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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 28 June 2017 43-75
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 28th June, 2017
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): I have
received apologies from the following Hon. Ministers:
- i) Eng. Madanha; ii) Hon. Marapira; iii) Hon. Damasane; iv) Hon. F. Moyo;
- v) Dr. Gandawa; vi) Hon. Prof. J. Moyo; and vii) Hon. Sen. Mupfumira.
HON. GONESE: I rise on a matter of privilege in terms of
Standing Order Number 68 and 69. I have noted the number of Ministers whom you have read out as having sought your leave of absence, they are just seven Mr. Speaker Sir. It is something which we have raised time and again and in particular in relation to this sitting. As you will recall, we adjourned on the 22nd June, 2017 to Tuesday, 27th June, 2017. In terms of the sitting calendar, we were supposed to have adjourned to the 11th July, 2017 and today so far, I just see one full Minister and two Deputy Ministers. I believe that all of us must be cognisant of our responsibilities.
It is a serious matter and it must also concern you, where you are sitting that you have got a situation where you have got only eight apologies and you have most of the front bench unoccupied. I do not know why we had to adjourn to this week if we were not prepared for it. Yesterday Mr. Speaker Sir, you are aware that we had under consideration, the debate on the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (No. 1). However, it was evident that the numbers were not adding up. Be that as it may, the point I am making at this moment is to say that the people of Zimbabwe expect us to transact business as and when we are called to come to the House.
However, we must also plan our things. This is the reason why we have got a Business of the House Committee in terms of Standing Order No. 14. That Business of the House Committee scheduled its sittings in terms of which we were supposed to be having a two week break whereby Members were supposed to go to their constituencies. As I speak the Senate is not sitting. They did their things in accordance with the sitting calendar. For some unknown reason, on Thursday, we adjourned to Tuesday when we were not ready for it and it is clear that the Ministers were not ready for it. That is why they are not here today.
I also note that among the Presiding Officers, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker are also not here. I do not know whether it is a coincidence or not. We normally have got live coverage of our Question Time on Wednesdays but today it is not there. What it means in short is that we are wasting the taxpayers’ money. If you look at the cost of having these Members here when in fact there are only two or three Ministers to answer questions - it is clear that we have done things in a haphazard manner. I want to register my protest, speaking for myself and also on behalf of other Members of our caucus that this is not acceptable.
In the past, we have said that those Ministers who are not taking the business of the House seriously must face the music. I know that last week one of our Vice Presidents mentioned this and it is something which perhaps we need to take more seriously and crack the whip so that in future, this does not happen. This is undesirable and it is unacceptable.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Gonese. Your
concerns are noted but you always repeat and repeat the same thing.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a matter of privilege - [HON
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Let me warn you Hon. Members.
This is time for questions and not time for point of orders. Let it be the last one.
HON. MUNENGAMI: The preamble of the Constitution is very clear in as far as – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - valuing Christianity. It is within our Constitution. Every time we have a session you come and sit there and pray meaning that it is important that we believe in God, the Almighty. What we do inside the House as
Members of Parliament also reflects what we do outside as Members of Parliament. In the same vein what we do outside Parliament can also be a reflection of what we as Parliament are in terms of the institution of
Parliament. It is very sad and so embarrassing Hon. Speaker for us as Members of Parliament to go out there when we are in our constituencies and say things which are so blasphemous in terms of our values and our Christian beliefs.
We have got our President, His Excellency …
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): To the
HON. MUNENGAMI: Hon. Speaker, I am talking about the
President. If someone is not listening, it shows that the person does not respect the President – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Please can you keep quiet and respect our President. I am talking about our President, His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, the Head of Government and State, Cde. Robert Mugabe. We have an Hon. Member by the name Kudzanai Chipanga who referred to our President as an angel – Gabriel, an angel of God. That fact on its own to refer to our President as an angel is blasphemous.
Like what I said before Hon. Speaker, what we say outside reflects what we act or do in Parliament. If we refer to our President as an angel, even to go to the extent of saying that when he dies, he will be sitting next to God, Hon. Speaker, vetting people, vetting us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – It is something which we really need to look into. It is something that you need to tell us as Hon.
Members to say this is not what it is supposed to be as a Member of Parliament. We cannot refer to our President as the angel Gabriel. In fact, you have got your name. We have got Hon. Jacob Mudenda who has a biblical name. Can we also refer to Advocate Mudenda as the biblical Jacob? This was very bad honestly.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You are out of order.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. K. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Can I understand what budget is put in place by your Ministry to finance the infant feeding scheme that was introduced by your Ministry?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you. I thank the Hon.
Member for asking the question. The arrangements that are in place to carry out our task of school feeding, as the nation knows, it began last year in May with the infant school level. The infant school level has a population of 1.5 million. In collaboration with the rest of the Ministries that are concerned about the matter, we have scaled up that in May this year to cover Grade 3 to Grade 7 – [Laughter.] – The calculation of grain requirement, that is …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Members at the back, Hon.
Nduna, let us respect this House Hon. Members. You may proceed Hon.
HON. DR. DOKORA: The calculation of the component of grain requirement to the end of term in December 2017 stands at approximately $18.5 million but this is the transfer costing mechanism where grain is delivered to the school system and there is counterpart support from the communities when they are also expected to chip in with relish supplies on their part. There is a further component that we are preparing for, which is the scaling up of school feeding to the day secondary schools but that is going to happen next year in May. In the meantime, we are capacitating every rural day school with at least a borehole, a one hectare drip irrigation plot and some solar panel as part of our Triple P efforts in the sector. It is a burden that we all share.
HON. K. SIBANDA: What about urban schools? What benefits are they getting from that scheme?
HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I thank the
Hon. Member for being particular about the urban circumstances. When we began school feeding at the infant level last year, the urban sector was excluded except where there was confirmed hardship. For instance, in the areas in Harare, I can cite the areas in Epworth. Those were identified under ZIMVAC as requiring this kind of measure. However, Government has since mainstreamed school feeding so that every school now at the levels I have just spoken about should be participating. Where they are not, my system should certainly take the corrective necessary measures so that they are incorporated. I thank you.
*HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. There is an issue of food that is being distributed in constituencies in line with the drought mitigation programme. From what I know, that programme was stopped in May. I wanted to ask and request that this programme be continued for the next three months, that is June, July and August because currently, the maize that is being harvested still has high moisture content and people are not able to take their maize to the mill in order to get mealie-meal. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that people continue to have maize meal until the moisture content for the maize is good enough?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE,
LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG.
MATANGAIDZE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Nduna for his question. It is true that the drought prompted food mitigation programme ended in May. What we are doing currently as the Government, is to do an assessment known as ZIMVAC which shows us how many people were able to harvest, how many will face challenges and those needing assistance. You will also realise that there are areas that were affected by the floods and such areas need continued support. Right now we are assessing where assistance is needed through the report that I talked about and we will continue to assist those areas as I mentioned. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. NDUNA: How long does it take for those plans that you have to take off to ensure that our people are not affected by hunger and poverty?
*HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: The ZIMVAC report should be
in this august House in the next two months. We should have the figures by then even though it does not mean that if there is an area that makes a distress call, we will sit idly. We will go and assist. If there are such challenges, we will assist as a Ministry.
