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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 26 JUNE 2024 VOL 50 NO 65

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 26th June, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have received apologies from the following Hon. Ministers; Hon. Prof M. Ncube, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. K. Coventry, Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Hon. Z. Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Hon. T. Mavetera, Minister of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services; Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. E. Moyo, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. Dr. Mombeshora, Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. K. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon. C. Sanyatwe, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. M. Ndlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. P. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. S. Chikomo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. B. Kabikira, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works and Hon. D. Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement.

           HON. HWENDE:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir!

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no point of privilege today. 

          HON. HWENDE:  It is on Minister Kirsty Coventry, you ruled three weeks ago.  

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I beg your pardon?

          HON. HWENDE:  I said it is on Minister Kirsty Coventry. You made a ruling three weeks ago and asked the Leader of Government Business to look into her situation because we have not seen her. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: She did come on that particular day.  She came late but she was there.

          HON. HWENDE: She only came once.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: She was there last week.

          HON. HWENDE:   And today?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Anyway, you cannot discuss an individual Minister, right? 

          HON. HWENDE:   Are you allowing me to proceed on the point of privilege?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No.

          HON. HWENDE:  Okay, it is fine if you are not allowing me.  Thank you Hon. Speaker. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. 

          HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA:  Hon. Speaker, I know on Wednesday we are not supposed to stand up on points of national interest.  I am standing up today because this day is a very important day… 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, please, let us not break the rules. 

          HON. KARIMATSENGA- NYAMUPINGA:  Mr. Speaker, it is the International Day of Drug Abuse and we must make a statement.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: No, His Excellency the President has already made a national statement. 

          HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA:  And we can buttress his statement.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.  You do not buttress His Excellency the President. Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. JERE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.  I wanted to check with the Minister on the Government’s plan with the renovation of the National Sports Stadium.  The country is under serious embarrassment that we are playing our matches outside the country.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGANGWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would also like to thank the Hon. Member for raising such a contentious issue on the National Sports Stadium.  Hon. Speaker, in addition to the budgetary allocation that was set aside for the National Sports Stadium, we have realised that there is need to think outside the box when it comes to capitalising or recapitalising for the construction and refurbishment of our National Sports Stadium. 

          What we have done and what I am given as premature information,  it is important for this House to realise that the Ministry and the Government is doing something for the National Sports Stadium.   We are currently in talks with some private sector players to see how best we can create a vehicle that can be listed as a right on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.  What that will enable is to allow pension funds, private players and Zimbabweans in general, to crowdfund for the refurbishment of the National Sports Stadium.

 These instruments Hon. Speaker, have been very successful, our rights have seen the construction of your Highlands Park, a few shopping malls and we have seen this to be an expedient way to raise the capital needed to holistically sort the issue that we are facing with the National Sports Stadium.  It is indeed a priority but we have realised that if we join hands with the private sector, we can get closer to running the stadium commercially but also getting private sectors involved in what could be a lucrative investment.  These are some of the measures that we are making in addition to the budgetary allocations. I thank you.

HON. JERE: Our concern is, we went through the amount of money that is required to refurbish the National Sports Stadium, 12 million USD is what is required to complete the job but 5 million USD can make it usable.  Are we saying as a Government, we really appreciate what the Government is doing, the roads and other infrastructure which is cropping up? 

However, are we saying we cannot sacrifice 5 million USD as a Government to save the embarrassment which the President, Dr. E.D Mnangagwa is going through if you go on social media that your Government is failing to refurbish the National Sports Stadium…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, ask your question.

HON. JERE: Yeah

THE HON. SPEAKER: Do not say yeah, withdraw.

HON. JERE: The question is, are we saying as a country, we cannot raise 5 million USD whilst we are waiting for other investors to join hands to make sure that at least we play our next match here at home?

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I can assure the Hon. Member that the 5 million USD would not be a sacrifice.  There is indeed money that had already been budgeted for the National Sports Stadium and these disbursements are happening according to the schedule of contracts that are in place. 

What I was speaking to Hon. Speaker, is a holistic solution to get the National Sports Stadium to a world class facility and not just usable.  Plans for the interim are actually underway and their process is currently in play.  I stand guided by the Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture.  I thank you.

HON. BAJILA: Two weeks back, I asked a similar question and the Acting Leader of Government Business on that day, Hon. Mhona, suggested that I should ask it to the Minister and it comes in fit.  My question is that we have seen news about procurement of bucket seats for the National Sports Stadium outside the country when local companies such as Tregers Plastics in Bulawayo have got capacity that they have demonstrated to manufacture these bucket seats.  However, the Government has decided to partner with private sector companies that actually import from China as has been reported.  Is it Government policy to neglect local manufacturers and they prioritise importation instead of import substitution in the reconstruction of the National Sports Stadium?

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Our Government policy in terms of procurement is guided by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act which would call for bids and from those bids to go through the process, that is overseen by the procurement regulator, PRAZ.  I would think that all processes are within their domain, whether the one who ends up winning is purchasing locally or internationally, but it is through the guidance of the Act. 

Hon. Speaker, I am not sure if the discussion is around empowerment of our local business which we would fully support but in terms of procurement, I think we are guided by law. I thank you.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Can we not take advantage of the Public-Private-Partnership arrangements that we have seen in many countries adopting as a way of financing the construction of our stadia so that the companies which construct those stadiums will benefit from entry ticket charges for a period of 10 years and so forth but we will be having our infrastructure as a country?

Could the Minister take advantage of the PPP arrangement project to help revitalise our stadiums?  I thank you.

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: I think what the Hon. Member is referring to is what I alluded to in my initial submission where we are engaging private sector players. The PPP stands for Public-Private-Partnerships in pursuing a right, instead of having one private sector player. We are opening it up to the general public of private sector players to subscribe to the stadia.  So indeed this would be a PPP but with more innovation around it taking advantage of capital markets.

*HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We appreciate the responses but I need guidance on timelines on when the monies will be availed for the National Sports Stadium’s bucket seats, toilets and the other developments.  So we want timelines from the Hon. Ministers so that there is clarity in that area because our young people are indulging in drugs because they do not have any leisure activities.  We need a response today so that we know when the money will be given to the Minister of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you and I appreciate that question Mr. Speaker Sir.  I need assistance in that regard by the Ministry of Spots, Recreation, Arts and Culture but as a Ministry, for the things that we requested for, we have the funding.  The contracts are being paid.  As to when the project will be completed, the responsible Ministry can respond to that but as the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, we make sure that we avail funding for different projects but if it is not enough, we then look for more.  I thank you.

          HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Statistics show that an estimated one third of HIV infections in Zimbabwe are within young people in the 15 to 24 years age group.  What policies and intervention have been put in place to address these concerning statistics I thank you?

          THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. KWIDINI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is very true but as we all know that whenever we talk about numbers or statistics, it means there should be evidence which is properly given. 

As she said, a third of the youth which is from 15 to 24 are being infected.  We all know that in Zimbabwe, the reproductive age group is from 15 to 49 then there is a gap in that where we say the recommended age group for child bearing in Zimbabwe is from 18 and above but as we can see now, there is also that gap which is included in the age group which she has mentioned.  With your indulgence maybe if she can put the question in writing so that we come with specific interventions and statics which will cover and give proper evidence on what is being done by the Ministry to curb that challenge.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Zhou, if you can put your question in writing for next week so that the statistics can be given.

          HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Can I add what I wanted to ask as a supplementary so that he can include it there?

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, that is a contradiction.

          HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          +HON. O. SIBANDA:  Thank you for affording me this opportunity, Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What is Government doing to those pupils who are taking their lessons outside classrooms because of a shortage of classrooms?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO):  Government policy, Hon. Speaker, is that no learner should attend classes under trees or outside of their classrooms.  The Government is seized with that matter in as far as the provision of adequate classrooms and schools is concerned.  The Government has deliberately allocated funds towards the construction of new schools and also the increase of classroom blocks.

          The Government cannot do it alone, Hon. Speaker.  As a Ministry, we have invited players in the form of development partners to assist in the construction and provision of classrooms.  I am aware that we have a shortage of schools, but we are making efforts to ensure that we provide a conducive atmosphere in as far as the provision of quality inclusive and equitable education is concerned.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

          HON. MANGONDO:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  In view of the critical importance of local authorities in terms of service delivery. Being the second tier of Government which has direct impact on people and in view of the fact that we have experienced a lot of deterioration in terms of service delivery as well as management systems in local authorities, my question to the Hon. Minister is; what policy initiatives as well as the strategies does the Ministry have to try and retool these local authorities so that they can be dynamised as well as make sure that they are operating in the 21st century in order to enhance the competitiveness of the country as they are the ones who interact directly and affect any would be investors in the country.  I thank you Hon. Speaker?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the question asked refers to several work stations.  The first station was in November 2023.  His Excellency launched a policy on call to action, no compromise to service delivery and then directed that the Ministry must champion the production of a master plan by all local authorities, the evaluation reports as well as enterprising resource plan. We are meeting on Thursday with all the local authorities to assess the progress made to date by the local authorities in terms of producing particularly the masterplans. The deadline for submission to Government is 30th of June. The second tier of the question is, service delivery had deteriorated and according to Hon. Mangondo, this is because the local authorities seem not to have the adequate resources.

We are well aware of the two elephants in the House. The first elephant is the impact of sanctions. Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for a period of more than two years. Yes, it is a fact, we are under sanctions. What sanctions mean to a simple mind is that we cannot access affordable finance from international financiers and incompetence being demonstrated by urban local authorities. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

There is no substitute for incompetence. We cannot continue to plough resources to local authorities that are being run by incompetent, inefficient and ineffective councillors.

HON. HAMAUSWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I appreciate the response by the Minister. I have checked that whenever the Minister is asked on a question relating to local authorities, he raises the issue of sanctions. Can we then close the nation until we have the issues of sanctions resolved? This is because he is always saying sanctions and no solutions from the Government.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Hamauswa. I thought it would be part of the solutions to keep out these sanctions.

HON. GARWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your intervention. We cannot come here and sit and try to wash away the sanctions that are on us, we cannot do that. As a way of dealing with these two elephants – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, if you have got a supplementary question, please rest your case until you can ask.

HON. GARWE: As a stop gap measure Mr. Speaker Sir, Government has put in place devolution funds to assist local authorities in ensuring that they can buy equipment to service roads and for refuse collection. As we speak, every local authority has been provided with fire tenders by Government. We have bought ambulances and tractors for our local authorities. Harare has been given 24 tractors to assist them with the carrying of solid waste but be that as it may, the Ministry of Local Government, three weeks ago, started Operation Chenesa Harare Phase 2 to assist Harare which has collapsed entirely with the collection of waste in the city. We are doing the same programme next week with Chitungwiza which is also in a sorry state in terms of service delivery. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

 THE HON. SPEAKER: In terms of our Standing Orders, you allow the original questioner to ask a supplementary question. If the original questioner has no supplementary question, then you can rise to take the floor. 

HON. MANGONDO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for the comprehensive reply. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister has to do with what we have seen in terms of the management and competencies of most of these local authorities, especially as it relates to the management of resources as well as the handling of urban renewal programmes. My question is; what carrot and stick measures is the Ministry putting in place to ensure that those local authorities that perform are rewarded and those that do not perform are treated accordingly?

