thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: I will go back to the provisions of S.I. 127 for the violations as stated - where we said retailers are not displaying prices, retailers and service providers are not showing dual pricing in both United States dollars and local currency and not banking daily proceeds. The penalties are there. So in terms of enforcing compliance, we have got a list of penalties and I have presented a Ministerial Statement here where we mentioned all the penalties that are specific for each violation. So I would say again, together with the Consumer Protection Commission and the police, they are on the ground and I can give you some statistics.
The last time I got some statistics from the Financial Intelligence
Unit, I think around 27 violators had been given tickets and penalties. So we are on the ground, the Financial Intelligence Unit is on the ground, the Consumer Protection Commission is on the ground and we are enforcing those penalties. Thank you.
HON. GONESE: My supplementary question to the Hon. Deputy
Minister is; what is the rationale, what is the point of imposing these penalties when business people and traders say that they are not accessing money on the auction rate and that they have had to resort to buying money at the parallel or black market rate? You are imposing penalties upon people who have not obtained money from that official auction rate. To compound matters Hon. Deputy Minister, we now have a situation where people who have bid for money on the auction are not actually accessing the foreign currency, there is a waiting period, weeks before they actually get money on bids which have been accepted. What is the Government doing to ensure that even those who have made bids get the actual dollars, the actual money as opposed to a situation where they simply have bids which have been accepted? More importantly, how do you penalise people who are not accessing money at the official rate? You are saying you are going to penalise them, you have put a Statutory Instrument which is punishing people who are not benefiting from that auction rate, can you please respond to those two aspects?
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon. Gonese for the question. I
would say in terms of the penalties, we have been very strict, especially on those who are accessing foreign currency from the auction. So I
would say the focus has been mainly on those who are accessing foreign currency from the auction. It is not a blanket thing, but for those who are not accessing foreign currency from the auction, we have also seen cases where pricing models are based on highly speculative black market rates. If we say that the black market rate is hovering around say 120 and all of a sudden, there is someone who is using 180 where we have got cases of outliers, we have also penalised even if one is using their own foreign currency. So this is where we are with regards to penalties.
Then the issue of not being able to access foreign currency after biding, yes we have got a problem but this is an issue that we are addressing. We have also seen some activity from the banking sectors who have engaged our banks. From the last statistic that we got, we have US$1.8 billion that is sitting in the banks and we have engaged our banks. So slowly we are seeing banks that are now participating, providing overdrafts to our importers. As you can see, the issues are being addressed and we are hopeful that more banks will be coming on stream to participate and also assist our productive sector. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: The black market rate is 166/150
thereabout whereas the auction rate is hovering around 85. Now my question Hon. Minister is to simply say given such huge differences, is it not possible that the foreign auction system is actually fueling the rise of the rate on the parallel market because the people that are getting the money at the auction rate are actually doing arbitrage and making sure that they take this money, use half of it or less and then offload the rest on the parallel market?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker and I
thank Hon. Mushoriwa for the questions. There are two things. First of all, we will not follow the parallel rate. We want to be clear about that because it is a rate that is driven by the minority of economic players. The majority of the economic players are receiving money from the auction.
In the last 12 months, at least companies have received no less than US$400 million for re-equipping purposes. I am just targeting one area that is retooling. Secondly, anyone is free to express whatever exchange rate they wish to purchase the United States dollars at. So those who feel that they ought to be buying the United States dollar at higher prices - they are free to express that wish through the Dutch auction. Why do they not go ahead and do that? Why should the whole market then be forced to shift towards power rate, shadowy people that we do not understand? I thank you Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: Madam Speaker, my question to the Hon. Minister is; even the Hon. Minister and the Governor are aware of the individuals and companies who are driving the parallel market rate, the cartels that are making the parallel rate to remain. Why not arrest those people because you already know them Hon. Minister? I thank you.
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you very much. We know
some of them but not all of them. Those that we know we have taken action, we have arrested them and we have instituted penalties on that type of behaviour. If the Hon. Member has an additional list of those that we may not know, we will be very happy to receive those tips and then follow up on those individuals and companies who are violating the law so that there is full compliance. We need order and discipline. We have just received almost a billion US dollars which should go a long way in bolstering our foreign reserves and that money is already in our reserves and accounted for as such. Therefore, there is no justification whatsoever for the exchange rate to keep weakening. It should be going the other way. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MADHUKU: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. In the spirit of devolution as enshrined in Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and also looking at the National Development Strategy 1, Chapter 11, may I know what the Ministry is doing to decentralise the recruitment and subsequent deployment of teachers? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very
much for the question. On the issues around recruitment of teachers, it is in the domain of the Ministry of Public Service. When it comes to their deployment, then our HR department in the Ministry does that. The Ministry merely lists the teachers who are interested in employment and then the whole process of recruiting them and giving them the jobs is with the Ministry of Public Service.
HON. MADHUKU: Madam Speaker, I need to be corrected here. I have been made to understand that it is the Public Service Commission which authorises the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to give the go ahead for the recruitment of such number of teachers. I am also informed that this process is wholly done in the Ministry of
Education’s Head Office after having been given the green light by the PSC. If my memory serves me right, this has been happening even in the past where the provinces have been recruiting and cascading down to the districts. So, if I am wrong, I need to be corrected.
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker. The issue of recruitment is a process and some of the functions and the processes are delegated functions by the PSC. Even when we get to Head Office and the lists are being made, the teams are composed of the Public Service
Commission and Ministry officials for administrative purposes.
However, the centralisation of employment of teachers is the responsibility of the PSC. Having our Ministry officials taking part in the process does not make them the employers who are responsible for determining whether it has to be done at province, district or head office level. The instruction from the PSC is that it be centralised. The background to it has been that there has been a lot of corruption that has been alleged in the recruitment of teachers. Therefore, a system was set up to take in all the applicants and in that system, names of the prospective employees and where they come from were removed and only information that determines year of completion of training and specialisation in terms of subjects was left in so that the human interface element and the nepotism that would arise if that information was given was removed. The system is then rolled out and is supervised by the PSC. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: My supplementary question is a follow up to
Hon. Madhuku’s question. Madam Speaker, the answer that the Minister gave is not satisfactory. Why I am asking this question and why I am saying it is not satisfactory is because the Minister once said when they deploy, they look at the names that they receive from districts. Surely, how do you expect someone who is not a native Ndebele speaker to teach in Matabeleland? If you deploy someone who comes from Murehwa or someone who is a Shona speaker to teach especially ECD classes, how do you expect them to teach? These students need teachers who are eloquent in their native language. Hon.
Minister, I strongly believe your Ministry is not serious with its work. You need to be serious for once especially on this issue. We want to see proper deployment of teachers with knowledge of the native language being deployed accordingly. I thank you.