HON. PHIRI: There are those who have been receiving food aid especially those living with disabilities and vulnerable orphaned children, for all these days they have not been getting anything. What measures have you put in place to ensure that these are guaranteed of supplies because they have not received food aid in the past few months?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: We have vulnerable groups in
our society; those living with disabilities, child headed families and those with chronic diseases. All these people are on registers that we maintain as a Ministry. We have continued to give and we will continue to do give them food assistance. The programme that was there last year had been initiated after the President had declared a state of disaster thus giving us the mandate to give food. After this year’s harvest, we are assessing if all people are now able to feed themselves. We want to see if there are any who are not able to feed themselves, however those who are on our registers that we update now and again, we will continue to render our support as usual.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chinamasa. Considering our interface by way of policy with the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund and considering the fact that we have been complying with the requirements that they have raised, what is the current position and grand plan that now exists between our country and these institutions?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): The Hon. Member is
asking what our relationship is with the World Bank and the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The short answer is that we cleared our arrears last year to the IMF in the sum of around US$107.9 million. We are now in the process of seeking to clear our arrears with the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Those two institutions are ready to receive our money and we are in the process of mobilising the necessary resources. In short, it is work under progress.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, one of the reasons why
our relations keep strained with the international financial institutions is because of fiscal indiscipline that has been highlighted by international financial institutions for a long time. These indisciplines include unlimited borrowing on the market not for productive purposes, uncontrolled expenditure including unnecessary foreign travel. What are you doing as Treasury to ensure that you reduce the fiscal indiscipline that is currently prevailing in our economy?
HON. CHINAMASA: The Hon. Member is not correct to say
that there is fiscal indiscipline. The challenge we have is to contain expenditure and a lot of that expenditure sometimes is necessary but of course, we said we have to live within our means. That expenditure is sometimes necessary. Some of it is constitutional and we inherited it through our Constitution. We inherited a very large bureaucracy, a very large Parliament, lots of Commissions and provincial entities. All these need to be funded and it is a constitutional obligation. When I now seek to fund them, it is called fiscal indiscipline. It is not so. I am merely meeting the constitutional obligation that I have; to meet Government expenditure and programmes.
The Hon. Member is wrong to say that the borrowing is totally to do with consumption. Yes, I do borrow to pay wages but I have tried to balance what goes to consumption and what goes to physical infrastructure. The House will want to know that the completion of the Tokwe-Mukorsi was done from the budget – from borrowing and a lot of the support that we are giving to the private sector is a result of some of those borrowings. We identified key private sector players whom we considered, if supported, could revive their operations. I can only mention one or two; Cairns and Rio Zim. These are not consumptive; they are in the productive sectors. They have been revived, they are creating employment and that is the way we have been managing.
In short, I want to say that our problem is fiscal deficit because of huge Government bureaucracy over which we have very little control. Cabinet has taken a decision by appointing me and the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to address the issue of a huge wage bill and we have been taking measures through rationalisation, redeployment and re-training to reduce that deficit. We are beginning to observe some savings from the measures that we are undertaking. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. MUKUPE: My question is directed to the Minister of
Finance and Economic Development…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, I thought you were standing up for a supplementary question.
HON. MUKUPE: No, I have a new question.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I have not recognised you in that
context. I gave you a chance for a supplementary, you were not answered?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It is a supplementary question Mr. Speaker. Thank you Hon. Speaker. I appreciate that the Hon. Minister is a lawyer by profession and not an economist. Therefore, he might not have a good grasp of everything that has got to do with financial matters.
However, Hon. Speaker, my question to the Hon. Minister arises out of a report that came from both the IMF and the World Bank. I appreciate that the Hon. Minister and his department have been using some of the borrowings on productive purposes. However, they are noted, I do not even need to list them, issues of fiscal indiscipline that are taking place in the economy. What is Treasury doing to ensure that it reduces those issues of fiscal indiscipline that are negatively affecting the economic growth? I can give a number of examples Hon. Speaker.
For example, in terms of borrowings that are happening for infrastructure development, we are seeing that most of the money being borrowed is escalating - the project funds are actually escalating. Let us say the project figure is given as $500 million, you will find that by the time the project completes, it will be around $800- $900 million and that is fiscal indiscipline. We are seeing a number of losses and leakages of funds as has been highlighted by the audit. We are seeing a lot of unnecessary foreign travels that are happening and a number of Treasury
Bills being issued in the market. Those are examples Hon. Speaker …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, I think the Minister has covered almost what you are repeating there. – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA:
No, he did not cover…] – He did.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: He concentrated on other borrowings. I am speaking specifically to issues that have got to do with fiscal indiscipline. What is the Hon. Minister and Treasury doing to ensure that we reduce fiscal indiscipline so that we can see economic growth again and we reconnect our relationships with IFIs? Thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the Hon. Member
needs to be fair on us. If he is alleging fiscal indiscipline, please let us have specific allegations so that I can do justice and respond to it. You can do it through Oral Answers to Questions with Notice or through a motion. I can then specifically respond to a specific allegation and see whether I agree with you or not on whether it is an act of indiscipline. How can I respond to you when you put it in general terms?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am merely asking the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that I can go and investigate whether it is an act of fiscal indiscipline or not. The indiscipline I know basically is that there are some businesses that are operating without opening bank accounts. There are also businesses that are transacting business without banking their cash but if you are talking about fiscal indiscipline, please spell it out and I will respond.
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, I wish to acknowledge the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery, of students and lecturers from
Bulawayo Technical College and Bulawayo Metropolitan Province. You are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. D. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Hon. Dr. Dokora. Hon. Minister, what is Government policy as regards child to book ratio, both primary and secondary?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker and I
thank the Hon. Member for raising the question. In the education sector, we talk about teaching and learning materials. It is no longer a monoculture of the book because you can have a lot of your teaching and learning materials loaded on a tablet. So we have to ask a different question, the adequacy of teaching and learning materials, but simply to ask if there is a policy on child and book ratio cannot answer to the circumstances that obtain in my sector right now. I thank you.
HON. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, some of the schools that I
represent do not even have those IPads or computers. What is the policy regarding books in schools? We have noticed that there are no reading books in schools. It is 15 students per book, what is the policy Hon.
Minister on books?
HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for rising to make the same point that I have just responded to. I think I am on record on the floor of this House saying that we have invited schools to make their indications on teaching and learning material requirements for their various schools. I have put it clearly to all our systems that we have US$9 million for which the schools have made their indications and the procurement processes are underway. I thank you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, a few years ago with the assistance of UNICEF, you introduced a programme to capacitate and develop teachers especially those who teach languages such as Tonga, Nambia and Venda. These were enrolled in such universities as the Great Zimbabwe University and we realised that most of those teachers were expelled from the colleges in the last semester. What is the position with regard to that programme of capacitating teachers in order to improve the quality of education? I thank you.
HON. DR. DOKORA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for keeping close to the activities of my Ministry. I would like to share with the Hon. Member and the House that, yes there were some discords in the arrangement of settling our termly payments with one of the universities. I think it may not be fair to mention the university by name but that has since been sorted out and the 3 000 teachers are continuing with the five cooperating universities.
Further, in the course of this year, we should be confirming more than 800 of them from the universities who are graduating on the various programmes that we have supported them on, including in the indigenous languages. Thank you.
HON. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Minister, I will go back to the question on books. What is the policy on the availability of those gadgets which you are talking about? Again, what is the policy on the availability of those books in the libraries of schools, taking cognisance of libraries which are in rural areas?
HON. DR. DOKORA: I thank the Hon. Member for the persistent interest in the books and reading culture in my school system. I wish to share with her the same indication that we have drawn attention to, that the schools are invited and have already responded to their requirements. Further the School Development Committees can indeed stock some of the library requirements of their individual schools. They are, and I must say this with the Hon. Member in mind, there are Hon. Members of Parliament who have also been stocking books for library purposes in the schools that are in their various constituencies.
It is my Ministry’s responsibility to say that when they are importing these books; we issue what are called duty free certificates that are granted to me via the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, so that these books can come in for free and go into the libraries of the schools. The specific requirements that relate to our new curriculum, generally those that I have pointed out, schools must indicate. Teachers must say what they want and then we purchase on their behalf.
