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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 27 JULY 2022 VOL 48 NO 65
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 27th July, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
PETITIONS RECEIVED FROM THE CITIZENS AGAINST ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AND MR. B. WESTONI OF BINDURA UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE EDUCATION
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that on
Thursday, 5th May, 2022 Parliament received a petition from the Citizens Against Economic Sanctions, beseeching Parliament to exercise its oversight and legislative functions by putting in place legislation which provides for the National Anti-sanctions Budget.
The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development.
I also have to inform the House that on Thursday, 19th May, 2022, Parliament received a petition from Mr. B. Westoni of the Bindura University of Science Education, beseeching Parliament to recommend to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development to revert to the old remuneration system for lecturers in State universities.
The petition was deemed inadmissible as the petitioners did not satisfy the formal requirements in the Standing Orders. The petitioners have been advised accordingly.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: There is no point of privilege today. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Yaah Mr. Speaker…] – There is no point of privilege. Can you sit down! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: It has to do with a parliamentary issue that transpired yesterday…] – Can you sit down? There is no point of privilege. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: No, I need to raise it with you Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Can you sit down? – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Yaah and then you give me the opportunity] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. T. ZHOU: Hatizirisu takati usauya kuHouse nezuro!] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, Order!
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have the following apologies from the Executive:- Hon. C.D.G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans; Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance and Economic Development; Hon. Dr. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement; Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. J. G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Dr. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. N. M. Ndhlovu, Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Hospitality Industry; Hon. Rwodzi, Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Hospitality Industry; Hon. Mabhoyi, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. Marapira, Deputy Minister for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon. Chiduwa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Hon. J. Mangwiro, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point or order Mr. Speaker Sir!] – Are you back with points of order?
HON. MUSHORIWA: Yaah, mine is a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, you do not say yaah. You address the Speaker properly.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I am sorry Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order relates to the provision of our Standing Orders that distinguish between point of privilege and point of national interest. My point of privilege relates to the rights of Hon. Members, and it is on that point that I wanted you to address because you said that on Wednesday there is no point of privilege.
Whereas we thought that the point of national interest is the one that is not supposed to be raised on Wednesday. In respect to the point of privilege which violates my rights as a Member of Parliament, I thought they are permitted on such a day. I ask you Mr. Speaker Sir to consider my request.
THE HON. SPEAKER: May you refer me to the proper section of the Standing Order?
HON. MUSHORIWA: I do not have the exact Standing Order but it is … you got it? Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Have you got it? If you do not have it then can you rest and then bring it to my attention later on? – [HON. MUSHORIWA: There is Standing Order Number 73, Motion Concerning Privilege] – Number 73? Yes, yes you may proceed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, proceed.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Yesterday during the course of business of the House, on the Order Paper there was an item to do with PVOs Amendment Bill. During the debate on the PVOs Bill, during the Committee Stage, Hon. Members who were on virtual wanted to contribute to the debate and the Chairperson of the Committee under the instruction of the Leader of the House made it impossible for anybody who was on virtual to debate. We tried to raise our hands on several occasions; it is on record in the Hansard - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, can you respect another Member of Parliament. Let us hear the Hon. Member and I will make a ruling.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, what I am saying is evidenced in the Hansard and also the video recording of Parliamentary business. It is actually there where the Leader of the House including the Chairperson of the Committee was denying me and other Members a chance to speak. The PVOs Amendment Bill had a number of amendments and there was a heated debate during the Second Reading. For the Hon. Chair of the Committee to deny me the right to contribute and then quickly sail through that Bill without any debate, I think it is a clear violation of my right as a Member of Parliament and also the democratic process of this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Was this during the Second Reading or Committee Stage?
HON. MUSHORIWA: It was during Committee Stage Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You said during Committee Stage but in Committee Stage you can debate, is it not?
HON. MUSHORIWA: Yes, we were going clause by clause and it was during this debate when we sought to bring some of the issues that we had raised in the Second Reading which had not been considered by the Minister in his response and all that was brushed aside Hon. Speaker Sir. I thought the Committee Stage is actually the hall mark of the legislative process in Parliament.
Hon. Gonese having stood up
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Gonese. Hon. Mushoriwa, normally when we debate in Committee, a clause is called out by the Chair and a question is asked to say - is there any debate, is that correct? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes.] From my office there, I was following and nobody raised a point of order to say I am being denied – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order. –
Hon. Gonese having stood up.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I have not given a ruling Hon. Gonese; you are a seasoned Member of Parliament here, please allow me to make a ruling. I will check with the Hansard and also the Presiding Officer, then I will give you a correct response thereafter. Do you want to ask a question Hon. Gonese?
HON. GONESE: It is not a question, it is a point of privilege.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Today is your question time.
HON. GONESE: Yes, I know Mr. Speaker but it is also related to the business of the House – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –Yes, it is a different point. It is in terms of Standing Order Number 151.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your issue Hon. Gonese?
HON. GONESE: Yes, if you can indulge me Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is a fundamental issue. It is in terms of Standing Order Number 151 Mr. Speaker Sir - Bill committed after Second Reading. Mr. Speaker Sir, the provisions of that Standing Order are very clear, that is the committal of a Bill after the Second Reading. For the benefit of Hon. Members, I just read it because it is short. When a Bill has been read a second time, it must stand committed to the Committee of the Whole House, on such day as the Member in charge of it must appoint, unless the House otherwise orders.
I am cognisant that the House can grant leave and I am also aware Mr. Speaker Sir that there is a Standing Order which stipulates that no two stages of a Bill may be heard on the same day without the leave of the House. I am aware Mr. Speaker that leave of the House was sought but I want to underline the fact that the spirit of those provisions is meant to deal with non-contentious matters which need to be disposed of. This is a rule of practice Mr. Speaker, not just of this Parliament. In respect of this particular Bill, I was one of the Hon. Members who debated this Bill at length during the Second Reading and several other Members debated extensively. It is in that context Mr. Speaker Sir that I want to underline the fact that as practice, as a convention, we must not overlook matters of practice and matters of convention.
This is a Bill Mr. Speaker Sir, which required Members to be put on notice because a Committee Stage of a Bill is the most important stage of a Bill....
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, I hear you. You are debating now, you must be brief.
HON. GONESE: It is against that spirit of the intention of the Standing Orders which allows Hon. Members to digest the response of the Hon. Minister. That is the reason why in our Standing Orders, there are two provisions, one which says that no two stages of a Bill may be made on the same day and this one which says on a date to be appointed. This is to allow Hon. Members time to study any proposed amendments. That is my submission Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, understood. That issue should have been raised yesterday when leave was sought for the Second Reading of the Bill. So you are discussing a matter – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - You want to close the stable door when the horses have bolted? – [HON. MEMBERS: We were on virtual] - It does not matter whether you were on virtual or not. You had that opportunity to raise the issue.
HON. CHIBAYA: Mr. Speaker Sir, we are here to represent people but if you are stopping us from raising the issues with your Chair - we are raising those concerns with your Chair and we expect your Chair to protect us. Where do you want us to go when we are here to represent the people...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please sit down?
HON. CHIBAYA: But why are you blocking us from raising the issues which are affecting the people outside there?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I am asking you for the last time, can you sit down?
HON. CHIBAYA: You are the Chair, allow Hon. Members to raise their issues.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chibaya, can you sit down? I am giving you last warning – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] - Order, Order Hon. Members. Hon. Chibaya, can you leave the House!
Instead of walking out, Hon. Chibaya walked to the Speaker’s Chair.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Chibaya, can you sit down?
HON. T. MOYO: Good afternoon Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Good afternoon.
HON. T. MOYO: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. I want to find out from the Minister, Government policy regarding social security nets. I have in mind the Grant-in-Aid and BEAM programmes which are very important and indispensable to the underprivileged students in our schools. It has taken so long for payments to be made and some unscrupulous schools are chasing away students from schools. I want to find out from the Hon. Minister what plans they have put in place so that disbursements are quickly done towards the payment of their fees?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me thank Hon. Moyo for that important question. We have made tremendous progress in the disbursement of BEAM funds. The last time I checked, we had paid tuition fees for the second term which is the current term except for schools that needed to comply with the reporting requirements for BEAM. I am sure that all those schools that had complied and provided the Ministry with the requisite documents had received their disbursements.
Let me also clearly indicate to this august House that there has been a lot of improvement in terms of coverage on BEAM. We were at about 500 000 students last year. This year our target is 1.5 million and the resources to cover those students are there. Our coverage has become more comprehensive, to include all the requirements for those learners including uniforms, stationery that they need because we used to just cover tuition fees, but we said we needed to make sure that we are covering all the requirements for the learners. So BEAM has improved a lot and Treasury continues to give us additional resources in order to provide a very comprehensive social net for vulnerable children. I thank you.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, he has indicated that the Ministry aims to move from $500.000 to $1.5 million with additional things like uniforms and other stuff. I have been looking in the Blue Book that was passed by Parliament. May the Hon. Minister explain to this House from which pocket does the Ministry get the funds, given that the figures that we have adjusted for inflation do not warrant the assertion that the Minister has put. I thank you
The Chair’s microphone having been switched off.
[HON. MUNENGAMI: Inaudible interjection.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Munengami, I apologise. Hon. Mushoriwa, the moment you delve into figures, it means that you need to put your question in writing, which will force the Hon. Minister to give the correct statistics as required by the question.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, can you just indulge me. The Hon. Minister is the one that invited this line of questioning. He said that they had actually moved from $500.000 to $1.5 million. He has also indicated to this House that in addition to the payment of fees, they are now doing uniforms and stationery. I am then asking the Hon. Minister because the budget that we passed in this Parliament does not have the leeway for those additions. That is why I wanted to find out from which pocket he is going to get the extra funds. Maybe there is another pocket that the Hon. Minister has which is outside the Blue Book.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Unless the Hon. Member is referring to the erosion of the original budget due to inflation, that original budget was intended to cover for $1.5 million, the target that we had for this year. If then he is referring to the issue of inflation, I do not want to then pre-empt the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who is going to make a presentation here in Parliament tomorrow. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, please if you can pursue the matter tomorrow during the Mid-Term Review.
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. We got a lot of rain in our areas such that our yields were not good and people are experiencing …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please craft your preamble in a question.
HON. MASENDA: When are the food insecure people across the country going to start receiving food aid to mitigate hunger? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. Let me also thank the Hon. Member for that important question. Hon. Speaker, we have just started the food deficit mitigation programme. This month, we had an allocation of 15.000 tonnes to go into the areas that were adversely affected due to erratic rains. We are targeting that on an average, up to the next harvest, we will be distributing something like 30.000 tonnes per month. We will start off low but we will increase the allocations as we reach the peak hunger period, which is going to be from January to about March into 2023. That programme has started. The delay was because we were waiting for figures from the ZIMVAC report for the rural areas. Once we got those figures, we also had to verify using our social development officers on the ground so that we can target properly as to which wards and which specific households needed this assistance. So we have just started and I am sure that the areas where the Hon. Member is coming from, that were adversely affected, will soon be receiving the necessary assistance. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. People who were receiving food were very few. Is there a policy that will allow everyone who is facing hunger to benefit? If the grain that we have is not sufficient, can they reduce the quantities for those families that are receiving food aid so that everyone can benefit?
*HON. PROF. MAVIMA: We looked at the numbers which were provided for by ZIMVAC and we sent another delegation for those who work under social development in different districts for them to give us places and number of families in those areas which might need food aid. We are not expecting that we are going to fail to give families which are in need of food aid. We have done proper research and now we know the extent of hunger in the country. We are going to give each and every family what it deserves in terms of food, using the data which has been provided to us by the different Government departments.