HON. E. MOYO: I think the issue she is asking now is on the deployment aspect once the names have been approved and people have been employed. When people apply for employment, they indicate their preferred districts of deployment. When those names have been sent out and where issues are realised that the people that have been deployed cannot speak the relevant languages in those areas, particularly at infant level, there is fine tuning that happens. The various districts send or flash back the names to their provinces and further to head offices, consideration is made of where they cannot speak the language then the people are sent where they can be able to teach effectively. Granted, there are problems in this exercise because the Ministry is a huge ministry employing a lot of people so there are bound to be those problems. Those problems are always being attended to.
HON. T. MOYO: My supplementary to the Hon. Deputy Minister relates to the issue of teachers who completed in 2014 and 2016 who are appearing in the database of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education who have not been employed up until now. However, we have teachers who completed in 2020 who are already working. How do you justify people who completed in 2014 to 2016 who are still unemployed and those who completed in 2020 or even beginning of this year but are already working? What is the rationale which is being used? HON. E. MOYO: The age or period of completion is not the only variable that determines when you are going to be employed. There are issues like specialisation where there is need. Which area have you specialised in and is there a need in that area. For example, if someone specialised in indigenous language, for example Chewa and completed in 2018, because of the language policy, you find there is a bigger need for that language than someone who did general knowledge at primary school level. In the secondary sector, someone specialised in physics and you have someone who specialised in either Ndebele or Shona. There are many teachers who specialised in Ndebele or Shona but in physics, we have a critical shortage and naturally, those people are going to get preference in the deployment.
(v)HON. DR. MURIRE: On teachers who joined the service on voluntary basis in schools; those voluntary teachers continue to be temporary teachers whilst they qualified long ago and are engaged on a temporary basis. There are some teachers who qualified recently and they are engaged on a permanent basis whilst those who are engaged on voluntary basis continue to be on voluntary.
HON. E. MOYO: Those who joined the service voluntarily are aware they were doing it for national good. Therefore, it does not put them ahead of all others who might have applied for employment. In many of these cases, we might not have full details of who is voluntarily employed or not. Such issues can be dealt with case by case and on different merits, so I may not give a blanket answer on that but then I think case by case if those are brought, administratively they can be looked at to see if they have been unfairly treated in any way.
HON. GONESE: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Can the Hon. Minister please tell the nation whether the Government has got a position or any plans to deal with the mismatch between the age of consent to marry in terms of Section 78 of the Constitution which is eighteen and the age of consent to sexual intercourse in terms of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act which is actually sixteen. This is now causing a problem as a result of which girls between the ages of 16 and 18 can indulge in sexual intercourse, but if they fall pregnant, they cannot get married.
Can the Hon. Minister please clarify to the nation what is the
Government’s position in regard to that incongruous situation?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank
Hon. Gonese for the question, which question is very important. If you look at our Criminal Code in terms of sexual offences, the way that they were drafted is out of date and very complicated. I have initiated a review of our Code with a view of streamlining the sexual offenses. So, it is work in progress and I have engaged some professors within the Faculties of Law and other renowned lawyers to look at it so that we can bring an amended Bill to the Code. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: My supplementary question to the Hon.
Minister is that yes, I understand according to what he says its work in progress. Can he please inform the nation and this august House firstly as to when we are likely to see those amendments seeing the light of the day because this is an issue which has been with us since the enactment of the Constitution but more particularly, since the Constitutional Court judgement which clearly defined the legal position that marriage can only be entered into by people who are above the age of eighteen.
Secondly, can the Hon. Minister indicate to us what the
Government thinking is relating to that age of consent because at present it is sixteen? We are in the dark as to what the Government’s position is and we are all aware that there are so many people who are opposed to this amendment because they are predators. The biggest problem that we are confronted with is older men who indulge in sexual intercourse with young girls, which is where the problem mainly lies. Most of the predators are not comfortable with the raising of the age of consent because that will actually increase the number of criminal cases that will be before our courts where girls are between the ages of 16 and 18. HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank Hon. Gonese Mr. Speaker, I
think it is very important to separate issues of marriage and age of consent. There is nowhere in the world where the age of consent to sexual intercourse is 18 years. In any event, it is very difficult to stop those teenagers from engaging in sex. What we are doing is; we need to separate issues of marriages that come with certain responsibilities with an age where a teenager can consent voluntarily to an act.
I know that already in our Act we have offences whereby if you have sexual intercourse with a young adult – it is statutory rape. So that is covered but what I was referring to is to streamline it and ensure that it becomes clear rather than how it is currently couched. We have outlawed marriages of anyone below 18 but if we have two young teenagers who are below 18, we cannot criminalise if they engage in sexual intercourse. My plea is, it is work in progress; we want to streamline it and ensure that we bring it here and have a debate on how we can now look at the age of consent. I know Hon. Gonese is very much aware that you can have a driver’s licence at 16, so you must also appreciate that on one hand you must say that somebody is responsible for his/her actions when he/she is driving at 16. On the other hand, you say he/she is not responsible for his/her actions in engaging in sexual intercourse – it is contradictory. So we must separate issues of marriage which we said is 18 and it comes with certain responsibilities. Those who want to be married must wait until they are over 18 but there are certain things that we cannot control. More-so at 16, we agree that you can drive but if you have an accident, what do we say? I thank you. HON. GONESE: On a point of clarification Hon. Speaker! If I heard the Hon. Minister correctly, he said that in terms of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, where a person has sexual intercourse with a young adult, that is statutory rape and I think those were his words. If he can clarify what he means by that because an adult is someone above the age of 18 and certainly, if you have sexual intercourse with anyone above the age of 18 with that person’s consent, it cannot be statutory rape. May the Hon. Minister clarify what he means by that because he said young adult then that would be statutory rape.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is a very academic question which the Hon. Member, being my learned friend, knows the answer to. I thank you.
HON. TOFFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity. My supplementary question to the Hon Minister, through you Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Minister said that this was a very important question yet it seems to be taking very long. He said that it is work in progress. In the communities that we are in, there are a lot of children who are being abused and the Marriage Bill or the age of consent is taking time. May the Hon. Minister please give us a timeline as to when this work in progress is going to come to an end?
When you look at the constitutional judgment of 2016 and we also look at the fact that we have had public hearings as Parliament with regards to child marriages and the adoption of the SADC Model Law on the Eradication of Child Marriages but we have not come to a conclusive end to deter this situation that is going on in the country. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, the issue of the Marriage Bill and child marriages, I explained last week before Senate and there were issues where chiefs had reservations pertaining to roora that they wanted legislated which I then referred to our officials to negotiate with them because the net effect of legislating to say you cannot marry without paying lobola would be to say that women are perpetual minors. We need to find each other between the traditions, customs and what is obtaining now.