HON. CHIWETU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Rural Development Promotion and Preservation of Culture and Heritage. What is the Government policy on the capacitation of chiefs for them to be self reliant? This is with regards to motor vehicles, so that they become mobile? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
PROMOTION AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND
HERITAGE (HON. A. NCUBE): Thank you very much for the
question raised by the Hon. Member. The first thing that I can say is that Government gives allowances to the chiefs. On vehicles, that is in the process. Thank you.
HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker Sir, the question to the Minister was clear. What are you doing to empower chiefs and he is telling us that he is giving them allowances and buying them cars. What is your
Ministry doing to empower chiefs so that they do not rely on
Government alone? Empowerment Mr. Speaker.
HON. A. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As far as we are concerned, as Government we are only able to pay some allowances to our chiefs. Unfortunately, we are not able actually give them some monies - maybe to come up with some businesses. It is not provided for in the Constitution. I have already stated that we are in the process of acquiring some vehicles for chiefs only. That is what I know.
HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is
directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon.
Chinamasa. Recently, the Auditor General’s office did a fantastic job by unearthing a lot of financial irregularities in Government departments. Moreso, our Committee on Public Accounts also did a fantastic job by unearthing a lot of financial irregularities. What is your Ministry doing to make sure that culprits who swindled Government money are brought to book, because the Auditor General has been doing a lot of work, yearin-year- out, but we have not seen any action on your part as
Government to make sure that Government finances are accounted for.
As Parliament, according to Section 298, we have got a duty to make sure that revenues are properly accounted for. So, what is your Ministry doing?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, in fact
much of the question, I answered it about three months ago but I can repeat. In Treasury we have established, under the Accountant
General’s Office Department, two units. One to go through the
Auditor’s Report; what you need to understand of course is that the
Auditor’s report which was tabled, we have not yet seen it as Treasury – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible Interjections.] – That is the rule. In fact it is something that I am going to interrogate because we have not yet
The tradition is that the Auditor-General must table it before he gives it to us to comment. So, until we go through it and it is voluminous, we have no basis to respond to see whether we agree with her or we do not. That is the rule. I would have preferred a situation where before tabling it, she can give us a draft for comment before she processes a final copy. In short, the Auditor’s report would be studied.
There is a unit now in the Accountant General’s Office dedicated to studying it and then we will make our comments, then advise this august House what measures we are going to take against those who are found to have misappropriated the funds. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MAONDERA: Hon. Minister, for the year 2016, I can understand but previously reports were being brought out – 2013, 2014,
2015 and some of the issues in the 2016 reports are recurring from 2013. Are you telling me that you have never read the reports from 2013, including some of the reports that were brought to this House where he himself, the Minister, took some money through airtime? It was here in this House when it was reported. So, are you saying that you have not read those reports or you are trying to play to the gallery? – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I explained that before the statement that I made in March, we did not have the apparatus within the Ministry to go through these Auditor-
General’s Reports and it was only through pressure from the Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts that I promised, and we are working together, to put in place people who can study and interrogate those reports so that corrective action can be taken, including against the Minister of Finance and Economic Development for airtime.
*HON. MUNENGAMI: My question to the Hon. Minister is, the
Auditor’s Report, they report here to Parliament and they report to the Minister, but I am surprised that if the Minister says that when the Auditor General commenced duty there was no apparatus for the report that came from the Auditor General. So, I am confused on how it could be that the Auditor General could have reported to him and yet he says he did not have the apparatus to consider the report from the Auditor General?
*HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General does not report to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, she reports to you. As a Government, we are in the process of setting up an internal audit with an internal auditor who will report to me before the Auditor General gets her report. So the Auditor General is yours as Parliament. She is not mine. That is why she never told me of what she submitted to you last week. So, we will also have sight of it in the form that she gave it to you.
*HON. MUKUPE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Where I come from, the high density suburbs, we are deeply disturbed. There are sittings that you hold as Cabinet and you make agreements that this is now Government policy, but we realise that others in the social media say the opposite and that then gives us confusion as to what policy says. My question is related to the issue that was a brain child of the First
Lady Dr. Mugabe on Command Agriculture. What exactly is happening in terms of funding of the Command Agriculture? Right now as a populace, we are confused. We do not know what to listen to anymore.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I will not respond to what people say. I will only respond to the question what is the policy of Government on Command Agriculture.
Government, realising that commercial banks were not lending to farmers and that there is low productivity in agriculture, decided that more resources need to be mobilised for on-lending to the farmers. The policy therefore, is to mobilise resources to on-lend to the farmers, put in place mechanisms for farmers to repay their loans. That in fact is what the Government policy is. In this respect, the support to agriculture is through two ways – the Presidential Input Scheme. With respect to the previous year, it was 800 000 vulnerable households that we supported through the Presidential Input Scheme and Command Agriculture. We also support the cotton farmers to the tune of US$42 million, again through the Presidential Scheme. These are free inputs to the farmers.
Then the Command Agriculture is basically a loan to those who are in farming. Mostly last season it was to support the production of our staple food maize. I am happy to say that the programme has exceeded our expectations, but that is not to say there may not be shortcomings in the programme, we are identifying where and how those shortcomings are about so that we can improve. We have already undertaken the Winter Wheat Programme. We are also going to undertake next season 2017/2018 - again, a Command Agriculture for maize, soya beans and small grains. So, that is the policy of
Government. What anyone says outside this policy, I cannot say.
Again to emphasise, Mr. Speaker Sir, that the participation in the scheme is purely voluntary and people can opt out and can opt in as they wish. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Hon. Minister to explain the feasibility of taking the programme to villages and rural areas because the majority and masses of Zimbabwe are applauding this noble programme. Thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: I thank the Hon. Member for that question, but I need to respond as follows – communal people A1 and old settlement, former purchase areas are eligible for the Presidential
Input Scheme which is free of charge. In the 2017/2018 season we are going to support 1.8 million households. This will ensure that each household will have one bag of fertiliser of compound D, one of ammonium nitrate and10kgs of seed.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: My supplementary question is, since the Minister says that banks have been shunning funding the agricultural sector or rather the financial sector itself has been shunning funding the agricultural sector and also given that Government does not have sufficient funds as Treasury for agricultural funding. What is the source of funds for command agriculture and what is the term sheet for those sources of funds?
HON. CHINAMASA: The structure is that Sakunda Holdings
provides the inputs upfront to be paid in a year when people harvest and then start paying back. Currently, they are now starting to pay for the inputs that they received last year. On our part, because Sakunda is a private player, it requires to be paid an interest and it also requires security. So, we have provided that security and we are paying inclusive 5% interest. I want to say that following the success of this past season, we have now begun to observe the commercial banks coming on board. As, I speak, Sakunda is mobilising the support of the commercial banks because these inputs must be paid upfront to the suppliers of fertilizers and chemicals. So, we have found out that Sakunda is now working in conjunction with about three banks which include CBZ and Barclays Bank. That basically is a structure which is on a cost recovery basis. I want to emphasise that those who are on the database who fail to pay, will obviously jeopardise their opportunities for borrowing in future. We cannot keep on repeating giving support to farmers who have no intention of repaying. I also want to say that command agriculture is helping us to identify serious farmers. Over a period of time, we should have a good pool of serious farmers whom we can support to produce for this country.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: My question is on the fact that the programme on command agriculture was well received in the rural areas when it came but the problem is that the Minister has not come out in the open on what is happening because while other people are moving in
one direction, others are going the other direction yet these people sit together in meetings. What we want to understand from the Minister is why they are failing to understand and agree that this project is good. Yesterday night, we saw lorries parked at GMB to deliver maize yet others are saying there is no maize but the evidence of maize is there.