*HON. MADZIMURE: From the research and data gathered by the Ministry, how many families require food aid so that as Parliament we will be able to do follow up that the Ministry managed to give so many families some food? Again, from the research which they have done, are they going to increase the food hampers compared to what was given to people during the COVID-19 period? Lastly, are there measures to monitor if the food is going to the intended beneficiaries?
THE HON. SPEAKER: May you put your question in writing as it requires some statistical information.
(v)*HON. KWARAMBA: My question to the Minister is, we used to have the policy of food for work which helped very much in the rural areas when people would partake in different developmental activities like road maintenance. Is Government going to maintain that policy so that people can benefit whilst there is development?
*HON. PROF MAVIMA: Thank you Hon. Member for raising that pertinent question. We have two groups of people who receive food aid. The first group is made up of people who are not feeling well, the elderly, child-headed families and orphans. That group receives food for free, it is a group which is always helped by Government.
There is also the second group - the able-bodied who are able to work and look after themselves. This group of people does not receive food for free. From this time until October/November, they must go and work for the food they receive but when the farming season starts, we continue giving food whilst they are working on their farms so that they harvest in the following season. There is a time when they are given food whilst they are working on their farms so that they can get time to work on their fields. That is the only difference which is there. We do not give food for free to the able-bodied. We request them to work at schools, clinics, road rehabilitation and in different communities.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: My question to the Minister is, what mechanisms are there in place to ensure that there will not be any politicisation of food aid as what used to happen in the past?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: This is a question that I have responded to many times over. I have said before that it would not be clever for any ruling party to deny potential voters food assistance unless they do not want those potential voters to vote for the ruling party in the next election. In this particular case, it is not Government policy to consider political orientation as a basis for distribution of food assistance. In fact the policy of the President is that no one and no place should be left behind on any social protection programme. That is how we have implemented the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme.
HON. TOBAIWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What is Government policy concerning location of mines close to residential areas or schools? Is there a specific distance between the residential area infrastructure and the mining claims?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): Thank you Hon. Speaker, can I kindly ask the Hon. Member to ask the question again.
HON. TOBAIWA: What is Government policy concerning location of mines close to residential areas or schools? Is there a specific distance between the residential area infrastructure and the mining claims?
HON. KAMBAMURA: Mining sites should be at least 450 metres away from built up areas, be it homesteads or schools.
HON.TOBAIWA: Thank you very much Minister. I have raised this question because where I come from, there is a mining claim which was pegged less than 50 metres away from Globe & Phoenix Primary School. The school buildings are cracking because of the mining activities.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, if you have a specific instance, please approach the Minister of Mines because as contrary to policy, that has been stated by the Ministry. Can you bring that specific case to the attention of the Ministry of Mines?
HON. CHIMINA: My supplementary question is; what are the authorities doing to enforce those regulations so that the miners comply with them?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Enforcement depends on the complainant. An issue must arise and then the complainant must state their case for enforcement.
HON. MARKHAM: Hon. Speaker, my question arises from the City of Harare stopping licences being issued by its Health Department for businesses within the city. How can the city racially profile people with IDs ending with 00 and stop businesses? It is nearly two weeks now and they have stopped issuing health licences. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. It would appear that this is an incident that is taking place currently and I will pass on the question to the relevant Ministry to look at it.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you pass it on to the relevant Ministry for a written response to the question.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I was going to ask for a written response to the question. I would just like, on a point of clarity, to state that there are two people at the new so-called Highlands Mall which has just opened, who are being threatened to be kicked out because they cannot open their businesses due to one licence from the City of Harare. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. Your question will be referred to the Hon. Minister of Local Government for a written response. Having said that, it is the duty of this august House to streamline the licencing regime so that those who want to invest do not have to go from office to office looking for various licences in order to engage in their businesses. Have that at the back of your mind so that we can rationalise the licencing regime.
HON. MUNENGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, baba Mavima.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a slight correction. In this House we do not refer to vanababa or babamudiki. The Hon. Minister is Prof. Mavima. I know that is being respectful in our vernacular language and culture but follow our colonised Standing Orders.
HON. MUNENGAMI: My apologies Hon. Speaker. My question to the Hon. Minister is; what is it that Government is doing with regards to the two day strike which has just been announced by the teachers, which obviously is going to affect the students learning programme considering that other institutions like nurses, doctors and other civil servants categories have embarked on strikes and Government has listened to their grievances; but it seems as though teachers grievances are not being listened to by the Government? Please help us by answering that question.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Let me thank Hon. Munengami for that important question. Hon. Speaker, there are currently intensive consultations that are going on with all representatives of civil servants. Comprehensively for the first time in actual fact, all the associations and unions have been willing to come to the table. I have already held a meeting with them and another meeting is scheduled for Monday next week so that we can discuss this issue.
Hon. Speaker, I think it would also help the House to know that there have been regular reviews of conditions of service for civil servants. This year alone, there have been at least three interventions to improve the conditions of civil servants. Government keeps the option of negotiation open all the time and it is in this spirit that we have the current consultations that are taking place and I am sure these consultations will help us to avert a job action that will be disruptive to service delivery in the public service.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the response. My supplementary question Hon. Minister is that the engagement which you have just started with all the civil servants leaders, will that be in good spirit when currently some of the civil service leaders have been incarcerated?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you clarify whether those that have been incarcerated are part of the negotiating team?
HON. MUNENGAMI: Yes, Hon. Speaker. They are actually the leaders of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association. They are actually part and parcel. In fact, they are the leaders of the union just like any other association.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Hon. Speaker, it is my clear understanding that the matter which has led to those leaders to be incarcerated has nothing to do with their membership to any union or any labour related issue. It is a matter of law enforcement removed from their being members of a union or their having participated in any labour relations matter. When we met, the specific union that has been referred to was also represented in that meeting. So, there is no prejudice whatsoever to that particular union because it was well represented at that meeting. We expect that in the coming meeting, that same union will also be represented. I thank you.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question for the attention of the Hon. Minister is: bearing in mind that this challenge of salaries with regard to teachers’ negotiations have been in continuity for almost three years now. What measures are you putting in place so that when you sit down, you will put this issue to closure bearing in mind that the unions of teachers are requesting Government to pay them their salaries as it was in 2012/13? What chances do we have of meeting that requirement?
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: In labour relations, continuous negotiations and bargaining is the hallmark of that field. Hon. Speaker, I will tell you that on a daily basis, I am signing collective bargaining agreements in the various sectors of the economy through their national employment councils. So continuous negotiation is the hallmark of labour relations in any country. That is how labour relations go and that comes from the fact that hardly do we have a situation where workers are fully satisfied with what they are getting.
Another issue that we should not run away from is the fact that we have had currency instability in this country and therefore, we have as Government, clearly said because of that, we need to have periodic reviews of salaries hence the negotiations that have been taking place. We wish for better stability which I know the monetary as well as the fiscal authorities are working on but before we get to that, we will definitely have to continue to sit down with the workers in the public service just like every other sector is doing in order to make sure that we constantly review the working conditions of our workers.
HON. GONESE: On a point of Order Mr. Speaker. My point of order is that the Hon. Minister is not doing justice to the question. The question which has been put or the import of the question put by Hon. Mutseyami by reference to the 2012 salaries is the big elephant in the room which is the USD salaries. This is the fundamental issue which is really being addressed by the supplementary question. The Hon. Minister’s response is to deal with continuous engagement and so on. It is actually evading the crux of the matter being that the workers or civil servants have been demanding salaries denominated in USD. This is what the Hon. Minister should be addressing in his response because the 2012 salaries during the Inclusive Government were based upon a stable currency. Currently, the elephant in the room is the hyper-inflationary environment.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: The reference to 2012 is misplaced. What we should be referring to is a decent salary for our civil servants. I am on record saying we cannot have optimal service delivery if our civil servants are not motivated enough. So the issue that we should be addressing is, in 2012 I was a civil servant in Government, the salary at that particular point in time was not even what the civil servants have been demanding. What they have been demanding has been a minimum of USD540, that is what they have been asking for and that was a 2018 salary.
However Hon. Speaker, as Zimbabweans, we have to see if we have the capacity to pay that at the moment and that fiscal space is not there. Having said that and that notwithstanding, you will realise that Government has committed to the periodic reviews that I have referred to.
As a nation, we have to make a clear decision as to whether we are always going to be using other people’s currency instead of our currency. At the moment the bulk of salaries and wages in the civil service are paid through Zimbabwean dollars. We have been periodically reviewing these salaries, taking cognisance of the erosion that has been taking place in our currency.
HON. NDIWENI: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service concerning the policy which was introduced on the incentive that is given to the school teachers that Government will pay for the school fees for the children of the school teachers. My question is on the implementation of this policy and to assess how far it has gone because some children are being turned away from school without having paid school fees.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Indeed, at the last review in March, Government committed to pay school fees in public schools for those in the teaching profession. That was communicated to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and what remains is really an administrative issue of saying which teachers, which schools should be paid.
I am made to understand that payment has already been done in some schools but there may be some information gap which has meant that some of those teachers have not received payment for their children. It is a very administrative matter and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should provide the necessary information so that payment can be made but the commitment by Government is very clear. I thank you.
HON. C. MOYO: How is the Hon. Minister incentivizing teachers who have children at universities?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, we have a crop of Ministers here - I do not think it is fair to have them to just sit here and they are not asked questions on policy.
HON. PROF. MAVIMA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Currently, there is no policy to pay for teachers children who are in tertiary education. I thank you.
HON. SHUMBAMHINI: My question goes to the Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement. When is the Ministry going to review the maize producer price which is currently pegged at ZWL75 000, considering the high inflation level prevailing in the country? I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, this question appears to have been answered last week. Check with the Hansard.
(v)HON. MIRANZI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is the Government doing to control basic food prices which are going up daily? As we know, before, Government officials used to move around controlling prices. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. Ask that question tomorrow during the Budget session.
HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. What is the Government’s position with regards to the payments of outstanding balances owed to the 2022 Census enumerators? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very pertinent question, which in my view requires a very accurate answer. I will propose that this question be asked to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development tomorrow so that he can give an accurate and comprehensive answer. I thank you.
The Hon. Deputy Speaker having recognised Hon. Togarepi to ask a question.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I need protection. These people have squandered money from donors. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Since it is not the rainy season, what is the Government policy in relation to the rehabilitation of rural roads? Thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I want to thank Hon. Togarepi for raising such a pertinent question. It is true that the best time for road rehabilitation is during winter where there is no rainfall because the weather conditions will be favourable for the rehabilitation of roads. On the road infrastructure, we have the DDF which is the department that mainly deals with rural roads but right now the state of roads has been declared an emergency. I agree that as a Ministry, council and DDF, we are working together.
The Hon. Member raised the question at a very right time. When the Minister of Finance and Economic Development comes, we must stand together so that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development’s budget is increased so that we can refurbish our roads before the rainy season. Our coffers are now low in terms of money, hence there is need to increase funding so that the roads can be rehabilitated. I know most rural areas have had bad roads for a long time and I believe that tomorrow the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will consider us and increase the funds so that the roads can be rehabilitated. I thank you.
*HON. CHIKWINYA: My supplementary question is that from the plans which you already have this year for rehabilitating roads, while I am adding from what the previous Hon. Member has said, some roads are now in a bad state, council is saying the roads must be maintained by contractors who have been contracted to refurbish these roads. What is the Government policy for the contractors who were previously given the tenders to refurbish these roads?
