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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 JUNE 2021 VOL 47 NO 63
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 29th June, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
SWEARING IN OF A NEW MEMBER
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Hon. Metrine Mudau from the ZANU PF party has been nominated as a party list member of the National Assembly following the death of the Hon. Lisa Singo. Section 128 (I) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, provides that before a Member of Parliament takes his/her seat in Parliament, the member must take the Oath of a Member of Parliament in the form set out in the Third Schedule. Section 128 (II) states that the oath must be taken before the Clerk of Parliament. I therefore call upon the Clerk of
Parliament to administer the Oath of the Member of Parliament to the
Hon. Metrine Mudau.
NEW MEMBER SWORN
HON. METRINE MUDAU subscribed to the Oath of Loyalty as required by the Law and took her seat – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear,
PETITION RECEIVED FROM MR. CLACKSON MUZA
THE HON. SPEAKER: I wish to advise the House that on the 21st June, 2021, Parliament received a petition from Mr. Clackson Muza beseeching Parliament through the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services to conduct an enquiry into his alleged discharge from the police service on trumped up charges. The petition was deemed inadmissible and the petitioner has since been advised accordingly.
INSTITUTIONAL GENDER POLICY WORKSHOP
THE HON. SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that all Members of the National Assembly are invited to attend a virtual conscientisation workshop on the Institutional Gender Policy on
Wednesday, 30th June, 2021. The workshop will be conducted from 8.30 a.m to 12.00 p.m. The link will be communicated to you via email. You are all invited to attend.
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.
Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to raise this issue pertaining to the forensic audit reports which are yet to be submitted to Parliament in spite of the fact that your Committee on Public Accounts has written to the relevant Ministry requesting these forensic audit reports to be submitted to the House. There are only two Ministries. One is the Ministry of Information, Communication Technology, Postal and
Courier Services where we want the report on the forensic audit on
NetOne. The second one is the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Development. There are three forensic reports which are outstanding.
One is the examination of the agents banking relationship between the
Peoples’ Own Savings Bank and Zimbabwe Post Private Limited. Another one is the finding in respect of the forensic audit on some aspects of the operations of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the last one is the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority/IT forensic audit report.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we seek your office to cause these reports to be submitted to the august House as they have been outstanding and due for a long time. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mushoriwa, that will be done. Clerk of Parliament; note that we should send the invitation immediately after business of the day. They must be tabled this week.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mine is to pass condolences to the family of the late President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda. I for one was born in Zambia when my parents went there for the struggle and we considered Zambia as our home because of his leadership, how he embraced everyone from an early childhood stage to us coming back to this country in 1980 after independence. Up to today, we still consider Zambia our home because of his leadership. A PanAfricanist par excellence, a man who truly stood for Africa, humanism of the highest order and it is on that, Mr. Speaker Sir, that without much ado, I will be moving a motion to that effect. May the Zambian nation mourn, knowing very well that Zimbabwe and Zambia are one. The only separation is the river but other than that, KK taught us that we are one people and like his famous saying would go, ‘One nation, one
Zambia for Africa is one Africa, one nation.’ I want to therefore, Mr.
Speaker Sir, pay condolences to the Zambian leadership, the KK family and may his soul rest in peace. Like he would always say, Tiyende pamozi/ na mtima umo/tiyende pamozi/na mtima umozi/ Kaunda tiyende tiri pamozi/ tiyende tiri pamozi/ tiyende pamozi/na mtima umo/ tiloke Zambezi /na mtima umo/tiloke Zambezi/na mtima umo/Kaunda tiyende tiri pamozi/ tiyende pamozi/na mtima umo!
May his soul rest in peace. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. – [HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, a very critically important Point of Order on a national issue and perhaps beyond our nation, if not the continent itself. It would be strategic Hon. Mliswa if that motion were to be tabled today - if not tomorrow, so that at least debate takes place before His Excellency, the former President Kenneth David Buchizya
Kaunda is laid to rest on 7th July, 2021.
It would be a good idea that a copy of the Hansard of the
Condolence Messages debate, is then handed over to His Excellency the Ambassador of Zambia to Zimbabwe accordingly – that will carry the weight of our gratitude to this international icon. Thank you.
HON. S. BANDA: Thank you so much Hon. Speaker Sir, mine is a Matter of Privilege. Hon. Speaker Sir, my Matter of Privilege comes from the ever increasing numbers of Covid cases that are being reported on daily basis.
I would want to request Hon. Speaker, also taking into cognizance what the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mnangagwa said that we need to be vaccinated. I am calling upon you Hon. Speaker to start at home here in Parliament by ensuring that all Members of Parliament and staff who come in through the doors of Parliament have vaccination cards to ensure that we do not transmit COVID-19 here or outside Parliament as we meet with a lot of people. It would be prudent if we heed the President’s advice that everybody should be vaccinated.
Imagine Hon. Speaker, a visitor coming to anyone’s house and transmitting COVID-19 whereas if they had the vaccination certificate, they would save a lot of souls. This is my humble submission Mr.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Banda. We will make the necessary arrangements with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure that those Hon. Members who have not yet been vaccinated are vaccinated.
We had encouraged Hon. Members to be vaccinated also in their constituencies where they come from so that they provide some leadership in terms of demonstrating to the electorate the need for us all to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. We will put forward your request for those who have not been vaccinated, including our members of staff here in Parliament.
(v)HON. GONESE: Point of clarification Mr. Speaker Sir with the issue that was raised by Hon. Banda. It is just a point of clarification!
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, please proceed.
(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, as you may be aware I think most of the Members of Parliament have already been vaccinated but I just wanted to find out because as I understand it, the policy generally is that vaccination is voluntary. I
appreciate that we have to set the example but in light of the voluntary aspect, I do not know how it would work out for those who may not have been vaccinated but speaking for myself, I was vaccinated.
My understanding of the point raised by Hon. Banda, there would then be a requirement perhaps for Hon. Members to produce their vaccination certificates when they come to Parliament. So I just wanted to understand how that would work out in terms of understanding whether this now becomes the requirement for one to participate or not – that is what I just wanted to find out Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, the vaccination process is a voluntary exercise but we also need leaders in voluntary activities. On the balance of probabilities, any common sense would dictate that you need to be vaccinated unless you have other means of preventing the attack by this COVID-19 - so be it, but common sense would dictate that we need to be vaccinated for the sake of our health and those who live with us.
Hon. Banda did not suggest that any Member of Parliament who has not been vaccinated therefore does not carry a vaccination certificate should not be allowed into the premises of Parliament. I did not hear that from him. In any case, that would not be the case at all. Thank you.
(v)HON. GONESE: Thank you for the clarification Mr. Speaker
(v)HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
My point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir is on the destruction of houses in
Zimbabwe. Mr. Speaker Sir, I raised an issue with the Minister of
National Housing and Social Amenities, Hon. Garwe to come and give a Ministerial Statement, which he did. He promised this august House that no house would be demolished any more except those houses which are on wetlands and on school sites and where there is a ZESA line, sewage line or water line. However, what we have witnessed now is the acceleration of the destruction of houses which were not mentioned. He said Cabinet was going to sit down and come up with the modalities to regularise those houses but we do not see that happening. It is with a heavy heart that I raise this issue for the people who are defenseless and they have hopelessness.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this Minister, since the day he was appointed the Minister of National Housing, has built zero houses and destroyed thousands and thousands of houses making our people homeless in their motherland. Therefore, I call for the immediate resignation of Hon.
Garwe. He has destroyed the houses for the poor people.
When he came to address us, he promised that nothing was going to happen but we are seeing the opposite of that and we cannot just watch as Parliament when someone is terrorising residents. A lot of people are dying because of heart attacks. Some of the people’s houses which were destroyed are 10 to 14 roomed houses...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you wind up, Hon. Member!
(v)HON. PETER MOYO: I am just about to wind up. Thank you
very much for giving me this opportunity but I call upon the Minister to resign with immediate effect. He is actually a saboteur of this country –
[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Peter Moyo, I am
sure you are aware now that there has been a de-acceleration of that process and the ruling party has instructed the two ministers concerned to desist forthwith, so the matter is being taken care of – [HON. TOFFA: What happens to those who had their houses already destroyed?] – That will be a decision for the Cabinet. I thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until order Number 4 has been disposed off.
HON. NZUMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FOREST AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 19, 2019] Fourth Order read: Committee Stage: Forest Amendment Bill [H. B. 19, 2019].
House in Committee.
Clause 1 put and agreed to.
On Clause 2:
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE,
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M.
NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. Chair. We are proposing the insertion on
Clause 2, where firstly we are introducing the term ‘Director General’. This is to clean up the current Act. This was unfortunately left out in the initial Bill because in the initial Bill, it speaks of on one side, that is the Chief Executive and later on it speaks of the General Manager. We wanted to make it uniform with both National Parks and EMA, where the heads of these institutions are Director General. So we are deleting the term ‘Chief Executive’ and replacing it with ‘Director General’. On (b) we are bringing the definition of protected private forest after the provincial head definition. I thank you Mr. Chair.
Amendment to Clause 2 put and agreed to.
Clause 2, as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 3:
HON. MUSARURWA: I move that before Clause 3, we insert a
new Clause 3 in the Bill in relation to the guiding principles, then the remaining clauses be renumbered accordingly. It is international standard practice that we have a guiding principle in a Bill.
HON. M. NDLOVU: Hon. Chair, I had already responded to this when I responded to the report by the Committee. We are in full agreement of the addition of the principles.
Amendment to new Clause 3 put and agreed to.
New Clause 3, as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 3, (now Clause 4):
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE,
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M.
NDLOVU): The proposed new clause again seeks to align and clean up the Act. In the present state it says the Minister may appoint a person in the employment of the Commission or the Civil Service as a forestry officer. Our belief is this is a duty that the Director General should do.