So I intended to give negotiations a chance but should that fail then we will proceed, like I said that they can vote if they have to have that inserted. We can bring it here but rest assured that it can be challenged in court and it will be dropped. I was not of that opinion but thought that we must just do the right thing. So the issue of child marriages, we are almost through with it and it has a fine within the Bill. Hon. Gonese corrected me last week, I had made reference to two young teenagers having sex, that is not criminalised but if you are a parent and you give your child away in marriage and she is below 18, it is now an offence. So that is going to be dealt with.
What I was making reference to which I said is very important is what Hon. Gonese raised to say that we need to streamline and make sure that our sexual offences are very clear, unambiguous and we can then have discussions along the lines that he proposed, on whether we should leave the age of consent where it is. I thank you.
HON. TOFFA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question that I asked the Hon. Minister has not been addressed. I spoke about a timeline and he said very soon. May the Hon. Minister please be more specific? I know that he said that he is working on it but how much time is he giving the Senate because all this is happening at the expense of the girl child. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, before the end of this session we must be done with the
Marriages Bill. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question borders around the same Act in terms of aligning it with the Constitution and a plethora of other Acts that reside in various ministries and is directed to the Hon. Minister of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as it relates to those Acts of Parliament.
Our Constitution of 2013 is different from the one of Kenya in that
Kenya’s Constitution gave timelines for the alignment of certain Acts of Parliament with the Constitution and ours left it open-ended. Would the
Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs favour this House with timelines in terms of alignment of Acts of Parliament with the Constitution. A plethora of them are across the ministries’ divide in terms of timelines, would it favour the Minister, would it please him to favour this House so that we expeditiously align our Acts with the Constitution in the same way we had the General Laws Amendment Bill that consequentially aligned 112 to 148 pieces of legislation with the
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I will respond even though the question is not related to the original question. I want to indicate that the work of aligning laws those that were identified is almost complete. Let me also add that the work of aligning our legislation will be a continuous process, so there will be no end to it. We may pass a piece of legislation here today and someone may identify certain sections that are not consistent with the Constitution. If that person goes to court, that section must be struck off. It is not something that you say I will start today and end tomorrow.
However, it is my hope that in the interpretation of our legislation, anyone who is interpreting our legislation must have regard to that provision that says the interpretation that suits the Constitution is the one that must prevail rather than the strict one in any particular legislation. In other words, when you are interpreting legislation, you must have regard to what the Constitution says and interpret accordingly. We must not be boggled down by saying, when are we going to have 100 percent alignment of laws? It will never happen because each time we pass laws, we may identify something that may have slipped through us and we might need to revisit it or remove it or somebody may go to court and the court may so direct. I thank you.
(v)*HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My
question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I want to thank the Ministry for a job well done in trying to curb COVID-19 pandemic. Having said that Hon. Minister, we are approaching a season where malaria will be prevalent. What is the Ministry doing so that it can also curb the spread of malaria?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I did not quite understand the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon.
Member, please repeat the question.
Hon. Karumazondo repeated the question.
*HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his complimentary remarks on the
Ministry’s efforts in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, we know that this disease is a concern in the rain season and now we are approaching the rain season. Firstly, Government does awareness programmes on how to prevent and control the spread of malaria. We know mosquitoes breed in still water. We encourage people to fill unnecessary holes that collect water during the rainy season in the community or near their homes as this encourages the breeding of mosquitoes. We have our health personnel that go to rural areas making awareness programmes about this disease. We also visit provinces spraying chemicals that kill and prevent mosquitoes. If the Hon. Member wishes, he is free to come to the Ministry and we will give him full programmes on how we eradicate mosquitoes and control malaria. As a Ministry, we are aware of the season that is ahead of us and preparations are underway to fight malaria. We have also procured malaria drugs in our clinics and hospitals. I thank you.
(V) HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question goes to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. Whilst we are thanking him for a job well done in the vaccination and testing of COVID-19, how far has the Ministry gone in the purchasing of antigen testing kits that are available in other countries and are cheaper to the general population?
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Thank you Hon. Chair and I want to thank Hon. Ndiweni for asking about the opening up of buying of kits. I am not sure if the Hon. Member is aware that whenever we are going to have medicines or testing kits, we have a department called Medicines Control Authority which authenticates whatever is to be brought in to the country to make sure it will give us results that are relevant and credible.
So I am sure if he has those cheaper gadgets or antigen tests that he wants to bring into the country, the Medicines Control Authority is there to assist, he can go and register the so called antigens he thinks are cheap. I am sure as Government, we did not say nobody can buy these but as long as things are registered and going through the normal channels to make sure it is safe, authentic and credible for results that we need to trust, I do not think there will be a problem. If he has problems with the Medicines Control Authority, we can always sit down with him so that we help him go through whatever antigen test he wants to go through.
(V)*HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My
supplementary question to the Minister is that I heard the Minister explaining very well that he will bring information and pamphlets to give to the public about malaria. Where I come from in MarambaPfungwe, UMP District, we are close to Mudzi which is a malaria hotspot, they usually come and give people chemicals that they spray in their houses. However, I realised that most of the people who stay in that area are small scale artisanal miners who shift and stay in temporary shelters as they pan for gold. They end up being bitten by mosquitoes after leaving sprayed houses. Is it possible to provide mosquito repellents and nets that they can also use in those temporary shelters? I thank you.
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I appreciate
that the Hon. Member refers to the spraying of houses when preventing mosquitoes but there are also people who move away from those sprayed houses in search of livelihood. However, he has helped me a lot by providing a solution for the gold panners who use alternative accommodation to make use of mosquito nets and repellents and that they should be also on the lookout for stagnant water, that is a good idea.
We will try to implement that.
I kindly ask the Hon. Member to come so that we discuss and help each other on implementing those additional measures he is suggesting because indeed, he realised that we need to help each other in combating this problem by increasing mosquito repellents and nets as well as reducing the spread of mosquitoes. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. My
question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. What is Government doing to protect workers pension contributions against inflation and change in Government monetary policies? I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Hon.
Speaker. As a Ministry, we collect a lot of funds in the form of pension contributions from NSSA. We are coming up with a number of projects - we have a number of schemes which we invest pension funds such as construction of houses and we have recently opened a bank. When people come to borrow, we also charge them interests.
We have invested pension funds into a number of viable projects so that if we encounter any inflation, we will be able to recoup the money from the projects. I think we are using it wisely and we hope going forward, we have improved our investment portfolio to look into a number of options where we can invest those funds for profit making so that we yield more profits and be able to pay when somebody goes for pension.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: I would like to thank the Hon.