HON. GARWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Mangondo for the supplementary question. Let me start with the capital city Harare. Last month, His Excellency appointed a Commission of Inquiry which now as we speak, is conducting interviews with residents in Harare and their work is overwhelming to want to understand what is happening with Harare from 2017 to date, because Harare as a capital city has collapsed. We will go to other cities which are in a similar situation ensuring that we root out all those people that are corrupt, incompetent, causing inefficiency and are stealing land from council. So, we are doing that.

In terms of wanting to reward, you are employed to deliver for the nation and the reward that you must get is the satisfaction that you have done what you have been employed to do. Thank you.

HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Member for Murehwa South asked a very pertinent question as to urban renewal and my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that urban renewal in the regeneration of our towns is absolutely important as we go into this technological era. What is your Ministry doing to ensure that you assist all these councils which are basically out of money?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Address yourself to the Chair!

HON. MATEWU: Yes Mr. Speaker. My question to the Hon. Minister is; what is his Ministry doing to capacitate our urban and rural authorities to enable them to regenerate and develop as we go into a new era? If someone who died in 1975 were to wake up today, they would find some of these towns the same. What is the Government doing to ensure, like what other countries do, to capacitate our councils to enable them to grow into cities? Thank you.

HON. GARWE: Let me thank Hon. Matewu for his supplementary question. Urban regeneration and urban renewal are a reality. There are several steps that Government is taking to ensure that we start retrofitting our infrastructure in the urban areas. The first one is to invite investors both local, domestic and international to join hands with us in urban renewal. As we speak, we are seized with discussions with various investors from outside Zimbabwe and within Zimbabwe on urban renewal in Harare and other cities. Harare more importantly, because we want Harare as a city. You may not be aware that Mbare is the biggest income generator for Harare and it needs urban renewal.

These areas in Harare include Mbare Market, Siyaso as well as Matapi Hostels. They have seen their better days. We are now working on that. So, within a month or so from today, we will have investors on the ground working on urban renewal. We are working on the Mukuvisi dungeon from the dam to Manyame River. We need to relook into our urban cities. Rural areas are not so much of urban renewal. Rural RDCs never had any infrastructure to talk about. We are now looking in terms of the masterplans that are being developed.  Once the plans are approved, we will look at how best we can develop all our eight rural provinces.  We look at the RDCs that are there to ensure that the infrastructure in those areas speak to Vision 2030.  That is what we are doing.  We are working together with Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ministry of Lands and the Rural Industrialisation on programmes that we are working on, so it is work in progress.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: The Hon. Minister has generalised that there is incompetence in the Local Government and local authorities.   I want the Minister to help us decipher where the incompetence is.  The local authorities, both urban and rural areas are independent of each other and in all these, there are three common players.  The CEO of the local authority is the Town Clerk and his directors.  We are independent in each of the local authorities. There are councillors that are independent in each of the local authorities, be it urban or rural but there is one common factor.  If it is general, then the problem is within the common factor which is the Minister of Local Government because he superintends all independent organisations.  If there is incompetence, we need to differentiate and realise…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question?

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: The question is, is it a problem with the local authorities or with the Minister and the Ministry?

          HON. GARWE: We have a serious problem with the performance of the local authorities, Harare in particular - that is why we have got a Commission of Inquiry to deal with the issues of Harare.  If a local authority as huge as Harare fails to collect garbage or decides to throw rubbish everywhere else, that is part of the incompetence.  If a council like Harare fails to produce a budget and up to now, they have not produced the budget.  If a local authority like Harare fails to produce a masterplan, I can go on and on.  I am not generalising Mr. Speaker Sir.  If the local authorities are incompetent, they need regeneration…

          HON. HWENDE: The Minister is misleading the House.  It is not correct that Harare City Council has not produced a budget.  They produced a budget, presented it to the Minister and he has refused to approve it.  So, he must not come and mislead the House.  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You have not asked a supplementary question.  Please understand the processes.  If the budget of the local authorities is not approved, then it does not measure up to the principles of budgetary requirements – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, please order! Can I explain? I have been in Local Government and I know what I am talking about. If you hand over a budget to the Minister and he does not approve, that means something has to be done to improve it. 

          HON. HWENDE: The reason we are….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, please do not argue with the Chair. Do not argue with the Chair, I repeat. Can you take your seat please?

          HON. KARENYI:  I was listening to the Hon. Minister. I was trying to cast my mind back to when I was a Councillor in 2003.  We had the Executive Mayors – my question to the Minister is: is it not better for the Ministry to revisit so that they can give the Mayors executive authority so that there will not be an issue between the Ministry, mayors and councillors and council officials?  Can he please help us, is it not fair or prudent to revisit that because it is more like today the councillors are wrong, tomorrow the managers – why do we not give the local authorities, especially councillors and the Mayor, the executive power so that when we blame the local authorities, we will face the councillors rather than blaming them without the executive authority?

          HON. GARWE:  The issue is not to do with where authority is resident; it is incompetence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - We have councils, you cannot employ a hyena to look after your goats.  That is the situation that we have – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is not about people but it is about people who are not competent to deliver for the people – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          *HON. NHARI:   My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government.  It is now common knowledge that drug abusers are visiting dumpsites to pick pampers to use them to make drugs.  What is Government’s plan to end this plight?

          *THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  During the past three weeks, we embarked on a project called ‘Chenesa Harare Phase 2’.  This programme aims to collect all garbage that has been improperly dumped and dumping it at the appropriate dumping sites.  We are looking forward to having no council that will dump garbage and undesignated sites.  We will assist these councils accordingly.  The City of Harare wrote to us seeking assistance with regards to the same issue and we have been doing so for three months and so forth. This will enable us to have a clean city as per the resident’s expectations, hence we will not have drug and substance abuse from these dumpsites.    

HON. BONDA:  My supplementary point revolves around the point that we are only talking about the urban dumpsites. What does the Ministry have in place to do or to establish some kind of dumping areas in the RDCs? I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE); Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Let me thank the Hon. Member for a very good question. Vision 2030 speaks to an upper middle-income economy status by that year 2030. Vision 2030 compels all of us to ensure that all our eight rural provinces are developed to the standards that we expect in the urban areas.  As we speak, all the RDCs are working on master plans and majority of them have actually finished. Those master plans will speak to urbanisation. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Climate and Rural Development is working on programmes on small business units in the rural areas as part of the industrialisation programme. Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities is working on a waste management programme for rural areas where pit latrines and blair toilets will not see the light of the day going towards Vision 2030. We have the eight rural provinces on our desk in terms of development. Thank you.

HON. NYEVERA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Home Affairs. The discussion by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to open a Zimbabwean passport office in the Republic of South Africa is both plausible and commendable as it resonates with the Second Republic’s digital economy and desire to take service to the people. However, what measures are in place to ensure only bonafide Zimbabwean citizens access and benefit from a facility based on foreign land?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and let me thank my brother Hon. Nyevera for that very important question alluding to the issues in terms of transparency, accountability and also issues to do with bonafide beneficiaries of this noble development. I want to assure the august House that yes, in a foreign land, we have got our embassy under the Ambassador of that respective country, where they do due diligence before issuance. So whatever they will be doing in the foreign land, they will be actually corresponding with the parent country and in this particular case, our Head Quarters here in Harare. I want to assure the Hon. Member that in terms of transparency and accountability, yes, they need to uphold that and in terms of due diligence they also need to uphold that. Thank you.

HON. NYEVERA: How do you ensure the enabling passport infrastructure is reliable and accessible?

THE HON. SPEAKER: Do you mean at our Embassies or here in Zimbabwe?

HON. NYEVERA: There in South Africa Sir.

HON. MHONA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and let me also thank Hon. Nyevera. If there is a particular case maybe which is worrying the Hon. Member, I am sure you will be at liberty to table. In terms of our systems, the authentication of those systems, like I indicated that the Embassy will actually not be operating in isolation, they will be operating with the parent country. If there are any incidences of malpractices that the Hon. Member has heard of, I think we will be delighted to have such. Thank you. 

HON. MAVHUDZI:  Good afternoon Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. In 2022, the Government of Zimbabwe made commitments to the IMF as part of its debt clearance and debt restricting agenda. These commitments included governance reforms, the commitment to restructure the B parts, the Global compensation agreement and land tenure reforms. My question is, how far has the Government gone as far as addressing these commitments?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. K. D. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  The Hon. Member is referring to what constitutes our structure debt platform where we are dialoguing with the partners, the IMF, World Bank and indeed, we have been making significant strides towards achieving some of these goals. I will talk about the beepers, for example, there was a statement that was issued calling for the validation of those. We had claims within the national budget.  There was $55 million that was set aside with 20 million of that being for the affected farms as a sign that indeed we respect international agreements in as far as the land tenure is concerned. I understand the Ministry of Justice  is going through the technical legal process to make sure that we have land tenure that is suitable for us as Zimbabweans and not necessary for the populace, but what is fit for purpose for us a country in as far as the economic reforms are concerned.  All that we have been going through fit for purpose for the Zimbabwean people as part of the programme. If there are any particular instances where the Hon. Member might feel that we are lagging behind, we need to speed up, you can feel free to point them out but as far as the Zimbabwean side is concerned, I would like to say Hon. Speaker, we are moving at the pace that is good for Zimbabwe that is fit for our context and that suits our national budget. I thank you.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Minister relates to a sad situation in that in the process of various clearance debt relief and re-engagement , one of the key partners which is the United States of America has withdrawn from the dialogue process.  Is it not because of the fact the Government is not negotiating in good faith, particularly in areas of governance looking at the governance pillar where the issue of human rights and respect for rule of law is concerned? Why I am saying this Mr. Speaker, recently about 80 CCC members were arrested and detained without trial.  So my question is, does this not worsen the situation because the Minister of Finance is the one who is in charge of this guiding process.

HON. KARIKOGA: On a point of order. Thank you Mr. Speaker, I wanted to mention that the Hon. Member’s question is not related to the initial question.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  In as far as the United States of America withdrawal from the structured dialogue programme, I cannot answer for them Mr. Speaker. I think the Hon. Member will have to ask the Americans why they withdrew – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

          In terms of progress on the governance pillar, Mr. Speaker Sir, the dialogue platform is structured with three pillars, the economic pillar, land tenure pillar and governance pillar.  The governance pillar Mr. Speaker Sir, encompasses not just governance but political issues.  As a country and as a sovereign one, when negotiating in such circumstances Hon. Speaker, it is important that all stakeholders are included and that the end game for both Zimbabwe and the people sitting on the other side is clearly defined.  One cannot go into issues on the periphery and have Zimbabwe continuously have predetermined and defined requirements that they need to subscribe to without necessarily knowing what is at the end of the journey or what is on the finish line. This is a technical process that we need to go through Hon. Speaker.

In all these processes we go through, patriotism and sovereignty is key to us, so we make sure that we do not abscond to these principles for the sake of expediency. I thank you Hon. Speaker. – [AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of Order Hon. Speaker.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: There is nothing that has happened.

HON. JAMES:   Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Can I ask the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, he mentioned the Government Compensation Deed (GCD), what does the policy provide regarding this agreement as Government reneged on their commitment in 2021, it was extended for a year and Government reneged a second time and there has been negotiations with various other people not fully representing the majority of title deeds holders which I do not think have an understanding within the farming community?  Can the Hon. Minister give us a policy on what the GCD situation is?  I thank you.