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also thank Hon. Chikwinya for raising a pertinent question. On the process of refurbishment of roads, as the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, we take roads from councils, towns or rural areas and refurbish them and when we are done with the refurbishment process, we return the roads to the relevant department so that the department continues to monitor and maintain the roads.
This means if it is a contractor who was given the job to construct or refurbish a road, the contractor must maintain the road for a period of 15 to 20 years if the road is being constructed from zero. If there are such roads which need attention, I am happy to know them so that we look into them and encourage contractors to maintain these roads. We do not expect these roads to be dilapidated to extreme levels. If there are such roads, it means that the process of construction was not properly done. I promise this august House that the way we construct and refurbish our roads, we work with engineers and experts who will be monitoring the whole process and give testimony that the job is being properly done. It is this House which monitors all roads. If there is a road which was not well refurbished, the Hon. Member should bring it to our attention so that we attend to it. Therefore, I urge Hon. Chikwinya to bring the issue to the Ministry so that we can attend to the road. I thank you.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is: if a road has been refurbished and the contractor did not do it to perfection, if it needs to be refurbished again, who will bear the cost? I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would also like to thank Hon. Mathe for the pertinent question. Those who are contracted should maintain standards. If they do not perform well, then they are not paid the whole amount because we need to use the funds available to the satisfaction of the Ministry. We only pay them after we have been satisfied that they have done a good job. I thank you.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question to the Minister of Transport is: there are roads which were gravelled long back in the 1980s. What measures are you taking to ensure that these roads are fixed so that accidents on such roads are reduced? I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Hon. Chikombo asked a very pertinent question. I am happy that he mentioned one of the roads which I know leads to his rural area. My promise is for you to tell the Buhera people that the Birchenough Road is going to be rehabilitated very soon. This is one of our projects. I thank you.
(v)+HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question to the Minister is on the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road. When are you planning to refurbish that road because that road is very important? It is the main road of Matabeleland South. I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would also like to thank Hon. Mokone for that important question. She mentioned that Beitbridge-Bulawayo Road is very important, I agree with the Hon. Member. I agree on another phase when we refurbish Beitbridge-Harare Road, we have engaged a company which is working hard to rehabilitate these roads. As a nation, it is one of the roads that we are working on. We also look forward to embarking on other roads after the Beitbridge-Harare Road, including the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road. I thank you.
*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. In his absence, I will direct the question to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government doing regarding title deeds of women who lost their husbands or children who lost their parents? We know in the past, council houses were rent to buy and up to now, some do not have title deeds. What is Government doing regarding this so that such people get title deeds, especially widows and orphans? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would also like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a pertinent question. I remember that in the past few days, His Excellency the President promised that such people will be given title deeds. Indeed, as promised by the President, this is something that is ongoing. There are some procedures that are supposed to be done, like surveys, which will be done by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education under Minister Prof. Murwira. He informed us that there are some areas which have already been surveyed. After the survey, then it will be determined where demarcations are and the like. So I would like to promise the Hon. Member that it is just a matter of time but I believe that if Prof. Murwira was in the House, he was going to inform the House that there are some areas which are already done. What is left after the survey is the issuing out of title deeds.
The Ministry of Justice is also on top of the situation and we are waiting for those who are surveying; the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. I thank you.
*HON. MATSUNGA: My supplementary question the Hon. Minister is that there are some areas, particularly in Mufakose Constituency where people formed groups and they paid substantial amounts after being promised title deeds by the City Council. I understand His Excellency the President promised that the title deeds would be given. What is going to happen to those who lost their money? Are they going to be compensated? We know that there are people who are moving around masquerading as council officials collecting money, and it is now a few years after this has been done. What is going to be done?
*HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me also thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. I believe the Hon. Member said that there are council officials who are taking money. There are two things: if these are council officials, then it is easy for us to make follow-up but I believe that there might be specific corruption related issues. No one is above the law. May the Hon. Member furnish us with such information? We know that there are cooperatives and land barons who were taking people’s monies. If that is the case, there is a committee Madam Speaker Ma’am, that is being led by my office and I chair that committee. This is one of the issues that we need to investigate, so may the Hon. Member furnish me with information so that we follow-up? I thank you.
*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Hon. Minister …
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Matsunga, you cannot raise two supplementary questions successively. So I refer you to the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Public Works for follow-up. Thank you.
*HON. MATSUNGA: Thank you Madam Speaker.
*HON. CHIDAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question to the Hon. Minister pertains to title deeds. We know that there are rent-to-buy houses that were given to people during the 1960s and 1970s. What is the problem regarding the issuing of title deeds because this has been ongoing for quite some time? This is a breeding ground for corruption. From the 60s and 70s for instance, a lot of people do not have title deeds in Mabvuku and Tafara where I come from. What is the problem? I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your question is similar to that one that was asked by Hon. Matsunga and this has already been addressed. I believe that you are going to receive the same answer. I thank you.
(v)*HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would request that we get a Ministerial Statement or a progress report on the areas that are being surveyed by Hon. Minister Murwira. Is it possible for us to get a Ministerial Statement Madam Speaker? These are also complaints that I am receiving everyday where I come from. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Moyo. I believe that the Acting Leader of Government Business will convey your request to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works so that this issue is addressed. I thank you.
HON. CHIDAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage - at least I am sparing the professor. Madam Speaker, it is on record that the Hon. Minister informed the nation that Zimbabwe is losing around 1.5 billion in the gold sector alone. We are also getting several reports of illicit mineral outflows. I would like to hear from the Hon. Minister on the progress of curbing illicit mineral outflows when the country requires those resources to fund the education sector, civil servants and electricity. Can the Hon. Minister update us on what he is doing in terms of curbing illicit mineral outflows?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank Hon. Chidakwa for such a pertinent question, although I do not remember the particular statement that the Hon. Member is making reference to, but nonetheless…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, please may you get connected?
HON. KAZEMBE: Nonetheless, it is a very important question that I will respond to. Madam Speaker Ma’am, the issue to do with the alleged smuggling of gold touches a number of ministries. It requires a holistic approach. We are working together with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development who are also doing their bit to ensure that this problem is dealt with, but from a policing view point. All we have to do is to capacitate our police. We need to capacitate them in terms of resources that they need but more-so in terms of technology.
Our borders as we all know are not that tight and that is the starting point. Even our legal entry and exit points, but as I alluded earlier, I am glad that this issue touches on a number of ministries including the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development who chairs the Port Authority. What we are doing as Government, and not specifically Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, is to ensure that our borders are secure – that is the starting point. This is so that there are no loopholes or points that people can use to smuggle gold.
For example, I am speaking on behalf of colleague Hon. Minister Mhona. There is a lot of work that is being done at Beitbridge Border Post in terms of deploying technology that will make it very difficult to smuggle goods in or out. When you go there you will see that they have deployed cameras, surveillance systems and access control systems. Those are efforts to ensure that our borders are tight. Even our own airports, the new airport, with your indulgence Minister Mhona can add to what I am saying. The new airport includes the latest technology in terms of security. It will detect almost anything and it will be very difficult, next to impossible rather to smuggle in or smuggle out. So those are some of the efforts that Government is making.
Then internally, it is also critical to ensure that our police are resourced. Our police have all the equipment that they require. They have vehicles and all the necessities to ensure that they can enforce the law. I am also aware that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development is also amending the Mines and Minerals Act to ensure that those loopholes are closed.
HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am. My point of order is that the Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services is deliberating on the same issue of illicit financial flows. The report was being discussed in the Committee on Monday. The Member who asked that question is in the same Committee and it is not correct for him to take advantage of what was deliberated in the Committee on Monday and bring it here – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is the Hon. Member who asked the question a member of your Committee.
HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Very correct Ma’am, Hon. Chidhakwa is a member of the Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mayihlome.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Madam Speaker, I want to find out from the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs that whereas he refers to the comprehensive approach by various ministries in terms of border control, what is it that you are doing to ensure that there are no sacred cows that are treated indifferently from other ordinary citizens? Reports are awash in the media that an entourage belonging to the First Lady was not searched at the Mutare Border into Mozambique, with chrome passing through without following due procedure. What are you doing to those individuals who regard themselves as above the law?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for the question. First and foremost, we cannot discuss or rely on social media stories. The issue that he has referred to as Ministry of Home Affairs and as the Police, we are not aware of such an incident. However, the issue that he has raised to say what are we going to do to ensure that there are no sacred cows - Madam Speaker, there is no one who is above the law. If there are issues or there are suspicions that are brought to the police, investigations will take place and the law will take its course. I thank you.
HON. NYAMUDEZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question to the Hon. Minister is; the former Head of State made an acknowledgement of about 15 billion which was lost at Chiadzwa. As a new Government, have you followed up on that amount of money and how much have you recovered from that 15 billion? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. KAZEMBE: I would like to thank the Hon. Member and again, these are issues that we have heard, issues that have been spoken about but as far as the Ministry is concerned, there is no record of such an incident. We do not have that issue on record but we have heard and read about it. If the Hon. Member has facts, they can assist the police and investigations can be made.
(v)*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. What are the plans of the Government regarding the sending of grain to the Grain Marketing Board so that farmers are compensated for their grain especially that they go to GMB depots instead of selling along roads. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Let me thank Hon. Nyabani for the question. This is similar to a question which was raised by another Hon. Member. The Hon. Member wants to know the prices of grain because this is what might be prompting people to sell their grain to middlemen instead of taking grain to GMB depots. May the Hon. Member look at the Hansard because this question was addressed by Hon. Minister Dr. Masuka. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nyabani, may you please refer to the Hansard. The question was addressed by the responsible Hon. Minister.
HON. MATHE: Madam Speaker, I think I feel offended when a male person asks whether I am pregnant or not.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mathe, who asked such a question?
HON. MATHE: It is Hon. Chidhakwa.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you please withdraw that.
HON. CHIDHAKWA: It is not true Madam Speaker, I did not say anything, you can refer to the Hansard.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
HON. T. ZHOU: On a point of Order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of Order Hon. Zhou?
*HON. T. ZHOU: Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. I think there is need for reorientation of Hon. Members about ethical issues because some Hon. Members are chewing bubble gum here, this is not allowed in the House. I thank you.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think House decorum does not allow Hon. Members to chew bubble gum in the House - this is not allowed.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
POLICE STATION IN MBIZO
- HON. CHIKWINYA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House on the following:
(a) When would the Ministry construct a police station in Mbizo 15, Kwekwe?
(b) Measures being taken by ZRP to curb abuse of drugs and dangerous substances in Mbizo, Kwekwe; and
(c) When would the Ministry provide additional vehicles to ZRP Mbizo to enhance police patrols, especially during the night?
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank Hon. Chikwinya for the question. He wants me to inform the House on the following: when the Ministry would construct a Police Station in Mbizo 15, Kwekwe.
I would like to start by thanking the Hon. Member for the question. I must stress here that it is not just the Government’s desire but also commitment to ensure that members of the public have unlimited access to police services. It is thus pertinent for me to highlight that there are a number of factors that determine the need for the establishment of a police station - these include; but are not limited to; demographic changes within a particular locality: crime levels, patterns and trends, distance between other existing local police establishment and locations of the proposed new establishments.