So the new clause reads “the Director General may appoint any person in the employment of the Commission as a forestry officer for the purpose of this Act”. We have now removed the Civil Service because at the time they were getting seconded officers when the Act was promulgated.
Amendment to Clause 3, (now Clause 4) put and agreed to.
Clause 3, (now Clause 4), as amended, put and agreed to.
On Clause 4, (now Clause 5):
HON. S. BANDA: I just wanted the Hon. Minister maybe to review and instead it should read, ‘in appointing members of staff, the Commission shall endeavour to ensure equitable gender distribution, youth involvement and people with disabilities.’ I have seen that people with disabilities have not been taken care of and also seeing that the youths will be vital in maintaining the forest, even when we are no longer there. So, I am kindly asking the Minister to include those two.
THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE
CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.
- NDLOVU): Hon. Chair, I realise that we have too many documents which are the original Bill and the Notice of Amendment which is on the
Order Paper. For purposes of smooth transmission, I move that
progress be reported and seek leave to sit again after we have synchronised the two.
Committee to resume: Wednesday, 30th June, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 5 to 28 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 29 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. ALUM MPOFU
Twenty-Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely passing on of the late Member of Parliament for Mberengwa
East, Hon. Allum Mpofu.
Question again proposed.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I
would like to thank Members of Parliament who debated on this motion after the passing on of our very important Member, Hon. Allum Mpofu on 28th March, 2021. Indeed, like it was observed by Hon. Members, this was a very big loss, given that Hon. Allum Mpofu was a very active
Member of Parliament.
During his passing on, he had moved a very important motion regarding the Patriotic Act. It was very touching and disturbing for Members of Parliament. I would like to thank everyone who debated on this motion.
I also want to urge the Administration of Parliament to take note of the request that I made when I moved this motion, that when we lose Members of Parliament, as was the tradition, that we have a certificate issued that would then go to all the Members of Parliament who passed on during the Ninth Parliament so that we do that in retrospect. This House and their families will then have something to remember with respect to the contribution they would have made.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Togarepi, you are not
HON. TOGAREPI: I have already wound up the motion, so I move that this motion be adopted.
That this House -
EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on of the late Member of Parliament for Mberengwa South, Hon Alum Mpofu on Sunday 28th March, 2021;
PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late
Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;
RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Mpofu family, relatives and the entire Mberengwa East Constituency, put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I move
that Order of the Day, Number 30 on today’s Order Paper be disposed
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF HON. JOEL BIGGIE
Thirtieth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the untimely passing on of the late Member of Parliament for Murewa South and Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Joel Biggie
Question again proposed.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much for this opportunity
Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would want to thank all Members of this august House who managed to contribute towards this very important motion. I would also want to acknowledge and thank the opportunity that I got from Parliament for us to be able to speak on the life of Dr. J.B. Matiza.
Right now Madam Speaker Ma’am, we also have Covid around us
and it is still here. Indeed, it is one pandemic which has actually led to us losing a lot of our loved ones. Like what Hon. Togarepi said, I concur that there is need to get certificates for the families of these beloved to also be able to cope and understand the contributions that they made. They can also be able to keep them in remembrance of their loved ones.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, I want to thank the efforts and the work
that Eng. J.B. Matiza managed to do. This has been taken forth. I would also want to compliment and thank that, indeed it was a replacement which also went back to Mashonaland East Province, which
I think we also need to applaud. I so move Hon. Madam Speaker
Ma’am that this motion be adopted.
That this House;
EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on of the late Member of Parliament for Murehwa South Constituency and
Minister for Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon Joel Biggie
Matiza on Friday 22nd January, 2021;
PLACES on record its appreciation for the services, which the late
Hon. Member rendered to Parliament and the nation at large;
RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the Matiza family, relatives and the entire Murehwa South Constituency, put and agreed to.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that we revert to Order Number 28 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ON
THE ANALYSIS OF ZINARA’S AUDITED ACCOUNTS FOR THE
YEARS 2017 AND 2018 AND THE 2017 FORENSIC AUDIT
Twenty-Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the
First Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Analysis of
ZINARA’s audited accounts.
Question again proposed.
(v)HON. B. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity that you have given me. I want to thank members of the
Public Accounts Committee for a wonderful job. I want to thank the Auditor General and all the Members of this House for the comprehensive debates on this report.
Madam Speaker, I move for the adoption of the motion on the First
Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Analysis of ZINARA’s Audited Accounts.
Motion put and adopted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker, I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number 28.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BUDGET,
FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THE
EXPANDED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON THE
2021 POST-BUDGET FEEDBACK MEETINGS
HON. DR. NYASHANU: I move the motion in my name that this
House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committees on Budget,
Finance and Economic Development and the Expanded Sustainable Development Goals on the 2021 Post-Budget Feedback Meetings.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
HON. DR. NYASHANU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
Parliament plays a very important role in the national budget process. As the representative of the people, Parliament is mandated under Section 141 (a) to ‘facilitate public involvement in its legislative and other processes and in the processes of its committee.’ Section 13 (2) further stipulates that ‘the people must be involved in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes that affect them.’ Thus, Parliament through the Joint Committee on Budget,
Finance and Economic Development and the Expanded Sustainable Development Goals conducted 2021 post budget feedback meetings from 26-30 April 2021 to update the citizens on progress on recommendations incorporated in the 2021 national budget.
The feedback meetings particularly targeted the 21 centres that were visited last year during the pre-2021 National Budget consultations. These meetings were in response to an outcry from stakeholders and members of the public that their recommendations during budget consultations are not taken on board. The concerns raised during budget consultations were in line with the principles of budget transparency, which underscores the need to have a comprehensive feedback mechanism so that citizens know how their inputs into the budget were considered.
The Budget, Finance and Economic Development jointly with the Expanded Committee on Sustainable Development Goals were divided into 4 teams which undertook the feedback meeting across the country’s 10 provinces. Having visited 21 centres for the 2021 pre-budget consultations, it was resolved that it was imperative that the same centres be visited again to give feedback to the people of Zimbabwe on the outcomes of the 2021 budget. Therefore, the following centres were visited, namely; Mvurwi, Chiweshe, Mt Darwin, Mahusekwa, St
Mary’s, Chitungwiza, Mutoko, Harare, Karoi, Gokwe, Mberengwa,
Shurugwi, Chachacha, Hwange, Inyathi, Plumtree, Murambinda, Zimunya, Chiredzi and Chivi.
During the meetings, the Members of Parliament adhered to the Covid-19 regulations and at most 50 people per centre were allowed to attend the physical meetings across the country. As a remedy to reach out to more people while avoiding physical meetings, some feedback meetings were also held virtually on radio stations, namely; Diamond FM, Khulumane FM, Yah FM and Classic 26. Webinar sessions were also held with ZTN.
3.0 Objectives of the Feedback Consultations
2.1 To engage the citizens and update them on the outcomes of the
2021 national budget; and
2.2 To give an update on budget implementation.
4.0 The 2021 National Budget Highlights
4.1 The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube tabled a $421, 6 billion national budget for the year
2021 under the theme “Building Resilience and Sustainable
Economic Recovery” on 26 November 2020.
4.2 The 2021 budget was premised on an estimated revenue collection of ZWL$390.8 billion and about US$841.5million being support from development partners to make a total expenditure of
4.3 The 2021 Budget is the first one to support the implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 running from 2021 to 2025.
4.4 Primary and Secondary Education received the highest allocation with 13.1%, followed by Health and Child Care with 12.98% and Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement received 10.97%.
5.0 General Submissions Received
5.1 Members of the public applauded Parliament for honouring its obligation to conducting post budget feedback meetings on the
2021 national budget and recommended that it be an ongoing process.
5.2 The majority of the people appreciated that most of their recommendations were considered in the National Budget and this showed Government’s commitment in meeting the needs of its citizens. However, the people recommended that in future, during such meetings, it is important for Parliament to give detailed information on how the funds have been expended.
5.3 The people commended Parliament for developing a Citizens Budget, which summarised key issues raised in the 2021 national budget. However, they recommended that the budget documents, including the Citizen’s Budget be printed in the 16 official languages recognized by the Constitution for ease of communication.
5.4 It was also proposed that budget documents, including the Citizens Budget be distributed well in advance to give ample time to the members of the public to read so that they actively participate during the feedback meetings.
5.5 Members of the public highlighted that there is need for the Government to walk the talk and ensure efficient and effective utilisation of public resources for the betterment of the people of Zimbabwe in line with Vision 2030. Therefore, the public expressed concern that the Ministry of Finance of Finance and Economic Development should timeously disburse funds to enable line Ministries and departments to provide service to the people.
5.6 The people highlighted the need for Parliament to improve on information dissemination on budget and its allied processes. In this regard, the public recommended that the consultation centres should be increased to at least 3 centres per District.
5.7 The people pointed out that any information pertaining to any Parliamentary engagement with the citizens should beavailed at least two weeks prior to the visit through the local MPs, DCCs and relevant peoples’ representatives in the areas to be visited so as to improve the quality and quantity of the contributions from the public as well as to improve their understanding of the issues.
5.8 The people also noted that Parliament should rotate the centres to be consulted and not only visit the same centres repeatedly.
6.0 Specific Submissions from the public
6.1.1 Members of the public applauded the release of devolution funds aimed at improving the lives of the rural communities. It was further submitted that more funds be allocated towards devolution.
6.1.2 The people recommended that devolution funds must be disbursed all at once to enable local authorities to plan and implement projects efficiently. Transparency and accountability of the funds is key. Local Authorities should be assessed quarterly on their usage of devolution funds and where possible, there is need to follow up and audit on the use of the funds by local authorities.
6.1.3 Devolution funds should be realistic towards issues raised by the public and should be allocated from the bottom-upwards.