Minister for his response. However, are those measures effective, considering the fact that the amounts of payouts that the workers are receiving are so paltry? I was reading an article whereby a teacher who had worked since 1986 who, when retiring, received a meager 57 000 RTGS. I thank you. So a lot of employees are receiving meager pension payouts after having worked in the Government sector for so many years.
HON. MATUKE: what the Hon. Member is talking about is
history. The new dispensation was only there for 3 years, just wait and see as we go - come 10 to 20 years, you should be able to realise quite a substantial amount. We cannot talk of the past because the pension you are talking of was collected 20 years back and the new dispensation was not in power. I can assure you that going forward, they will be able to realise substantial amounts because the new dispensation is coming up with a number of options to benefit the employees out of pension. Going forward, the situation is going to improve.
HON. NDUNA: Aware that IPEC is trying to reinvigorate and make sure they add value to the pension payouts for those that were employed then- in particular, those that paid pension funds to places like Old Mutual and other pension houses, to what extent is Government involved with companies and departments such as IPEC in ameliorating and making sure that those pensioners some who were contributing to Old Mutual such as Mdara Green in Chegutu and a few other pensioners, can get value out of their pension funds that they contributed to pension houses that also invested those monies in infrastructure and property development?
HON. SEN. MATUKE: I think the question should be directed to the Minister of Finance because we do not deal with private organisations.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): IPEC which is the regulator that falls under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is looking at four things to deal with this issue. First of all, it is making sure that the companies that are involved in the management of pensions are adequately and appropriately capitalised so that they do not abuse the pensioners proceeds for their own benefit and use because they are under-capitalised.
Secondly, IPEC is looking at dealing with the issue that is raised in the Smith Commission Report regarding the adoption of the US$ backing to 2008, where pensioners lost value and they are about to complete the deliberations on a framework for which then pensioners would be compensated for that loss of value.
Thirdly, when it comes to the currency reforms of 2019, IPEC working with the Ministry of Finance, have already taken action which is to begin to engage industry so that they can increase pensions payout and we have seen evidence of this increase. I have a figure of increases in some cases to the tune of 800% in pensions payout after adjustments have been made. We have set up a compensation fund which we have already put in some resources to compensate pensioners for currency reform.
Finally, IPEC is making sure as a regulator, that fund managers manage the resources properly in an environment of hyper or high inflation. What should happen is that managers and pension fund managers must tilt their portfolios towards the equity market away from the money market. They must also tilt their portfolio more towards property market away from the money market. So that asset allocation strategy and monitoring thereof is critical for boosting the pension payouts for hard working citizens.
HON. MAWITE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Mines. I have noticed that Government has banned the exportation of raw chrome with immediate effect, which is a good move in line with the NDS1. What Government policies have you put in place to protect the small scale miners so that they get the same market value for their raw chrome when selling locally?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Government banned the exportation of raw chrome because currently we do have a lot of smelters in the country. We do have smelters at Selous which are run by Afroshin. We also have smelters in Gweru which are run by Jinan. We also have noticed that the small scale miners were not getting a fair price of their product and as a result, Government has come up with initiatives whereby MMCZ will be responsible for setting up a standard market price for chrome. We are working to ensure that MMCZ through Applebridge be capacitated and be the only sole buyer of chrome which would then resale to our smelters around the country.
Government banned the sale of chrome due to the fact that we need to provide enough buffer stocks of eight months to current smelters so that the smelters do not run dry or stop at any given moment. I thank you.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Speaking on the importation and exportation of miller rods, I feel that Uganda is now
Zimbabwe’s largest importer of raw gold and previously, our second highest trading partner was the UAE where we are also exporting raw gold. What are we doing to start refining gold before we sell it? I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Is that a new question now? (v)HON. S. BANDA: It is a supplementary question on exportation of raw chrome. I was speaking on raw gold to say, what is the Ministry doing to ensure that we stop exporting raw gold?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: That is a new question.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would
like to find out from the Minister whether before they banned the export of chrome, did they make that research that the small scale miners are able to supply local smelters? Did he have a chance to consult the small scale chrome miners in terms of inputs into this particular issue? I say so because the Government claims to be a Government that represents the interest of the people.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING
DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. When Government promulgated the Statutory Instrument of banning exporting raw chrome, we had made that research that smelters are failing to get adequate chrome. So we realise that in line with Government policy to increase value addition and beneficiation, we should not be exporting raw chrome or unprocessed chrome. We also realised that our smelters last year increased smelters, which means we have a big capacity to smelt chrome. After making a research on that, we also went around to make a survey on our small scale chrome producers to ascertain their capacity.
Last year Government made a credit guarantee scheme being done by MMCZ to support small scale chrome producers. So if that programme increases, we are saying MMCZ will then be buying chrome from small scale producers at a high price because at the moment, there is a lot of outcry from small scale chrome producers because chrome is being bought at a very low price. So we want to support them and help them to be able to get a livelihood out of their chrome. I thank you.
(v)+HON. E. NYATHI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. My
question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social
Welfare. My question concerns the elderly and those who are disabled.
What is it that the Government is doing towards helping such people especially during the COVID-19 era? We are meeting up with these people especially women who are visually impaired.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. SEN. MATUKE): I cannot hear
the Hon. Member.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Hon. Member is saying,
what is the Ministry doing concerning those who are aged, blind and some of them having children who are roaming around in this era of COVID-19?
HON. SEN. MATUKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. As a Ministry, through the Department of Social Welfare, we have got quite a number of homes that can accommodate the vulnerable children. For the aged, we have got a number of homes in almost all the provinces that can accommodate the elderly in that constituency. On the other hand, we will continue to provide food and basic needs for identified vulnerable members of our communities. Over the past two weeks, we have been supplying mealie-meal through Members of Parliament and some through our department of social welfare. I want to make a special request to our Members of Parliament that if they come across vulnerable people roaming the streets, they can advise our office and we will be ready to assist. This will provide food or relocate them to homes that can look after them. I thank you.
(v)*HON. R. R. NYATHI: My supplementary question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Health. I want to know what measures they have put in place to train doctors who used Ivermectin to treat COVID? Some of the doctors have been brought before the courts for using this drug without formal approval during this COVID-19 period. We have other prominent people, some who are amongst us who benefitted from this drug. We later witnessed this same medication being legalised. What is our Ministry doing to convey appreciation to those doctors who embarked on research that resulted in this medicine being adopted and assisting our people? This drug has been very helpful.