From my interaction with the Commissioner-General of the police, I am reliably informed that Mbizo 15 is situated within one of the existing Mbizo police station’s patrol areas. According to police analysis as of now, there is nothing to necessitate a police establishment independent of the existing Mbizo Police Station. In addition, my Ministry has been finding it prudent and noble to focus more on fully resourcing current establishments, to enhance their capacity to deal with dynamics in the police environment as opposed to pursuing an expansionism path. Notwithstanding that Hon. Speaker Ma’am, may I hasten to reassure the Hon. Member that should a need be felt in the future, my Ministry stands ready to accord it due consideration in line with the Government’s motto of leaving no one and no place behind.
On question (b), the Hon. Member wants to know measures being taken by the ZRP to curb abuse of drugs and dangerous substances in Mbizo, Kwekwe. I must concede that the proliferation of abuse of drugs and other dangerous substances is indeed worrisome and a cause of great concern to all who care for the future of this country. Our country is both a consumer and a transit point for these dangerous drugs.
In my briefings with the Commissioner-General of the police, I have been reliably informed of a battle of policing initiatives that police have undertaken not only in Mbizo, Kwekwe but also across the length and breadth of the country with a view to curb this scourge which is a trans-national crime. Such initiatives include among others, awareness campaigns and public gatherings, schools and also through print and electronic media, motorised foot and psycho-preventive patrols, mounting of security roadblocks and conducting stop and searches.
To this end, I would like to appeal to all of us here as concerned parents to use our revered social standing in influencing behaviour change in our respective constituencies to fight this social ailment. It goes without saying that the magnitude of this problem cannot be left with the police alone, but demands a holistic approach through a multi-stakeholder collaboration at all levels across the country social stratum.
On the (c) part, the Hon. Member wants to know when the Ministry would provide additional vehicles to ZRP Mbizo to enhance police patrols especially during the night. Vehicles are part of the critical tools of trade for use in ensuring efficient and effective policing. Let me reiterate what I once said on this same forum and not very long ago, that ideally, a station needs at least three vehicles to meet its operational needs. At the present moment, most police stations do not have vehicles at all. My Ministry is continuously lobbying Treasury to expedite the acquisition of vehicles for police stations throughout the country. In fact, the process is in motion and at an advanced stage. I am pleased to mention that ZRP Mbizo does have a police vehicle, a Toyota. I can never agree more with the Hon. Member that additional vehicles are required but for now, my Ministry is working very hard to ensure that those stations that do not have even a single cab are given priority. We have so many of such stations. In Midlands Province alone, police stations like Gweru Central, Shurugwi, Gokwe and Charandura are typical examples. In addition Madam Speaker Ma’am, I am aware that Treasury as we speak is in the process of finalising the procurement process of additional vehicles. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the response. Hon. Speaker, when Members of Parliament come with specific questions, it is arising from the need from a constituency perspective. We expect the answers to be specific to that particular constituency. Allow me Hon. Speaker to express my reservations over the generality in nature of the responses given by the Hon. Minister. Hon. Speaker, when I asked when a police station is going to be constructed in Mbizo 15, it was after consultation with the police leadership in Mbizo. They said we have a police station that is now earmarked for Mbizo 15, can you go and liaise with the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs for him to expedite that. You have literally withdrawn and reversed that whole scenario. I did not just choose Mbizo 15 out of my own head. It is because I had been given that direction by the leadership of the police in my constituency to say a police station has been approved, which satisfies all those conditions that you have mentioned in terms of population, high crime rate, in terms of the need and patrol. So, I beg for an answer that responds to the need of the residents in my constituency.
Secondly, in terms of drugs, you again give a holistic approach. What is it in Mbizo that you are doing to curb drugs because I have never seen a road block and I have never seen stop and searches. We know where these bases are. We know what is supposed to be done but what is it that you are doing in Mbizo and this is what the people have sent me to come and ask you. I can tell you I have been sent by Magwegwe, Dhadha, Zezayi, Gochai because they want to know what you are going to do in Mbizo. Thank you very much.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the follow up questions. Madam Speaker Ma’am, the questions were very specific and I spoke generally after having responded to the specific questions. I will come to the first question - when are we going to have a police station in Mbizo. Madam Speaker Ma’am, for avoidance of doubt, I will go back to just a few lines so that the Hon. Member is satisfied that I answered specifically that particular question. I said there are factors that are looked at by the police for them to establish a police station; I gave that background then I went straight to the question. I said from my interaction with the Commissioner General of Police, I am reliably informed by the Commissioner General that Mbizo 15 is situated within one of the existing Mbizo Police Station’s patrol areas. This is coming from the Commissioner General, who in my view has the final say. I am sure the people that the Hon. Member has spoken to report to the Commissioner General. When I am investigating these questions, I go to the Commissioner General.
According to the police analysis - as of now, there is nothing to necessitate police establishment in the catchment area of the existing Mbizo Police Station. In addition, my Ministry has been finding it prudent and noble to focus more on resourcing the current establishment. In my view, I tend to subscribe to what the Commissioner General said. To also answer the other part that he raised that maybe he has not seen, that is the issue that we are addressing now. We believe that the police that is there, if it is resourced and they have enough vehicles and motor cycles, they should be able to cover that area efficiently and effectively as opposed to building another white elephant. That is how I responded to this question. Nonetheless, I will still follow up on his question to say the people have approached him and the police have approached him. So, I will still follow up but I thought I had answered the question adequately.
The other question is that of drugs which are prevalent throughout the country. This is an issue that we are dealing with not just as police as I mentioned. It requires a holistic approach and it is unfortunate, Hon. Prof. Mavima is gone. There is actually an Inter-Ministerial Committee that was set up to also deal over and above with what the police are doing, to deal with the issue of drug abuse. That Committee, I am reliably informed that it has come up with a Strategy Paper. It is an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Prof. Mavima. All those are efforts to deal with this but as I mentioned, this issue cannot be dealt with by the police alone.
Coming back to some of the issues that he has raised, it appears that he has got specific cases that he is aware of that he feels should be dealt with. In that case, I will invite him to assist me with that information so that I can cause an investigation to be done. I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
HON. NYAMUDEZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon. Minister has said that police alone cannot curb drug abuse. These drugs are being sold in open places and shops. Why can the police not arrest those who are selling them in the bottle stores? Thank you.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. Again, that is exactly what I have said that police alone will not be able to deal with this issue. From the supplementary question, it shows the Hon. Member has information. Police relies on information from the people. So if you have such information that there are people or shops that are selling drugs, I kindly ask the Hon. Member to avail that information either to the nearest police station or myself. What we need is information. That is the cooperation that the police are asking for from the people, in particular Members of Parliament because they are role models where they come from. They are people of influence and they can also assist us to curb this challenge. I thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.
ARRESTS OF ELECTRIC CABLE THIEVES AND BUYERS
- HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage when Zimbabwe Republic Police will arrest the notorious electric cable thieves or buyers in Highfield West who are well known to the residents.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Cable thieves are causing massive economic loss to the country and untold suffering to the public. We have never tolerated cable thieves and those caught are being arrested on a daily basis. As I speak, we are in the process of amending the Copper Control Act that aims at putting stiffer penalties on both the thieves and the buyers of stolen electricity cables and copper utilities.
Having said that, I am always pleading with our citizens and us Hon. Members to report and share information with the police on any suspected cable thieves and buyers so that we take drastic action. It is a personal plea that I am making to all of you Hon. Members; please provide us with information, in particular with this case. If there is information that could assist the police, if there are names of the suspects, may we please be favoured with those so that we can initiate investigations? I thank you.
(v)HON. WATSON: Could the Minister just clarify since he always uses reference to the theft of copper cables and the amendments that are coming to the Copper Control Amendment Act. I feel that those deterrent measures are only going to work if the thieves are actually caught. He has pleaded with us and with the citizens for information. Residents consistently provide and call the police as the cable thefts are in process and they try to catch the thieves at their own peril. The police do not respond in time even when the theft is two or three blocks from a police station, which has happened several times near the Hillside Police Station in Bulawayo. They need to find another way or an Inter Ministerial Committee to deal with this issue. It happens every night.
HON. KAZEMBE: Allow me to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question which I believe is in two parts. On the first part, the Hon. Member was saying the amendments to the Copper Act, whilst they are meant to deter the suspects; she believes that we need to arrest the people. We believe that the initial step is prevention. Prevention is through deterrence and in particular the Bill which through Parliament by the way, I believe the Hon. Member had an opportunity to add input to it. In the amendment, we have put enough deterrent measures because for starters, a good example is; if somebody is caught with copper and they are not a dealer they will be arrested. Even if they are a dealer and they do not have the certificate of origin which is going to be unique they will be arrested. The vehicle that will be used will be seized by the State.
The Bill will ensure that it is not going to be easy for every Jack and Jill to get a licence to become a dealer. You will have to satisfy difficult conditions but this is meant to ensure that we have got genuine dealers and also the numbers are going to be limited. The people who will be allowed to deal in copper will be known. It will be just a group of a few people. The sentences in the Bill are deterrent. All that cocktail of measures, we believe, will deter people. When they are caught, yes they will spend a long time in jail.
The other part of the question is that there is no instant response whenever these issues are reported. It goes back to what I have spoken about that we need to resource our police. Some of the police stations do not have vehicles but I am glad that Treasury is now looking at that. I am pleading with the Hon. Member that when the debate on allocation of funds to ministries starts, please consider the police. We cannot expect the police to react instantly when they do not have resources. When the Budget is discussed, please support us so that the police are capacitated.
RESUSCITATION OF POLICE POST IN GAZALAND
- HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to inform the House when Zimbabwe Republic Police will resuscitate the police post at Gazaland in Highfield given the rise in criminal activities and the proximity associated with the nearest police station.
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Madam Speaker Ma’am, as I have alluded to earlier on, we are in the process of not only mobilising resources but to build new police posts across the country to ensure services are closer to the police post at Gazaland to address criminal activities currently associated with the area. I thank you.
*HON. CHIDZIVA: My supplementary question is that at Gazaland, there is an existing police post. What is missing are the police officers who are supposed to mann the place. So when are the officers going to come back? When we asked Council, they assured us that the building was still a police post so I want to know when the police officers are going to come and start work as there is too much crime in Gazaland because we do not have police officers who are close by.
*HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for his supplementary question. I am going to restate what I have said before that our wish is for us to have police presence in all areas because police is there to ensure there is peace in the country. The more police we have, the easier their job. Yes, the Hon. Member said there is a police post that is there but for us to establish a police post, it is not just the structure that is needed. For the police to be established at any place, they need resources such as cars, chairs and all the tools of trade. We cannot just send a police officer to go to that police post with nothing to use. They need chairs, phones, radios and everything that is needed for a police station to function. Those are the things that I alluded to needing resources which we are waiting to be availed so that we can come and rectify your request. It is also our wish that each place has a police station or post.
*HON. CHIDZIVA: On a point of clarity Madam Speaker, this police station used to exist with all the resources that you are talking about. These were removed when they closed the station, meaning that those resources are there somewhere. What is not there are the police officers and all the resources that were removed from that station and reinstating them so that police officers can start working. It does not even need a supplementary.
*HON. KAZEMBE: I want to thank Hon. Chidziva who is saying the resources are there. If the resources are there, he should give them to us so we can use them. He is thinking that the things are there that is why he said in his written statement when are you going to resuscitate? That means it used to work and when are you going to ensure it starts working again? That is when I said we can only do that if we have resources. If resources were removed from that place, they were not stored somewhere but were used elsewhere because as I speak, there are other police stations without resources. I think these things were used during the years that they were removed. If they were there, we would just get them and put them back there. We have even bigger police stations that do not have adequate resources too. We asked for resources and it is our hope that Treasury will avail those resources. I ask that the Member of Parliament supports my Ministry when they debate the budget so that we get adequate finances to resource all our police stations. I thank you.
WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE
PROGRESS OF KWEKWE-NKAI ROAD
- HON. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development what measures was the Ministry putting in place to ensure that the Kwekwe-Nkayi Road construction does not stall as a result of fuel shortages, which are a major drawback in the progress of this project, which is certainly going to be an economic game changer for communities along the way.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): As you may be aware, the Government, in February 2021 declared the state of all our roads a National disaster, thereby initiating an incentive to the operationalisation of the Second Phase of the Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP2). Under ERRP2, the Government is targeting to rehabilitate 10000km of roads countrywide. This initiative has seen the rehabilitation of major roads and highways throughout the country and efforts continue in a bid to ensure the achievement of world class roads infrastructure in line with the National Vision 2030.
The Kwekwe-Nkayi-Lupane Road is a national trunk route linking Midlands Province to Matebeland North Province and is vital for trade and commerce, tourism and social communication for the locals and Zimbabweans in general. Maintenance of this narrow mat road becomes critical. In line with H.E’s mantra “leaving no place and no one behind”, my Ministry has included the road under ERRP and has a vision of transforming the trunk road into a highway.
Under the ERRP2, works on the road are limited to road shoulder grading and pothole patching. These works are being done in-house and indeed availability of ZWL fuel has slowed down progress. My Ministry has engaged the Government fuel suppliers, CMED and NOIC to assist in this regard and assurance of supplies has been given. Works had slowed down but will continue and I assure the House that they will be completed before the rainy season.
Furthermore, under NDS1, in which road infrastructure development is recognised as a backbone of economic growth, my Ministry is finalising a Public Private Partnership arrangement for transforming the trunk route into a modern highway. Implementation will be done after all due diligence is carried out. PPPs are increasingly seen as a mechanism to develop infrastructure on a cost effective and sustainable basis and if properly managed, PPPs have a potential to unlock the much needed financial resources to fund public projects.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 to 5 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 6 has been disposed of.
HON. CHIBAYA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE BENCHMARKING VISITS TO KENYA, ZAMBIA AND GHANA ON EDUCATION FINANCING
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on Motion on the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the Benchmarking visits to Kenya, Zambia and Ghana on Education Financing.
*HON. MUTAMBISI: I would like to add my voice to the report on the benchmarking visit to Zambia on the education sector which was presented by Hon. T. Moyo. I was part of the delegation that went to Zambia. On our tour, we discovered that their education system is similar to ours, particularly looking at free education. Their challenges are similar to ours. However, their Government is doing its best in providing free elementary education. The Government is limited by resources and parents of students come in to complement Government’s efforts.
We also discovered that they have feeding programmes which are similar to our local feeding programmes. In Zimbabwe, it is only at the elementary stage in primary education but in Zambia, even secondary education students have feeding programmes, particularly for vulnerable households. We also noted that in Zambia the school authorities support horticultural projects with funding. This is a challenge that we face in Zimbabwe where we find Government supporting schools with grain but relish is the responsibility of schools and parents. The suggestion then is that schools should embark on income generating projects and irrigation projects which will complement food security in schools.
We also noted that in Zambia, there is inclusive education which is also happening in Zimbabwe where we find disabled children in co-existence with other children but the difference is that those who have serious impairments like the totally blind and deaf and dumb are taken to special schools. We also have such special schools in Zimbabwe such as Morgenster and Kapota. So, the recommendation then is that Zimbabwe should train teachers so that they are able to handle those who have different disabilities, for example those who are taking Braille lessons, and the deaf and dumb who need hearing aids.
Looking at sanitary wear, we are more advanced than Zambia. The Zambian authorities are busy working on providing sanitary wear in schools but Zimbabwe is already far ahead. You find that in other schools we might be far ahead but sometimes we distribute the sanitary wear late. For instance, if they open schools in January, you would find them receiving their sanitary wear in May.
Going back to Zambia, we noted that learners who fall pregnant are given six months maternity leave. They are allowed to breastfeed for that particular time and they are then co-opted into the education system. However, in Zimbabwe we have a policy of re-admission of pregnant learners in schools and that is where we are different from Zambia. In Zambia, if a boy impregnates a girl, both the boy and girl go for maternity leave for six months. This should also happen in Zimbabwe so that we curb the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in schools. This will assist in the rehabilitation of learners for both boys and girls.
I do not have much to say but I know other Hon. Members are going to add to my contribution. We learnt a lot which culminated in us generating recommendations towards the successful implementation of positive education in schools. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Hon. Speaker, let me hasten to appreciate the efforts by the Committee on Primary and Secondary Education that undertook a study tour to Zambia. Let me thank them for the wisdom in choosing Zambia as their destination because Zambia is now becoming a role model of leadership in Southern Africa. Zambia is now showing us the way on how to do things and I am sure that is why the Committee in their wisdom chose Zambia. I did not choose Zambia. It is the Committee that chose Zambia because they know that Zambia is setting the pace and standards in every sector since they made a wise decision of voting in a good leadership. It is Zambia - it is not me who chose that destination.
When it comes to the education sector, we may waste money going to these study tours in various other countries when the solution is at our door step. We must simply go back to the standards which we found as we celebrated independence on 18 April in 1980. What is it that we did and where did we go wrong? I thought our report, in its conclusions and findings, was supposed to say everything that what has gone good in Zambia is because they have copied what we were in 1980 as we took over this country from Ian Smith. Zambia is simply copying what Ian Smith did and they are doing well. We must also do the same not to copy what Ian Smith did but to do better that Ian Smith.
Why is it that we are now presiding over an education sector where a teacher is earning ZWL44 000 which is equivalent to USD50? Why is it that we are celebrating an education sector where a whole Committee comes back and the biggest milestone they manage to see is how pregnancy is managed in other countries?
I think as a Parliament, if we want to become serious, let us ask ourselves the difficult questions and let us not look further than the same stakeholders who are in the education sector and these are the teachers themselves who are going to tell us the answers.
A week ago, the State newspaper screened that the New Dispensation has built 1200 schools. I want to challenge the Committee on Education to make a study tour within this country and report back to this Parliament that where are these 1200 schools; which means that they were building one school per month and in which constituencies? I come from Mbizo, there is no such…
HON. T. MOYO: On a point of order! Can the Hon. Member stick to the report. He is disgracing and diverting from the report.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO): No point of order.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for that polite dismissal of the nonsensical point of order which does not arise as I speak.
Hon. Speaker, we are governed by a State where the media is a fourth member of the State. So, if the State media screens that we have 1200 schools having been built by the New Dispensation, this Parliament playing its oversight role must begin to question where. That speaks to the infrastructure of the state of our education, so it boggles one’s mind if an Hon. Member from Chireya wants to say that I am out of order when I am playing my oversight role to say your report speaks about the state of education in our country. The state of education cannot escape the number of schools in our country. I am sure when you went to Zambia, in your report; you reported the per centum or number of schools as per the learners. In Zimbabwe, we are having a ratio of 1:60 and in other cases 1:80. So, how do you expect our education to become qualitative when you have such quantitative individuals in a particular classroom where the recommendation is supposed to be 1:35 or 1:40?
So, in the recommendations of the Committee which we are supposed to adopt and must make sure that the Ministers implement through, is that one of the critical factors is that we are supposed to reduce the number of teacher to pupil ratio back to 1:40. This must be seen by a realisation and practical aspect of building schools in our constituencies.
In my constituency Mbizo where the voting population is now standing at 33 000 and where the resident population according to the latest census is 117 000, we only have two high schools and five primary schools. It cannot be; I am sure when you went to Zambia the teacher to student ratio was not more than 1:40. When we rise as SADC countries following the leadership of Pan-African Parliament President Chief Charumbira who is now a Zimbabwean heading the Pan-African Parliament; to say we must all emulate Zambia in terms of electing our leadership, we must elect a leadership that is responsive to the people’s needs so that our currency has value, education becomes strong and we begin to export maize. Currently, we are importing maize from Zambia, so it is a disgrace.
So, Hon. Speaker, I just thought I wanted to support the Committee in their wisdom of looking to Zambia instead of looking east.
HON. MADHUKU: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think it is very important to note that education is very critical in the life of all human beings and that it is a right to every learner even during times of emergencies. Education is life saving, it also restores a sense of normalcy and security for all learners and children, as well as also providing key entry points for all other sectors including the humanitarian responses like protection, health and nutrition.
Like what the Chairperson reported that Section 75 (1) of our Constitution makes it mandatory that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to a State funded basic education including further education, so this is very critical because as I will discuss later on, I will emphasise also the need for financing further education.
For the benchmarking visits, it was an eye-opener. We wanted to look at some of the best practices so that we can also implement them here in Zimbabwe. So specifically for Ghana, it is very critical that we learnt that there is free education, no tuition at all is paid by learners and libraries are built at every school by the State. Science centres and computer laboratories are also built for every school. Also, examination fees is paid in full by the State, free text books provided as well as free meals, which is very critical.
In Kenya, we also learnt something which is very important that the Ministry of Education’s budget excludes salaries for civil servants. This is very critical that the budget excludes salaries. The salaries for teachers are paid by the Teacher Service Commission and this is very important. We think Zimbabwe has to quickly and progressively move towards the provision of this basic right and as enshrined in SDG 4, which also talks about inclusive and equitable quality education as well as Education 2030 Agenda which refers to the global commitment of education for all movement to ensure access to all.
Mr. Speaker Sir, having said that the budget for Kenya on the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education excludes salaries for civil servants. I just want to make a small synopsis of our situation here. The budget in Zimbabwe for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr. Speaker Sir, in 2019, 94% of this budget went towards salaries, then in 2020, 88.4% of the budget went to salaries, 2021, 73.1% was towards salaries. So I think here, Mr. Speaker Sir, what we as Parliamentarians have to push for is a budget - big as it is, which was given by Treasury for 2022, I think we will find out that the largest chunk of this budget goes towards salaries.
So I think our two takeaways from the benchmarking visit we had in Kenya is that a larger portion of the budget which is given to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has to go towards the provision of quality education as opposed to going towards salaries. If we achieve that, then we are actually sure that we will meet the SDG number 4 as well as the Education 2030 agenda.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will quickly move on to what my other colleagues have discussed - the issue of sanitary wear. In Kenya, there is a special budget for sanitary wear whereas in Ghana, sanitary wear is placed at secure places easily accessible to the girl child. It is there, it is in abundance and it is placed at strategic positions easily accessible to the girl child. Now my worry, Mr. Speaker Sir is that here in Zimbabwe, we have not reached that level where we provide adequate sanitary wear to the girl child. In our tour around the country, we have seen that there are very limited supplies and in the past, we have seen that in certain instances, the quality of the sanitary wear was very poor to such an extent that some of the girl children refused to get that sanitary wear because of its poor quality.
Now we have very disturbing cases in the country. It is public information that some of our girl children use cow dung when they are on this cycle and old pieces of cloth and sometimes leaves. This is a health hazard. I think it is very dangerous because we end up with situations whereby some of these girl children will have cancer and other related diseases. It is very risky but my plea, Mr. Speaker, is that when I went outside to the gents today and every day when I visit the gents here at Parliament and other public places, we see large quantities of protector condoms in our toilets and they are quickly and easily replenished when they are finished. So my question is, where is this supply coming from? Is it some donor agent or some other organisation kind enough to supply this kind of stuff to us? I think in the same manner that we are getting these supplies of condoms in abundance, I think the same should apply also to the girl children and whomever is buying and providing this supply, I think it will be a worthwhile exercise to ensure that these supplies are also given to the girl children in abundance.