6.1.4 The people called upon the Government to put in place an Act of
Parliament to support implementation of devolution funds
6.1.5 Others proposed that the sizes of districts should be taken into consideration when allocating devolution funds as some districts cover a very large space of area and population.
6.2 Water and Sanitation
6.2.1 Many centres mentioned the importance of water availability in their communities which should be addressed by the 2021 National budget.
6.2.2 The majority of the people pointed out the need to expedite the construction of dams and boreholes in both rural and urban areas as livestock and people largely depend on these. Government must prioritise completion of some dams already budgeted for in the 2021 national budget such as Gwai-Shangani.
6.2.3 Some recommended that funds should be allocated towards Mahusekwa dam widening and desilting and construction of more dams in Karoi. It was noted that River Tandai in Chimanimani has better water reserves, and there is need for a dam to benefit people in Karoi with their irrigation schemes. Kwarire Area in Buhera was
noted as another key area where there is need for irrigation to sustain the lives of people in the area.
6.2.4 The budget, under irrigation schemes, should support farmers in Mutoko with irrigation equipment as it marks their source of living.
6.3.1 The high budgetary support in the education sector was highly appreciated.
6.3.2 However, it was submitted that there is need for vocational training centres in Gokwe, Mt Darwin, upgrade of Nyanyadzi training centre in Chimanimani,Chivi, Mberengwa and Shurugwi. Residents of Chimanimani noted the vast timber in their community and therefore recommended for the establishment of a Timber College in Manicaland and in turn, create employment for the benefit of the Chimanimani people. Areas such as Mutoko,
Chimanimani, Mwenezi and Inyathi need Agriculture Training
schools to benefit local farmers with modern farming who have been negatively affected by climate change.
6.3.3 Some members of the public were also concerned by the fewer schools in the country resulting in students walking long distances to the nearest schools. There is need for more schools in Hurungwe, Gokwe South, Chivi district, Mvurwi, Mwenezi and Hurungwe.
6.3.4 In Gokwe South most schools were mentioned to have inadequate teachers which need action in the current budget to cater for teacher recruitment in these rural areas.
6.3.5 Schools affected by Cyclone Idai should also be capacitated.
6.3.6 Thus, generally, the public recommended that more funding be availed to Education in light of Covid-19, especially towards supporting online learning.
6.3.7 Representatives from the tertiary education fraternity decried the high level of student dropouts due to the non-affordability of tuition fees. The government was therefore, urged to expedite the modalities of accessing student grants and to localize some scholarships in order to cater for more students in need of financial support.
6.4.1 The public welcomed the 10% allocation towards agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy.
6.4.2 However, members of the public recommended that the Government timely provides inputs for the 2021/22 farming season.
6.4.3 The general public appreciated the budget on providing cotton inputs in Gokwe as this greatly improved cotton production this year. More emphasis was placed on the need of value addition on agricultural crops in Gokwe mainly cotton, maize, sunflowers and groundnuts. It was proposed that a textile industry or ginnery be located in Gokwe to cater for cotton produced. The people noted that 60% of the cotton produced in Zimbabwe comes from Gokwe.
6.4.4 The public also requested Government to support horticulture farming in Zimbabwe, especially in Mutoko.
6.4.5 Members of the public appealed to the government to intervene on the establishment of agricultural markets since the majority of farmers have not yet been paid by Cottco for last year produce.
6.4.6 Members of the public noted with concern that the budget talks about supporting farmers through Agribank. However, Nembudziya,Gokwe, Chachacha Shurugwi and Mwenezi resettlement areas do not have banks.
6.4.7 There is need for tractors and harvesters for A1 and A2 in the Shurugwi and Mwenezi who face challenges in using ploughs which cannot cultivate a larger space. Famers in the area have an average of 5 hectors which is always lying idle because they do not have the inputs.
6.4.8 Government should assist resettlement farmers in Chachacha
Shurugwi with agriculture inputs.
6.5 Information Communication &Technology (ICT)
6.5.1 The budget set aside funds for infrastructure development, learning materials and alternative learning methods in light of Covid 19.
6.5.2 There is lack of ICT infrastructure, particularly network boosters in some areas in Gokwe and Chovelele in Mwenzi. Communication is a problem in these areas which the public recommended the current budget to act upon. Lack of ICT gadgets, particularly, computers in most rural schools is a major challenge for implementation of the new curriculum.
6.5.3 Virtual meetings cannot be held with most rural schools due to lack or requisite infrastructure. The general public raised concerns about the poor ICT infrastructure in most rural areas and recommended that the Mid-Term review prioritises ICT infrastructure development in rural areas.
6.5.4 Stakeholders bemoaned the exorbitant prices of internet data bundles which are beyond the reach of a majority of Zimbabweans in rural areas. Proposals were made for the government through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to make provision for affordable prices of data to enhance the e-learning process.
6.6.1 The budget should set aside funds for rural electrification, particularly targeting rural schools and clinics. It was noted that in some areas already electrified, there was no electricity since Rural Electrification Agency (REA) takes too long, even more than two years to respond to a fault or for a transformer to be replaced thus reducing the efficacy of rural electrification. It was recommended that REA should improve on maintenance of electricity infrastructure.
6.6.2 There were challenges inelectricity availability in rural areas such as Gokwe, Mwenezi, Chimanimani.Worst cases were noted in Mwenezi where Veterinaryoffices report cases of expired animal drugs due to lack of refrigeration facilities where they should be stored. A clinic in Chiramba area in Chimanimani which was built 10 years ago still has no electricity. Nyambuya, Mupfamvu, Muchadziya schools in Chimanimani have no electricity but the wiring is there without transformers which the public recommended the current budget to address.
6.6.3 There is need to expedite electrification of rural schools to enable them to also participate in online lessons.
6.7 Social welfare
6.7.1 Members of the public commended the government for the upward review of child per capita grants from ZWL$200.00 to ZWL$1000.00. However, the public noted that the amount was still inadequate to cater for the monthly upkeep of a child in residential care and called for further review of the child per capita grant in subsequent budgets.
6.7.2 The government was also urged to establish an After-Care Fund and a department in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to solely support young adults who are discharged from residential child care facilities. Further to that, it was proposed that more resources should be allocated towards the development of a register for children in care and foster homes, given that most of the children do not have proper identification cards.
6.7.3 The public called for an increase in funding for vulnerable groups who are beneficiaries under social welfare especially during this time of the covid-19 pandemic. It was highlighted that social safety nets should cater for the vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe, especially those in the SMEs during this covid-19 pandemic.
6.7.4 Members of the public demanded to know the beneficiaries of the
18 billion stimulus package.
6.7.5 Concern was raised on the need to ring fence compensation and relocation funds for the families affected by the construction of Gwai-Shangani dam.
6.7.6 Members of the public noted that currently one social worker stationed at a district office is overwhelmed with over 20 000 cases in his or her jurisdiction, and thus, called for unfreezing of posts for social workers so that the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare can recruit.
6.7.7 The public supported the need for the Government to computerise the Information Database system for vulnerable groups who
qualify for social safety nets provided for by the Ministry of Public
Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
6.8.1 The public were concerned about the poor state of roads and other critical infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
6.8.2 They called upon the current budget through the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme to speed up the process of rehabilitating major roads which include Bulawayo-Nkayi, Murambinda – Birchenough, Mutare-Birchenough and Hwange-Makwa Synique
6.8.3 Members of the public called for the rehabilitation of roads destroyed by Cyclone Idai, namely Zvishavane -Rutenga via
Buchwa Mine and the road which leads to Mwenezi Rural District Council from Beitbridge Highway. Some of these roads have become death traps.
6.8.4 The major bridges mentioned which needed urgent action included
Chilonga, and Mwenazana bridge in Mwenezi, Mupedzanyota
along Mutare-Birchenough Highway, Deka in Hwange and Nyatsime in Chitungwiza.
6.8.5 The public in Chimanimani called for fast establishment of a border post from Cashel to Mozambique which can also be a revenue source for the nation.
6.8.6 The public called for the budget to avail enough funds to revamp and rehabilitate already existing tollgates to meet international standards. Tollgate in Hwange and Nyika in Bikita were mentioned as examples of some of the tollgates that are not up to standard.
6.9.1 The public applauded the government for allocating 13% of national budget to the sector. However, they raised the need for efforts towards meeting the 15% stipulated in the Abuja declaration.
6.9.2 The public recommended provision of free BP medication, free lotions for albinos, free cancer treatment and free labour wards in rural areas.
6.9.3 There is need for health centres in settlement areas such as Mwenezi, Shurugwi Chachacha and Gokwe. In addition to that, the public recommended for staff establishment of health workers to be increased, particularly in rural areas. It was proposed that there be unfreezing of government posts in these critical services.
6.9.4 The 2021 budget must ensure continued support of NatPharm to ensure the availability of medication in all public health institutions.
6.9.5 The people of Chimanimani were in dire need of mortuary.
6.9.6 In Chiredzi, the public recommended for free Sanitary pads in rural schools since no single school has yet received the sanitary wear.
6.9.7 The budget should unveil funds for the construction of district hospitals and clinics in Plumtree, Chimanimani, Gokwe, Inyathi and Mberengwa to minimise the distance travelled to seek medical attention.
6.9.8 In Chivi, Mwenezi, Chachacha and Inyathi, the public recommended that the budget should also set aside resources to capacitate village health workers (Mbuya Utano) since they are carrying the health burdens of people where clinics are located very far. It was pointed out that some of their homesteads were used as maternity waiting homes or shelters.
6.9.9 The public called Parliament through the responsible committee to push for the speeding up of the procurement of the budgeted 100 ambulances so as to resuscitate the ambulance services in hospitals and clinics in all districts of Zimbabwe in 2021.
6.10 People with Disabilities
6.10.1 The members of the public noted with concern that the benefits meant for people with disabilities were not reaching the targeted beneficiaries in both rural and urban areas. They noted that these targeted grants for people with disabilities should be accessible to everyone without difficulties.