What exactly is happening Minister, please inform us?
*HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker, disagreements among
people are not a hindrance to this programme because the programme is actually moving successfully. The fact that people are not agreeing and appear like dogs barking does not stop the programme from moving on smoothly.
*HON. SITHOLE: We heard the Minister saying that Sakunda
Holdings is responsible for bringing in resources. I want to know if a tender procedure was followed for Sakunda to do what it is doing since the country’s laws say everything has to go through a tender process. In addition to that, we want the Minister to give us a ministerial statement enlightening us on how the whole process was done.
*HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to understand each other here. If anyone has money to pay ZFC, Windmill and SEEDCO right now as we speak, for the tonnes I require to give to people next week but being paid back next year at an interest rate below 5%, they should come forward so that Government can borrow that money.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: It is so clear that the Minister’s
responses and what he has addressed by way of the subject matter on command agriculture is a matter of national importance. May it be placed before you Hon. Speaker that there be a ministerial statement from the Minister, so that we also have time to engage the Minister, enrich his perspectives and also compound his passion for goodness in the context of our agriculture and also our national economy. This is a special request and I am sure that the Minister is ready to give us a response.
*HON. CHINAMASA: What I have just said is in itself a
ministerial statement. There is nothing else that I can add on to what I have said. Let those with ears hear. I have said everything about command agriculture. The only thing that I had left out was that we are going towards command fisheries, command livestock and command soya-beans. That is the only thing left. Our only challenge as Treasury is for us to source funds from the private sector to fund the programme but they should be prepared to sign a contract agreeing that they will be paid after a year. We signed a contract of 5% interest with Sakunda. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I do not think there
is any problem for you to issue a ministerial statement taking cognisant of what is in the media and what the people are saying. Even though you have repeated this, it is good for you to bring a ministerial statement so that the nation gets to know where exactly you stand.
HON. KHUPE: My question is also directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Hon. Minister, businesses are slowly closing down, the reason being that they are unable to pay their foreign suppliers. They are also not able to buy raw materials from outside the country because they are unable to access foreign currency from banks. Bond notes cannot buy raw materials from outside the country, bond notes cannot pay foreign suppliers and besides, those bond notes are not available in banks. What is Government doing to make sure that businesses have access to foreign currency because this is the money which we need to move our economy forward?
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank
the Hon. Member for the question. Before she goes to town about access, you must access something that is there. So, the first step we are taking is to ensure that there is foreign currency to be accessed. What we are doing is to incentivise those who are exporting. All of us are earning in US dollars but we do not make US dollars, none of us makes US dollars. So, the export incentive is primarily intended to build a larger pool of foreign currency so that we can meet the demands of manufacturers. I recognise the problem you mentioned about shortage of foreign currency to buy raw materials and so on. I consider it temporary in the sense that we have taken measures through the Central Bank to move away from the previous system of an over liberalised foreign exchange market. We are now moving towards a managed foreign exchange market.
We have set out priorities over usage of that foreign currency to address the key priority uses which are importation of fuel and raw materials. We are building - basically we are going towards there. The problems you mention are temporary in my view. I thank you.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I thank the
Minister for the words that he said about lack of foreign currency. From what Hon. Khupe said, there is also shortage of local currency, we realise there are bank queues and in this cold weather, people are sleeping at the banks to try and get money. At one time you were standing there and you said this will come to an end. You also said Dr. Mangudya will commit suicide if it does not come to an end but he is still alive. From what you said it seems like you are backtracking from what you had said earlier, the challenge still persists. Is there anything that is being done by your Ministry to address the challenges because we tend to think the Minister is not aware of the challenges and we think the Minister does not know what to do anymore?
This issue has affected workers, widows, pensioners and even
Members of Parliament have faced challenges in the banks. What is the Government doing to ease the cash crisis or the liquidity crunch in the country? I thank you.
HON. CHINAMASA: I encourage Members of Parliament to use
plastic money. Plastic money is not a challenge. Please understand me Vice President. There is no country that has a policy which states that all the money in the bank should be in physical cash. In our country, the deposits in the banks amount to US$7.2bn. So, it is impossible for us to give US$7.2bn in physical cash of US dollars. For us to get US dollars, we get it through exports and when we get that money, we then use that money to buy more cash from the Federal Reserve Bank in America. The money that we are supposed to buy fuel, we are now buying money for you to use. What I am saying is that each country says about 10% to 15% of bank deposit should be in physical cash, is that not the case? Now, when we look at it, we realise that what is in circulation is in line with about 11% but because of people who do not listen, they are the ones who are taking money, hoarding it and it is no longer in circulation.
The money has to circulate from Hon. Vice President going on to Hon. Chamisa then come back to Hon. Mpariwa. Right now money is not circulating because there are people who are hoarding that cash. We have taken other companies to court that since 2009, have not banked any money but they are in business and acquiring millions which they receive in cash. Those are issues that we are looking into. The main challenge is that you need to change your dirty mindset – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Remove this mindset that you need to buy everything in cash.
*HON. ADV. CHAMISA: The people that I raised this question for are people who are out there who are struggling to access cash. They are in queues right now. If you go outside and look at the bank close by, you will find that they are standing in queues and those are the people who are said to have a challenge in terms of their minds. The Minister said they have dirty mindset – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please, Hon. Members on my
right. If I heard the Minister correctly, he made that statement of dirty mindset in general; he did not refer to anyone.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank you Mr. Speaker. The
Minister explained well but I want to understand on the issue of money that comes into Zimbabwe. Our banks right now, if you get money from outside the country you are questioned and for you to get that money, you need to explain what service you are offering and yet we are having challenges to bring money into the country. If you go to South Africa, if you get money from outside their country, they will just ask if you know the person. Here in Zimbabwe, it seems like there are so many questions asked for us to access that money. What can be done to ensure that we easily access money that is send by our relatives from outside the country?
HON. CHINAMASA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would like to
say that the Security Council of the United Nations has established a task force to counter anti money laundering and what the Hon. Member is raising; the restrictions, the bureaucratic procedures one has to go through before you receive your money or before any money is sent anywhere in the world, are a result of the measures which are insisted upon by the anti-money laundering taskforce which has set up an organ of the United Nations Security Council. This is basically to fight terrorism, money laundering and financing of drugs.
So, yes, the restrictions are very severe but also the penalties are even severe. If our banks do not comply, they stand to be excluded from the mainstream of the global financing system. I thank you.
*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would want to
understand from the Minister that, is it in line with the agreement that we made? If a person gets money from South Africa, a person is not asked so many questions like what happens here, which means there are so many people who are no longer sending money here because the questions are too many. If you are to get money as a consultant from a company outside the country, you are expected to fill in so many forms. Now, if you are an ordinary person, for you to fill in all those forms, you then find other means of getting your money. Does this situation have to do with the sanctions that have been imposed on us? What is happening here in Zimbabwe is not happening in other countries.
HON. CHINAMASA: It applies to all countries but sometimes in respect of the enforcement, they discriminate. In our case, they tend to discriminate on the basis that we are under sanctions. We are a sanctioned country and in our country there are sanctioned entities and that creates more problems for us than other countries, for instance Zambia. However, Zambia, Tanzania, all of us, are members of a 19member group, ZAMLAK which basically enforces within the membership, the rules of the Security Council.
However, I want to agree with the Hon. Member that being a sanctioned country, with sanctioned entities within our country, we are basically perceived, discriminated and sometimes the enforcement is discriminatorily done.