HON. DR. MANGWIRO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question. His question is on
Ivermectin medicine with reference to doctors who have used it. Firstly,
I said earlier on that as a country with expertise, we have certain procedures that we follow when medicines get into this country. Before medicines are used, we do not allow anyone to use them without following the proper procedures. Firstly, MCAZ analyse those medicines and if a doctor wants to do a research, they do not just go and talk on the radio or television but they go to the Research Council of Zimbabwe where they register the medicine they want to try. Other doctors will also analyse whether it will be safe for the patients who will be given the medicines as trials. As doctors, we sit in our numbers to get to agree to use the medication and the patient signs consent forms for the medicine to be administered after explanations that the medicine is on trial and the side effects that may be experienced are so and so. Normally there are no problems but when you are a doctor and you know the procedure for research but you do not follow them, you will end up being summoned by fellow doctors. So the most important thing is that at that time, the procedures were not followed according to the laws of this country. I thank you.
(v)HON. KASHIRI: My question goes to the Minister of
Agriculture. Yesteryear, tobacco growers used to get an incentive for their production. Why has this been stopped all of a sudden despite the bumper harvest?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): This is a very
specific question. The tobacco farmers are being paid for their produce, so I am not sure over and above that what the Hon. Member is making reference to as incentives that they are supposed to be given. I know that when they are growing, some of them are under contract from various companies then they go to auction where they get paid. So I am not sure what specific incentive he is making reference to in order for me to answer fully. I thank you.
HON. KASHIRI: Hon. Speaker, tobacco growers used to get 5% of the total amount of their produce as an incentive, which would come six or nine months down after the selling of tobacco, which will then cushion them on their expenses. This has suddenly stopped for the last couple of years. We wanted to find out why the Ministry has decided to stop the incentive?
(HON. ZIYAMBI: I will refer the question to the Treasury man here to respond to issues of foreign currency.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Hon. Kashiri for
the question. I fully understood the question and I think we need to go back and look at where we are coming from in terms of the policy trajectory that we used to have. If you check 2019 going backwards, there were a lot of policy distortions and pricing models that were not reflective of what the farmer was investing in the farm. Now what we did is, after consultations with the stakeholders, they said they wanted to be paid in foreign currency and they also said they wanted to make sure that the prices that they get after selling should be reflective of what is happening in the international market. This is why we opened up and said tobacco is sold through auction.
So, because of the new policy trajectory where we do not want to interfere with the market because whenever we do interventions and provide what are called incentives, in a way they distort the market prices. What we would want is, we have provided our farmers with free land. The majority, we are already incentivising them. The other issue that we have also noted is the issue of our farmers not being able to access funding. The 2021/22 season, we already have a tobacco fund which is in the tune of around US$60 million where we are going to support our farmers but in terms of pricing, we are not going to interfere. We will allow the market to operate and this is why we are not giving those incentives because we know that our farmers are getting value for money. Thank you.
(v)HON. KASHIRI: I would like the Deputy Minister of Finance to clarify for the rural farmers especially seeing that the rural farmers usually are left behind. How does this model that he has spoken about going to work?
HON. CHIDUWA: I think the model is already working for the rural farmers and this is being implemented through their associations. If you check what we did this current agriculture season, we actually devolved the auction to the provinces, specifically if you check for
Karoi. This is where our rural farmers are and they have been using the auction effectively. I think the system is working very well and there are no hitches as far as I know.
(v)HON. B. DUBE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Transport, in his absence to the Leader of the House. What is
Government’s policy relating to the disbursement of the road fund for the purposes of rehabilitation of roads by local authorities taking into account that ZINARA seems to be failing to disburse funds on time to local authorities resulting in a lot of unfinished road works in all the cities around the country? Is it not prudent that the Ministry takes back the aspect of road monies directly to be managed by local authorities in their respective areas?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me
thank Hon. Counsel Brian Dube for that very important question and also to take this very important time to articulate issues when it comes to the issues of ZINARA. The sole purpose of the creation of ZINARA was to administer a fund contrary to the mandate that they purportedly had in the era where they were also engaged in the construction of roads which was not under their purview. Being a fund, it is supposed to disburse funds to local authorities, not necessarily local authorities but all four road authorities which are as follows; the Department of Roads, rural district councils, local authorities and District Development Fund.
So to answer the question by Hon. Dube, as we speak Mr. Speaker, it is quite disheartening that there are some local authorities that have been advanced funds for the construction of roads under the Road Rehabilitation Programme by ZINARA and they have not used that money. We are actually recalling that money. Also, the Minister of
Transport is actually mandated through legislation under the Roads Act 18, in particular section 5 of that Act where it talks about local authorities, rural district councils or any road authority that neglects its mandate. Therefore, the Minister in particular will take over the management of that road.
So for us to say ZINARA is not disbursing, I do not think it is true Mr. Speaker. If you have checked in the previous month, ZINARA had to flight all the disbursements to the local authorities showing that these are the funds that went directly to the local authorities. In the near future again Mr. Speaker, we are going to flight a detailed report of the funds that have gone to the local authorities and therefore, we call for the accountability element from the local authorities, rural district councils, DDF and the Department of Roads to account for those funds to see where those funds have been channelled to. I do agree that as a fund, ZINARA is supposed to disburse and this is basically what ZINARA is doing Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE
TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 67.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
CRITERIA FOR CONFERMENT OF NATIONAL HERO STATUS
1. HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME asked the
Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs to explain to the House the criteria used to confer National Hero status considering that some juniors during the liberation struggle are being conferred national hero status whilst former senior commanders are not.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Mr. Speaker Sir,
before I delve into the question, let me briefly quote what the Preamble of our Constitution says about veterans of the liberation struggle. It states and I quote, ‘Exalting and extolling the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/Umvukela and national liberation struggle’. The inclusion of a statement extolling heroic resistance and colonialism in the Preamble of the supreme law of the nation establishes the importance and pervasive nature of the value of liberation heroes borne out of the efforts of veterans of the liberation struggle.
Sections 23 and 84 of the same Constitution, clearly stipulate the need to give due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle and defined them as follows: - ‘those who fought in the war of liberation; those who assisted the fighters in the war of liberation and those who were imprisoned, detained or restricted for political reasons during the liberation struggle’. The Constitution further mandates the State to take reasonable measures including legislative measures for their welfare and also economic empowerment.
Over the years Mr. Speaker Sir, Government has done its best to look after the welfare of the veterans of the liberation struggle by enacting the War Veterans Act and also the Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Act as a way of recognising the contribution of veterans of the liberation struggle. Only last year, these two Acts were repealed and replaced by the all encompassing Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Act that includes all categories of veterans of the liberation struggle.
Conferment of hero status in the unfortunate occurrence of death is one of the ways of recognising the contributions of veterans of the liberation struggle. It is on this basis that Section 3 of the National Heroes Act, Chapter 10:16 confers upon the President, the powers to declare the hero status on certain citizens of Zimbabwe. The section states, “where the President considers that any deceased person who was a citizen of Zimbabwe has deserved well of his country on account of his outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to Zimbabwe, he may by notice in the Gazette, designate such person as a national, provincial or district hero of Zimbabwe”. On the basis of this provision, a number of veterans of the liberation struggle have been accorded national, provincial or district hero status.