6.10.2 It was proposed that the committal and disability grants be increased from ZWL$800 to not less than ZWL$4000 per month per individual.
6.10.3 The people recommended for a school to be constructed for people with disabilities in Chiredzi. The government through respective local authorities should avail stands and accommodation for people with disabilities with flexible payment terms
6.11Youths and Women Empowerment
6.11.1 The members of the public welcomed youth development programmes aimed at empowering youths to participate in agriculture and mining. However, they called for removal of collateral security for youths and women since they do not have the collaterals.
6.11.2 It was noted that Empower Bank was a good initiative but the requirements were prohibitive to the poor youths in the rural areas. Concerns were raised on expensive rates and unattainable collateral requirements, making the youth unable to borrow. Members of the public called for streamlining of some of the requirements.
6.11.3 The Government was urged to ensure that empowerment funds were reaching the intended beneficiaries, especially in the rural areas.
6.11.4 The public underscored the need for Small Medium Enterprises Development Corporation funds to be decentralised to reach areas such as Mt. Darwin, Gokwe, Mberengwa and
Mwenezi, among other areas.
6.11.5 They recommended for the interest rate to be pegged at 15% instead of the current 45% per annum since many businesses were affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
6.12.1 Members of the public pointed out the need to strengthen the anti-corruption institutions in order to be able to deal with corruption, especially, white collar crime by Government officials.
6.12.2 Some participants thanked the Government for allocating resources towards strengthening of anti-corruption institutions such as Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Zimbabwe Republic Police to enable them to perform their mandate effectively. They recommended that such institutions be allowed to retain a certain percentage of the funds that they recover or collect and use them to fund their operations.
6.12.3 The public called upon the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to establish anti-corruption courts across the country to urgently handle all cases of corruption.
6.13 Welfare of Civil Servants
6.13.1 The majority of participants noted the urgent need to address the plight of civil servants, particularly the teachers so that they return to the class. It was proposed that civil service salaries be addressed as a matter of urgency, with their salaries pegged in line with the poverty datum line.
6.13.2 Apart from salaries, stakeholders advocated that the next National Budget addresses the housing needs of primary and secondary school teachers, amongst other key issues. In addition, they highlighted the need to refurbish houses for rural teachers and also construction of new ones.
6.13.3 Government was urged to recruit qualified ECD teachers in
6.13.4 The public also recommended government to provide transport for headmasters in rural schools. Headmasters were seen
using public transport carrying examination papers from district offices to their respective schools.
6.13.5 Government was urged to capacitate ministries in terms of operational vehicles in order to enhance their effectiveness. It was noted that limited vehicles were causing hardships for government workers in rural areas, such as Mwenezi.
6.14.1 Stakeholders observed with concern that the 100 vehicles purchased for the Police Service were grossly inadequate to cover the whole country and advocated that more financial resources be allocated in that regard. It was noted that the Police in rural areas such as Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Gokwe, Shurugwi and
Chimanimanidid not have vehicles.
6.14.2 The public noted that in some mining areas such as Shurugwi, crime rates had increased hence the need to urgently buy more cars for police officers so that they can patrol and attend to crime scenes timeously.
6.14.3 Some members of the public proposed that Neighbourhood teams be included in the home affairs budget as it plays a significant role in curbing crimes at community level.
6.14.4 Member of the public noted the need for establishment of a police station at Nedziwa in Chimanimani.
6.14.5 The members of the public noted that the prison service remains neglected with no vehicles to ferry prisoners in Gokwe.
6.15.1 The public recognised the importance of the mining sector in national development and called upon the Government to support mining activities in the country, particularly, small scale and artisanal miners. It was observed that small scale miners were not recognised at law and were excluded from contributing towards decisions that affect them. It was also pointed out that training of artisanal miners on safety, health and environmental management was imperative.
6.15.2 For instance, the people of Mutoko expressed that they were not benefiting from the mining of granite fromtheir area. The
public called for the requisite regulation to be put in place so that they benefit from the mining of minerals from their area thorough corporate social responsibility.
6.15.3 It was noted that some mines such as Sandawana and Shabani mines were lying idle. The members of the public recommended for the establishment of public, private partnerships so as to resuscitate some of these mines. They therefore recommended for the budget to cater for resuscitation of all closed mines across Zimbabwe since it benefits the country as well as creating employment for the locals.
6.15.4 The public also indicated that more funds should be allocated towards strengthening Fidelity Printers.
6.15.5 The public also highlighted the need for mining licences to be given to local residents and for mining offices to be decentralised to local towns.
6.16.1 Stakeholders observed that although the 2021 National Budget supported the procurement of more buses, the ZUPCO fleet
was still inadequate to cater for the commuters in Harare and many other rural and urban areas. The people of Chivi, Mahusekwa, Mwenezi, Mvurwi and many others requested Government to at least allocate one ZUPCO bus so as to ease transport challenges. It was pointed out that some people were walking long distances to visit local clinics, hospitals and shopping, among others.
6.16.2 Members of the public also lamented the high fares of
ZUPCO buses in comparison to the prices of “mushikashikas.” The government was therefore, urged to consider lifting the ban on operations of private sector transporters in both urban and rural areas so as to bring in competition within the sector.
6.17.1 A clarion call was made for the government to review the current taxation system which was viewed as regressive.
6.17.2 Some stakeholders noted that the current tax regime weighed heavily on government employees as compared to informal sector operators who use cash rather than transfers or swipe, thus evading tax.
6.18.1 The public recommended decentralisation of government services to districts for easy access by the public. For example, provision of passports, banking and processing of applications for mining activities. Agribank and POSB should establish banks in each district to ensure easy access of pension payouts.
6.18.2 Mateke areain Mwenezi is affected by wild animals from Gonarezhou Park. The public called upon government to capacitate Zimparks to enable it to exercise their mandate and protect the people from the wild animals, which are wracking havoc in communities.
6.18.3 The public applauded government for managing the exchange rate which is now stable but however, recommended that it should remain stable to avoid hikes in prices of basic commodities.
6.18.4 The public stresses that the fiscal and monetary policy measures should stabilise the economy.
6.18.5 The public noted the need for price alignment with the foreign exchange rate.
7.0 Committee Observations
The joint Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development and the Expanded Committee on SDGs deliberated on the submissions and made the following observations;
7.1 That the post budget feedback meetings were generally a success, given that it was the first time Parliament was conducting such meetings. The meetings were widely accepted by the general members of the public, including, women, youths and persons with
7.2 There was generally a low turnout at most centres which may be attributed to lack of knowledge on the purpose of the hearings. However, it was noted that while in some areas very few people attended the meetings, the quality of submissions received were of high quality and relevant in arming Parliament with critical information.
7.3 That public awareness and distribution of informative material was critical in ensuring that attendees are armed with adequate information to make informed submissions.
7.4 That undertaking awareness campaign to educate the Parliamentarians as well as the members of the public on the budget cycle was very critical.
7.5 That Non-Governmental Organisations seemed to have had very little interest in post budget meetings and it was imperative that Parliament engages them so that they facilitate in mobilising the people in future.
7.6 That the Citizens Budget is a very good document which was handy during the feedback meetings.
7.7 That it is important for Parliament to liaise with local leadership and MPs so that they also mobilise the people in their constituencies.
7.8 That the people wanted to hear more information concerning what their respective areas had benefited in the national budget and progress on implementation of key national projects.
7.9 The Committee noted with concern that the feedback meetings were hampered by inadequate information which made it difficult for the Hon. MPs chairing the sessions to engage the citizens effectively. It was noted that specific information was very key and hoping that the next programme shall be armed with adequate information.
7.10 The Committee noted the importance of having all MPs to acquaint themselves with key and approved projects in their respective constituencies so that they can follow up budget issues and report to their respective constituencies.
8.0 Committee Recommendations
The Joint Committee made the following recommendations;
8.1 That there is need to visit a number of geographical areas including the grassroots centres for the pre-budget and post budget consultations for wider coverage of views of the public.
8.2 That the two Committees should conduct a capacity building workshop to discuss the key budget issues for discussion with the members of the public before embarking on the feedback meetings.
8.3 Publicity of feedback meetings should be by exploring modern ways of publicising hearing such as the use of social media platforms namely Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
8.4 That the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development should provide critical information on the outcomes of budget to equip the
Committee during feedback meetings.
8.5 Government should put in place mechanisms to ensure communities benefit from mining operations in their jurisdiction in line with Section 13 (4) of the Constitution.
8.6 There is need for an increased budget allocation to fund the prebudget and post budget activities of the Joint Committees in view of the request from citizens for the Committee to cover a number of geographical areas.
The Committee members and the members of the public welcomed the inclusion of this activity on Parliament calendar since it affords
Parliament an opportunity for a feedback mechanism on national budget consultations. The public is interested in knowing whether their views on the budget were taken into consideration. This will also encourage them to participate meaningfully in future budget consultations. The activity has marked a huge milestone for parliamentary engagement with citizens of Zimbabwe on budgetary matters to ensure that no one is left behind. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to
second the motion raised by Hon. Dr. Nyashanu...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sorry Hon. Mushoriwa,
you are not audible. I will pick Hon. T. Moyo to second the motion.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving
me this opportunity to second the motion that has been moved by Hon. Nyashanu regarding post-budget feedback meetings. Post-budget feedback meetings are very important because they are in line with Section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which says that the general public should be involved, particularly in the legislative process and also in law making process. These were necessitated largely because of the views of the public who felt that whatever submissions which were made prior to the national budget were not taken care of and were not considered.
I happen to have participated in this process as a Member of the Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development. I joined the team that visited provinces in Matabeleland. I will talk about the turn out. In some areas, the turnout was overwhelming whilst in other areas the turnout was low. I want to take note of the turnout that we saw in Bulawayo, Hwange and Plumtree. It was so overwhelming. It is important to highlight the fact that the youths were so involved in postbudget meetings where they applauded the Government for meeting some of their submissions.