HON. P. D SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Earlier on, the Hon. Minister indicated that there is shortage of cash in the economy because people are hoarding which is true or either they are externalising. That one is a very clear indicator that the citizens have got no confidence in the financial sector and the economy of this country. What is Treasury doing to ensure that that confidence is restored? It is not about putting in laws and arresting companies, it is about restoring confidence. What are you doing to ensure that the confidence is restored so that people can put their money into the banks again?
HON. CHINAMASA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member is
correct that some of our challenges are a result of externalisation and in this respect, we are in touch now with the authorities in countries where our money is being externalised. So, sooner or later, we should have information on who is externalising money.
With respect to hoarding, we are taking measures like I said. Some of the measures could be legislative to ensure that large corporations which handle large volumes of cash on a daily basis, should be required to bank a percentage of that every day. We must restore the relationship with our banking sector. I do not agree with you that these are rising from lack of confidence; I consider them as acts of indiscipline. I thank you.
HON. CHAKONA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. My
question is directed to the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry. With the completion of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, what is Government policy with regards to the development of tourism facilities around the dam? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
INDUSTRY (HON. ENG. MZEMBI): Thank you Hon. Chakona. The
valency between water and tourism is established in our policy but upon completion of the dam, Government has since assigned a multistakeholder team that has gone on the ground, initially to conceive policy and master planning around the asset with a view of making sure that it directs all actions regarding investment into and around the hinterland of Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam. For example, we did not have a fisheries policy; it will be a major element of what is missing currently around that facility. So, there are efforts to get a coordinated outcome through a master plan and it is work in progress. I thank you.
HON. MANGAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question was
directed to the Minister of SME’s but unfortunately she has just left. I also wanted to congratulate her in her absentia, for being appointed the
President for the Committee of Development for Promotion on African Handicrafts, through the African Ministers which is comprised of 27 countries. I thank you.
HON. DR. MUKANDURI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, in his absence, the Deputy-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order!
* HON. A. MNANGAGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My
question is directed to the Minister of Transport. For those who travel from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and South Africa and use our roads, there are traffic signs showing that there are animals or a curve ahead to guide the motorists that they have to be careful when approaching those areas. We want those who come into our country to have such information as they drive, but you will realise that some of these road signs are destroyed and are no longer there. We are requesting that in our Government policy, these road signs be attended to in order to reduce road carnage and also ensure that we have more tourists coming. We want to know where we stand as a Government and what plans are there in that regard. I thank you.
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG.
MADANHA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Mnangagwa for the question. The question that you posed, it is true that in some areas, the road signals have fallen off and are no longer there and visible. Our policy as Government is that the road signs should be replaced if they fall or in the event that they become dilapidated. However, I realise that what causes this is that those who are supposed to attend to the road signs do not have a budget and this derails the time that they are supposed to put them in place. I also want to hammer on the fact that on the road signals, as SADC countries, we need to have the same road signals to ensure that those from Mozambique going to Zambia, when they get to Zimbabwe, they do not behave as if they are learning how to drive because the road signals will be different.
However, that programme is being implemented. If you look at the road signs from Plumtree to Mutare, you will realise that the road signs are in line with the SADC road signs. So, we call this integration to facilitate ease of movement.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.
HON. MUNENGAMI: I humbly suggest that time for questions without notice be extended. Thank you.
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: I object.
HON. ADV. CHAMISA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, you recall that last week or two ago, the Minister of Transport made an undertaking that there was going to be a Ministerial Statement on very disturbing disasters that have continued to manifest on our roads. I am not so sure whether the Minister is still seized with the matter or perhaps it has skipped the Ministry. However, it is a very important one because we want to hear the progress and the measures that are being taken, particularly preventative and curative measures when it comes to accidents that have been a national scourge and phenomenon.
So, I am just asking if the Ministry is ready with that statement. If not, in terms of the chronological element, when is the Ministry able to favour this august House with such an important Ministerial Statement because we want to find ways of ameliorating the situation Hon.
Speaker. Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG.
MADANHA): Thank you Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Chamisa for the question. Yes, the Ministerial Statement is going to come. We have been waiting for those who are doing investigations to actually ascertain what transpired during that accident and also consult stakeholders on the possible punitive measures that we can take as a Ministry. So, the Ministerial Statement will come – [AN HON. MEMBER: Time frame.] – It will now depend on how early we will be fed by the investigations, the results. So, that is coming. I thank you.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
MOTIVATION TO SCHOOL TEACHERS
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Primary and
Secondary Education to inform the House of the Government’s plans to motivate Government school teachers so that the teachers are dedicated to their jobs.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Mr. Speaker. I
would like to thank the Hon. Member for that pertinent question. The bedrock of success of any organisation depends on the motivation and calibre of its human capital. The conditions of service for Government employees however are set by the Public Service Commission under the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. I am aware that the Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development established a housing revolving fund which disburses housing loans to civil servants inclusive of teachers.
I am also aware that the Ministry of Local Government and
National Housing is allocating housing stands to civil servants, including teachers as part of none monetary benefits. The Ministry of Primary and
Secondary Education has adopted new housing designs for teachers’ houses and has directed all district schools inspectors that where new classroom blocks are being built and new schools are being constructed, that should be accompanied by the necessary inclusion of teachers housing. You can only attract the best teachers if you offer adequate and quality accommodation.
The Ministry is currently retooling the teachers through the capacity development programme to enhance their skills and competences in order to respond to the digitals society and ever changing environment. The Ministry is also in discussion with the teachers over the Teaching Professions Council which seeks to restore the professional status of the teachers as well as to establish the code of conduct and professional standards of practicing teachers. In addition, the Ministry is also establishing a research centre which will be headquartered at the Early Learning Centre in St. Mary’s. All this is in an effort not only to physically make a difference in their welfare, but also in the professional sphere of their work in the Ministry. Thank you.
CONSTRUCTION OF BLOCKS AT NGWENYAMA PRIMARY
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Primary and
Secondary Education to inform the House of the Ministry’s plans to build more blocks considering that there are 657 learners in only two blocks at Ngwenyama Primary School in Nketa Constituency and the number of learners will increase since they will be having grade seven classes next year.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCAITON (HON. DR. DOKORA): Hon. Members, the Ministry is
committed to the provision of quality and relevant education including appropriate infrastructure for our learners. Through the public sector investment programme (PSIP), the Ministry is rehabilitating schools and providing additional infrastructure as per site specific requirements. Parents are also fully supportive of the provision of infrastructure through their School Development Committees which indeed, confirms a shared vision with the Government. The Ministry has gone public including on the floor of this House to seek support through partnerships such as the Joint Venture Partnerships to develop school infrastructure.
We are looking for partners who shall build schools and transfer them to Government for those who can provide resources to build schools, so, we can contract the actual construction companies. Through these initiatives, expansion of schools such as the one in question will soon be realised. Your support and cooperation is therefore highly appreciated.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA) Order,
less noise in the House Hon. Members.
HON. DR. DOKORA: Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Members are
expected to urge their communities to support their education at the local level through their levy payment, working at school projects sites and in cases offering specialist support services. We all have once legacy to support in education, that of His Excellency not just for this country, but in a Pan African context as well. I am also looking at draft regulatory measures that will further enhance the pooling, application and transparent management of resources in the subsector of education. I shall be coming to this august House when the Education Amendment Bill is ready for debate in the House. Thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Could the Minister indicate the progress on the private funders? We had a donor with $20 million, is that part of the private funding and how far has it gone?