Regarding the criteria used to award status, it is important to understand the procedure. The process of declaration starts with recommendations from various organisations and associations from a wide spectrum of our nation including those representing veterans of the liberation struggle that wish to have certain individuals conferred with any of the three categories of heroes status. Given the history of our nation, most heroes and heroines have predominantly been those with political and military backgrounds on account of the due prominence given to liberators by our Constitution.
However, the National Heroes Act, Chapter 10:16 also takes into account outstanding, distinctive and distinguished services by all citizens. It is on this basis that other heroes without political and military backgrounds like the late Dr. Ariston Chambati who was a veteran in business; Gary Magadzire, agriculture; Christopher Ushewokunze who was a veteran in business; Oliver Mutukudzi, arts and Saul Jah Love – arts, to mention but just a few, have been duly recognised as national, provincial or district heroes depending on their respective contribution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is important to emphasise that the national hero status is not reserved for those who participated in the liberation struggle alone. The onus is therefore upon citizens, groups of people, organisations or associations to justify their recommendations to the President to award any of the three categories of hero status on the basis of service rendered. Within the veterans category, the majority of those awarded national hero status during the early years of independence were senior politicians and Commanders. However, as time passed by, some veterans who were junior during the liberation struggle went on to contribute after independence, thereby earning them national hero status. Mr. Speaker Sir, in short, the criteria therefore is that one should have rendered outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to the nation. I thank you.
HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I want to know whether this criteria is in the form of a checklist that is known to the entire country? The criteria might be there but it is not known and this raises a lot of questions when you see somebody not considered a hero but if there is a checklist that is known and transparent, it will be easy for everybody to understand how the decisions are justified.
HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member, Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome for that very important follow up question which I appreciate. I want us to appreciate that in a constitutional making process, every Zimbabwean has an opportunity to input in the process which is a culmination of what I presented before Parliament which demonstrates in no doubt that there was wide consultation and the Constitution is available.
If I am required to go on air and explain further, I can do so. The same applies regarding the National Heroes Act. This also came through Parliament where it was widely debated and the Committees responsible, I take it that the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome was involved in consulting all stakeholders to make sure that this Act come to Parliament, is a collective document contributed by all of us and it is in this particular document where the nation requires that the Minister once again educates or brings awareness to the nation. I am more than happy to do so, so that people appreciate that there are these pieces of documents that are available for their benefit. I thank you.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to thank the Minister for her response. My follow up is, the Minister mentioned that the Constitution is very clear that anyone who fought and liberated this country must be recognised and that there is a process which is supposed to be followed. A case in point is of Cde Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu where a process was followed and everybody knows his credentials, he was one of the first people who went out to liberate this country. Everybody knows what he did but up to now, nothing has come out. My request to the Hon. Minister is, can you please have a relook into this matter because it would appear as if there is discrimination and we do not want that to happen. Can you please have a relook at that issue of Cde Saul Gwakuba Ndlovu so that at least we know what happened?
HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I
would like to thank Hon. Dr. Khupe for that follow up question in which she requests that we have a relook at Cde. Ndlovu’s request which was presented, having considered his role which he played during and after the liberation struggle. Mr. Speaker Sir, I was not aware that there was such a case which is of great concern to the nation. Regrettably, if there was an error which happened during that time, I do not know when this happened but I have taken note of the concern that she has raised. I am going to investigate and I will bring the response before the House. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Can the Minister kindly apprise the House on whether there is a clear procedure for requesting the conferment of the hero status on someone that died at war and it is clearly known that they served in the war? Is there a clear procedure to request for the conferment of hero status on someone who died during the liberation struggle and they lie in non-hero graves?
HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
Once again, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for raising a very important question regarding those who passed on during the struggle and they feel that they deserve to be considered for national hero status. As I did allude to earlier on that most of the commanders which were conferred national hero status were commanders that participated before independence and those who were instrumental. We have the likes of Cde Magama Tongogara, Cde Mangena and many others, those recommendations came from the Commanders and from the two political parties then who were at the helm of the liberation struggle. So, in case some of those members were omitted, these are issues which can still be considered but as I recommended earlier on that associations have the sole responsibility to bring forward their recommendations to the President of Zimbabwe who has his own committees. We also have the National Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Board that can also be approached and any members of the society can be approached. The doors are still open, people should feel free now that there are very clear instruments that offer this opportunity where some errors that were committed then can be corrected. This is the opportunity that has been availed by the Government. I thank you.
PROCRASTINATION IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY
CEMETERIES AT PROVINCIAL CAPITALS
- HON. BRID. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME asked the
Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs to explain to the House the circumstances surrounding the procrastination in the establishment of military cemeteries at provincial capitals.
THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND WAR VETERANS AFFAIRS (HON. MUCHINGURI-KASHIRI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. Let me start by thanking Hon. Mayihlome for the important questions.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am pleased to report that work on the establishment of provincial military cemeteries is underway. By way of background, allow me to inform this august House that following the consummation of the idea in 2016, a board chaired by the late Air Chief
Marshal Perrance Shiri was instituted to deliberate on the matter. However, the board could not complete the assignment owing to the changes occasioned by Operation Restore Legacy in 2017 which saw the Board Chairman being appointed Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement while other members of the board were reassigned to various positions within the Government Service. Mr. Speaker Sir, this development necessitated the reconstitution of the board to fill in the gaps created by the staff movements. In this regard Mr. Speaker Sir, a new board was convened in 2020 under the chairmanship of the Commander Air force of Zimbabwe, Air Marshal Moyo. The board had an odious task of gathering views of all the 10 Provincial Ministers who are critical stakeholders in the programme to secure their views which will be captured in the implementation process. I am pleased to announce that the board recently submitted its report which we are currently studying with a view to implement its resolutions. Very soon we will be engaging the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement counterparts with a request for land for the cemeteries in all the country’s 10 provinces.
CONSTRUCTION OF A MORTUARY AT HURUNGWE RURAL
- HON. KASHIRI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House when the Ministry will construct a mortuary at
Hurungwe Rural District Hospital.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE
(HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Kashiri for the very important question.
The construction of a mortuary at Hurungwe Rural Hospital will be considered in the 2022 Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) plans under which a four (4) body mortuary and a complete refrigeration system will be constructed. I thank you.
CONSTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATIVE
OFFICES AT MAGUNJE GROWTH POINT
- HON. KASHIRI asked the Minister of Local Government and
Public Works to inform the House when the Ministry will construct Government Administrative Offices/Complex for Hurungwe at Magunje
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): I thank the Hon.