The 2021 national budget of $421.6 billion has gone a very long way in meeting some of the expectations of the public. In Matabeleland region, the public really commended the Government for doing splendid work particularly on the Gwayi/Shangani Dam. In Plumtree, they also commended Government for meeting some of their objectives and goals especially rehabilitation work and the construction of the major highways. It is also important to note that some of the submissions were to applaud the Government for ensuring that there was free provision of safe drinking water, especially after the drilling of boreholes. It is also important to note that the expectations of the general populace, to a very large extent were met given the fact that these visits were done in the first quarter of the 2021 Budget. We need to continuously commend Government for a job well done.
However, disabled people complained that their monthly stipend has not been increased. There was some discord where we met one person in Bulawayo who had received an increase in the monthly allowances as a social security measure but others were saying that their allowances had not increased. We want to call upon Ministry of Finance to ensure that the expectations of the disabled are met.
Finally, we also want to appeal to Government to ensure that students who made submissions that they were expecting Government to provide grants to them, their expectations had not been met. What Government has done is to provide loans to students. It was the expectations of students that they were going to be provided with grants so that they would pay on completion of their university or college studies. We hope in the 2022 Budget, Government will meet the expectations of students in tertiary institutions. I so submit and I thank you.
*HON CHIKUKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker I want to add
my voice on this motion which was raised by Hon Nyashanu and seconded by Hon Moyo. I was part of the delegation on the feedback meetings. What I witnessed is that many people were happy that we had gone back with feedback but some said that the department of
Parliament which should inform the public should do so on time because there is a place where people would see cars and they would wonder where people were going to. I am referring to Mashonaland Central where people would then ask and our chairperson would explain.
We went to Nzvimbo where there was another meeting. To show that people are interested when Government sends people to them, they stopped their meeting and the Salvation Army Reverend gave us time to interact with the people. As a Committee that had gone there, we were happy with this scenario. We resolved that when we go back to Parliament, we should let the Speaker be aware that staff of Parliament who are supposed to inform people are not do so. I have seen this in other Committees. If there is a certain way that we were doing it, we should change because people are not informed.
The other issue which was raised by the people is that they expressed their gratitude because it was their first time this year that people came and consulted on the budget and there was feedback. The people who were leading the teams were specific on issues that were raised in those areas. What really made people happy were issues concerning hospitals and schools. When they talked about hospitals and roads they were happy about the provision of devolution funds. They said there are some things that Government talks about which are just on paper and are not implemented.
When it comes to issues of water, they were happy that funds were allocated to DDF. On schools they said that teachers need money and they wanted it known that in Nzvimbo there is a place where teachers are housed at the school premises and the teachers spend most of their times at bottle stores. So, we promised them that we would report on it and an investigation instituted.
They pleaded that next time when we go back we should inform them on time. What I learnt is that as a Committee, when we are going there, staff of Parliament should do their work properly. We know that there are laws in place, which laws are put by the people and can be removed by the people. Here at Parliament, there is a burning issue and I am raising it as the Chairperson of the Local Government Committtee. I want you Madam Speaker to investigate that when we are going out as a
Committee, the support staff goes back home after a day’s work and are transported by cars. That law was put in place by the people. It should be removed by the people because when they are doing their work, they are not doing it for their benefit. It hinders progress on our work because both the drivers and those being driven have to be dropped off at different times. They arrive home late and you want those people to report for duty early the next day.
I plead with you Madam Speaker. I once talked about this and we also talked about it as Chairpersons of Committees but I have realised that the Administration of Parliament is not taking this issue seriously. I think you should help us so that when we go out, we do not face that same predicament again. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Hon. Chikukwa brought a very valid point, but I think it needs to be brought up in a more professional manner. Within this debate it does not really stick out. I then implore your good office to give her that space tomorrow, to be able to bring that on Thursday, on a point of national interest. It is a valid point. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. I
have taken note of what Hon. Chikukwa said but all the same, she can also raise it as a Matter of Privilege on Thursday. Thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I want to
applaud the joint Committee on SDGs and that of Budget for adhering to the ethos and the values of the Constitution as enshrined in Section 141 that mandates Parliament to make all Parliamentary processes public. Madam Speaker, a nation is judged by the way it upholds its own Constitution. I will dwell first and foremost on that in that I want all
Committees to take a cue from the Committee on Budget and the SDGs, so that they go back to the public. Committee on Transport to go back to the public and tell them on the budgetary performance on the monies that Hon. Dr. Chief Nyashanu has alluded to, the quantum that was presented by Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube as it relates to the issues of performance.
How can this be done? It can only be done if the Executive, through the parastatals and Ministries also present their monthly, quarterly and annual reports in order that the Committees should go down to the public and also present to them how the budget has performed. If it is going to be DDF, how the money presented to DDF has performed. If it is going to be Transport, how the money that was given to Civil Aviation Authority, ZINARA and all the other 13 parastatals, under the Ministry of Transport, how those monies have performed. In particular, in this time where we have a vision- a torch bearer, Vision 2030; in this time when we have NDS1 that cuts across 2021 to 2025, there is need to adhere to the ethos and the values of good governance.
As enshrined in Section 298 and 299 of the Constitution, all Government institutions and quasi-Government institutions are accountable to Parliament. As it relates to Section 119 of the
Constitution, speaks to and about the same issue. So we need to hold the Executive to account, in the manner that they conduct their business and go and report back to the public. There is also a point, which the Hon. Chair has alluded and spoken to so vociferously, so effectively. It touched the pith, the core, the heart of Yours Truly Mr. Speaker Sir.
Section 13 (4), speaks to the optimum utilisation of our God-given natural resources, so that they can benefit the communities. It is with a pleading heart that I plead with you Mr. Speaker Sir, in the advent of the Community Share Ownership Trusts and the demise of the same, there has not been any meaningful development that is championed by our God-given finite mineral resources. We are endowed with ubiquitous amount of natural resources but there has not been any meaningful benefit to the communities. I sit in a constituency that has got the largest gold reserve in the whole of Africa. It is called Pickstone Peerless and it is championed and excavated by Brekridge Resources but there has not been any meaningful development, in particular, all the infrastructure in the area that they are taking resources are dilapidated.
So I understand, I hear the cry that the people have and the recommendations from the joint Committee on SDGs and Public
Finance. I make this prayer, cognisant of that fact to you Mr. Speaker Sir, that there should be immediately a meaningful development, infrastructure related coming out of our God-given finite natural resources. If it is going to be the gold, like I am alive to the fact that there is 100 kgs coming out of that mine, each month, that is nothing less than US$5 million. The road that they use to criss-cross the distance between the extracting zone and the refinery zone or Fidelity printers and refineries is dilapidated, so deplorable and disused. To say the least Mr. Speaker Sir, it needs rehabilitation, rejuvenation and maintenance but not a dine comes from these mining houses. So it is my clarion call and fervent view that all these operations get to come to a screeching halt until there is modus oparanda that is defined in order that the communities have benefit. There is not be reason to leave gaping and yawning holes when there is open cast mining at the detriment and the demise of the environment, without any benefit including just but pittance. I want to touch on that because we need to uphold the Constitution. The natural resources are as enshrined also in the preamble of the Constitution where it is recognised that we have our natural resources and we should use them for the effective development of the people that have those natural resources for the effective development of our culture. It is there in the preamble of the Constitution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the founding values in Section 3, they recognise, including the people with disabilities and all those who fought in the war of Umvukela, our natural resources should go and make sure the livelihoods of the people that were involved in the war of liberation; the pensioners are bettered in their livelihood. I have come now to the supremacy of the Constitution in Section 2. Any Act of Parliament that is not consistent with the Constitution should be repudiated to the extent of its inconsistency. It is my hope and view that today, because of that report, Isaiah 6 verse 1 “when King Hosea died, I saw heaven”. We need to adhere now to the ethos and values of the Constitution because of this report. Not only that, all Committees now need to tour the line because of the report that has been presented here. We have been sleeping on duty Mr. Speaker Sir, for a very long time. It is not too late, it is not lost on us. It will be remise however, to continue to be in slumber mode. We need to now reinvigorate our operations. We need to say to ourselves this is the way to go, two wrongs do not make a right. It is not too late to deal with a lethargic way of dealing with modern day issues.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot continue to be medieval, we need to take the bull by its horns, address the issues according to the values of the Constitution for the betterment, peace and order of Zimbabweans as it is enshrined in our Constitution and we should adhere to it. If we take our God given natural resources and we put them to good use in the development of infrastructure in our constituencies, I can tell you this; there will be high rise buildings in Chegutu West constituency. We have that platinum from ZIMPLATS and we have a Community Share Ownership Trust, which all other Hon. Members in Chegutu Administration District want to shred to pieces because it has not benefited us in any way. When it was put together, ZIMPLATS promised that there is going to be a dividend over and above the seed capital of US$10 million but we have not seen, not even a little benefit.
So we are going to court in order that we shred that Community Share
Ownership Trust; we restart the formula and we demand that
ZIMPLATS pays a dividend assuming, it is US$10m per annum. It was put in place in 2013 and this is nearly 10 years down the line. We can have more than US$100m. Just say to yourself what is it that you can do with US$10m.