HON. DR. DOKORA: The $20 million Hon. Speaker that we spoke about is a bilateral loan from OPEC and we have discussed the 17 schools that are in the construction pool using that loan facility. As of now we have 100 schools that are proposed under the joint venture, which is what I am referring to here and for which I will also be coming back to the House to seek some of the amendments that are now going to appear in the Education Amendment Bill that will support this initiative. We have arrived at a point where we have identified through our financial services advisor (IDBZ), a consulting firm for the 100 schools that must be constructed or started this year. So to that extent, I can confirm that we have identified the consultant and the sites for the pilot phase of the larger programme on construction of schools using joint venture/private sector money and working with the Government. Thank you.
SIGN LANGUAGE IN SCHOOLS
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education the steps taken by the Ministry to ensure that sign language is taught in schools.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCAITON (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. The
response is that under the Constitution of Zimbabwe, sign language is one of the 16 languages defined in the same document. As you are aware, the curriculum framework 2015/2022 has introduced new learning areas and updated existing ones. Within this context, sign language is within the language learning area and now part of languages to be used in special needs education and also used in examinations like any other.
I think Members might recall that when I announced results from ZIMSEC relating to the 2016 examinations, there was a significant rise in the component of special needs education candidates who went through examinations, reflecting the Ministry’s continued inclusive education policy. Material development officers for sign language are now part of the curriculum development unit at the Mt. Pleasant Complex. At the same time, special education is among the critical skills shortage areas covered under the teacher capacity development programme, in order for competences such as sign language teaching to be mainstreamed in our system.
The initial teacher training, and I must emphasise that the initial teacher training does not reside in my Ministry, it resides in another Ministry. All I can do is develop personnel in my system and make some provision in resource units that are located at cluster centres.
HON. MAJOME: I thank the Hon. Minister for his response and
do note that indeed, teacher training is not in his Ministry but I am wondering where he said that ‘all I can do is to develop units in my
Ministry’. Does the Hon. Minister not collaborate with the allied Ministry that is also supply chain of his Ministry? Is he not willing or able to actually meet with the other Minister so that the preparations that he is making in terms of the Constitution do bear fruit and are not put to waste.
HON. DR. DOKORA: In all fairness Hon. Speaker, I think that is a substantive question which requires the line Minister who has the mandate to do the initial training.
TIMETABLE FOR ECD CHILDREN
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education if he is aware that the ECD children as young as 4 years are spending the whole day from 7am to 4pm at school i.e. Avonlea Primary School and if he is also aware that this deprives them of the rest appropriate for their age and subjects them to hardship and health risks, especially in this cold weather.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): The District officials from
Warren Park – Mabelreign visited Avonlea Primary School today on 28th June, 2017 to establish the position of the dismissal time for the infant classes. The timetable indicates that ECD A and B finish their school day at 12 o’clock while Grade 1 and 2 finish at 12.45 p.m. grade 3 – 7 finish their school day a little later on.
|Monday||Assembly||Free||Mass Display||English||P.E||B||Maths Science||Shona||V.P
|Tuesday||Health||Play||P.E||Maths Science||Mass Display||R||English||V.P Arts||Shona||Heritage Studies|
|Wed||And||Free||Mass Display||Shona||P.E||E||Maths Science||English||Heritage Studies||Free
|Thurs||Arrival||Play||P.E||Maths Science||Mass Display||A||English||V.P Arts||ICT||Shona|
|Mass Display||English||P.E||K||Maths Science||Shona||V.P
|MASS DISPLAY||20 X 5||ENGLISH||20 X 5||ICT||20 X 2|
|P.E||20 X 5||V.P ARTS||20 X 5||FREE PLAY||20 X 7|
|MATHS SCIENCE||20 X 5||SHONA||20 X 5||HERITAGE STUDIES||20 X 2|
Class Timetable: Grade 3 Year 2017
|Subject Period||Time - Hours|
|English 9 x 30||= 4 hrs|
|Ind. Languages 9 x 30||= 4 hrs|
|Maths 6 x 30||= 3 hrs|
|Heritage & Social Studies 4 x 30||= 2 hrs|
|FAREME 4 x 30||= 2 hrs|
|Visual Performing Arts (V.P.A) 8 x 30||= 4 hrs|
|Physical Education 10 x 30||= 10 hrs|
|ICT 2 X 30||= 1 hr|
|Science & Technology 8 x 30||= 4 hrs|
|Agriculture 8 x 30||= 4 hrs|
- Timetable for ECD- A finishes at 12 noon
- Timetable for ECD-B finishes at 12 noon
- Grade 1 and 2 finish at 1245 hrs
- Grade 3 (new curriculum) finishes at 1600 hrs to accommodate the needs of the new curriculum. It incorporates P.E, Agriculture and Visual Performing Arts which are done after lunch.
- Grade 4 – 7 lessons finish at 1315 hrs. Sporting and clubs are done up to 1600 hrs.
- Sports are done on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
- Clubs are done on Wednesday.
HON. MAJOME: Has the Hon. Minister then found out that
possibly that there are other extracurricular activities that are used to detain children to spend the whole day at school despite the timetable.
HON. DR. DOKORA: I am keen when Hon. Members take a
keen interest in the sub-sector but I would not go so far to say the people who are waiting at a law firm after 5 o’clock p.m have pecuniary activities beyond their normal service requirement of their lawyers at the law firm. I could not quite clearly be favoured with a timetable that is not official. What I have is what I must go by. This is the official timetable and allocates from 7.45 a.m there is School Assembly. At 8.45
a.m there is Mass Display and English is from 9.05 to 9.25 a.m, 20 minutes slots and so on. This is calibrated all the way to the dismal time that I have indicated. So, I stand by what my officials have indicated is happening on the ground. Thank you.
OVERSTAFFING OF YOUTH OFFICERS IN MANICALAND
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment to inform the House on the Ministry’s plans with overstaffing, especially in Manicaland where they have over 500 youth officers.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,
INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):
In response to the question I would say the employer of all civil servants is the Public Service Commission. As a result, it is the one which has the mandate to deal with its employees. As a Ministry, we abide by what the Public Service Commission would have said. I thank you.
HON. MASUKU: My supplementary question is that is it correct that you have got excess manpower in your Ministry?
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Following the
rationalisation of the civil service yes - we used to have 3 – 5 youth officers per ward but the new establishment reduced them to one officer per ward. As a result, we ended up with excess staff but most of them are being moved to other ministries, for example the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, which is also seeking manpower from our Ministry. That is correct but the Public Service Commission is moving them to other ministries which need them.
PAY FOR EXCESS YOUTH OFFICERS
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment to inform the House if the excess youth officers in all the provinces are on the payroll.
THE MINISTER OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT,
INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA):
Yes, they are on the payroll. As I have said, some of them have been moved to other areas that need them. Some of them are on the payroll, even those who are still within the Ministry and are to be moved to other areas are still on the payroll. I thank you.
REFUNDS BY PENSION FUNDS
- HON. N. MGUNI asked the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare to explain to the House why Pension Funds that own buildings and other properties which they rent out in United States dollars do not refund the money that was wiped out by inflation.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): May I just as
a point of correction state that instead of that matter being deferred for the attention of my Ministry, that question is actually wrongly placed. It is under IPAC and IPAC is under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This is the record, so that it does not continue to be placed under my Ministry.
GOVERNMENT FOOD DISTRIBUTION BENEFICIARIES
- HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare to provide data and number of beneficiaries on districts and provinces covered by the government food distribution since the beginning of 2017.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE LABOUR AND
SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr. Speaker
Sir, the food deficit mitigation programme has over the period continued with its noble task of feeding the food insecure households in all the ten provinces in Zimbabwe. This was an intervention to cushion the food insecure against the harsh effects of the El Nino induced drought. By end of January 2017, the number of households receiving food assistance stood at 809 279 and it reached 854 744 households by end of
The increase in the number of households under Government registers was attributed to increase in distress calls which necessitated that beneficiary registers be updated all over the country as households requesting food assistance had to be assessed and registered. I have supplied the table showing the data that has been asked for.