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  Thank you to the Member who rightly explained what is going on. The Government of Zimbabwe has not reneged, but rather as the Hon. Member of Parliament subscribed, we have extended and we are to raise as part of issues arising from budgetary constraints and some renegotiations but there has been no reneging of any contracts or agreements that we signed as Government.  No process will be completely flawless Hon. Speaker, but the intention is to clear this issue as was promised.  So, as we stand, as Government and as the Ministry, we are still committed to clearing these claims but rightly making sure that all peripheral issues are sorted and cleared.  I thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. G. K. HLATYWAYO:  Supplementary!  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, under the structured dialogue platform, there are five indicators in the governance cluster.  These are enhancing justice delivery, corruption, electoral reforms, national peace and reconciliation as well as human rights.  Can the Hon. Minister give us progress in terms of these five indicators?  Thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]–

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, maybe let me highlight a few issues around the structured dialogue platform to help Hon. Members understand what this platform is.  There is a misconception that the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion is leading, but we are merely a partner.

There are three pillars to this platform.  There is the command pillar which is being championed by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.  There is the one on land tenure that is jointly being championed by the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and the governance pillar that has multiple stakeholders Hon. Speaker.  With that said Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member’s question is misdirected and maybe if she can put it in writing, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I am sure will be able to address some of these concerns.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker!

THE HON. SPEAKER:  What is the point of order?

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I think the Hon. Minister is misleading the House in the sense that the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  The Minister is what?

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  Is misleading the House on the basis that it is the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion that has superior authority on all these things.  It is the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion that goes to IMF and other bilateral institutions to request for these SMPs…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  The Hon. Minister has indicated the Government, the collegiate approach and defined the respective responsibilities of those ministries that are working in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.  There is no contradiction there.

*HON. S. TSHUMA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Good afternoon.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.

*HON. S. TSHUMA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement.  What measures does the Ministry have in place to ensure that cotton farmers are paid on time bearing in mind that COTTCO still owes farmers for the cotton they delivered a few seasons ago?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Tshuma for such a pertinent question.  Before I answer the question, let me clarify that Government is not in the business of paying for cotton.  We now have eight independent players or companies that are now dealing with the cotton sector.  One of the major players is COTTCO, Government has 37% ownership through shareholding.

The other seven players came on board in 2020, when we came up with a new policy on how we were going to have players operating within the cotton industry.  We agreed that the private companies and the farmers will enter into agreements where they will be provided with seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, et cetera.  After the cotton harvest, the contracting companies will have a chance to buy the farmer’s produce.  We roped in the Agricultural Marketing Authority so that they could come up with regulations to govern the growing of cotton.  

In coming up with policies that govern the growing of cotton, they ensured that the contracts between the growers and the farmers, there would be a minimum input package for the farmer.  So, for you to have access to my cotton, you need to provide me with fertilisers, pesticides, seeds and knowledge and not just to come and provide the last part of the requirements, with a view to then harvest the cotton where one would not have put in any meaningful input. This is what we came up with. 

Thereafter, we then saw the advent of a common buying point being created to alleviate that problem.  This year, we have 647 common buying points and out of these, 164 are permanent buying points.  So, what we do to ensure that farmers are paid in time is that all those that are giving inputs to the farmers should be present with their bankers so that when a farmer, for instance, this year we have the Agricultural Marketing Authority, it will now purchase for grade A and D.  From grade D, everyone will be paid 32 cents and once it becomes better, it is now grade A, the difference is 40 cents per kg. 

When these prices were agreed to, the representatives of the farmers' units in the form of farmers' union, the Government represented by the Agricultural Marketing Authority and our department called for the meeting so that they could agree.  This is what is happening, all the cotton that amounts to 7, 9 million which has been purchased until yesterday has been paid for using 32 cents per grade.  Later on they will have to regrade the cotton to see if it is grade A, B, or C.  In terms of Government principles, they should be in a position to pay the difference for the cotton.

 There is a company that I referred to as COTTCO where Government has a 37% shareholding in that company.  They were behind last year in terms of making payments.  They have a balance of 2, 6 million USD which they owe to the farmers.  They had promised us that by May, they would have completed payments and we are now towards the end of June.  As a Government Minister, I called them yesterday to explain that the deadline has lapsed and we are now getting to the end of the month of June.  I called them together with the Agricultural Marketing Authority to come to my office tomorrow so that we get a proper appreciation of how they are going to pay the balance.  For this year, I understand that they have been able to pay the farmers.

          *HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am grateful for the detailed response that the Hon. Minister has given but when we look closely at what is happening on the ground and what the Hon. Minister is saying, it is different. 

          For the past two seasons, we have not paid farmers their RTGS amounts which is now ZiG and this is the money that we are talking about.   We were concerned about the rates that those amounts have not yet been paid.

          My question to the Minister is would it not be better since other companies are paying farmers there and then in USD; when Cottco is giving 24 cents USD per kg per grade D, then 8 cents they say they will pay in ZiG, this is why there is side marketing.  Why not give the ZiG component at the same time as USD so that there will not be an issue of side marketing?  I thank you.

          *HON. DR. MASUKA:  I am happy for such detailed information in terms of how they are paying.  May you please submit to us such names so that tomorrow when we have a discussion we will be in a better position to get an appreciation of why they are paying contrary to the instructions that we gave.  I thank you.

          *HON. NYABANI: For some of us here, if there was no cotton we could not have gone to school. It was the first time to heard that farmers were paying for the cotton, he used to say that the Ministry of Finance money that you are going to be used to pay for the farmers.  It has come as a surprise that you are now saying these companies are now paying, you are no longer paying using the Ministry of Finance’s funds.

          *HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, Sir. Let us start with COTTCO.  The production of cotton had gone down from 2015 to 2016, Government then realised that it was very important for our communal farmers so that the cotton would be used for developing farmers in areas where there are sufficient rains.  It was observed that 500,000 farmers could be assisted if the Government were to intervene.

The government started giving implements such as fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, and containers.  The Government bought the same cotton because COTTCO had fallen on hard times. In 2020 we then started coming up with independent players also going to cotton farming so that they could cause contract farming which they would be able to buy.  COTTCO was handheld by the Government by giving them fertiliser, seeds, and chemicals or pesticides until 2021.  As Government we started whining them off in 2022, we whined them off in 2023. 

          Let me reiterate that the Government is just to come up with a policy so that cotton can be grown, and independent players can come and ensure that cotton is grown.  The Government is in the interim assisting the COTTCO by providing fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, and even equipment for spraying.

          *HON. MATINENGA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. I would also want to thank the Hon. Minister for the responses that he has given, it is always good to have this knowledge. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that - you have said a lot of things that require that they be given a lot of options as to whether they can grow cotton or not since there may be laws.   What is the Government going to do to inform the people by conducting awareness programmes?  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON.DR. MASUKA) Thank you Hon. Speaker.  We have 6012 agronomists that are in the communal lands where cotton is grown.  What I learnt from the question is that this information has not been disseminated timely, so we are going to assist them to timeously disseminate this information. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. SAMAMBWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I am Hon. Samambwa.  We have heard the Minister saying that they are paying seeds and they pay for the cotton as a grade D and there will be regrading to classify whether it is C, B or D.  When the regrading is done, how do we know that they have authentically regraded the cotton to be grade A when infact, they are failing to pay for the grade D?  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

* HON. DR. MASUKA   It shows that the Hon. Member wants assistance on how cotton is bought.  When we talk of a common buying point, it means that the eight I have talked about, the Agriculture Marketing Authority is a Government department so the bills are brought in COTTCO Shawasha Agri has nine and Southern Cotton has a 100.  They then cause this to be recorded by Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA). The AMA then grades for D, then they are paid.

So these cotton farmers can go back home, so that they would not spend two or three days waiting for the cotton to be graded. The Government representative from AMA remains at the common buying point so he supervises the regrading.  In seven days they would have done the regrading.  If there are any additions that they would want to come up with so that the farmers could see how the regrading is done, we would be most grateful if they would write to us that they are unhappy with these processes and they would be happier if things were done in a particular manner so that we serve them all.  I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          *HON. MUCHEMWA:  Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I believe we may treat this issue of cotton farming lightly in this august House, but we have a lot of children who are no longer going to school because of the delay in the payment of cotton.  The issue of the payment of cotton farmers has been outstanding for a long time.  Can the Minister please come up with a time line when farmers who have not been paid in the previous years are going to be paid?  When are they going to be paid?  I thank you.

          HON. DR. MASUKA:  I am concerned just like them and I feel hurt that farmers sold their cotton, but have not yet been paid.  Those that we know who have not been paid are under the purview of COTTCO and they are owed 2.6 million because he is talking about several years.  So I need his assistance so that other farmers that are involved are assisted by the Government as the Government will want people to be paid there and then.  So if it is possible, he should give us more detail and more facts and figures so that we know how these were not paid.  We would want them to be paid accordingly.  I thank you.

          *HON. MATANGIRA:  On a point of order.  My point of order is cotton being a crop that is drought resistant and what is being said here is, it possible that the farmers can go and plough and grow cotton. Why do you not do as in the past that we pay the little that we have timely?  I thank you.

          HON. KUKA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  In recent times we have seen an increase in load shedding.  What are the current ZESA energy requirements versus the current output production in light of the incessant and exacerbated load shedding being experienced in the country?  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SIMBANEGAVI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Before I respond to that, I would like to give a brief background of our current electricity situation Mr. Speaker Sir. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, as everyone might know, most of our electricity is generated through hydropower and currently, the water levels of the Kariba Dam are very low, which is affecting the capacity of generation that we can do as a country.  We are also in the winter season where the use of electricity is very high, especially in domestic set ups.  This is also during the season of winter cropping where the demand for electricity to our farmers is also high.  In this regard Mr. Speaker Sir, this has seen us facing a challenge of trying to make sure that the distribution of electricity to all these sectors is maintained equally.  This has resulted in a bit of dynamism in the way our electricity has been circulating.

          In terms of generation in Hwange, sometimes we can have one unit up and then sometimes we have another unit down.  This has also been affecting the amount of electricity that has been distributed around so far.  Despite all these challenges, we have been trying to make sure that our nation is not affected very much that we still manage to make sure that our farmers manage to have electricity to ensure that they irrigate their winter crops, that our people still manage to cook and eat in their households and that our industry remains up and running.

          So in terms of requirements, as the Hon. Member has asked, what we have done as Government is we have now supplemented the amount of generated electricity that we have.  In that regard Mr. Speaker Sir, our generation capacity on a day is mostly between 1 600 or 1 800 megawatts against a demand of almost over 2 000 sometimes.  That gives us a deficit on a daily basis of around 300 and sometimes 400 megawatts.  This is the deficit that then sometimes leads to load shedding and we have tried to make sure that we cover this gap by the imports that we do as a nation, but we all know that as a nation, we are also facing a bit of financial constraints because we are facing a drought and the Government is trying to mitigate that. 