Mr. Speaker Sir, you can paint the whole of Chegutu West
Constituency with high rise buildings; from the start at Rukawo Motel to the last building at David Whitehead but alas, the only buildings that are in Chegutu West Constituency just go one floor up as though we are not endowed with ubiquitous amounts of mineral wealth. We need to adhere to the ethos and values of the Constitution not yesterday and not in the future but immediately. The people of Chegutu West
Constituency have asked me to come and vociferously, effectively and efficiently debate in the manner that I have and I applaud you for giving me this opportunity and I thank you for adhering to the values of this constitutional report that Hon. Dr. Nyashanu has presented.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I thank the
Chairperson of the Committee Hon. Nyashanu, seconded by Hon. Moyo. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is indeed a good practice, though not law to always give feedback to the people in whatever we do. As Parliament, we are there to represent people. While I must commend the Committee for doing this, there are also ways of making it better. One of the reasons which we fail to represent people in totality is how we get to the last person in a ward, constituency, administration district or province. The Committees in Parliament go just one place in a province or two or four, that is not touching all the corners of the country.
What have they done to go right down to Tsholotsho, Binga, what have they done to go to Chirundu and Mutare? This is where we seem to have a disconnect between the people and what we do. The other issue which is important is the issue of languages. Why have we not put the Constitution in the 16 languages? The Tonga people want to see this written in Tonga and spoken to in Tonga so as all other languages. We seem not to appreciate that the Constitution has a provision of 16 languages: why are we not taking that with us. These are the people and 16 languages must be accommodated. So in a way, you will never get people to understand what we are doing because there is a language barrier in their own country. So, the figures and messages must be put in their languages. Not only that, there are other people who have a disability, the disabled. How do they get to those who are blind, how do they get to understand what is going on?
Hon. Moyo spoke about how the disabled are not happy with the way they are being left out and for a very long time, they have been left out. The Constitution itself talks about ‘resources permitting’ that there should be facilities for them and yet they are disabled permanently.
How can the Constitution talk about ‘resources permitting’ when one is disabled for life? We cannot be seen to be playing with peoples’ lives and when it is a permanent issue that they have, may the solutions be permanent, they cannot be suspended because of lack of resources.
Mr. Speaker Sir, what is the Consolidated Revenue Fund for? Do people know that ndiyo homwe yenyika. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, while the Committee has done its work, a lot remains outstanding with the Ministry of Finance. How much do we have in the kit? First of all, the first thing people must be told is that we have 20 billion in the kit and out of the 20 billion in the kit, this much was disbursed to these ministries and so forth. This is disbursement. There is a difference between disbursement and implementation. They went and said, which is great, 55% of what was asked for was agreed upon. Disbursement was how much? Implementation, coming from where? This is the reason why I am talking about the Consolidated
Revenue Fund, if at all it has been swept out, the Minister must come to Parliament for a supplementary budget. As Members of Parliament, we are suffering because he has not come for a supplementary budget to be able to deal with the inflationary issues. When does the disbursement happen? It is another issue and the time factor. When do we pass the budget and when does the disbursement happen? Between that time there is inflation? Not only that, now when he has allocated a certain amount of money to a ministry or entity, they do not get the full amount of money? Why are we excited about the 55% though it is an improvement and the Committee has done well to be able to tell the people that we do our part of pushing 100% but the Ministry then approves 55%? The question mathematically is out of the approved 55%, how much of it has got into the various project and then when you realise not much has gotten there, projects which are supposed to have two billion in terms of disbursement, the disbursement up to date 2021 budget is five million. Out of two billion disbursements, they disburse 5 million, so what are we doing? What are all these civil servants doing in all these offices when they do not have the money to be able to oil the machine?
So, it has been recommended that there are too many civil servants who are doing nothing. It is true because the money which is being disbursed to the Ministry is not at all there; so they are sitting around, they are on Wi-Fi and they are doing the things that they are doing. So why also do you not look at cutting down civil servants? If we cannot afford them, give them packages. Most of them have farms. Give them what will empower them so that they are able to sustain a better life. These are the options. With the land reform which happened, most of them prefer being on their farms given the right package, but right now they cannot do that. So it is important that in line with the requirements of IMF, we also look at that.
Mr. Speaker Sir, if you look at the idea of the grants to the students and you opt for loans and percentage statistics, how much of that has been done? It remains a talk show. This is what it is. It remains a talk show. Parliament does not sleep in passing these budgets. The Chairman will be there on his toes but when it comes to the execution of these budgets others are sleeping. So how then do we build a country when others are sleeping and others are awake? We do not sleep. We leave this House even at 3.00 a.m or 4.00 a.m, have a dinner and so forth because people make sure Parliament would have done its part and be proud of that Mr. Speaker Sir because your Honourable Members in this august House are truly honourable when it comes to fulfilling what needs to be done.
Right now, Members of Parliament use their own resources; CDF is not there but it was approved. I do not know why the Chairman did not talk about that but I felt he probably felt it is conflicted. Let me talk about it. We approved CDF. Where is it and why has it not come back for a supplementary budget? Information centres, Honourable Members, was that not approved? How do we disseminate information to the people? Covid is happening and there is no information centre. There is nothing happening. These public hearings, we need information centres to tell people what is happening. You then accuse the MP of sleeping on duty when there are no resources for him to do that. The car that he has does not have enough fuel;he/she comes to
Parliament, a budget was approved, you go for fuel, the fuel is not there.
You cannot blame Parliament for that. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is supposed to be in a position to be able to make sure that they cater for the needs of Parliamentarians, civil servants and everybody else. Short of that, it is like going to the doctor and being given a full course of medication. You have got seven days to take it and then you go and buy for three days. Will you survive? You will not survive. If it is a seven day course, let it be a seven day course, not reducing a seven day course to a three course.
Children who are not well fed, when they are young, they will suffer from malnutrition as you know – kwashiorkor. Kwashiorkor is the result of certain vitamins not being in your body and this economy with this performance of the Minister not implementing, is suffering from kwashiorkor and that must be understood because we do not have time to mince words as we are approaching our end of tenure. We must be able to have been known to be an august House which did our part and we were able to excel.
The projects that we are talking about must talk about employment. With all these projects which happen but we fail to alleviate unemployment problems. Armed robberies have escalated. Why, it is because of unemployment and we need to be able to address that. Civil servants payments, salaries, remuneration and inflation - there is no buy in power. What are we doing to ensure that we are doing that? This is the role of the Minister.
So what I am saying, Mr. Speaker Sir is, without the Minister responding to this and this is an issue which I am bringing up tomorrow in Parliament on national interest, the State of the Nation Address must be responded to by Ministers. Up to now, they have not responded. I do not know if Members of Parliament know that. In failing to respond to that, how do they discharge their duties because the State of the Nation Address is the one that gives them the vision, the direction the President is taking? The principal has spoken, the President. What are you doing? What is your response to this august House which represents the people, to say this is what you are going to do? You have done nothing. That again proves to you that they are incompetent. They are not doing their job because the State of the Nation Address is critical in getting a response because there is a way forward. Mr. Speaker Sir, the aspect of the remuneration of civil servants is critical.
On multi-currency, we do not know what to do. Instability, we want to have our own currency but we have another currency and so forth. So it also becomes a problem to plan when you have a multicurrency system which is not consistent. I have always said this. It is allowed to be consistently wrong but it is not allowed to be inconsistent in being wrong. So it is important that consistency prevails in terms of disbursement of money and implementation as well. The Public Finance
Management Act has been violated.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Chairman of the Budget Committee must know that moving forward, there is no budget which will be passed for any Ministry without them following the Public Finance Management Act and then reporting to Portfolio Committees on this. For too long they have gotten away with this, with murder and the Executive likes to bully yet they are not working at all. They have no respect for the work that Parliamentarians do and they also are well remunerated. So what is the point of giving them good remuneration when this is not being adhered to?
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to conclude by saying that the Committee on Budget and Finance must be commended for this wonderful work, but we are tired of writing and reporting with no implementation. It is a culture, inertia as Mr. Speaker, Hon. Advocate Jacob Mudenda would say. Inertia - we suffer from that. The recommendations of these Portfolio Committees are not even implemented. So why do we even sit on those Committees? Those must be implemented and it is important for the Chairperson to ensure that recommendations of Portfolio Committees are implemented. Failure to do that, do not approve the budget. We must be able, like Hon. Nduna said, to be known who we are when we are representing people.
Hon. Members, when we are on the ground in these public hearings you know what people say. It is important again that whatever people say is recorded verbatim. You have got Bills which are coming to Parliament; the War Veterans Bill which was here, the veterans said something and what appeared is wrong, so the petitions do not end. We must be trusted by people and whatever they say must be incorporated but for as long as we do not have the 16 languages accommodating everyone, we are not serving the interest of the people Mr. Speaker Sir.
We must forthwith be able to talk and give people written things in the
16 languages as enshrined in the Constitution.
Once again Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. For as long as implementation is not done, all the work that we do, spending sleepless nights in places and so forth, does not come to realisation of the needs and we must remain the hope of the people.
Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. SANSOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the motion brought up by Hon.
Nyashanu. I was part of the team that visited Bulawayo Province, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South. In Matabeleland North, we went to Hwange. I just want to highlight a few issues that were raised there.
The people appreciated the Parliament’s initiative to come back after the budget was approved, to tell them how many of the issues had been taken up out of the issues that they had raised. This was the first time that we have done this. They really appreciated it. However, they pointed out that the publication of the meetings was a bit inadequate. I think we need to work on that as the Chairman has alluded to.
Also, there evolved the absence or lack of funding for the Nambian museum despite the fact that they raised that in the pre-budget consultations after the realisation that it had not been taken up. They were not too pleased and I think there is need to work on that because the Nambya Museum was established through their own initiative without any funding from central Government. I think that is an area that needs to be attended to.
They also raised the issue of roads, although it has been raised in other reports, I think they singled out Makwa Road that has been extensively damaged by mining companies. The road links Hwange town to the Zambezi River and also to Binga and there is need to work on that road which is now virtually impassable. They also raised the issue of the School of Mines that is in Bulawayo that it should be located in Hwange rather than in Bulawayo where little mining takes place.