So this is my plea, Mr. Speaker Sir, that we do the same for sanitary wear and as a matter of fact it is a requirement. Actually when the Education Act was amended in 2019, Section 4(1) also made it a requirement that sanitary wear becomes a basic right for the girl child. Our laws have been aligned to suit the Constitution, so in this regard, it is mandatory that the Government has to supply the girl children with sanitary wear.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am also making a proposal that we are aware that it may be a problem to get enough funds to supply the girl children throughout the country but I think we should look forward and ensure that we can introduce something like surtaxes whereby we tax items like cigarettes, alcohol and the sugar drinks. I think if we can have a small tax on these things, some of which are a health hazard, I think we will go far in ensuring that we make the necessary provisions for our girl children. Some of them actually abscond lessons during this time when they are having their monthly cycles so that they will come later after they are through. We cannot achieve quality education, we cannot achieve this basic human right if we are having this scenario, Mr. Speaker Sir.
Lastly, looking at Section 75 (1) of our Constitution which talks about this basic human right of education, I want to address the issue which talks about adult and further education. So we are not only talking about the basic human right of education but there is this aspect of adult and further education which may be ignored, but it is a constitutional right. This aspect of adult and further education, I am looking at it in the context of the revised curriculum which is a competence based curriculum whereby the Ministry introduced new issues like the Continuous Assessment Learning Areas (CALA). So this requirement, Mr. Speaker Sir, ensures that all learners at Form 4, A’ level and O’level carry out certain projects which are going to contribute about 30% of the total summative examination so where one has not fulfilled the requirements of CALA, s/he will not have a certificate at the end of the day.
What it means is that if somebody wants to write O’level or A’level and has not had this fulfillment of CALA, it is not possible. So by way of trying to meet this constitutional requirement of Section 75(1) of adult and further education, I am calling upon the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to ensure that they quickly include this aspect of ensuring that even those learners who finish Form 4 and Form 6 and they do not make it to have a full certificate, they should be considered to ensure that maybe within five years, the same marks for CALA are carried over to ensure they write or those who have not sat at school for formal education are accorded a chance to ensure that they go to the nearest school and ensure that they go through the process of Continuous Assessment Learning Areas so that they are accorded the chance to ensure that they also sit and have a full certificate for Form 4 and Form 6.
I think Mr. Speaker Sir, this is an urgent requirement so that we do not leave other citizens who are thirsty for knowledge who want to learn as our President always says that we should not leave anybody and any area behind.
Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa because he made a pronouncement to say that 2023, there will be State funded basic education in full goes on to ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level, if funds are available. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you.
(v)HON. NDEBELE: Hon. Speaker, I would like to commend Hon. Madhuku, his colleagues, including their Chairperson for bringing to the House such a very good report. They are all very eloquent. They have brought Kenya close to us at home. Their recommendations as well as suggestions for interventions are very good, I think…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Member. On a point of order, what is that Hon. Member? You are out of order. What is it, is it a point of order?
(v)HON. A. NDEBELE: No, I am not because in the past we have been forced to sit here and listen to useless reports on benchmarking from other Committees. This is commendable.
(v)+HON. BHUDA-MASARA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on the benchmarking visit by the Committee on Primary and Secondary Education, led by Hon. T. Moyo. I would like to applaud Zimbabwe for giving Parliamentary Committees an opportunity to visit other countries within Africa to learn from what they do. I would like to look more into the issue of inclusive education. Here in Zimbabwe, we do have inclusive education but after this report submitted by Parliament, we are looking at how we can develop to the level of other African countries.
Looking at what is happening in Zambia, in relation to the disadvantaged children, Government is paying school fees for these children. There are also school feeding programmes in schools in Zambia, Ghana and Kenya. Governments of these countries do put in place funds for these programmes. Here in Zimbabwe, there is BEAM which is paying for disadvantaged school children but however, at times its role ends up being limited because of extra lessons, which is disadvantaging Government’s efforts of ensuring that every school child has a right to education. This is taking us back as a country. If a disadvantaged child is catered for through BEAM but is required to pay for extra lessons, what are we saying as Government? It means these children will no longer be able to learn. As Zimbabwe, we have learned people but we are now ignorant of the next generation with regards to education. In a number of issues we are failing, yet we have a Constitution which is clear on the role that Government should play in ensuring that every child is given a right to education. We have policies, why are we not enforcing these policies?
We also need to look at the Education Amendment Bill (2020), it clearly states that those that are willing to go back to school even the elderly and Government should assist them. Also NDS1 states that everyone should have access and participation to quality education. If Zimbabwe has all these clearly stated in our Constitution, why are we ignorant of this? We need to look back into these issues because Government is surely assisting in this regard but we are somehow found to be lagging behind, especially us who should be the implementers.
Now, looking into the issue of sanitary wear in our country, if you visit rural schools, the situation is so dire. You will realise that you only talk of sanitary wear in newspapers and radio stations or we only highlight on these as we approach campaign time. Right now some of the girls are using cow dung in place of sanitary pads, yet Government would have disbursed money for the purchase of pads. These are some of the issues that we realise that in Ghana, such projects are well implemented. We need to copy from them because the objective of Committee benchmark visits is to improve from where we are.
Going back on the BEAM issue, it is taking back a lot of progress because a number of schools are not appropriately teaching because they say BEAM funds are coming in late. We need to make sure that we take our education sector seriously and do things appropriately because education is our children’s future. Looking into teachers in these other countries, what makes them teach well is because they are well paid. Here in Zimbabwe, our teachers are doing as they please in schools. They are only teaching those children of parents with money. Those that do not have money are not being taught, which is why they are charging fees for extra lessons. As Government, let us see to it that teachers are well remunerated because they have families to fend for.
I would like to conclude by saying such programmes as this one should continue. The Ministry of Education under the Primary and Secondary Education Portfolio Committee should continue to be supported to have such visits so that they can improve on the education sector from what is happening in other countries as we bring them back home. Everything is well stated in our Constitution. Where is the problem? I would like to thank the Chairman of this Committee, Hon. T. Moyo for tabling this vital report in this august House. I thank you.
*HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the report which was presented by the Primary and Secondary Education Committee, which toured Zambia, Kenya and Ghana, sharing and comparing notes on how Zimbabwe can enhance the education sector. The report which was presented by Hon. T. Moyo and seconded by Hon. Sithole was quite comprehensive. We learnt a lot from the report, and the interesting thing is that looking at Zimbabwe, our record from 1980 to date indicates that we have covered strides in the education sector. We are aware that before independence, Zimbabwe had a few schools but as a culmination of the independence of Zimbabwe through the ZANU PF Government, a lot of schools were built around the country. Even when looking at how Zimbabweans are educated, it is a result of the education policies that benefited every citizen of our nation.
Mr. Speaker Sir, there were a lot of Government initiatives or programmes like social welfare and university grants that benefited the Zimbabwean populace. So I believe that the tour that was done by the Committee indicates that Zimbabwe is at par with other African countries in pursuing quality education. I am glad because the findings and recommendations of the Committee indicate that Zimbabwe should emulate countries like Zambia in providing free education. This is quite prevalent because of Development Partners but looking at the report, the withdrawal of support by Development Partners left Zambia in a dilemma.
So I would like to urge our Government that is led by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa that free education should be implemented after doing consultations, particularly regarding the funding of education which is done through the annual budget. From my own point of view, I believe that when we debate the budget, it might seem that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is being given a huge chunk of the annual budget but looking at what needs to be done, you discover that the bulk of their allocation is taken up by salaries, which leaves the Ministry in dire need of resources like books, the construction of classroom blocks and other facilities. I would like to urge the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, through Section 5 of our Constitution which stipulates that every citizen deserves the right to education that we can take a leaf from the Government of Zambia which was compromised by the eventual withdrawal of funding. We need to take note of that because donors might come to help but at times it does not benefit. We want our children to have free education.
The other point is that I would like to urge our Minister of Finance and Economic Development that for programmes like BEAM and other programmes, they should be reviewed so that we understand as representatives of different constituencies what it means to offer such programmes and the impact of such programmes on beneficiaries.
Mr. Speaker Sir, looking at contemporary issues in schools, every term when schools open, parents including myself, are concerned with the exorbitant schools fees that are announced. So the question is; what stage are we at as parents? What role do parents play in paying exorbitant school fees? I would like to urge the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, together with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, I believe it is important that it becomes clear Mr. Speaker Sir, that as representatives, we get critical questions regarding free education.
In the Education Amendment Bill that was passed in this august House, there are words that we find in the Constitution regarding the implementation of such policies. Some people skip the explanation that this is a gradual transformation and not a rapid one. Your Committee’s tour Mr. Speaker Sir, is quite informative even for policy makers as we are already implementing some of the things that we learnt. There are issues like sanitary pads, and the different legal statutes that the Committee learnt about when they toured the three countries. These are some of the things that are already happening in Zimbabwe. Some may differ but this is happening in schools. Some schools are receiving grain, some may be facing food shortages but parents are there to complement Government authorities.
I have noted that in my constituency in Mberengwa East, we have a few schools that have embarked on projects that augment school revenue, and funding sporting activities and other developmental programmes. I would like to urge fellow Hon. Members to continue deliberating on this pertinent issue because education is very important. It is critical for the survival of every individual. The President’s Vision 2030 requires educated people to implement such a comprehensive policy. So we need to continue engaging each other to deliberate on this important issue for the benefit of the Zimbabwean populace, and for posterity, like the President’s common mantra that ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’; our country is built by local people, by Zimbabweans.
When looking at these issues, we need to understand that we need to think deeply on how we can build our nation together as Zimbabweans, finding Zimbabwean solutions. I thank you.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Madam Speaker. We have heard a report from those who travelled to Zambia and Ghana. They were looking at the education system and how best we can improve our education system. It is our wish, if we could offer free education to our children so that they can take care of themselves in the future. I agree with the Committee and whatever they are saying, we must implement - this in our education system as a country.
Mr. Speaker, firstly as Zimbabweans, we must understand that we invested a lot in the education system since 1980. In Zimbabwe, we have well educated people compared to other countries like Zambia and other African countries. Our education system must not be compared with the education systems of other countries. We are educated and skilled. If you compare us to Europe, you will find that we are way ahead of them. We must be proud of our Government because it invested a lot in education, we have a lot of programmes going on and we cannot keep on investing in the education system.
Mr. Speaker, our Government depends mostly on education because they know the importance of education. Therefore, other countries need to learn from us. At various functions, they praise us because of our education system. Therefore, we must not only base our comments on problems we face but firstly, we must be grateful to Government because our education system is of high standard. We represent our country well in Latin America and other countries. Those who embarked on the benchmarking visits can testify that others were asking them on how best they can develop their own education system.
Mr. Speaker, we want our children to have free basic education. We have problems caused by climate change like drought, among others. Farmers are the losers during drought. A lot of money is being used for those problems; therefore, it is very hard for parents to pay school fees. Government is considering all those problems which are being faced by citizens by paying for basic education. The vision is very important; we once did that in 1980. I am one of the beneficiaries of free basic education. Government was paying for its citizens at universities. In those countries that you mentioned, I think the Hon. Members visited schools in towns. If they had gone to rural areas, they could have been telling us a different story that we are far ahead of many countries because they only develop urban areas not considering the rural areas.