We try to manage the amount of electricity imports that we do as a country, but that comes in to try and balance the 300 megawatts that is a shortfall and sometimes we can manage to import more, sometimes we import less and that results in a bit of load-shedding, but what we have done as Government is, we try to make sure that the whole country is not set on black-out. So, we have schedules that we do and those in the industries, farms and government departments understand these schedules and they know that on certain times, there is going to be load-shedding in this area and at certain times, they are switched on and it goes to other areas to ensure that we continue to function as an economy.

          HON. SAGANDIRA: Thank you for that comprehensive report. We have a lot of dams in Zimbabwe where we can direct our power generation, the likes of Tugwi Mukorsi, Lake Rusape and Osborne. What is the Ministry doing to make sure they do not rely on Kariba Dam alone?

          HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. As Government, we are not only relying on the Kariba Dam. We also have independent power producers that mainly deal with renewable energy. We have now realised that we cannot only rely on hydro-energy and that is why we are now looking into renewable sources of energy. These independent power producers are mostly into the production of portal tight energy, which is what we call solar energy.

          We have encouraged these and are now coming up with incentives to try to encourage people to come up and also be producing and generating electricity which they can also put into the grid system or which they can also just use for themselves. In order to try and encourage independent power producers, the Government has said if they can produce energy in their own mini-grids, we can allow them to be selling this electricity to the consumers directly so that they are able to recoup their investment and not make any losses. This is aimed at making sure that we also supplement the electricity that we can generate currently as a nation.

          On the issue of the other dams, I also hope that the Hon. Members understand the aspect of engineering and other aspects that come with electricity generation units. You cannot put a generating unit in shallow water. Currently, through the Ministry of Science and Technology, they are now looking into innovations that can use shallow water as long as it is perennial and as long as the water is constantly there. Even though it is shallow, we can be able to generate it.

These are things that our young people are still looking into in terms of research and the type of machines that can be used for that cannot be very big. These are things that can be used by our farmers using the small dams that they have, but in terms of national generation, we cannot use small dams for that.

          HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary is, because of the climate change that everyone else is talking about, they may not be helpful in the following year. We are talking about hydro-power generation. My question to the Hon. Minister is, have we done any research as to the thermal power that they are generating our electricity could also be complemented by uranium that we have in the country to build some hectares that will give us power because there may not be any rainfall at all? I thank you.

          HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Matangira. Of course, research has been going on and it is still going to continue as we look into other ways of ensuring that our electricity supply continues to grow. If Hon. Matangira recalls, recently our President was in Russia. When he came back, he indicated that when he was there, he managed to find some investors who are willing to come into our country. As a nation, we have some MOUs that we have with other nations such as South Korea and China, where we are looking into how we can harness the uranium that we have to ensure that these can also be used in electricity generation.

          However, as we all know, the use of nuclear energy is highly regulated and these are the things that we cannot just use without proper consideration. We are also taking into notice that our people are not very highly trained in the use of uranium products and nuclear reactors. From the discussions that were held in Russia by His Excellency, there was indication that research into nuclear reactors that are small is being considered.

We are looking forward to having people that are willing to invest in our nation in terms of initiating nuclear power plants at a small scale initially, and then we continue to progress after we have mastered those kinds of requirements, and have our people also being trained before we develop these plants into huge factory plants.

Moreover, Hon. Matangira, you may also realise that our uranium reserves are not very high. As a nation, our major resource is the sun that we have throughout the year except during the winter season. Our most important asset in terms of electricity generation as a nation is the sun which we are now saying we need to improve in terms of the use of green energy in our factories and when given in domestic use. About thermal energy, our coal reserves in Hwange have been facing some issues in terms of how much coal we can access.

There has also been research about availability of coal in Masvingo Province and some areas which we are also looking into to see if that coal is of the quality that we can use as a nation to improve our electricity generation. Thank you.

          HON. MAPFUMO: My supplementary question to the Minister is with regards to the power supply that she mentioned for the farmers.  In Manicaland, the previous week we had 30% of power for winter cropping.  The Government through the Ministry of Energy had previously assured farmers of Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS).  It was even in ‘The Herald’ yesterday.  My question is, what plans do they have in place to meet the assurance that they gave the winter farmers, considering that we do have a drought and we need to avert hunger and agriculture is the backbone of our economy; with the little they have and the challenges that they are facing – what plans do they have to meet the assurance that they gave to the farmers?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SIMBANEGAVI): Before I respond to the Hon. Member, I would like the House to recognise the huge efforts that the Second Republic has done through our President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa in terms of agriculture through the Ministry of Agriculture. In previous seasons, the wheat farming demand was at 120 megawatts.  This season, the winter crops, especially in terms of wheat, have increased by huge margins which has now seen the demand of electricity rise from 120 to 260 megawatts. I understand that there are also other winter crops that are grown in this season.  Now, the distribution of energy that used to happen to our farmers previously has now been affected by the demand for electricity due to the high number of farmers that we now have in this current season. 

In terms of assurance, I would like to appeal to our nation on the sustainable use of energy because as an economy, we are trying to make sure that everybody manages to have access to electricity for them to be adequate enough to produce whatever needs to be produced.  We want our people to use electricity sparingly even our farmers.  If they manage to get the electricity, they should be able to use it wisely to ensure that it is adequate.  Even in domestic setups, as the Ministry of Energy, we are requesting our people to use electricity sparingly so that as a nation we are also not put into a situation where the use of electricity becomes so unsustainable for Government to be able to deal with it.  I can assure the Hon. Members that all measures will be put in place.  If it means that we need to increase our imports levels, we will do that. 

Actually, Zimbabwe is also a member of the SADC block.  As Ministry of Energy, we are now looking into the interconnectedness of our nation to other members states to see that whenever they have extra energy, we can be able to get it from them and be able to also distribute to our people.  This is done to ensure that our nation never goes national blackout or drastically reduced amount of energy.  I thank you.

          HON. MANGONDO: I confirm that last Sunday, I went to the Kariba Dam Wall.  I was informed that we had lost 800 megawatts of generating capacity due to the low water levels.  This means that due to climate change, we may not make much progress in terms of reliance on hydro-electric as a country.  My question to the Hon. Minister is, we had a mega project the Gokwe-Sengwa Project which had the capacity to generate 2000 megawatts. These megawatts would certainly ameliorate the current power shortages. What has happened to that mega project which has so much potential to address some of the problems that we have in terms of power supply?

HON. SIMBANEGAVI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, with your indulgence, since the Hon. Member has asked a specific question with regards to the Gokwe project, may I be allowed to go and look into the specifics of that project and respond at a later date.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  That is a fair comment and Hon. Minister if you can come back next week and give us a short Ministerial Statement to update the House.

HON. SIMBANEGAVI: Noted Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          HON. MUTIMBANYOKA:  My question is directed to the Minister responsible for ICT. Unfortunately, she is not in the House.  I am not so sure if the deputy is around.  I am mainly worried about the network connectivity around this magnificent building.  We seem to have a serious problem and I am not so sure if the Minister is fully enlightened at the challenges that we have but something ought to be done urgently.  What is the Minister doing about the situation?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. PHUTI): The question is on the concern of access to network around this building.  Let me hasten to say that whilst something is being done by one mobile network operator to try and raise antennas to the level of accessibility; generally, where the base stations are to the west and where we are is lower.  Naturally, it would be very difficult for network to be accessible.  It is not a very highly technical issue but something is being done and I think we will be done in the next few weeks.  

          HON. MALINGANISO: My supplementary question is, what is the Ministry’s position in trying to avail network in remote areas?  We have seen areas that have not been with connectivity since the dawn of ICT and people are lagging behind?

          HON. PHUTI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, indeed this is a new question and very pertinent, and so I would like to thank the Member for asking the question.  The issue of network coverage in the country is of high concern in the priorities of Government.  His Excellency the President Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa launched in 2022, a programme called National Mobile Broadband Phase 3 which seeks and aims at capacitating the country with more than 250 base stations.  The mobile network operator charged with that responsibility has so far rolled out a lot of such base stations.

I rise with confidence to say that every Member who is here is aware and can attest to reality of the fact that some base stations have been built in their constituencies.  I can even do it off cuff by way of mentioning where this programme has been rolled out.  Also coupled with that, the Postal and Telecommunication Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe has got an arm that looks at the universal access issue which is a fund called Universal Service Fund.  This fund is for purposes of accessing areas that otherwise will be summed mobile network operators who look at the issue of commerce as opposed to the issue of access and need. 

As such, USF is used to fund the construction of base stations in areas that are like that.  To date, we have also embraced a policy called infrastructure sharing.  It sees us doing what we call de-rigging from call located areas that is to do away with a base station that is in a place where there is another base station by another operator deployed elsewhere and then invite mobile network players to come and join together to put their active equipment for purposes of consumer satisfaction.  With this project, just last term alone, POTRAZ has managed through USF, to deploy 12 of them.  The pace is encouraging and with the mandate that the Ministry is charged with, we are happy to say we envisage access and total coverage in the next few years.  We have also debated in this House on the issue of satellite operators and answers have been provided to this august House about a satellite network operator who has applied eventually who has been licensed and who is willing to deploy services.  That is another area of bridging the digital divide that the Hon. Member has raised the question on.

∞HON. GWANGAVA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is, I want to find out what is the Ministry doing in areas where we have some network tours that have been constructed but not yet connected? 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, did you get that?

^DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. PHUTI): Hon. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  I think I have got it.  On the distance between the two tours, the tour is supposed to go to a certain distance to assist those people.  What we are now looking forward is that we can have some repeater stations like those we had for the PTC so that they can have that connection between the two towers.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  The question was basically to do with the signal of strength between two towers. When the strength is that weak, then there is no communication between the two, hence the Hon. Minister was saying they are planning to install repeaters.  A repeater is simply a station that boosts a signal when it has gone to a weak level and then it boasts it so that it can be transmitted to the next tower. 

HON. NGULUVHE: My question is directed to the Minister of Skills, Audit and Development, in his absence to the Leader of the House.  My question is on the quarter systems used on selection of Presidential Scholarship.  What policy does the Government have on allocation of quarter systems on Presidential scholarships?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, let me thank Hon. Nguluvhe for that very important question.  Hon. Speaker Sir, first and foremost in terms of equity as alluded to by the Hon. Member, where there is no one and no place to be left behind as His Excellency explains.  In terms of scholarships, there is the element of regional balance, gender balance that is also factored in. So, if the Hon. Member has got a particular query regarding that allocation, I am sure he will be in a better position to put it in writing. In terms of the policy, it caters for gender, it caters for regional balance.  I thank you.

HON. NGULUVHE: Thank you, while I agree with the Hon. Minister that there is a policy, do they have any measures put in place in the various provinces to ensure that not everyone is left behind. Why am I saying so? I have been in this House for the past five years.  I cannot even count more than five children from my district who have benefited from this Presidential scholarship.  So, what measures have they put in place to ensure that each district is covered in each province?

THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Hon. Speaker, I thank Hon. Nguluvhe for that very important follow up question.  Like I indicated earlier on, since he has got a particular case relating to his constituency.  I was giving the Government policy in terms of affording the scholarship to say there is no discrimination in that regard but however, since he has raised a very important question pertaining to his constituency, I am sure he is at liberty again to put it in writing then the Hon. Minister will take it up.  I thank you.

          *HON. MARASHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Good afternoon.

*THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.  How are you?

*HON. MARASHE:  My question is directed to the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Vocational Training.  What measures has the Ministry taken to ensure that the money that is given to the youths in the form of Youth Development Fund helps those that would have been allocated those funds in developing themselves and also to ensure that the Government can have taxes after the youths come up with these companies?  I thank you. 

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING (HON. MUPAMHANGA):   Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The measures that we have taken are that the youth are free to use our bank that deals with the youth, that is, the Empower Bank.  The youths are allowed to get a loan of USD500.00 without collateral security. 

As a Ministry, we are urging the youth to come up in groups so that they can come up with bigger projects with more members.  In terms of beneficiation for the Government, we have put in place measures through the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, through the Government Venture Capital Agency.  The youth are encouraged to approach them with their projects and they will not be asked for collateral but Government takes up a percentage of their business.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

OPERATIONS OF THE TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

  1. HON BAJILA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to apprise the House on operations of the Tongogara Refugee Camp including its holding capacity, current population and the nationalities of its occupants.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Tongogara refugee settlement has 870 hectares designated for refugee settlement.  The settlement has got capacity to accommodate about 500 refugees and asylum seekers. 

However, currently the settlement has population of plus or minus 15 000. The majority of refugees in the country are from the great lakes region, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda and some are from East Africa.  We also have more than 1500 Mozambican asylum seekers who fled Mozambique as a result of RENAMO incidences in 2016. 

The settlement offers all facilities that are assessed by the host community and these include education, health and other livelihood options.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

HON. BAJILA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you to the Hon. Minister for the response.  The Hon. Minister said the centre has capacity for 500 refugees and if I heard her well, it currently has 15 000 refugees.  If that was not a misread of what has been said, my supplementary question is, does Government have plans to prevent this overpopulation and congestion at the centre?  If there are such plans, what are they?  I thank you.

HON. DINHA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  As I said, the settlement has the capacity to accommodate 500 000 refugees.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Minister for that clarification. 

POLICY REGARDING PENSIONERS WHO DID NOT CLAIM

THEIR PENSIONS

  1. HON. BAJILA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House the Ministry’s policy regarding pensioners who did not claim their pension prior to the multi-currency system and are only claiming it during the current multicurrency regime.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA):   Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member is informed that our pension scheme is a final salary scheme. This means the final salary is the one used to compute pension benefits payable to members.  This situation is a replica of what happened in 2009 when the economy was dollarised and regression method was used to process and pay benefits for affected pensioners.   

Regression method means that pensionable emoluments as at 1st March, 2024 are regressed by 3% backwards for the purpose of determining pensionable emoluments as at date of termination of a member. 

Currently, with effect from 1st March, 2024, all salaries are paid in United States Dollars, part being paid in United States Dollar currency and the other part paid in United States Dollar convertible to ZiG using exchange rate on the month of payment.  The Public Service Commission approved the use of regression method stated above to pay all benefits prior to 1st March, 2024.  Treasury concurrence is being sought to pay all outstanding benefits prior to 1st April, 2024.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

DATABASE AND CATEGORISATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

  1. HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House whether the Ministry has any database for persons with disabilities that categorises them in terms of their forms of disability.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Ministry has District Social Welfare offices all over Zimbabwe. Each district has names of all persons who have disabilities in the area, types of disabilities and their contacts.  It then literally means that the Ministry has a database for all persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe. 

It is important to know that the Ministry is currently in the process of coming up with a consolidated database which will be more accurate and reliable.  The Ministry has also reached out to ZIMSTAT for support to roll-out a nationwide comprehensive survey on persons with disabilities.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

DATABASE AND CATEGORISATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.

  1. HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House whether the Ministry has any database for persons with disabilities that categorise them in terms of their forms of disability.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA): The Ministry’s district Social Welfare offices are all over Zimbabwe and each district has names of all person with disabilities in the areas, types of disabilities and their contacts.  It then literally means that the Ministry has a database for all persons with disabilities in Zimbabwe.

          It is important to note that the Ministry is currently in the process of coming up with a consolidated database that will be more accurate and reliable.  The Ministry has also reached out to ZIMSTATS for support to roll out a nationwide comprehensive survey on persons with disabilities.  I thank you.

          HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you, Hon. Speaker.  Thank you very much Hon. Minister for your response but you did not give us timelines as to when these things are going to happen.  The question already was asking about the statistics of how many of these people are blind, deaf et cetera.  However, in your response Hon.  Minister, you did not give us those details.  So, my question has not been answered fully, although I appreciate what the Minister has told this House.  We still need those statistics because we need to have questions about those statistics.  I do not know whether the Minister will be able to bring us the statistics of how many are blind, deaf, or autistic in this country.  Sometimes these people are stigmatised in society.  The statistics are very important for us as Members of Parliament so that we can ask for whatever social services we need from various ministries concerning those people.  If the person is disabled and cannot walk, we want to find out where the borehole is and if there is someone who has been seconded by the Government to assist this person to access water every day or if they are just left to the family.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Nyamupinga what you are asking from the Minister is not in your original question.  I urge you to put it in writing and request the numbers from the Hon. Minister. With your indulgence Hon. Bimha and the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, may we stand over your question until we dispose of questions 14 and 15 to enable Hon.  Minister Rwodzi to go and attend to her mother who is not feeling well.

PROMOTION OF TOURISM IN THE HIGHFIELD CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. MAVHUDZI asked the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality to inform the House of the measures being taken by the Government to promote tourism in the Highfield Constituency.

THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY (HON. RWODZI):  Hon. Speaker Sir, as a way of strategy we have clustered our tourism to give every sector of tourism the attention it deserves. Highfield falls under township tourism.  We have different clusters like sports tourism, business tourism, culture, and heritage tourism that speak to our food, dressing, music, and other things.  So Highfield falls under township tourism.

We benchmarked tourism about three years ago with Soweto in South Africa which speaks to our heritage and our history as Zimbabwe.  We have houses of the liberation struggle in Highfield that we are focusing on developing together with the Ministry of Home Affairs under Museums and monuments. 

We are somewhere Hon. Member where we think by the end of this year, houses of people like Enos Nkala, Leopold Takawira and even R. G. Mugabe are going to be our monuments in Highfield.  This will promote township tourism as many tourists will be coming from various places domestically in the country and internationally. Come and learn about our history while visiting Highfield and get to know about Zimbabwe whilst in Highfield.  We want to build infrastructure that supports these homes like restaurants or to promote what is existing already.  If we get in partnership with existing businesses, those who are willing for restaurants even for nightclubs and other activities can support these homes as museums and monuments.

 So we can have interaction Hon. Speaker because it is on our books and we can share the information further until we achieve the goal.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Rwodzi, you may leave.  Let us revert to question number six.

OPERATIONS OF ENTEMBENI OLD PEOPLE’S HOME IN LUVEVE

  1. HON. BAJILA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labor, and Social Welfare to apprise the House on the operations of Entembeni Old People's Home in Luveve particularly, its corporate governance and audit system including qualifications of the staff.

THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR, AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA): The Hon. Member is advised that…

          HON. BAJILA: In the interest of time, I was not in the House last week on Wednesday but I saw the Minister’s response in the Hansard.  The first words that she has already read, read exactly as appeared on the Hansard of last week. I am sure that she is going to repeat that response.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What exactly are you saying?  You are saying you got an answer already.

HON. BAJILA:  Yes.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Minister, it is said you gave a response last week on this one so it means it was an omission on the part of those reporting.

APPROVAL FOR RATIFICATION OF THE SADC PROTOCOL ON RIGHTS OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILTIES

  1. HON. MABVUDZI asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House the Government position regarding the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Rights of People Living with Disabilities.

          THE DEPUTY MINISER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA):  The Hon. Member is advised that there is no such protocol.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          HON. MABVUDZI:  Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there is actually a protocol that speaks to the rights of people living with disabilities.  Probably I would advise the Minister to go and research on that and then come back to the House with the answer.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, can you use another word instead of research?

          HON. MABVUDZI:  Hon. Speaker, what is wrong with the word research?  It is very parliamentary.

          *HON. NYABANI:  On a point of order.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We are kindly asking for the Hon. Member not to continue asking questions to the Speaker of Parliament and abide by the laws.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Use another word.

          HON. MABVUDZI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would urge the Minister to look into the protocol.

RELOCATION OF MATEBELELAND NORTH PROVINCIAL OFFICES TO THE WELSHMAN MABHENA COMPLEX IN LUPANE

  1. HON. NDEBELE asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House on;

          (a) Why Matabeleland North Provincial Offices are still housed at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex in Bulawayo when there have been reports that there is the Welshman Mabhena Government Complex in Lupane, the provincial capital for Matabeleland North which was completed in 2018.

          (b)     To further inform when these offices will relocate to Lupane Matabeleland North.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, the completion of the Welshman Mabhena Government Complex in Lupane has been a moving target since August 2012 to date.  The 2024 projected completion date and a subsequent commission was set for 30 June 2024.  However due to competing financial commitments, all the planned completion targets have been missed including the 2018 one. 

          It is clear that with the three weeks to go before 30 June target, 2024 – Mr. Speaker Sir, these answers were prepared three weeks ago – will have to be shifted to a later date which if financial support is not received, it might spill into the year 2025.  The remaining works are as follows however;

          Perimeter fencing, landscaping and construction of the main gate.  Outstanding payments as well as outstanding works require US$957510.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, relocation can only be done when the building has only been 100% completed.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

MEASURES TO STOP DEMOLITIONS IN KINGSDALE, NORTON

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to appraise the House on why there are demolitions in Kingsdale in Norton and to elaborate on measures that have been put in place to stop them.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, Kingsdale is a private development which is being overseen by the developer Mupane Properties.  There are litigation properties between the developer and the beneficiaries, therefore the Ministry cannot intervene when there are cases before the courts.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

UPDATE ON THE HANDING OVER OF KNOWE PHASES 1 AND 2 TO NORTON TOWN COUNCIL AND MEASURES TO REHABILITATE OLIVER MTUKUDZI ROAD

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House on;

          (a) Whether Knowe phase 1 and 2 were handed over to Norton Town Council.

          (b)  The measures that have been put in place to rehabilitate Oliver Mtukudzi Drive.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, Norton Town Council assessed that Knowe Phase 1 and 2 were not given compliance certificates by council due to incomplete works still pending.  Therefore, Knowe Phase 1 and 2 are still in the hands of the developers and Pfugari Properties until works have been completed and a compliance certificate has been issued.  Than you Mr. Speaker.

          Currently Oliver Mtukudzi road is still under the responsibility of the developer Pfugari Properties.  Hence, neither Government nor Council can attend to the road.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

          HON. TSVANGIRAI:  Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.  Hon. Speaker, as we speak right now, we have residents in Knowe Phase 1 and Phase 2 who have title deeds.  I do not know what comes first between title deeds and a certificate of compliance.  Maybe the Minister may tell this House what comes first because as we speak right now, we have residents who have title deeds.  Thank you.

