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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 NOVEMBER 2023 VOL 50 NO 17
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 29th November, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o`clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
NATIONAL BUDGET PRESENTATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): I have one announcement Hon. Members. I wish to remind the House that the Hon. Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion will present the 2024 National Budget tomorrow, Thursday, 30th November, 2023 at a Quarter to Three o’clock p.m.
HONMUWODZERI: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. In terms of the Standing Rules and Orders, Parliament must have a Business of the House Committee which should come up with a Parliamentary calendar. But last week Hon. Members of this House were shocked when it was announced that this House would adjourn for a week without the sitting and approval of the Business of the House Committee.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Committee is yet to meet and it will meet when the Hon. Speaker is here. Thank you for your concern.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MACHINGURA): Hon. Members, I have the following apologies from Members of the Executive: The Vice President, Hon. Gen. Rtd. Dr. Constantino,G.D.N Chiwenga
The Vice President, Hon. Col. Rtd. Kembo.D. Mohadi
The Minister of Defence, Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. Zhemu Soda.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Hon. P. Kambamura.
The Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. July Moyo.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon. Amb. Dr. Frederick Shava.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hon. S.G. Nyoni.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Ministers. As we have alluded to, the Ministers of Energy, Public Service, Foreign Affairs, Industry and Commerce have not been available in this august House every Wednesday, since we commenced sitting, to answer questions to Members of Parliament. Mr. Speaker Sir, it then defeats this day and it weakens the legislature as an institution and with all due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, to then hope that the Leader of the House answers questions on behalf of these Ministers, is asking for too much because ordinarily, the Hon. Minister of Justice ends up giving general responses which do not speak to the policy nature of the questions that Hon. Members would want to pose to the Hon. Ministers.
So, our appeal Hon. Minister, is to say there is need Hon. Speaker, to ensure that a message is sent through to the Hon. Leader of the House, to ensure that the Executive should actually take this august House with the seriousness that is deserves. I thank you
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I think your concern has been noted by the Leader of Government Business, but when you are asking for Ministers to come and indicate as if they do not want to come to the House, I think your concern is that you just want them in the House and the Hon. Leader of Government of Business will take note of that.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think this House inasmuch as all sides of the House would appreciate the Ministers and Deputy Ministers coming to this august House. Ministers are human beings and Ministers have a double responsibility, Hon. Speaker. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, order! Hon. Members on my left, when you were giving out your points of order, I gave you all the room to be heard. Just wait, let us hear what he has to say.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, I am sure the Hon. Members from the right side are quite aware that there is a man called Tshabangu outside there who will be waiting for this behaviour.
My point of order Mr. Speaker Sir, without taking much of your time - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Member, are you through?
HON. MUGWADI: I am not through Hon. Speaker. I am being interjected. My message is that all Hon. Members of this House want Ministers and Deputy Ministers to be in the House to answer questions. There is no debate about that reality, but we must appreciate that Ministers do not exercise their ministerial responsibility in Parliament per se. They have duties as prescribed by their ministries and when they are not there, it is too early Mr. Speaker, to start - [AN. HON. MEMBER: Withdraw the Tshabangu] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, you are actually eating into the time of questions without notice. Let us get serious – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] -
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. GUYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and good afternoon. Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for giving me this opportunity. My name is Phillip Guyo representing Buhera North Constituency. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. What is the Government’s position in terms of providing shelter and food after a natural disaster?
Mr. Speaker Sir, people have been left homeless and without food when the country received heavy rains and storms a month ago. The District Civil Protection Unit is not capacitated to do much and the affected families have not received assistance. What measures are you putting in place for those affected since the country is about to receive heavy storms? I thank you
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Leader of Government Business, can I direct it to the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question where the Hon. Member, if I got him correctly, is asking the policy position if there is a disaster.
The policy position, Mr. Speaker is, once a disaster occurs, the local leadership is supposed to inform the District Development Coordinator (DDC) and then what happens is, the Central Government will be informed. Depending on the extent of the disaster, the President can declare a national disaster to allow mobilisation of resources, because when a disaster occurs, you need funds to fund that particular crisis that has happened to mitigate against it. So, there are no funds which can be budgeted for things which are unforeseen. You will never budget enough. So the Government will declare a national disaster depending on the extent or the Civil Protection Unit can take over and ensure that whatever is needed is done.