In Zimbabwe, we have a problem of doing theories and not teaching them practical. That is why you find many graduates selling airtime on the streets. It is difficult to get a job in Zimbabwe because a lot of people are now educated. Therefore, as a country, we must allocate funds for the development of facilities. Ninety percent of the education budget allocated goes to teachers’ salaries, which means that we are deprived of our basic needs too for example sanitary wear for the girl child and other basic things so as to learn in a good environment.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this needs the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and the Minister of Education to work hand in hand so as to increase the budget and channel funds to teachers and their accommodation system.
They must allocate them new computers, chalks and WiFi so as to give our children basic education. The education system of children in the rural areas and those in urban areas is totally different because others have access to internet whereas those in rural areas are only told what a computer is. That needs to be improved so that they have basic education. Our Zimbabwean education must not be compared to any other country because we are way ahead of a lot of other countries.
Our education system is very good and is protected and used wisely in the country. What is needed is use of practicals to teach people how to implement their degree knowledge in their day to day lives. Others are teaching their children to employ themselves and others are teaching them to look for jobs. A lot of countries change their governments and a lot of stories are behind their education system. Therefore, we must not compare ourselves to those countries. Zimbabwe and Tunisia are ahead of other countries in Africa and so, we must not compare ourselves to others because we are way ahead. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
(v)HON. MOLEKELA-TSIYE: Thank you Hon. Speaker for the opportunity to debate on this benchmarking visit report. I would like to start by congratulating the relevant Committee for this comprehensive and excellent report. I have gone through the report and I have appreciated its findings and also the recommendations. I would like to share some few thoughts on the report and its recommendations.
The first thing I need to highlight is that it is important as an august House to recognise that Section 75 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe recognises that every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to basic State funded education including adult basic education. This important provision of the Constitution should be the guiding principle as we consider this report. Added to that, Section 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe says that every child, that is to say every boy or girl under the age of 18 years has the right to education. It is thus important for us as an august House to realise that the Constitution is very clear and unequivocal in terms of supporting the importance of financing education in such a way that no child is left behind when it comes to accessing education in Zimbabwe.
This report is very important because it helps the Parliament of Zimbabwe to play its part in ensuring that the citizens of Zimbabwe, especially those who are below the age of 18 have access to education through a financing model that is sustainable in nature.
I will start by looking at some of the findings that the Committee has highlighted. Of special interest to me is the fact that the Committee says in its findings, the average salary for the teaching staff or the educators in the three countries that were visited is about USD500. This figure is very interesting because for the last two years we have had educators in Zimbabwe on industrial action, protests and engaging with the relevant Ministry in terms of their employment conditions where they have said they want to revert to the salary as it were during the all Inclusive Government.
Everyone knows that the amount that they have been talking about is USD540. So this report serves to give guidance to the Government of Zimbabwe, to the relevant Ministry to say that what the educators in Zimbabwe are asking is not necessarily an exorbitant amount because if those three countries are having an average of USD500 per month and the educators are asking for USD540 per month, then our Zimbabwean educators are within the average that the Committee has found.
The current salary of the average educator in Zimbabwe is USD50 per month. So I would like to encourage this august House to make sure that they join the educators of Zimbabwe using this report to support them with Treasury to ensure that their salaries are adjusted to meet the average that was observed by this Committee in its findings. The amount of USD540 is closer to the USD500 that is mentioned in this report and the amount of USD50 is far below the average of USD500. I encourage all parliamentarians to unite in supporting our educators. Without basic salaries of at least USD500 per month for the educators in Zimbabwe, this report is not going to be useful to anyone. What is the use of an education system that does not have teachers...
HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. I agree that the income of teachers must be looked at and improved as the Government is doing but for people to continue to say teachers are earning USD50, it is total misrepresentation because when you look at whatever they are getting in ZWD, there is also a USD component which is USD175 that they earn. We do not need to just try to make things very bad or worse when we have clear figures that are paid to civil servants. They need to be improved but let us say facts as they are. Thank you.
(v)HON. MOLEKELA-TSIYE: Thank you so much. I also wanted to comment on the need of providing free education without proper planning. It is important that we learn from other countries that we do not commit ourselves as a country. I saw a news headline that needs the Government of Zimbabwe to plan to provide free education, especially to the primary schools. I would like us to be encouraged as the august House to ensure that we take the relevant Ministry and Treasury to task in terms of the plan that they have. How sustainable is it knowing that every year we are expecting an increase in the number of students coming in from ECD to primary school and secondary school? We would like to ensure that if we were to introduce this policy we do not introduce it and stop along the way due to lack of funding. So, we need a serious strategy and comprehensive plan to ensure that if free education is to be introduced, it is not aborted along the way to the detriment of learners. It is important that Parliamentarians take serious oversight role in ensuring that the plan provides basic primary education, learning from the countries where they started and stopped along the way.
I would also like to comment on the dependence on donors. I think we see from Kenya and Ghana especially, that there is increased effort by the governments of those countries to invest more in funding education. I would like to encourage Zimbabwe to take note and to learn from these countries. As things stand today, Zimbabwe is one of those countries that originally invested a lot in education but of late, it has started to depend a lot on international development partners. I think there is need for Zimbabwe to come up with a plan to ensure that the right to education does not depend on donors. We must learn from the other countries that if the donors suddenly withdraw, we will leave a lot of our learners with no plan B. So, we need to ensure that as a country we are responsible for educating our children.
I also wanted to comment on the issue of sanitary wear. Section 81 says that every child, that is to say every boy and girl under the age of 18 years has the right to education. For that provision of the Constitution to be realised, we must make sure that vulnerable girls, orphaned children, especially rural girls are not disadvantaged when it comes to fulfillment of this right. They should not be left behind because they do not have easy access to sanitary wear. We have seen in this report, in the findings that countries such as Ghana provide sanitary wear for the girl child. Zimbabwe has come up with previous plans or solutions such as introducing duty free for sanitary wear products and so on. However, I think we need to learn more from the benchmarking report as a country to ensure that the girl child, especially in rural communities of Zimbabwe, does not fail to attend school because they are going through the menstrual cycle. It is happening at the moment that some learners who are girl children are not able to attend school when they are going through their monthly cycles. It is important as the Parliament of Zimbabwe that we push that there be a clear policy and a clear strategy around sanitary wear so that learners are not left behind from attending school when they are going through their menstrual cycle.
In terms of inclusivity, I note from the report what we are learning from other countries but I needed to highlight that as a way forward, I do not think Zimbabwe has invested a lot when it comes to children with disabilities. In most constituencies across the country, there are no schools or facilities for children with disabilities. They have to go to bigger cities like Harare and Bulawayo. I feel that as a Committee, they should have emphasised that at least in all the ten provincial capitals of the country, there should be basic secondary schools and primary schools that focus on intake of children with disabilities, including those with mental health related conditions.
As a country, we do not seem to have a clear strategy or policy around children with mental health conditions; they are being left behind. We need more schools to be built in this country to allow children with disabilities to access education. As things stand, smaller towns and indeed rural areas of Zimbabwe do not have schools that allow children with disability to go to school. They are being left behind. Section 81 says no child should be left behind. We need children with disabilities and those with mental health problems to be included by ensuring that there is investment in building more schools that cater for their needs. Otherwise as things stand today, most of them are being left behind because they cannot access the specialised schools that are mostly found in the big cities of Zimbabwe and this needs to be addressed urgently.
I also wanted to talk about the recommendation from the Committee that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should enact an Education Finance Bill. I would like to applaud the Committee on this recommendation and I would like to challenge the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to take seriously the recommendation of enacting an Education Finance Bill and the policy framework that enables Zimbabwe to realise Section 75 of the Constitution.
I realise that there is a deadline of December 2022 and the time between now and December 2022 is very short. I encourage the Ministry to take this matter urgently so that by the end of December 2022, we do have that kind of Bill. We need to support the Bill as the august House to ensure that we help the children of Zimbabwe to access education in line with Section 75 of our Constitution.
I also wanted to look at the recommendation around establishment of the Teachers’ Professional Council by the end of December. I think it is important that teachers be recognised as a very key and specialised profession. We have lawyers, nurses, doctors, engineers but I think for so long, educators or teachers have not been recognised as school professionals. Their terms of conditions of employment in Zimbabwe today do not recognise the hard work that someone has to go through to become a professional and to become an educator. We seem to ignore the fact that if we have to do diplomacy, we have to do degrees to qualify as teachers. They are no longer seen as professionals in Zimbabwe, so I support the proposal to establish a Teachers’ Professional Council that is going to regulate and guide, especially on terms and conditions of employment for educators or teachers in Zimbabwe so that they are recognised as a profession, just like lawyers have got the Law Society of Zimbabwe, doctors have got the Health Professions Council of Zimbabwe. I support the Committee in this recommendation.
I also wanted to support the Committee on the recommendation around 0.5% of Value Added Tax from fuel among others, to be ring fenced for financing education. It is important that as a country we prioritise education. If there are opportunities for innovative financing, let us embrace them. Let us support them and let us ensure that no child is left behind from accessing basic education in Zimbabwe because of lack of financing.
With regards to the extension of the school feeding programme to secondary schools, I have a problem in that recommendation because I already know that Zimbabwe is currently struggling to fund the school feeding programme for primary schools across the country. We are struggling at the moment, so I think at the end of the day we need to set targets in such a way that we should first achieve the milestone of ensuring that all primary schools in the country have a school feeding programme. Once we have achieved that, we can then be able to push that we can go to secondary schools. As things stand right now, there are primary schools that are not fully supported under this programme. So it is important that as Parliament, we support efforts to ensure that first and foremost, every primary school child in this country benefits from the school feeding programme and we can then extend it to secondary schools. At this moment in time, it looks like we are already struggling with the primary school children.
Last but not least, I wanted to encourage the House to support this report, especially knowing that Zimbabwe used to be recognised as a role model in terms of education across Africa. Of late, we have had a lot of losses from the gains we have had initially. We have lost a lot of teachers to other countries and we have lost a lot of teachers to other jobs or careers outside classrooms. We need to bring dignity back to the profession of teaching in this country. We need to bring quality education in our primary and secondary schools. As an august House, it is our duty and obligation to support this Committee report and ensure that this report is not allowed to gather dust and that it is implemented so that it goes a long way in improving access to education for our children and the fulfillment of Sections 75 and 81 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
+HON. MAHLANGU: I will start by looking at the welfare of our teachers which is poorer than any other citizen in the country. However, everyone is a product of the teacher. All of us here are products of the teachers. My request if it was possible, we could return to what it was like in the previous years. Our teachers were treated in a different way. For now, the students are the ones who live a better life compared to teachers. This makes the students to undermine the teacher. We ask that as we are going to have a Mid-Tern Budget, the budget for Ministry of Education be increased so that it matches with the education sector we used to have in previous years.
What is causing our education system to appear as if it is depreciating is that the teacher at times fails to go to school. This is due to the fact that there will be no money for transport. In my constituency, there are areas where the teacher needs to find transport and he fails to board the transport because the bus fare does not permit him to do so. Government should take care of the schools. During our time when we went to school, we knew that rulers, textbooks and pens were found at the school. As for now, the students are supposed to purchase these items on their own, which is a burden to other parents. There are other children who are being taken care of by their grandparents and these grandparents only have the pension as their source of income and they fail to purchase stationery for these students, which is also an issue that is making our education difficult.