          HON. GARWE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, put simply, a certificate of compliance is issued prior to processing of title deeds.  However, if there are any residents who have got title deeds, it would be prudent that the Hon. Member writes to us again giving us details of those so that we can interrogate further.  Thank you.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE KINGSDALE AND MASHLANDS NEIGHBOURHOODS IN NORTON

  1. HON. TSVANGIRAI asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans regarding the development of the Kingsdale and Mashlands neighbourhoods located in Norton.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker, Mashlands is a private development and their development permit was approved by council in May 2024.  Kingsdale has its own challenges which are coming before the courts, issues which council cannot comment on.  However, the conditions in the development permit ensures protection of the beneficiaries through the provisions of the necessary services.  The Ministry can only ensure that Norton Town Council enforces the conditions in the development permit with regards to infrastructure provision.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

 STRATEGIES TO SOLVE WATER SHORTAGES IN BULAWAYO

 

  1. HON. MGUNI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement to explain the mandate of the technical team delegated to oversee the water crisis in Bulawayo is, and to outline the strategies formulated to resolve water shortages in Bulawayo and the timelines when they will be implemented.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you for the question from Hon. Mguni which is regarding the technical team to deal with the water crisis. The question is in two parts, and I will begin to answer the first part. The establishment of the Bulawayo Technical Committee on water supply and sanitation is premised on specific terms of reference circumscribing its operations.

The Committee’s terms of reference include rehabilitating Umzingwane Dam Booster Pump Station including transformer upgrade to increase delivery of water from the current 135 mega litres per day to 175 mega litres per day.

  • Secondly, to upgrade the 2.8 km, 110 millimetre PVC pipeline, Cowdry Park water main line to 315 millimetre PVC pipeline so that all 25 000 households in Cowdry Park have water and at the right pressure.
  • Thirdly, ensure the sustainable operation of the Nyamandlovu Aquifer Water supply system to consistently supply 16 mega litres per day.
  • Ensure improved portable water supply coverage in the city from the current target 125 mega litres per day to a minimum 175 mega litres per day,
  • Improve sanitation in the areas of sewer leakages, an increased treatment of waste water generated in the city to above 50 mega litres per day,
  • Ensure consistent and adequate supply of water treatment chemicals,
  • Recommend institutional strengthening required to improving water and sanitation services delivery, and
  • Produce a short-medium and long-term plan for sustainable improvement of water and sanitation services in the City of Bulawayo.

The second part of that question is asking to outline strategies formulated to solve the water shortages in Bulawayo. The Bulawayo Technical Committee on water supply and sanitation has developed a number of strategies to solve the water crisis in the City of Bulawayo. The key strategies are tabulated below:

 

Name of Project

 

Timeframe

Mtshabezi In-line Boosters

March 2024 to September 2024

Refurbishment of Insiza pipeline

March 2024 to September, 2024

Ncema treatment works filters rehabilitation

March 2024 to September, 2024

Criterion by-pass

March 2024 to September, 2024

Water Quality Monitoring Equipment

March 2024 to June 2024

Cowdry Park Water mainline upgrade

September 2024 to February 2025

Sulzer clear water pumps rehabilitation at Ncema and Fernhill pump station

March 2025 to September 2025

Gwayi Shangani Dam

December 2026

Cowdry Park Water Workshop Depot Construction

December 2024

Water mains renewal

December 2024

Tuli Criterion link and Upgrade of Tuli reservoir

December 2026

 

Furthermore, my Ministry has accelerated the borehole drilling programme in the City of Bulawayo to mitigate the water shortages that are being experienced. In addition to Nyamandlovu aquifer boreholes, other boreholes are being drilled to alleviate current water shortages within the city.

  • 64 boreholes out of targeted 83 have been sited.
  • 44 out of the sited 64 have been drilled (22 wet, 21 dry and 1 collapsed).
  • 18 out of 22 wet boreholes equipped.
  • 3 sites equipped with bush pumps.
  • 15 sites to be equipped with solar systems (materials in place).
  • Priority being given to medical institutions, Mpilo, Ingutsheni, UBH.

HON. L. NCUBE: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir. Owing to the comprehensive report that we are getting from the Hon. Minister, I hereby submit that listening to his speech is all long term much up to September but water is life and it is a right to everyone. Why not exploit the aquifer in Matopo to save the crisis in Bulawayo?

          HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Hon. Member, yes, I understand your concern but I can assure you that our Ministry is taking this probably number one if not number two importance. Water is indeed life and it is enshrined in the Constitution and we respect that. I do promise you and I give you my word that it is of utmost importance to us. With regards to the aquifer that you mentioned, I am not too sure of the capacity and capability of it but it is very possible that it could work but it needs us to also explore and do a proper diligence.

We would not want to also throw the tax payers’ money around and also have what you have said and you were saying ‘a bit long term.’ I understand that most of these issues are short term and this is why we actually put this technical committee together so that we can identify. I hope that you understand Mr. Speaker that because of the importance of this water issue, we do not want to come up with solutions that are very short term and do not yield anything.

 We are looking at viability and sustainability because we are tired even ourselves of this and we are hearing of water shortages for Bulawayo. So, I know and understand Hon. Member that you are a little bit frustrated but from our side, we want everlasting solutions for the City of Bulawayo. Thank you.

HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is, have you been there Hon. Minister physically to ascertain if there is any progress from the technical team? If you have been there, when because there is a dull situation in Bulawayo? Thank you.

HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. To the Hon. Member, thank you very much. Unfortunately, our offices do not allow us to sit in these offices, you can see that even now I am fidgeting because I am not used to wearing a suit. We are in the field daily and I cannot even tell you how many times I have been there, Gwayi, Shangani Dam even before it was within my portfolio. I was visiting yearly because I have a keen interest to ensure that the City of Bulawayo residents have an everlasting solution.

 We are on the ground and this is part and parcel of why we use the technical team because as you know, our Ministry is quite big, so our time is only 24 hours in a day that we have. So, we need experts in different fields to advise us and from time to time we go. You will recall that there is three of us, the two Deputy Ministers and a Minister. Among the three of us, we do share time a lot and unfortunately sometimes on Wednesdays we are in the field and it looks like we do not want to come to Parliament.

The point is that there is so much to do and there is not enough time. Even at weekends, we travel around and you will see even on TV, you will see the Minister on Sunday somewhere and you will see us during the week somewhere but I just want you to be reassured that it is of utmost importance to us. Thank you.

          *HON. NYABANI: I would like to thank the Minister for the good job that he is doing, considering the fact that we used to have water crisis and boreholes are being sunk.  I would like to highlight to the Minister that you are sinking very nice boreholes in urban areas and making it tapped water.  My question concerns those boreholes that are being sunk at the growth points.  You are simply drilling boreholes without taps at growth points.

          *THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): Hon. Nyabani, I do not accept that question.  It is not in relation to the question that was asked to the Bulawayo one.  I thank you.

          HON. J. TSHUMA: My supplementary question is a follow up on the issue of water crisis in Bulawayo.  I want to find out from the Hon. Deputy Minister - you have done a good thing by coming up with a technical team that is working on those issues.  I am reliably informed that the City Council of Bulawayo wants to prioritise building a new dam instead of looking at a the Mtshabezi Dam pipeline being constructed which is going to be short term solution to bring water immediately.  What is your Ministry doing in guiding your local authority from diverting money to building a new dam instead of bringing a pipeline from Mtshabezi to Bulawayo that will bring solutions of water immediately?

          HON. HARITATOS: I will try and answer that in two parts.  We unfortunately do not oversee City of Bulawayo.  This is an issue of Local Government.  I have no authority to tell the City, the Mayor or whoever that is decided to take hard earned tax payer’s money and rate payer’s money to a project that may not be visible or demean immediate use to the people of the City of Bulawayo.  What I can tell you is that we have a lot of potential in terms of our water resources.  Yes, we want to build more strategic dams but right now we have 10 000 dams.  We really need to utilise those dams.  Even when we preach of irrigation development, we are talking of utilising the water bodies that are there.  What we have done as a Ministry is, we are implementing strategies that will alleviate water shortages in the medium to long term. 

Yes, of course there are a few things that we are doing and we have done including the drilling of boreholes to supplement for example the Nyamandlovu Aquifer.  These are short-term plans but have immediate returns.  So I cannot answer on behalf of the city of Bulawayo why they believe that they need to spend this money on a new dam, but certainly with resources being limited, I would definitely have tried to supplement what we are doing as Ministry to put the resources to solving the immediate problem. A dam is a very long-term solution and  like I said, I cannot answer on behalf of the City.  Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you said there is a crisis in Bulawayo.  Is that so? Now, the information that Hon. Tshuma has given us in this House does it not permit you to co-ordinate your efforts and the efforts of the Council to solve the problem for the people of Bulawayo that do not have water.  

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I can assure you that the City of Bulawayo are part of the technical team, that is why I am a little bit surprised to hear that in this august House because everyone is part of it.  It is not only the Ministry of Lands.  We have the Ministry of Local Government and that is part of it.  We have the City, that is also part of it.  Councillors are there and we also have the Technical Committee Structure. You know that the solution is for us all to work together regardless of gender, race, religious affiliation or even political affiliation.  So this one we are trying to do.  It is not a political thing.  The people of City of Bulawayo deserve this Hon. Speaker Sir.  We must do and co-ordinate and we feel that we are coordinating well.  It is unfortunate to hear this but nonetheless, we do not mind engaging.  There is no a secret.  We can engage the City of Bulawayo to understand what exactly their ideas are and we can consult further.  Thank you.   

          HON. MGUNI:  I would like to thank the Minister for this comprehensive response to my question.  What I would like to know from the Minister is, is this project well-funded considering the urgency of the matter?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, although I have a feeling that you answered that question before but I can just indulge you. 

          HON. HARITATOS: It is a fundamental question because everything needs financing and I think I owe you Hon. Member.  Yes, it is funded but as you know very well from being a Member of Parliament yourself, a lot of what we do might be planned and this week we want to do this but if the funding does not come that particular week and is delayed, it delays certain things.  That is why we have gone a little bit; we have stretched few of the dates.  Our expectation is that we will deliver before but we also do not want to get your hopes up and the people of Zimbabwe’s hopes up when we are not in control of the releases.  The releases are from the different ministries.  It comes from the Ministry of Finance but projects like Gwayi-Shangani for example the dam, it is 80% complete. 

We are looking forward to the other 20% from our budgets.  It is budgeted for.  It is not a new project to say that it is not on our books.  The pipeline is also budgeted for.  When the money is released, then we go ahead. I just use it as an example. You know everything that we do  relies on Finance.  Yes, it is in our budgets and these are not new things.  We have had good support Hon. Speaker Sir.  We have had from Ministry of Finance in the past some releases that have helped us in the purification.  Of course, our mandate is not to purify the water but because we are team effort, we are working closely with the Ministry of Local Government, Town Councils and sometimes City Councils.  For example, the City of Bulawayo or Harare we have had releases of the tune over about USD$13 million.  Part of that money was not for us it was supposed to actually just to go direct to go and buy the chemicals that are required for the purification. 

This is a very holistic approach that we are taking and we are using all facets of society where all Government departments were coming together but it is a pertinent issue Hon. Speaker Sir.  I cannot fault the Hon. Member but what I can guarantee is that whatever funding is coming specific for these programmes, it is going to those programmes because there are urgent and we want to solve these problems.