Member for the question directed under my purview. As the House is aware, the Second Republic has committed itself to undertake a wide range of infrastructure development projects. These range from road rehabilitations and construction, dam construction, housing amongst others.
With respect to office accommodation, Government has since embarked on the construction of provincial and district composite offices across the country, notably in Lupani, Siakobvu (Nyaminyami),
Hwedza and Mutoko. These are projected to be completed by year end 2021.
This initiative will be cascaded to all districts that do not have composite offices, Hurungwe included. So Hon. Member be assured that we are aware of the situation and subject to resource adequacy, Hurungwe District will be considered. In the same vein, Government has an obligation to complete all stalled projects doted around the country and Treasury has committed to avail the necessary resources for this purpose. I thank you.
DESIGNATION OF SPACES FOR INFORMAL SECTOR BUSINESS
ACTIVITIES IN WARREN PARK
- HON HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Women Affairs,
Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to inform the
House when the Ministry, in liaison with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and Harare City Council, are going to designate spaces for informal sector business activities in Warren Park as thousands of people do not have any livelihood for their survival following the collapsing of their work places due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS,
COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
DEVELOPMENT (HON. J. MHLANGA): Micro Small to Medium
Enterprises infrastructure is one of the major challenges affecting the growth and development of SMEs. Recognising the importance of SME work space provision, the Ministry launched the Micro Small to Medium
Enterprise Policy 2021-2024 which has infrastructure provision and development as one of the key 12 strategic pillars for Micro Small to Medium Enterprise growth.
Government is upscaling the provision of work space for the sector through the allocation of funding from Treasury for the construction of SME work space in partnership with local authorities who are providing land. Construction work is in progress in Gweru and Gwanda to provide appropriate work space for small to medium enterprises.
With regards to Micro Small to Medium Enterprises work space in Warren Park, the Ministry has engaged the City of Harare to identify designated areas planned for informal sector players and plans are in place for the construction of appropriate work space for small to medium enterprises. This will be used to map strategies to ensure that informal sector operators in the area have access to appropriate and decent working space to carry out their business activities.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: My supplementary to the Minister is
that now that they have not built where the informal sector are going to work from, why are we seeing those in informal sector having their structures being destroyed? Has Government not found a suitable plan to give them a temporary place in Warren Park where they can start working from? This is increasing crime rate because they no longer have something to do to assist themselves. We are requesting the Minister to come back to this august House and explain to us which areas have been designated by Government in Harare for informal sector business.
We want it done this way so that the land barons and council official do not take such areas that are reserved for informal sectors. I am saying this because if you look at my constituency, we were given many places in Warren Park D for home industries but such places were taken by private players. Last week there were clashes because a private player had taken a certain piece of land, which is 10 metres away from where people have been doing informal business for more than 15 years. This place was helping their families but council gave such a place to a private player yet it was supposed to be given to small scale business people.
*HON. MHLANGA: I want to thank the Hon. Member for his
question. I can only respond to what my Ministry is doing and not talk about what the Ministry of Local Government is doing. In our Ministry, we are in full swing to make sure that small and medium businesses are not left behind in being allocated places to do their business. Like what I said, we are saying to Local Government Department whenever they are planning, they should also plan for small and medium entrepreneurs. Coming back to Warren Park, we are involved in assisting small and medium entrepreneurs to have places to do their business.
Yes, concerning the list outlining the areas earmarked for small and medium enterprises around Harare, I think we can bring it in this House. I thank you.
PUBLISHING OF NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO BENEFITTED FROM
- HON HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the Ministry will publish the names of all the people who benefited from COVID-19 allowances or other related Government support amid claims by most people in Warren Park Constituency who are complaining that they have not received any support at all.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR
AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. SEN. MATUKE) Mr. Speaker Sir,
I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a pertinent question. The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare does provide rights based social protection for vulnerable groups in the country. Beneficiaries have the right to confidentiality and the Ministry cannot publish the names of its beneficiaries without their consent unless if ordered to do so by the courts or by Parliament.
The Ministry was asked by this august House, Mr. Speaker, to submit names of the beneficiaries who benefited under the COVID-19 cushion allowances and it provided that list. It is up to this august House, Mr. Speaker, to give the Hon. Member access to the beneficiary pay sheet. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, what is your point of
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Minister is
sighting an issue of confidentiality on the distribution of public resources. Could the Hon. Minister sight the relevant Act which warrants that information from the public space cannot be exposed to the generality of the people? Which Statutory Instrument and statute or any piece of legislation that supports the position that he is actually stating now because that is the first of its kind that we are actually hearing it being said that it is confidential.
HON. SEN. MATUKE: We were directed as a Ministry by this
august House, Mr. Speaker, to provide a list which we did and if the Hon. Member is interested in getting the list of names of those who received the cushioning allowance, if you want to allow that Mr. Speaker, the Ministry has no objection to that, but we can only do that when you direct us to do so. We still believe that any payment is confidential unless directed by you, especially the COVID-19.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: The Minister has not answered the
question because Parliament has never directed the Hon. Minister for him to actually hide. The question that Hon. Hamauswa has put on the Questions with Notice was for the Minister to get sufficient time to do the exercise and Mr. Speaker Sir, the Act provides that information moreso given under the Auditor General’s financial report on the COVID fund. We want that list to be submitted and it would be wrong for this august House to allow the Minister to run away without giving
Parliament the list of names.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May I confirm from the
Minister whether the information was submitted to Parliament.
HON. SEN. MATUKE: Yes it was.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir. My
supplementary, Mr. Speaker Sir, emanates from the fact that the
Government said that it will give COVID allowances. As Members of
Parliament, we were told to assist in identifying beneficiaries but now in the constituencies that we represent, people are saying that we took their names so that we could use them during elections because they were not assisted.
So what we are saying is that to clear our names - because these are public funds, there is need for accountability. The Ministry is saying that it has given beneficiaries, for example in Warren Park, they should give us the names to show the beneficiaries. Failure to do this, the Minister should at least give us the number of people - for example to say in Warren Park Constituency we are unable to name the beneficiaries but we were able to give 10 000 to the vulnerable. That could have assisted even for a person who is in another area will be able to see that the Government has the people at heart.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. I think
the Minister confirmed that he submitted the list. Let us study that list and then we will give a response tomorrow.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: I understand Hon. Speaker. What I am
requesting is that he gives us the number of people in Warren Park who benefited, and not give us the names.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I am saying the
Minister confirmed he submittedg that list and then from the list, we will find out how many are from Warren Park, then we report tomorrow.
(v)*HON. MUSHORIWA: That should be done by the Minister and not you Hon. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am saying he says he
submitted to Parliament and if he submitted to Parliament, Parliament staff is going to give us that information and then we inform you tomorrow.