I concur with the previous speakers who have spoken before me that our education in Zimbabwe is of high quality. We have a lot of trained personnel who leave the country and they get to be recognised beyond our borders because of the education that they would have received in Zimbabwe. As Parliament, we have to devise means that protect our literate from leaving the country. We need to devise measures that attract our graduates. They should have jobs that promote our education sector.
There are some schools which are in the rural areas which have not seen any form of development. Some of the classrooms were destroyed by heavy winds. We need to consider such schools in our budget. We need to renovate these schools so that we do not create an environment which discourages learning because the students at those schools will end up feeling as if their schools which are constructed by clay bricks do not support their activities compared to those that are constructed with cement. We need to see that we have development.
When the year begins, let us look into the teachers that are going to be teaching ECD learners. These learners need a teacher who is suitable to their needs. I expect that an ECD learner should be taught by someone who is old and mature, someone with care so that the children can quickly adapt to the learning environment and be able to grasp the lessons. The teacher should also understand the way these students communicate because their minds will still be developing. They need a teacher who acts as a parent and who understands their different needs at every time.
I will come to the BEAM Programme, I ask the Minister of Finance to make sure that funds are released to the schools at the beginning of the year so that the schools can be able to develop themselves and buy their provisions. As I am speaking right now, the funds for this year have not been released and the schools are closing for the second term next week. Third terms will commence before these funds have been paid. I would like to thank the Committee on Education because there are other things they found outside the country that they would want to be implemented in our education system. When we are developing our budgets, we need to channel more funds to our education. I thank you
HON. DUTIRO: I would want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution on the report on the benchmark visit which was conducted in Zambia, Kenya and Ghana. I am very delighted as a result of the fact that most of our nationalists were educated in these three countries that I have mentioned and one of the popular universities is Makerere University in Uganda where our leaders were educated. At the same time, the three countries which the Committee did visit were all former British colonies where we are similar in terms of our education structure, we are all English speaking countries regardless of our native languages that we also speak. I would like to thank the Committee for identifying the three countries along those guidelines. At the same time, I would also want to recognise the historical background of our education system and the structures which were put in place by our colonizers, the British, where they established the education system based on the councils which were the responsible authorities. We have private institutions where private players were allowed to set up schools and we had government schools which were set up as well as religious institutions which also set up educational institutions.
Here in Zimbabwe for example, we had the Roman Catholic, Anglican, local authority – the City of Harare, rural authorities which were also allowed to set up schools and government schools which were set up throughout the country but some of the districts never had government schools, so these religious schools were set up for specific reasons. The private schools were set up for the specific elite education system. When we got our independence, it is very true that we tried to align these various responsible authorities to follow and tow the line as we were independent and as we were following the will of the people to try and align our education system. If you look at the purposes and the needs of these various people, they were actually very different and still remain different up to this very day. We must recognise the historical background and the history of our education in this country and we must also appreciate that we did very well in 1980, as alluded to by the Chief Whip - in terms of us being number 2 vis-à-vis Tunisia. The question is; what really went wrong and when did things go wrong in terms of our trajectory, provision of education, social welfare of our teachers and taking care of everybody else such as the disadvantaged, the disabled and the girl child set up? We must not forget that the rural schools which were owned by the council were the parents’ prerogative to be responsible for making sure that the schools are built and infrastructure is provided for. It was the duty of government to ensure that the teachers’ welfare is catered for.
So, there are two types of monies which are paid at any institution. We have the levies whose sole responsibility is to make sure that the school infrastructure is built, for example the classrooms as well as the furniture. Then we have the school fees where the teachers’ salary is supposed to be paid from. However, when government took over these local authority schools and schools owned by various churches, government took over the payment of teachers’ salaries. To a very large extent, it means that the fees issue was completely eradicated in the local authority owned schools as well as in church owned schools. So we do not talk of school fees when it comes to locally owned schools or church owned schools, we talk of levies. People must learn to differentiate between school fees and levies. In private schools, that is where school fees is paid. In local authorities as well as in church owned schools, school fees are not paid but there are levies where the infrastructure must be built. The teachers are paid by the government. In the private sector, the teachers are paid by the institution as well as the infrastructure. So I think we must learn to differentiate the two.
The issue of us being Number 2 in Africa came upon when Zimbabwe was able to interact and trade with the international community. Things started to change when sanctions were imposed on the country. It is not a secret; this is known by everybody that when sanctions were imposed upon us, our education system crumbled. The Western world orchestrated a structure where they could brain drain the country and make our greatest achievement after our independence to crumble, which was the education system. Our education system is under attack as a result of sanctions. The parents cannot afford to pay the levies to build their schools because it was always our tradition that council schools or local authority owned schools were supposed to be built by the parents and the government was there to support payment of teachers and provision of text books but sanctions did not enable our parents to pay for fees or levies to support construction of schools.
It is not the first time that we have had disabled people in our institutions. We have always had disabled people in our institutions, be it in local authorities, private authorities or in these church-owned schools. The challenge still remained on us to provide some of the social services which must be provided to our disadvantaged people because of our incapacity to produce and manufacture the required commodities. Furniture was always manufactured locally; books were always manufactured and provided by Mambo Press and they were readily available. Schools could access credit so easily, 90 day credit, six months credit could provided - but because Zimbabwe could not access international financing, it became very difficult for schools and the government to borrow to finance the education system.
As long as those sanctions remain as they are, you cannot compare Zimbabwe with any other country which is not under sanctions. Zambia, Ghana and Kenya are not under sanctions. Our failure to speak as a country against sanctions has affected even our thinking because our thinking is helped and improved by education. We must speak with one language and ensure that sanctions are removed on our country. I am calling upon, not only our opposition political party to speak against sanctions on Zimbabwe but to all other SADC countries to speak against sanctions and the impact that sanctions have had on our country. We can talk about it so many times but sanctions remain a major block to the development of education in our country. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. PHULU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to congratulate the Committee on Secondary and Primary Education for presenting such a report which was very clear and articulate on the major issues to be done and had a set of clear recommendations of what we need as a nation in order to up the standard of our education system.
I would also like to reference the submissions in support of the report by Hon. Molokela which were quite succinct in supporting each and every distinct ground of importance and I would like to reiterate beginning with the submission on inclusivity. The recommendation on inclusivity is one which this House must support on the basis that we must ensure that every child has access to each and every one of our schools and now there is a submission that has been put before the House to say that each and every province should have a major school which specialises in catering for those with disabilities.
Over and above that submission, I would submit each and every school, whether Government or private, has an obligation to ensure that it has the facilities to cater for children with disabilities. Whether or not we have bigger schools which specialise, it is incumbent upon each and every school to be able to do this. I say this Mr. Speaker because it is important for us not to isolate those living with disabilities to certain centres or schools which are identified simply as schools as those living with disabilities go. Rather, we should integrate them into our society so that it is normal to live with them on a day to day basis. While I support that submission, I would like to emphasise that these children who live with disabilities should be properly integrated and it should be an obligation for every school; whether private or public, to ensure that they are able, within a certain timeframe, to cater for them.
I would urge that the law should go further and I know we come against a background where we have had progressive amendments to the Education Act which actually caters for this point that I make that every child should have access to education and the children living with disabilities should be catered for. Every school, private or Government school should be given a timeframe. Certainly after 10 years, we cannot be having the majority of our schools not being able to cater for the majority of the disabilities that we have. We need to start to see work in terms of construction, ensuring that the toilets are right, access in terms of ramps, the way we teach, blackboards and having interactive boards so that they can cater for those living with disabilities. The provision of computers and phones that allow students who suffer from visual or hearing impairments for example, to be able to interact and learn at the same time with those who do not suffer from these impediments. So, I really do like to applaud the Committee for this trip and the incisive and detailed report that they have given us.
I would like to move on to the educator, the teacher. Certainly, we support also the observation that we need to do much in order to restore our teachers to the place they used to occupy in society. I went to a funeral Mr. Speaker in Matopo last weekend and at that funeral, an old man did something which is quite interesting. After recognising the MPs, councillors, chiefs and everybody else, he recognised teachers because he said teachers were always occupying a very high place and a place of respect in our society. They were recognised as leaders of communities, not just of the schools were they taught.
I have decided to incorporate that in the way I do my protocol. I should always recognise teachers who are present at that place because those are people who have always, since time immemorial in our country been responsible for grooming communities in our society. Certainly, in terms of their remuneration it would be good if they went back up towards the US$500 that was mentioned as a benchmark or average which has been found within our region. Yes, I did hear Hon. Moyo as he submitted to say the sanctions obviously are a factor but if you look at our Government policies as we craft them towards our Vision 2030, the policies of this Government do not lean on the crunch of the sanctions.
Using what we have or what we are able to master, we should be able to show that we are prioritising the teacher in terms of ensuring that they are well taken care of because it is incumbent upon the teacher to produce the next generation of leaders for this country. Certainly, the ridicule that they have gone through over the past years should be remedied. You get all sorts of people coming back to say to children, look, I am not like your teacher. This teacher of yours that you like or respect so much has nothing and I drive a very nice motor vehicle, wear nice clothes while his shoes are worn out. Certainly, we should move beyond that. I am sure everyone concurs on that. All the speeches that I have listened to, everyone concurs on that point.
The next point is, teachers are a professional council and that is a point which we should support because it moves towards ensuring that the teachers can coordinate and self-regulate in certain matters of professionalism, ethics, conduct and administrative issues. Certainly, we think that it will be quite interesting if that could be given effect rapidly to ensure that we put the teachers back in the place where they belong.
Education, as I close Mr. Speaker in terms of the Constitution, Sections 71 and 85 are key steps of our country. We hope that we move in leaps and bounce in order to achieve these benchmarks that have been put forward in terms of this report.
I thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this opportunity as education is a passion of mine, particularly primary and secondary education. I know that you were quite hard pressed for time but I thank you for having afforded me this opportunity and I would like to thank the Committee for the sterling job that they have done.
HON. T. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 28th July, 2022.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 7 to 12 be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 13 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE INCLUSIVE EDUCATION POLICY (IEP) AND BETTER SCHOOLS PROGRAMME – ZIMBABWE (BSPZ)
Thirteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) and Better Schools Programme Zimbabwe (BSPZ).
Question again proposed.
HON. T. MOYO: Hon. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank the House for the contributions that they made to our report. We got valuable contributions which will go a long way in ensuring that the report is rich. Of particular importance, I need to thank the following Members who contributed immensely on the debate, Hon. Madhuku, Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Josiah Sithole, Hon. Muchenje, Hon. Mutambisi, to mention just a few. I move that the report be now adopted.
Motion that the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the Inclusive Education Policy (IEP) and Better Schools Programme – Zimbabwe (BSPZ) be adopted, put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that all other Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day Number 15 on today’ Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND UTILISATION OF PUBLIC RESOURCES
Fifteenth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic financial management and utilisation of public resources in the country’s provinces by ministries, departments and agencies.
Question again proposed.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for awarding me the opportunity to wind up the motion that I moved on the 10th May, 2022 on the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic financial management and utilisation of public resources by ministries and departments and agencies.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank all Hon. Members who debated in support of this motion and also thank all my colleagues in the Public Accounts Committee who worked tirelessly to compile such a detailed and powerful report. Having said that, I therefore, move for the adoption of the report and its recommendations. I thank you.
Motion that the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the COVID-19 pandemic financial management and utilisation of public resources in the country’s provinces by ministries, departments and agencies, put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Ten minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.