CONSTRUCTION OF A DAM ALONG SAVE RIVER IN

CHIPINGE SOUTH

  1. HON. C. HLATYWAYO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to inform the House what plans the Ministry is putting in place to construct a dam along Save River in Chipinge South given that the area is dry and considered region 4-5 with high temperatures but good soils.

            THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Along Save River there are plans to construct a bigger dam twice the size of Tokwe-Mukosi Dam called Kondo-Chitohwe Dam which is set to benefit Zimbabwe and Mozambique in the short run and South Africa in the long run.  It was not targeted for intervention this year but we are working towards finding a private partner to fund the project and once we do that, we will commence with the construction. The dam will impound close to 3.6 billion cubic meters of water and could irrigate approximately 60 000 hectares.  I thank you.

          HON. C. HLATYWAYO:  Thank you. I just want to know if consultations were done with the residents of the areas where we have said you have got plans to build that big dam. Are they aware of this project and what are the plans obviously to relocate the affected residents?

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, how we work in Ministry is that we come up with all sorts of interventions, but we do not go and do anything tangible until we can operate within what is required. We are engaging investors and if an investor might have different requirements, we also have certain requirements so this can only be done once two parties come together and we agree the height, length, uses of the dam and that will now impact obviously because the higher the dam stretches, the water will stretch back. So it is only once we kind of do, let us say, a draft master plan that we can actually identify what areas will be affected.  So I can tell you that there is a lot of preliminary work, but we really need this to be solid and then we engage the community because the community must also be part of what we do. They are the biggest beneficiaries and sadly some people will also have to be moved, so this is that natural. We have to be sensitive to everyone. We also have to be sensitive to our traditional leadership on the ground. These are all the players even yourself Hon. Member, you will be part and parcel of that initiative. You have to be, you are leading the people who chose you to represent them. So you also have to be part of that as well as Local Government, the Ministry of Environment and many other ministries. This is all of Government approach, but I think it is still too early for us to say yes, we need to identify the right partner where we have maximum benefit for the area, and the country at large. Thank you.

*HON. ZIKI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, my question is on the dam’s construction. I would like to applaud on the programme of construction of dams but my question, is there any programme whereby we have to scoop the sand from the dams which were affected by siltation? Do we have any programme whereby we need those dams to be scooped of the sand?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Ziki, that is a new question, anyway let me ask the Minister to attend to it.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Yes, we are building new dams like Semwa, Gwai Shangai, Bindura, Thuli, Manyange, Mbada, Dande, Ziminya and Vhungu. We have a lot of dams which are in the process of being built. With regards to siltation which was said by the Hon. Member, we are working together with other organisations whereby we are working in cooperation. On those dams, they are not only dams, others are called wears. If we say a water body is either eight meters below, it is not in our Ministry as such, but the oversight is to us as well. It is under the ZIDA, but those within the ZINWA are the people who are responsible for those dams which are eight meters and above.  So, now I think Hon. Member, if you have specific dams that you have in your constituency, you can simply identify them so that we can work with RIDA and we do assessments and know what is it that need to be done, how they want us to do it. I cannot over-emphasise that us as Parliamentarians, our duty is to go and sensitise people on how to safekeep those dams. Some of the things are being done by people who have limited information or sometimes they do not know the importance of those dams; others are simply sending their cattle to damage that infrastructure. So, I think all those things, we need team effort so that we say yes, we have our Ministry.  We a Members of Parliament may have to work together and work together with ZINWA and RIDA so that we can safe keep our dams, for example other people do leave trees growing within the infrastructure, thereby damaging the dam walls. So, I think going forward, we can work together in all the programmes and we initiate RIDA. We would love to say in future we have some budget that works hand in glove with the system needed. I thank you.   

EXCLUSION OF SESAME SEEDS (UNINGA) FROM THE

PRODUCER PRICE LIST

 

  1.        HON. C. HLATYWAYO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development to explain to the House why Sesame seeds (Uninga) have been excluded from the producer price lists when it is among the biggest cash crops for Chipinge South and other Lowveld area.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, Government often play a role in regulating an agricultural market, including setting minimum support prices or determining producer prices for national strategic crops, predominately cereals which have a direct bearing on food security. Currently, Cabinet standardised the approved producer prices covering food commodities which include the following, maize, wheat, soya beans, traditional grains, sunflower and outside of that cotton. In crafting the 2023, 2024 producer prices, least priority was given to strategic commodities given the importance to human and life consumption in ensuring food, feed fibre and oil security. Thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I wanted to find out from the Hon. Minister, why we continue to set producer prices when we have got ZIMEX where we think the producer prices or any such prices are supposed to be determined in the market operation of market forces?

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I smile before you because the colleague on my left who just asked the question, in his previous life in the previous Parliament, was in a position where we had this discussion and we used to fight. I am very happy that he has brought it up again, but this is how we build our country. We bring in different views and we come up with the best solution so that we can do what is best for our people.

What is important from our side is that when we announce prices, we announce like a guiding price. It is not a price that is dictated in any law that provides for some form of prices as ceiling in anyway or form. We are not about setting price controls or anything to that effect. What we do essentially, we announce a price for whatever is contracted to Government. So when we talk of Presidential Input Programme (PIP) or when we talk of National Agricultural Programme, these are programmes that are related to Government and of course there is ARDA, Joint ventures this is also contracted to Government.

These are the prices essentially that the Grain Marketing Board will buy from those kinds of programmes and for the private sector, it is up to them to determine whatever prices fits them in terms of supply and demand and equilibrium. For us we feel it is right to announce pre-planting prices as well as producer prices so that at least our farmers understand before they even go into that crop. Is that crop going to be viable for me according to what the Government has calculated? During that calculation, we call in all players of the sector, we bring in the farmers, input suppliers, and ourselves.  Even the contractors themselves are involved. It is an inclusive kind of approach that we do at the beginning of the season, then we do it again towards the end of the season. That is why you hear often that the GMB will announce a price.  Because we are buyers of grain, we need to announce our prices and the hopes are consumers and the public takes that as a guiding price so that our farmers can get a similar price. I am not saying the exact, but at least a similar so that our farmers can also be viable. What we do not want is to have a situation where our farmers are taken advantage of because farming as a business needs to be profitable for one to go back to the farm. So this is why we continue with this although in a little bit of different kind of format, we believe what we are doing is just complementing and not suppressing any form of market forces. Thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

DISBURSEMENT OF BEAM FUNDS IN HIGHFIELD,

BUDIRIRO, GLEN NORAH AND GLEN VIEW

  1. HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House on:-

a) When the Ministry plans to disburse money dedicated for the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) to schools in Highfield, Budiriro, Glen Norah and Glen View?

b) To explain the selection criteria applied for beneficiaries of BEAM; when the Ministry plans to review this selection criteria and what plans have been put in place to ensure that the intended beneficiaries benefit from the scheme.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA):  I wish to inform the House that Government prioritises education assistance to children in difficult circumstances and is committed to settle all school fees arrears under BEAM.  Further, the Ministry acknowledges school fees arrears owed to mainstream primary and secondary schools across the country.  The arrears for primary schools amount to ZIG 380 480 247 (USD28 369 146) while secondary schools are owed ZIG 379 174 554 (USD28 350 101) giving a sum total of ZIG 760 605 102 (USD56 719 247).

In light of the foregoing, the Ministry engaged Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to clear the aforementioned arrears.  ZWL50 000 000 000 was therefore allocated for the first quarter of 2024 while actual release was ZWL31 000 000 000.  This disbursement was against a budget of ZWL 805 087 608 000 leaving a balance of ZWL774 087 608 000.  The disbursed amount settled 2022 arrears for both primary and secondary schools in the country including schools in Highfield, Budiriro, Glen Norah and Glen View constituencies.  The Ministry is continuously following up with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion on outstanding school fees arrears as it awaits further release of funds by Treasury to settle the same.  As funding improves, my Ministry will ensure that timely, religious and predictable payments are made to schools in accordance with the BEAM cycle.

  1. b) The Hon. Member is informed that selection of BEAM beneficiaries is done using a community-based targeting approach at community level through Community Selection Committees (CSCs). Each primary school community has a CSC which has a term of office of two years, that is preside over two BEAM cycles.

The CSC shall have 12 members made up as follows: six elected community representatives (three men and three women) with a good knowledge of all households, no record of abusing children and with a sound appreciation of children’s rights issues. The selected members shall be evenly distributed across the school catchment area; two children (one boy and one girl) from the child led Child Protection Committee and; four ex-officio members made up of two School Development Committee (SDC) members one each from the primary school and the local secondary school, the primary school head and the primary school guidance and counselling teacher.

The Committee receives nominations of children to benefit from BEAM from members of the community.  Nomination of potential beneficiaries is done by anyone in the community, including children themselves to ensure all deserving children are not excluded during selection processes.

The BEAM programme targets vulnerable school going children from Early Childhood Learning (ECL) classes, primary, secondary and special needs schools identified by their CSCs as vulnerable and deserving assistance.  BEAM selection and targeting criteria is as follows:

  1. Children in child headed households;
  2. Children in labour constrained households;

      iii. Orphaned children;

  1. Children who are out of school due to financial constraints;
  2. Children living and working on the streets and
  3. Children left behind under the care of an incapacitated guardian.

Currently, the Ministry is in the process of reviewing the BEAM Operational Manual through stakeholder consultative processes to ensure the programme remains relevant and effective. The policy review will also include strategies to enhance the targeting modality, transparency and effectiveness among other key parameters.

To ensure adherence to policy guidelines, monitoring visits are conduced by Joint Monitoring Teams (JMTs) from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Local Governance and Public Works at national to community level. The monitoring process follows the BEAM cycle which comprises of the pre-selection, selection and post selection stages. JMTs can conduct focus group discussions, surveys site visits, perusal of records and other appropriate methods to ascertain proper constitution of CSCs, client satisfaction with beneficiary selection, including grievances regarding selection of children (inclusion/exclusion errors) that is the extent to which selected children are deserving by local participatory poverty or wealth ranking standards for beneficiary and non-beneficiary households within the selected communities.

Additionally, a grievance handling mechanism is in place to ensure that those aggrieved with the processes can air out their views and heard. This is done through Grievance Handling Committees (GHC) which are constituted in each community to handle complaints by parents/guardians and stakeholders aggrieved on any aspect of BEAM delivery.  The GHC consists of the Ward Councilor (Chair), one Village Head, a Religious Leader of repute, two children’s representatives (other than the ones in the CSC) and a Community Child Care Worker providing secretariat services to the Committee.  The Village Head and the Religious Leader shall be selected by the community and the tenure of the Committee shall be conterminous with that of the CSC (2 years). The GHC also sits as a help desk when the community meets to validate the priotised BEAM list and when the community reconvenes to validate the final BEAM beneficiary lists.  Furthermore, grievances can be forwarded to the Social Development Offices at District, Provincial and National level.

ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN OF VICTIMS OF DRUG AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN HIGHFIELD, BUDIRIRO, GLEN NORAH AND GLENVIEW

  1. HON CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House the plans being put in place to assist children of victims of drug and substance abuse living in Highfield, Budiriro, Glen Norah and Glen View.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DINHA):  Children of Victims of drug and substance abuse are negatively affected by parental incapacitation which compromises their care environment.  As such, they are at risk of dropping out of school, subjected  all forms of violence an deprivations including  ill treatment and neglect in the face of parental incapacitation due to abuse of drugs.  As such, my ministry is mandated to provide care and protection to all children including those whose parents are abusing drugs. 