(v)HON. HAMAUSWA: We will make a follow up Mr. Speaker
Sir. Thank you.
REDESIGNING OF ACCIDENT PRONE AREAS ALONG
- HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to inform the House the measures that the Ministry has put in place to ensure that areas prone to accidents along the Bulawayo Road, particularly from the Showgrounds zone right up to the White House area, are redesigned as a way of curbing road traffic accidents along that route.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank
you Hon. Speaker Sir and let me also thank Hon. Hamauswa for that very important question and I will answer the question in two parts.
The following measures have been taken to curb road carnage along Harare- Bulawayo highway:-Firstly, Government has ensured the setting of speed limits governing the permissible speeds at which vehicles can be driven on certain sections of the road. The stretch of road in question, Mr. Speaker Sir, is subject to a 60km/h and 70km/h speed limit. The derestriction then falls away after Whitehouse suburb. The purpose of the speed limit is to ensure that motorists along that road are regulated in terms of speed.
A measure that the Ministry can take, Hon. Speaker Sir, is to implement the construction of rumble strips selectively as a speed reduction measure. Hon. Speaker Sir, in addition to that vehicle licencing requirements aim to enforce that all road vehicles are registered and maintained properly before they can be used on public roads. My Ministry, through VID, continues to enforce vehicle fitness especially for public service vehicles which are a common occurrence on the stretch of road in question.
My Ministry is fully aware of the existence and risk posed by unregistered pirate taxes that illicitly continue to operate on our roads.
In this regard and as Hon. Hamauswa is aware there has been heavy deployment of law enforcement agents in order to ensure that these illegal activities are addressed. Government would like to applaud the Zimbabwe Republic Police for their efforts in bringing these perpetrators to book and is confident that this measure, coupled with the enforcement of speed limits and the observance of other road regulations will go towards the mitigation of road carnage on that stretch of road. Government, through the VID, also ensures that enforcement of driver licencing requirements that is warranting that every driver must pass a competence test on vehicle handling and traffic regulations before being allowed to drive on public roads. As you may be aware, Government in 2021 declared the state of all roads a national disaster, thereby initiating an incentive to the operationalisation of the Second Phase of the
Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2). Under ERRP2, Government is targeting to rehabilitate 10,000kms of roads country wide. The Harare-Bulawayo Highway has been largely expanded and resurfaced with the stretch between Harare and Norton tollgate having been dualised so as to improve the flow of traffic and to allow easy passage of vehicles without the risk of motorists encroaching into each other’s lanes.
Furthermore, routine road maintenance and repairs have been implemented as a critical measure in reducing road carnage on our roads. My Ministry, through the Traffic Safety Council Zimbabwe, carries out road safety campaigns in schools, churches, communities, work places and bus termini and on roadsides. In fact, road safety has been included in the school curriculum. In spite of the lockdown, the TSCZ has continued to work with the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the corporate world in carrying out road safety campaigns.
To answer the second part of the question raised by Hon. Hamauswa, to seek whether the Ministry has any plans to redesign the stretch of road; from a technical and structural point of view, the Harare Bulawayo Highway is adequately equipped in the form of road signs, markings, junctions, traffic circles and general design. This, therefore, negates the need to redesign the stretch of the road in question. What is of great concern are human factors and human errors that contribute to road traffic accidents. In the same vein, I appeal to all road users to behave responsibly on our roads and appeal to all to play their part in ensuring that road carnage is circumvented. Tomorrow, given the chance, I shall bring the Ministerial Statement on the road carnage as demanded by the august House. I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
(v)*HON. HAMAUSWA: I was anticipating that the Minister would tell us his plans on areas like the junction close to N. Richards where there are always accidents. Is there a possibility of having robots on that junction? The Minister could liaise with N. Richards and other companies to have robots installed there. There is also the place close to Longcheng which also needs robots. The Minister could also talk to the business owners at Longcheng since we know our Government has a lot of other issues to deal with and those businesses could be engaged to assist. They could put robots or humps like those put along Mazowe road as we get to Harare drive. Can the Minister not do the same?
*HON. MHONA: I want to thank the Hon Member for the pertinent question. Those are very good ideas that we seek from our Hon Members. We will have to go on the ground and see if your suggestions can be incorporated and if there are other additions needed.
I pledge to this august House that I will go with my Ministry officials to those places mentioned by the Hon. Member. I will invite him to be there as the representative of that area. It is also a noble idea for the business people of Zimbabwe to work together with our Government to develop our infrastructure. I thank you.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Hon. Minister, part of the reason why accidents happen is because of roads which have been constructed and have not been completed. Why is it that if you start constructing a road you do it half way or three quarter way and you do not finish? Why do you not just, for instance start the Bulawayo to Nkayi road or Bulawayo to Kezi road and complete them. This is the reason why we have accidents all the time. Why are you not constructing roads and completing them? I thank you.
HON. MHONA: I want to thank Hon. Dr Khupe for that important question. The onus of the pace in particular, is this very important august House. You control the pace and as we are gravitating towards another budget cycle whereby we can allocate adequate funds, I will be very grateful especially to allocate funds to all stalled projects.
Truly speaking and to concur with Dr Khupe, there is no way we can start a road and not finish it. What we are currently doing as a Ministry is to go province by province to identify such roads where we have started some works and we have not finished. If you check in the Blue Book, there are some roads that are there which have to be completed. I do concur that when we start, we must construct that road to the end. This is basically what we are doing but knowing very well that because we are funding our own roads, at times the speed that we work with to rehabilitate the roads might not be in tandem with the expectations of the masses of Zimbabwe. Honestly speaking, this is the ideal situation whereby all such roads and all stalled projects must be completed on time. So I totally agree with you that we need to move with speed in trying to rehabilitate and construct such roads. I thank you.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER
BILLS RECEIVED FROM THE SENATE
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that
I have received the Cyber and Data Protection Bill [H. B 18B, 2019] and the Forest Amendment Bill [H. B. 168, 2019] from the Senate. The two Bills were amended by the Senate and in terms of Standing Order No. 145 (2), the amendments will be considered by the Committee of the whole House tomorrow. Thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1
to 30 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 31 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PENSIONS AND PROVIDENT FUND BILL [H. B. 17A, 2019] Thirty First Order read: Consideration Stage: Pensions and
Provident Fund Bill [H. B. 17A, 2019].
Amendments to Clauses 1 to 5, 15 to 17, 23, 31 to 33, 35 and 54 put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, adopted.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
PENSIONS AND PROVIDENT FUND BILL [H. B. 17A, 2019]
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I move that the Bill be
read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA), the
House adjourned at Eighteen Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.