Please find attached disaggregated data by province, district for the number of households and the cumulative grain distributed as at 21 June,
2017 as indicated below.
|Manicaland||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|Mash Central||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|Mash East||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required||Cumulative distributed|
|Mash West||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required per month||Cumulative distributed|
|Chegutu||22,161||1,108. 05||14, 929.34|
|Masvingo||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required per month||Cumulative distributed|
|Mat North||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|Mat South||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distribution|
|Midlands||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|Bulawayo||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|Harare||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
|National||Actual h/h on registers||Grain required p.m.||Cumulative distributed|
- HON. MPARIWA asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Services to present the ZIMVAC report to Parliament.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): Mr.
Speaker Sir, while the National Assembly requires the Ministry to present the ZIMVAC report to this august House, it is unfortunate that it is not possible to present the report as it is still in its final stages of preparation. However, let me take the opportunity to indicate to the Hon. Members the processes which have been covered so far.
The 2027 edition of the ZIMVAC was conducted with the field work and data entry having been completed. Preparation of draft report was done and the team is in the process of finalising the report. Once completed, the report will be tabled before the House. Earlier on in my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir, I said within the next two months, that report should be available. I thank you.
EMPLOYMENT OF THE DEAF
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services if government has a policy to employ people who are deaf.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR
AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE):
Zimbabwe is a state party to the UNCRPD, hence Government recruitment policies do not discriminate against disability but rather inclusion of all persons with disability. In our Constitutional alignment process, amendments to the Disabled Persons Act seek to introduce a quota system in the employment of persons with disabilities both in the public and private sector. That will promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in employment. I am therefore pre-empting these amendments seeking support of the House when the Ministry finally tables the Disabled Persons Bill.
HON. MAJOME: I thank the Hon. Minister for his response that shows a lot of hope. May I be indulged by being told possibly how far the Ministry has gone with its draft and when it proposes to bring the Bill and possibly what size of quota, maybe the range that the Ministry might be thinking of having for this very noble cause. I thank you.
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. speaker Sir. The
draft policy is now pending Cabinet approval. We will be submitting it to Cabinet for its consideration but off the cuff, you will find that the quota of people living with disabilities in the country is between figures of 7% to 10 % going by the figures of the last census. So, one would say it would only be appropriate that we take on that percentage.
BOARDING PASSES FOR DEAF PEOPLE
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services the procedure on issuing boarding passes for deaf people which they use to board buses and commuter omnibuses.
(b) To further explain to the House if the Minster is aware that deaf people are having difficulty accessing them.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Mr. Speaker,
whilst the Ministry is aware that the people are having difficulty in accessing boarding passes, it is unfortunate that it is not the Ministry’s mandate but rather these are self generated. We envisaged a situation where we can be seized with the mandate of issuance of authentic travel warrants for all persons with disabilities. Due to the current liquidity crunch, Government has indeed delayed in honoring the travel warrants hence transport owners shun them. Efforts are underway to encourage Treasury to expedite payment. We therefore urge transport operators to desist from turning away our people in need like the deaf.
My Ministry is in the process of drafting an awareness strategy which will include some of the issues like this. The Ministry instead issues travel warrants to those in need upon application. Travel warrants relate to social welfare assistance given to support access to transport (road and rail) services to vulnerable groups including those people with hearing impairment.
ALLOCATION OF GRANTS TO THE DEAF
- 36. MAJOME asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Services if deaf people are allocated a grant by Government. If so, how much is it and how often is it disbursed.
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Mr. Speaker Sir,
the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare under the Department of Social Welfare administers the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17.01) and the Social Welfare Assistance Act (Chapter 17:06) meant to cater for needs of persons with disabilities including those with hearing impairment are assisted by the Government through the disbursement of grants as follows:
Administration grants are once off payments made to non-
Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) offering services to persons with disabilities to assist in their daily administrative operations. The grants are pegged at a rate of US$400 per institution and are paid out on a yearly basis.
Per Capita grants are calculated at a rate US$15 per beneficiary per month and these per capita grants are meant to cater for the upkeep of inmates in the institution. These are paid upon claim by the institution.
This grant is a monthly cash transfer given to individuals and households that aims at supporting beneficiaries to survive.
Beneficiaries are entitled to US$20 per month. I thank you.
DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL INPUTS
- HON. MAJOME asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services to explain what the Ministry has done to ensure that there is no biased distribution of food and agricultural inputs in light of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Consolidated Food Aid Report of August 2016 confirming the discrimination of suspected opposition supporters. Have the perpetrators been brought to book?
THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND
SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUPFUMIRA): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. First and foremost, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Consolidated Food Aid report, due to the manner in which it was adopted, this prompted our Ministry to summon the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission wherein the issue was discussed at length and recommendations were made to always engage Government at the highest level when such reports are being consolidated. As such, we have not auctioned on any alleged perpetrators burt rather, we have engaged all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that there is no partisan distribution of food.
Whilst we accept constructive feedback, and we have made efforts to set up complaints desk from head office to districts to ensure that such complaints are well received and acted upon.
As part of ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of food and agricultural inputs, the following measures were effected to ensure efficient programme delivery to the intended beneficiaries.
- Targeting of beneficiaries based on a combination of scientific studies such as ZIMVAC and community based verification and registration of beneficiaries at village level;
- Dissemination of information about the programme during a number of workshops/meetings with stakeholders during the year; and
- Provision of an appeal process to allow persons to seek redress of the grievances. I thank you.
HON. MAJOME: I heard the Hon. Minister saying that they summoned the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and I would want to know what authority they had to summon an independent commission that is independent in terms of the Constitution and mandated to have its independence respected and is not summonable. Does that not amount to attempting to coerce the commission and intimidate a commission that is required to be independent?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
Hon. Majome, it is a question of semantics. If it pleases you, we invited the Human Rights Commission for a discussion on that matter.
NSSA PENSION SCHEME
- HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare to:
- State how long it takes for one to qualify for NSSA Pension Scheme.
- State what happens to funds in the event that one has not
contributed for the period required.
- Indicate when the Ministry will align the pensionable age for
NSSA to that of the rest of Government pensionable age.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL SERVICES (HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE): NSSA
has three main social security pension branches under the pension and other benefits scheme with different qualifying contribution periods as follows:
Retirement Pension: A member qualifies for a retirement pension after contributing for a period of at least 120 months (10 years).
Survivor’s Pension: Paid to the surviving dependents of a deceased contributor after at least 120 months (10 years) of contributing to the NSSA Scheme.
The following categories of individuals are eligible to apply for the survivor’s benefit:
Widow/Widower receive pension until death provided they do not remarry and the marriage should have been contracted before the retirement or invalidity of the contributor. They receive 40% of what the contributor would have received.
Dependent Children of the deceased who are below the age of 18 and or those who are below 25 years, provided they are in full time education. Permanently disabled children who are incapable of supporting themselves receive the benefit until death regardless of age.
They receive 40% of what the contributor would have received.
Parents of the deceased contributor receive 12% of what the deceased contributor would have received.
Any other dependents are also eligible to receive 8% of the benefit entitlement:
This benefit is paid out to the surviving claimants in order of priority starting with the spouse and children.
If a contributor’s contribution period does not meet the minimum pension contributor requirements, a grant (once off payment) or contribution refund will be paid out as illustrated below:
Retirement Grant: A Member who attains pensionable age after contributing for at least 12 months but less than 120 months (10 years) qualifies for a retirement grant that is a once off payment.
Retirement Refund: A member who retires from employment after contributing for less than 12 months will get a refund of contributions with a 7% interest.