Additionally, in instances where the child’s family is incapacitated and failing to provide appropriate  care to a child, alternative  care options  can be explored  which include  extended family, supported  community  care, foster care  and institutional care, which  is a measure  of last resort.   The ministry’s position is to promote family-based care for all children and support families through positive parenting sessions to inculcate responsive and nurturing caregiving. 

I wish to inform this august House that we also have Community Cadres know as Community Child Care Workers (CCWs) who were trained on early identification and referral of children  in need of care for specialist  child protection  services.  Upon receiving cases of such children, my Ministry through the Drug and Substance  Abuse Unit (Community Reintegration Pillar)  and the Child Protection  Section provide  them with Psycho-Social Support services  and counselling  services to survivors.

Online counselling services are also provided using the Ministry’s toll-free number (0714 647 002).  These psycho-social support services help build survivor’s coping skills and restore human worth and dignity.   The services are available to the survivor, family members the community and service providers at large. 

The ministry is also in the process of establishing Outpatient Psycho-Social Support Centers.  Currently, our pilot projects are in Harare at Makombe Building and Bulawayo Fort Street Social Development Offices.  The centers are free for everyone especially children who are at risk and exposed to Drug and Substance Abuse. To build resilience of survivors the ministry links them to Social Protection Services for example vocational training for youths and adults, educational assistance, food assistance, social cash transfers etc.  In addition, the Ministry also provides health assistance to indigent survivors facing challenges in meeting medical costs.

There are interventions to prevent relapse by survivors pose rehabilitation  which includes  follow up visits and supervision, formation of support groups, creation and strengthening of income generating  projects  and Internal Savings  And Lending (ISAL) schemes , strengthening  parenting initiatives  to encourage social networking  through peer  to peer support. 

Other interventions include the following;

  • Coordinating drug and substance abuse activities at district, province and national level. Child protection and safeguarding - statutory mandate.
  • Conduct Spot Check visits to Public places of entertainment policing.
  • Information Dissemination through awareness campaigns.
  • Assisting the courts through the provision of Child Protection Officer’s reports in response to child protection issues.
  • Providing Psycho-Social Support to the survivors and families.
  • Provision of places of safety for child survivors in need of care.
  • Provision of social protection services to improve individual and household resilience.
  • My ministry is also secretariat to the Child Protection Committee from National to Sub-National levels. These committees oversee the protection of all children in the country. Children also actively participate in these committees.

INCORPORATION OF CONCESSION AREAS INTO THE HWANGE LOCAL BOARD

  1. HON. MOLOKELE asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to update the House on the progress made by the Special Committee appointed the enquire into the process of incorporation of Concession areas into the Hwange Local Board.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. GARWE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the above question and I wish to advise that no such special Committee was appointed to specifically enquire into the process of incorporation of Concession areas into the Hwange Local Board.

PLANS TO COMPENSATE PEOPLE FROM LUBIMBI COMMUNITY AFTER RELOCATION

  1. HON. C. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement to inform the House the plans that the Ministry has put in place to compensate people from Lubimbi Community who will be relocated soon after the completion of the Gwayi/Shangani Dam Project.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, LANDS, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

  • The Construction of Gwayi/Shangani Dam will result in the displacement of A2 farmers, A1 farmers and 387 homesteads in Lubimbi communal area under Binga district.
  • These communities will be affected either by the dam construction or proposed irrigation blocks thereafter.
  • A total of 3067 hectares will be required for relocation of the 387 Lubimbi farmers (Nakanono).
  • The affected farmers from Lubimbi area choose Nakanono site as their area of preference asserting that the place was originally occupied by their ancestors who were forcibly evicted and relocated to Lubimbi area by the colonial Government in the 1950s.
  • Subsequent to the evictions, was the creation of large-scale commercial farms comprising nine blocks, named Karna Block (Nakanono area).
  • The affected Lubimbi farmers will be relocated to the Nakanono area which covers R/E of Karna Block.
  • Immergroen Estate has also been identified as potential land for the relocation of the Lubimbi community.

The following models have been put in place for the relocation:

  1. OPTION 1 (A1 Villagised model)
  • R/E of Karna block (Nakanono area) measuring 3067 hectares will accommodate 57 households under A1 model with each household obtaining 53.5 hectares broken down as follows; 3 hectares – arable land, 0.5 hectares for homestead and 50 hectares for common grazing.
  • This will leave 330 households without land.
  1. OPTION 2 (V30 Accelerator Model)
  • This model accommodates all the 387 affected households at R/E of Karna Block (Nakanono).
  • The total areas to be considered for resettlement in this model is 3067 hectares.
  • Each household will be allocated 1 hectare (Residential and Cropping).
  • The remaining 268 hectares will be set aside for communal grazing.
  • Villages will be incorporated into clusters on planned irrigation blocks offered.
  1. OPTION 3 (Peri-urban plots)
  • The model will accommodate all the 387 Lubimbi households at R/E of Karna Block (Nakanono).
  • Each household will be allocated an 8-hectare self-contained unit which is synonymous to a peri urban set up.
  • Under the model, farmers can embark on small stock livestock production among other options that could be availed to them.
  • There will be no communal grazing land.
  • The source of livelihood of the Lubimbi community can be complimented from grouped irrigation schemes within the blocks.
  1. OPTION 4 (Self-contained plots)
  • Adjacent to Nakanono area is Immergroen farm where a potato investor was offered 5 000 hectares but the project has not yet started.
  • Provincial recommendations under this model are the issue of maximum farm size to be taken into consideration. This then implies that the investor will be allocated 1 500 hectares and unlock 3 500 hectares. 
  • The 3 500 hectares from Immergroen if added to the 3067 hectares from R/E of Karna block, will result in a total of 6 567 hectares that will be available for relocation of the Lubimbi community.
  • Each household would then have access to 17 hectares self-contained unit plot.
  • Each household would then have access to 17 hectares self -contained unit plot.
  • This model will enable each household to embark on small stock livestock production with an option of intensive fodder production and cattle pen feeding projects.

Compensation of infrastructure 

  • Valuers from both the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement conducted valuation of improvements for the affected Lubimbi community.
  • The valuation was to determine monetary value of immovable property.
  • Affected households will be compensated both in cash and kind (construction of houses).
  • Land will be cleared for the elderly and the needy.
  • Social Welfare will assist with food provisions during the relocation period.
  • There are two proposed housing models by National Housing:

Model 1 – Three bedrooms and kitchen.

Model 2 – Two bedrooms, dining and kitchen.

  • Polygamous families requested that the cost of constructing either any of the above two housing models be used to construct a cluster of one roomed huts for each wife and a bedroom.

Summary

  • All beneficiaries to be affected by the development of the dam irrigation schemes, irrespective of their models, need to be incorporated into some planned irrigation schemes and other various basket projects that will be availed to them, depending on the severity of their displacements.
  • Above all, it should be ensured that the Lubimbi people are under homogenous chieftainship to preserve their common cultural norms and values as a group within their ancestral land.

DISTRIBUTION OF PESTICIDES AND PREVENTION

STRATEGIES OF THE ARMY WORM OUTBREAK IN

HURUNGWE

  1. HON. KANGAUSARU asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement to explain to the House the following in light of the reports of widespread armyworm outbreak in Hurungwe:
  • What the Ministry’s plans are to distribute pesticides and

 other control measures as well as financial assistance to farmers who have suffered crop losses in Hurungwe?

  • What long term strategies are there to prevent and manage

any future outbreaks of armyworm and the other crop pests in Hurungwe?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Hon. Member, there are two types of army worms that my Ministry is dealing with, which are African armyworm and fall armyworm.  Both pests attack maize, sorghum and millet with African armyworm extending damage to pastures.  During the 2023/24 summer cropping season, African armyworm total outbreaks recorded were 25 from five provinces (Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Midlands and Masvingo) in a total of 11 districts.

          On a yearly basis, my Ministry uses an early warning system for the purposes of predicting the likelihood of an occurrence of an outbreak.  In the past season, Government provided chemicals (Carbaryl 85WP) to all affected farmers for the control of the African armyworm.  It is worth noting that the African armyworm can also be killed by chemicals that control caterpillars/lepidopterans that can be accessed from distributors across the nation and farmers can make use of these chemicals as an alternative.

          In respect of fall armyworm, since its first outbreak in 2016, the pest has been causing damage throughout the year.  The Ministry has provided pests trainings and advisory services to both extension staff and farmers on pest identification, scouting and control.  In cases of serious fall armyworm infestations, my Ministry has been providing chemicals to the most vulnerable farmers through the Pfumvudza input package.  As a Ministry, we also have extension officers that do scouting and give updates for quick response and control.

          Furthermore, the Ministry is utilising pest command centres and media platforms to alert the farmers of the pests.  My Ministry in partnership with other stakeholders, have been promoting other fall armyworm management strategies that include but not limited to push-pull strategies, early planting use of plant extracts, for example, Nimee, use of ash and farmers are encouraged to scout and do early control among other strategies.  Government will be distributing grain in all rural areas including households that incurred losses due to armyworms outbreak.

          Hon. Member, there are numerous long-term strategies in place to prevent and manage any future outbreaks of armyworm and other pests that include:-

-Early warning, early action system;

-Capacity building, training and awareness campaigns through the existing extension delivery systems;

-Promoting effective strategies for armyworm control;

-Use of chemicals for control;

-Early planting; and

-Use of media platforms which include air, television and print.

OUTSTANDING PAYMENTS FOR COTTON FARMERS IN CHISUMBANJE, CHINYAMUKWAKWA, CHECHECHE

  1. HON C. HLATYAWYO asked the Minister of Lands and Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to explain why cotton farmers in Chisumbanje, Chinyamukwakwa and Checheche areas were not paid for their deliveries in 2023, in light of assurance made in November, 2023 for their payments.

          DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOES): Hon. Member, a total of USD1.3 million representing 73% of the USD component has been paid to farmers under the business unit (Mutare Business Unit).  In terms of progress payments since November 2023, USD 188 thousand was allocated to the area in March 2024 and a further USD85 000 in April 2024.  More payments were made in May 2024, which further reduced the outstanding amount owed for the entire country.  COTTCO received cotton worth ZiG 42 million and have so far paid USD209 million and ZiG1.4 million, leaving a balance of USD2.6 million plus ZiG 3.8 million yet to be paid.  COTTCO is making frantic efforts to ensure that farmers are paid their outstanding amounts as soon as possible.

          Questions With Notice were interrupted by the TEMPORARY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order Number 68.

          Hon. Kambuzuma having wanted to move for the adjournment of the House.

          HON. KARENYI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I understand that we have got other Ministers still in the House.  Some have got their written submissions and some of the questions have been on the Order Paper for quite some time.  I do not know if you could help us, if they have written submissions so that you may allow them to submit rather than going back with them.  May be next week they are not going to have enough time to respond.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Hon. Member is seeking to extend the time for Questions With Notice.  Are there any objections.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: I object.

          On the motion of HON. KAMBUZUMA, seconded by HON. S. SITHOLE, the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.

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