Finally, there was the issue of Government’s shareholding in Hwange Colliery, some people were calling for Government to reduce its shareholding in Hwange Colliery to not more than 16%. Overall Mr. Speaker, wherever we went, people raised the issue of corruption and pointed out that it does not serve any useful purpose to raise taxes without plugging loopholes and I believe that is quite a valid point. I thank you for the opportunity Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)*HON. KWARAMBA: I had almost given up on contributing,
thinking this was a male domain as most of the issues that I wanted to raise have already been tabled. When we were moving around during the Post Budget consultations, I was in a team that covered Harare,
Norton, Karoi, Gokwe, Mberengwa and Shurugwi. Many people raised concerns that we were visiting towns and growth points only, excluding rural areas. People in the rural areas also want to know how Parliament operates even in terms of budget – that was the major concern raised.
They lamented that Parliament also needs to include the rural folk.
They mentioned that people must be invited to attend Public Hearings in time and not to be given short notices. They also raised the issue that the people who are tasked to mobilise the people did not do so since they feared being taken to task pertaining Devolution Funds. Therefore, Parliament should look for alternative ways to mobilise communities to such events. I think these were the points that were not explained clearly but people were very happy Mr. Speaker Sir about the Post-Budget consultations. Section 141 of the Constitution was fully utilised since it gives us authority to go and hear what people say through public involvement. People were extremely happy and they urged us to continue doing the good work. During the Public Hearings, we also realised that it is very important to disclose issues that were included in the national budget pertaining to a particular area. This will help communities to know that their contributions are taken seriously and were included in the national budget.
Mr. Speaker Sir, let me conclude by saying that in Mberengwa there is a road that requires urgent refurbishment and the community is lamenting over it. Since I am not a resident of Mberengwa, I do not know the name of the road but it is said that the road was supposed to be refurbished years back, but nothing has happened to date. The roads in Mberengwa are in very bad state, I urge the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development to avail funds for the refurbishment of roads in Mberengwa. I noticed that even when we attended the burial of the late Hon. Alum Mpofu – the roads were very bad. Please may necessary attention be accorded to the roads in Mberengwa. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I hope that
I am now audible. The report that was tabled by Hon. Dr. Nyashanu, the
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development is a very important motion and is also crucial in the fact that all the Chairpersons of the various Portfolio Committees were part of the Budget, Finance and expanded SDG.
Mr. Speaker Sir, first and foremost, I would want to thank the Parliament Administration for granting this opportunity – being the first of its kind in 2021, for Parliament to go back to the very centres that they had gone to consult communities pertaining what they wanted to see in the budget. Mr. Speaker Sir, the Post-Budget consultations were very important and I want to echo on what the Chairperson said that many people were happy that we had gone back and being the first of its kind, it was a learning curve. We learnt a lot and I think that we need to then take some of the lessons as we go forward to future programmes in the next year.
Personally Mr. Speaker Sir, fundamentally I think one thing that is certain which we believe needs to happen and Parliament to heed, is to ensure that first and foremost, our Members of Parliament, especially those who are not in the Budget and Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee should also be issued with a simplified version of the budget. I think that the Budget Office at
Parliament have been doing a fantastic job and those booklets that the Budget Office has been producing should be issued to every Member of Parliament so that every Member of Parliament is in a position to go back to his/her constituency and various Wards and explain the budget even before Parliament sends its Committees. I think it is crucial that a simplified version goes out there. I think the documents that were produced by the Budget Office go a long way because even none financial Members of Parliament will be in a position to follow because it is pictorial and easier to follow. I think that it is crucial that funds be channeled to the Budget Office for the sake of ensuring that we empower every Member of Parliament including Senators to ensure that the people with whom we interact with get to have that information.
The other thing that we also believe needs to be done Mr. Speaker Sir and I am actually glad that in the next few weeks, we will be debating on the Public Finance Management Act because some of the ills that Hon. Members were talking about are found in terms of the inadequacies that were there in terms of the Public Finance Management
Act. I am hoping that Hon. Members will take advantage and opportunity to ensure that when the debate on the Public Finance Management Act starts, we will be in a position to put several issues that will make the budget process in Zimbabwe transparent and also ensure that it is people driven. We want to ensure that whatever we are going to do is contained within the various laws.
I think Mr. Speaker, you are aware that Chapter 17 of the
Constitution talks about the fundamental issues and characteristics for Public Finance Management. We need to ensure that all these things that we bemoan as having gaps in terms of performance, implementation et cetera need to be factored into the Public Finance Management Act that is coming after we have debated the Bill. It is my view that Members of Parliament need to acquaint themselves with the PFMA which has been gazzetted and now before Parliament. The reason why I am saying this is because it answers some of the things and some of the issues that the public was complaining about – the question of the nondisbursement of funds.
However, on the flip side, as Members of Parliament, we also need to go beyond the question of loop talking in terms of expenditure. It is also crucial that as Parliament, we need to dissect, to question and to look into the other side of the budget which is the revenue generation. As parliamentarians, we need to pay particular attention to where the money for the budget is coming from. Some of the reasons that we found is that the Minister sometimes will say I have had to give $10 to ministry X but then gives that ministry $5. The non-availability of the revenue; ordinarily a budget as you are aware, is a financial plan for the next year. It does not necessarily relate to say that the budgeting that you are talking of, you are going to get every dollar.
However, what is crucial in my view is that as we go to the people, as we develop our budget processes in Zimbabwe, Members of Parliament also need to pay particular attention especially to the financing aspect of the budget. When we want roads to be done, boreholes to be drilled and all the things that we want to do – where do we get the money? Which expenses should we curtail so that we will be in a position to put the resources to areas that are beneficial to the country as a whole?
It is my view and I just want to thank Team A that I went with led by Hon. Chief Nyashanu and the various Chairpersons for the job that was done and also the fantastic contributions that we got from the members of the public and stakeholders. To that end, I thank you.
HON. M. KHUMALO: Thank you Hon. Chair. I also want to
contribute on the report by the Expanded Committee. Firstly, let me start with the welfare of the teams that go out during this very important session of Parliament. There is a tendency that Parliament and even some external funders of these programmes, starve Members of Parliament and staff during the tours. If you travel for a week being on full board; an adult must not just live to be fed; at least there must be a token in the future to make sure that the teams are well catered for financially.
This exercise awakened Parliament in that we discovered that a lot of people particularly in the rural areas were not aware of the budget process, how the budget is crafted and how it is implemented. They were not even able to distinguish between parliamentarians and officers of Government in the budget process. So, it was awakening that people were able to familiarise themselves with the budget process.
This budget process also assisted the Executive; I want to applaud
Parliament for doing this. The Executive usually brings their budgets to Parliament and then we approve. When they implement, there is no publicity on which things they are doing and how they came about. Therefore, the process was able to help Government because each team was able to give feedback on all the activities or programmes ministry by ministry.
Hon. Speaker, the process also assisted Members of Parliament. In certain areas, it was very difficult for Members of Parliament to take issues from ministries. Remember that ministries are also funded by external partners (NGO’s). We found an area where an NGO has done a lot of work but that work is not recorded in the budget. Hence the exercise was able to bring to the attention of members out there and also assist Members of Parliament to publicise the activities that are happening in their areas.
Mr. Speaker, the citizen booklet; that booklet is quite good but we discovered that it only concentrated mainly on the areas that were attended to by the Committee last year. Now you get to an area for example Matabeleland North where we covered two areas, Hwange and Bubi. Now, when you do like that, that is a provincial visit. People in Tsholotsho will not have time to go to Bubi and Hwange. However, when we were reporting on this exercise, we were able to talk about the provincial allocations and how they were executed, so the people of Tsholotsho benefited.
When we come up with that citizen budget booklet, let us put everything that was done by the budget throughout the country so that even those areas where people did not attend the public hearing will be able to hear some of the things that were catered of in terms of their areas.
Lastly, I want to look at the issues that appeared on the budget. There is a tendency also by the Ministry of Finance to neglect those issues that come every year like an issue in Gwanda where a bridge has been coming every year. These people in Gwanda nearly chased
Members of Parliament because that thing was not budgeted for. In my
Constituency, Lupane West, you can talk about other things like GwayiShangani and other things but if you do not talk about network and boosters, you would have not done anything. However, when you look at the budgets, year in and year out, nothing comes out on the network issues. So, in future, the Ministry of Finance must look at those issues that are coming every time from communities so that they are a priority in the budget. Hon. Chair, I thank you.
+HON. MUDAU: It is my first day to be here in this august House because I was seconded by the people of Matebeland. I would like to thank the people of Matebeleland South who seconded me to Parliament. I would also like to appreciate my party ZANU-PF which recognised my potential and brought me to this august House. I am here because we lost an Hon. Member of Parliament and because of that, I want to appreciate all who decided to bring me here.
What I want to talk about is the issue regarding the usage of different languages which is crucial in Zimbabwe. I come from Beit Bridge and we speak Venda. I came into this august House and will serve two terms and when issues such as budget for languages was being raised, I wondered why it is not being spread to different areas covering different languages so that our people hear us communicating in their languages. The budget should also focus on peripheral areas and even different road networks. It is important that even rural roads are serviced. I have noticed that in the rural areas, most roads are in a state of disrepair and they are the same roads used by ambulances and food relief vehicles which at times fail to get to communities because of the bad roads.
Let me also look at those who are disabled. The disabled people are not happy. Some are totally disabled whilst others are blind but when they hear that some people are earning large amounts of monies they end up feeling that their disability is not being noticed. In Beit Bridge, you see a lot of things happening there which should be corrected. Even the budget for development is not very clear what it is being used for because if the money is not used for rural schools and hospitals and other communal facilities then we will not know what they are being used for. It is important therefore that the annual budget should look at how the money is being used for. In Matebeleland South, it must be clear how much has been allocated to the province. There should be a day for accounting for the usage of these monies until people are satisfied because if we are just told the money was used to rehabilitate roads without evidence then the people will not be satisfied.
Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity.