The retirement ages for the national pension and other benefits scheme are as follows:
Early Retirement – 55 years – Only contributors who would have been employed in arduous occupation as specified under the second schedule of S. I. 393 of 1993 such as mining, agricultural work, forestry work and Railway Enginemen.
Normal Retirement – 60 years - All other contributors are allowed to retire at 60 years.
Late Retirement – 65 years – A contributor may elect to continue working but will not contribute beyond 65 years. The contributor must therefore claim retirement benefit on reaching 65 years.
Since a Civil Servant’s late retirement age is 65, there is therefore no misalignment. Our Actuaries are however, looking at the impact of varying the listed scenarios on the level of the pensions and continued viability of the scheme. The reviews are necessary to prepare the authority for the reforms that may be critical in the future.
HON. GABBUZA: I want further clarification from the Minister. What would happen to a civil servant or any employee who remains at work even beyond 65 years when he is due to receive his retirement package?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Mr. Speaker Sir, after the cut
off age of 65 years, if a person continues to work, there will not be any pension deductions to that person. That person is then considered retired and would be due for the pension that has been accrued; but from 65 years onwards, they cannot be contributing to the fund. I thank you.
HON. MANGAMI: Is there a choice where you can apply for early retirement? It appears that you consider the late retirement even if the 65 years one has left work. If one would want it to come early and you have completed the number of years required, is there any such possibility that one could do that?
HON. ENG. MATANGAIDZE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, like
I said, after the age of 55, depending on the sector that you are working in, if it is arduous work, early retirement is considered. In the other categories, after the age of 60, if one wants to apply for early retirement that option is considered. I thank you.
COST OF MOTOR VEHICLE NUMBER PLATES
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain why the cost of motor vehicle number plates is so expensive considering that cheap material is used to produce them.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG.
MADANHA): If my understanding of the question is correct, the selling price of the number plates is that high, that is, it costs $160 mainly because the cost of producing it is high. It is neither cheap to produce the current motor vehicle number plate nor is it made from cheap material. It costs us about $100 to produce a set of vehicle registration documents, that is, front and rear number plates, the registration book and the third number plate for a motor vehicle.
The material used in making motor vehicle plates is high quality aluminium. In addition, the Zimbabwe motor vehicle number plates unlike the majority that are found in the region, are embedded with a number of security features in order to avert the problem of use of clone number plates by criminals and other such persons who may choose not to comply with vehicle registration legislation.
My Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development is more than prepared to make some concessionary reductions. At the moment, we already have a draft proposal paper where we have proposed a reduction in the number plate user fees given the fact that the last downward review was made in 2009. In that draft paper, we see opportunities to reduce the user fee charge for motor vehicle number plates to $125 and that of trailers to $105.
We are also considering a reduction in the replacement cost for a damaged or lost number plate in respect of number plates for public service vehicles and private vehicles from the current $160 and $140 to $90 and $75 respectively. It is our considered view that the proposed downward reviews in number plate user charges will contribute in a small way towards Government policy on ease of doing business.
HON. MUDEREDZWA: My supplementary question is that in
the event that one of the number plates has been lost, why is that you insist on the vehicle having new number plates instead of reverting to the old or original number plate that can then tell the story of the vehicle to say this vehicle was bought on such a day and it was registered on such a day. Where is the logic in you then saying no, we discard that number plate and we start with a new one?
HON. ENG. MADANHA: This is mainly due to the fact that a
number plate is just like a passport and it has got security features. We would like to say that when you lose one number plate, definitely you have to apply for a new set of number plates because of the security features that are there. It is a security embedded number plate. So, we definitely have to get a new set of number plates. I thank you.
*HON. MUKWENA: My supplementary question is that if only
the material that is used for the number plates is durable because that material is not durable at all.
HON. ENG. MADANHA: These number plates are imported and
we have considered as a Ministry that there should be a downward review because most of our stakeholders are actually yearning for the reduction of the cost of the number plates and we are definitely going to reduce the cost. I thank you.
HON. MASIYA: What is worth over $40 to replace a third number plate? What is that which cost up to that amount?
HON. ENG. MADANHA: As I have stated before, it is because of
the security features that are on these number plates that the cost actually goes to that amount. I thank you.
STATUS OF NATIONAL RAILWAYS OF ZIMBABWE
- HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House on the current status of National Railways of Zimbabwe in terms of its recovery programme.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. ENG.
MADANHA): Following approval by Cabinet for the NRZ to float its tender to raise funds for the recapitalisation of the organisation, the following events have since taken place:
- The request for proposals was gazetted on 5 May 2017, and subsequently appeared in the local press. Advertisements were placed in the press in South Africa and an international newspaper in the
United Kingdom. Direct communication was sent to Zimbabwean Embassies in Russia and China. Various other companies that had expressed interest in the recapitalisation were also invited to bid.
- A compulsory pre-bid conference was held on 30 May 2017 in Bulawayo, which was attended by 82 potential bidders.
- A non-compulsory tour of NRZ facilities and infrastructure was conducted from 6 to 9 June 2017 as part of their due diligence. The tour covered NRZ’s workshops in Bulawayo to Dete Section of the line and the Dabuka Marshalling Yard. Twelve potential bidders attended the tour.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the tender is due to close on 4th July, 2017, after which adjudication will take place, with a target of submission of recommendations to the Ministry by the board on 1st August, 2017.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the NRZ has also been sourcing for finance from local banks to repair locomotives and wagons as an interim measure to improve capacity and business volumes. To date, the organisation has secured a loan of $5 million from a local financial institution, which will be used to repair five locomotives and 200 wagons. The requisite approvals from the board and Government are being processed. In the meantime, the organisation has so far this year overhauled 165 wagons using its own resources.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the NRZ has also been involved in negotiations with a Russian wagon manufacturer, UNIWAGON for the supply of 100 new wagons through a $10 million facility from the Russian Exim Bank. The NRZ has submitted a business case on its capacity to service the loan and other relevant documentation, which the Russians are currently going through.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the NRZ has engaged a consultant to assist in the right sizing of the organisation against the background of its failure to meet its wage bill requirements. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES POLICY
- HON. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Small and Medium
Enterprises and Co-operative Development to explain the Small and Medium Enterprises Policy and the Ministry collaborates with local authorities to implement it.
THE MINISTER OF SMALL AND MEDIUM
ENTERPRISES AND CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT (HON.
NYONI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking the question and I have divided my answer into two sections. Firstly, the goal of the Small and Medium Enterprises is to provide a robust enabling environment for our people to develop and promote the diverse economic opportunities. The policy maps out measures to address the challenges being faced by the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES). The Small and Medium Enterprises policy is a national document which sought to articulate diversified issues on MSMEs development in Zimbabwe and is implemented by various stakeholders inclusive of local authorities.
The second part of my answer is to explain how the Ministry collaborates with the local authorities to implement this policy. There are some sections of the policy that fall under the purview of local authorities, especially to do with MSMEs infrastructure provision and maintenance of an enabling legal and regulatory environment with focus on implementing the local authorities by-laws.
The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative
Development has had the opportunity to visit various Rural District Councils (RDCs) to check on how the SMEs policy is being implemented. Examples of RDCs visited are Murewa, Filabusi,
Plumtree and in Manicaland we visited Chipinge to mention just a few. It was however noted that most rural local authorities implement the policy in a systematic manner better than urban local authorities. The variance may be attributed to the high density (increased number) of SMEs in urban authorities compared to rural local authorities. The Ministry has a decentralised structure up to district level and officers in the Ministry are there to assist the local authorities where they have challenges in implementing our policy. I thank you.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ( HON. CHINAMASA), the House
adjourned at Nine Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 18th July, 2017.