(v)*HON. PETER MOYO: Firstly, I would like to thank the mover of this motion and the Executive which saw that it was fit for us to go back to the people. The people were very happy and they noticed that there was change. This should continue. In the Midlands, people said they wanted us to implement what we would have agreed to in the budget. They wanted us to stick to what we would have agreed or tell them what we are able to do and not do. They said we should meet our promises. They said they were happy that the Chinese were helping them and that meant the money budgeted for should be channelled to what it was budgeted for.
We went to one area where they said they only hear about e learning but they do not know whether it is being implemented. They said the issue of e-learning should be supported in the rural areas and boosters should be maintained so that children in the rural do not lag behind. They felt that a lot of money should be channelled towards these boosters or even a supplementary budget so that the 350 boosters are revamped. This was the people’s outcry for us to hear their plea.
The other issue was on schools. They felt that the rural schools should function just like the schools in the urban areas. This issue that we are talking about is very pertinent. Everyone should look at the rural child down there where there is no network. They said they witnessed it in 2000 when donors came with radios. They said those radios should be re-introduced and given to school children because they do not need a lot of radio frequency in rural areas. There are some places like Gwanda which cannot get local radio stations frequencies, so they resort to listening to foreign radio stations. They implored us to have those radios reintroduced.
The issue of roads is another thorny issue, especially in Mberengwa where I come from. I do not think there is any place with such bad road network. I do not know why it is lagging behind, like we are still in Rhodesia. The reason why we chose to go to the education centre was because we could not get to areas located where there are no tarred roads. If we had gone there at least people would know that there are bad roads in the country. So, our esteemed Chairperson should take it to the President that the road is so bad. Even the former President, his road was tarred. The whole road from Longwe to Mbesi where Hon. J. Gumbo hails from is really bad so people there want that road to be revamped in the shortest period of time. They want the road to be revamped to Masasi where the hospital is. You find that in places like Gaha and Hobani there is no tar. They asked why companies like Mimosa who are getting a lot of money from our minerals, and they have adopted Masasi School, why can they not come together with other companies like Sandawana so that they can rehabilitate the road so that it is tarred?
The other issue that people were complaining about was that in
Mberengwa we have a lot of gold and emeralds but why is it that we do not have development? Right now, Sandawana Mine is closed but there are emeralds there. There are a lot of minerals in Mberengwa but if you look at the road that leads to Mnene, it is very bad. The biggest issue that was raised in Mberengwa and Gokwe was about the roads and that big companies should take the responsibility to rehabilitate the roads.
When it comes to the issue of learning, the communities should have access to network. Some students in other areas are learning online but students from these areas are not learning because they have no network access so we are breeding dull people there. I will not say much because a lot has been talked about but what they were crying about implementing. They want implementation so that we go back and monitor the projects. They said we should come back and monitor the projects. Thank you.
(V)+HON. G. DUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that you have given me to add my voice on this motion where we were giving feedback on what is in the 2021 Budget. People were very grateful that we went back with feedback on the budget.
In interacting with people from Hwange, they were complaining that the funds that are distributed to the different ministries are not getting to the rightful people that are supposed to benefit from them. They were complaining especially pertaining to funds that were disbursed to rehabilitate the road from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo. They said that funds were disbursed for the resurfacing of the road but what they are noticing is that the rehabilitation that is happening is only the patching of potholes. There is no proper maintenance of the road such as widening or construction of additional lanes. People were asking if this road could be resurfaced and widened for it to be a proper road, and that there be close scrutiny of the funds that are disbursed to make sure that they are used for the right purpose.
Also the roads that link Hwange Rural Districts are not being serviced sufficiently. The only thing that they do is they level the roads with graders and pour some gravel on it but that is not all. There is a major road that links the two districts. They complained that the Chisuma gravel road was supposed to be a tarred road because it is a major road in the district. The residents within these districts were complaining that they do not understand why these roads are not been serviced whilst coal is mined at Hwange. They believe that since the roads are for this area they were supposed to benefit through the rehabilitation of infrastructure as residents within the community.
People from Hwange wished they were more tertiary institutions within the area. There is only a teachers’ college in Hwange but they wished it could be given a higher status to become a university rather than offering diplomas. They pleaded that Government offers more funds so that they could benefit from the land that was given to Lupane State University to construct a satellite university at Victoria Falls for their children to also benefit from the educational facilities within the area. It is also not reasonably fair that institutions that offer certificates in tourism and hospitality are only found in Harare and Bulawayo whilst most of the tourists are found within Victoria Falls, so it would be a good thing if a tertiary institution that offers certificates in this discipline is constructed within the Victoria Falls town. They pleaded that Government looks into the funds that are awarded to different provinces in its budget. The funds that are allocated to areas like Victoria Falls should be increased so that development in terms of tertiary institutions can be achieved.
The residents also asked for the revival of community share ownership schemes so that the communities also benefit from the natural resources that are found within their areas. They pleaded that the companies be resuscitated and they have spoken for many years that in Hwange District, there is a very big river called Zambezi. That is where they get most of their foreign currency. It is a plea from the people from that area that when it comes to the budget and since this river is a God given gift, it was not man- made, they should also benefit from it. The Government should pronounce that a certain percentage should benefit the community within Hwange District because it looks like all the funds collected are taken to Harare (kobamba zonke). People from that area are asking for a small share so they can also develop their schools, clinics and hospitals. The Ndebele people have a saying that goes ‘asikaphule sonke Donga” but if Donga continues benefiting on his own, then it will not be good for the country. So it is their wish that foreign currency collected from Zambezi should be given to them there and there instead of it being brought back as devolution funds.
Mr. Speaker Sir, they also mentioned that there is coal mining in Hwange District but there are no higher education schools in Hwange that offer Advanced level or science laboratories and even universities in Bulawayo, the university is in Lupane. Students can only apply to go to that university and even the high schools are not well equipped so they are not getting good education.
The Government should take note of such things. We learnt a lot from this disease and children from the rural areas are lagging behind in terms of education from those that are in the cities. The Government should make sure that there is network everywhere and also increase the number of boosters everywhere in the rural areas so that a child in Jambezi, Magwagwa and Chikandabube should be able to research just like a child who is in Harare or Bulawayo or whatever city so that there can be equality. There should not be any difference to say this one is poor and this one is rich. That is what people are complaining about.
Disabled people should be assisted in all districts in language and Government institutions should be accessible. They should be able to access all services. It is difficult for most of them to access most of these Government offices because there are no ramps. These people want to be assisted by all means because they are also Zimbabweans. I hope all the contributions that were made from Gwanda to Zambezi are going to be taken on board by the Government. It should not just end by making promises that are never fulfilled. With those few words, I thank you Mr.
(v)HON. O. SIBANDA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would want to contribute to the report that was moved by Hon. Dr.
Nyashanu. It is a fantastic and detailed report. I am so glad that at least Parliament has found each other in that all Chairpersons grouped together for a common purpose. By this, we will understand that each constituency’s needs are catered for when going out to see the people, and getting information on what is needed in various constituencies.
Hon. Speaker Sir, this will assist us in terms of debating when we are doing our budget. If you look at our budget debates, sometimes we debate from an uninformed view. Sometimes we even fail to monitor and evaluate what would actually be happening after the budget has been passed because we will not be knowing what is happening in various constituencies. For example, in my constituency Vungu, if you talk about schools you look at schools which are based in resettlement areas, where schools have been operating since 2020. There are no school blocks, examinations are not written at these schools. Students have to move to other schools for the purposes of writing examinations. Therefore, you discover that the pass rate at the resettlement schools is zero. No children pass from these schools because of the inadequate equipment and classrooms. One wonders how then does this budget gets seen to these schools because there is no progress.
The issue of boosters, Hon. Members have talked about it. It is the same challenge which we face but you find that after the budget allocation and the Ministry is allocated funds for the purposes of assisting on such things, we do not see these things physically being implemented in various constituencies.
The issue to do with irrigations, the President of the country talks about rehabilitation of old irrigation schemes so that people will be self sustainable but up to today, I am three years old in this Parliament. Nothing is happening at those irrigation schemes despite the fact that we sit as Parliamentarians to debate the budget and pass it. The relevant
Ministry is allocated that money which does not reach, for example my constituency. The irrigations in Vungu, if they are rehabilitated, it will cut costs in terms of giving hand-outs in the form of social welfare hand outs from the Ministry which has been also budgeted for. We will cut the costs in terms of budget on Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare once these irrigations are functional.
However, you realise that nothing is happening despite that millions of dollars are allocated to the Ministry of Lands. I would like to thank the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, headed by Hon. Mhona. There is action which we can see. Something is happening pertaining to the roads. We are so grateful. People are so happy and they talk about it and say, this has never happened during the past 30 or 40 years but Minister Mhona has come and things have changed. We are so happy.
We want these Hon. Ministers to have something to talk about, to leave a legacy at our constituencies through Parliament and our Executive, to say in the Second Republic this is what we did. I am happy that all the Chairpersons from various Committees will meet. I propose that when the Chairpersons of various Committees meet, they must discuss and agree on the priority areas in terms of budget allocation. For example, if we talk about the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans, we need so much money so that even the living conditions of our defence forces at their various camps are improved in terms of accommodation and transportation. The living conditions of the Police Force are improved also. You cannot have a policeman who stays in Mkoba policing Gweru for example and later on, goes to rent a room from an accused person. These are things which we should consider when passing the budget and say, how about the welfare of our forces and our civil servants so that they do not get involved in corruption. We pass budgets every year. As Hon. Members, can we have a look at whether we are doing enough in terms of monies allocated to various ministries so that we are sure that when we come for a second year, the Committee will go and see exactly what was budgeted for and what the money was used for. Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. DR. NYASHANU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. DZUMA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 30th June, 2021.
On the motion of HON. T. MOYO seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Nine Minutes past Five