I have noticed that the second part of his question relates to a specific incident. There is a difference between the policy position and the lack of resources or lack of mobilisation of resources, but from the question, the Hon. Member is fully aware that there are structures to deal with disaster management. With his concern, perhaps what he might need to do is to put the question in writing and direct the question to the Minister so he can deal specifically with the area that he is referring to. In terms of the El Nino phenomena that we faced with the relevant Ministry, that is Local Government, they are mobilising to ensure that we are prepared for that disaster. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. MAHACHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy with regards to the welfare of our police force? This includes their accommodation, uniforms and access to health facilities such as clinics especially for those working along our borders. For example, there is the Provincial Headquarters for Manicaland Province. There is Murahwa building that is no longer fit to be used as offices for police officers as it has a leaking roof. We would want to know what steps the Government is taking to refurbish police stations and police camps that were built using wood so that they can be built using bricks, such as is the case with Marange Police Station. There should also be boreholes in police camps so that our police officers have access to clean and safe water.
I would like to give another example, that of Mudzi Police Station. They get their water from the nearby river. This water is not safe for human consumption. The police leave their work to go and fetch water from the river instead of performing their duties of arresting those who would have broken the law. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for such a brilliant question that has been asked by the Hon. Member. Mr. Speaker, Government has a single fund. Tomorrow, the Minister of Finance will be presenting the National Budget where he is going to be allocating funds to Ministries. Thereafter, he is going to bring Finance Bill which as an august House, we will interrogate, thereafter we will pass the Bill after making the consideration. He has come up with a very good question. Their desire is to ensure that the standard of living for the police officers is improved. I urge the Hon. Member to remember the question that he has posed to me when the Vote is under debate and we come up with a solution on how best we can tackle this issue as regards the police officers.
*HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary to the Leader of the House is, is it not a disgrace as a Government that the police officers fail to pass out because they cannot be issued with uniforms to wear.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Member, is that a supplementary question? You should ask it as a new question.
*HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the first question that was asked was on the uniforms for police officers. That is where my supplementary question is arising from. Is it not a disgrace; the uniforms of the police officers was part of the first question?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You will ask it as a new question.
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: My supplementary question is also in connection with what the Hon. Member raised. During this time of 16-days of activism against Gender-Based-Violence – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Let the Hon. Member be heard in silence. Can you go ahead!
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for your protection. During these 16-days of activism against…
HON. HWENDE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. There is a supplementary question here which has not been answered and you cannot entertain another Member before he answers. You must allow the Minister to answer first before you can allow another Hon. Member to ask a question.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, I have advised the Member to ask that question separately. So, I dismissed it as a supplementary question. Can you please go ahead!
HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question is during this time of commemorating the 16-days of activism against gender-based violence, police is not capacitated to deal with issues of gender-based violence because of transport. People are reporting but police are saying, they do not have transport to go to the scene of accident. I would like to know what the Government is doing so that we are on the scene of gender-based violence in time to avoid death to women. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Actually, it is not very correct that police do not have transport. In fact, if you have noticed over the last two years, there has been renewal of the fleet for the police even in rural areas, we have had a significant increase in police vehicle presence. It is not very correct that they do not have. Actually, one of the best things that His Excellency has done over the last two years is to capacitate both the national army, the police and the prisons in terms of vehicles. If Hon. Members want to be very honest, the presence of vehicles from the security sector within the community has increased.
However, when we have 16-days of activism against gender-based violence, it does not mean there is an increase during those 16 days. It means that it is a period where we must raise awareness that this is a behaviour that is not wanted. It does not mean that when we are having those days, the police must immediately be capacitated beyond what they are now. It is a fact that we need to increase the fleet but during the 16-days of activism, what we need is to have more people speaking out against gender-based violence. I thank you.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to ask the Hon. Minister whether he has ever been at public commuter pick up points such as Samora, Chinhoyi and along Second Street Extension and see a lot of police officers who will be looking for transport to go home. We see a lot of police officers riding on public motor vehicles. What measures have been put in place to ensure that the police can travel comfortably? If there are any other cities, you may disclose but in Harare, they do not have adequate transport. They are at times seen at undesignated pick up points looking for transport.
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This is a new question that is totally different from the issue of operational vehicles. The original question was about operational vehicles to curb gender-based violence. This one is about vehicles to ferry officers to their homes which is different. I thank you.
*HON. MUWOMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I represent Makoni Constituency. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What is Government policy with regards to the provision of drugs for chronic diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes? Our rural folk go as far as Rusape town to get medication and tested for these ailments such as High Blood Pressure and Diabetes. Therefore, what is Government’s policy in terms of provision of such medications and testing at a nearby hospital?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question. Mr. Speaker, what the Hon. Member has said is correct. The challenge with regards to drug provision is not only in communal lands, but also in urban areas. We used to have companies which made drugs, that is our pharmaceuticals and we were hard hit by sanctions as a result of having repossessed our land under the Land Reform Programme. The CAPS Pharmaceuticals which was located on your way to Highfields went into liquidation and it fell down.
In the Second Republic as we have seen, the President went to the Egyptians and we now have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Egyptians and as a result of that Memorandum of Understanding, we have been able to secure some drugs. We have also approached the People’s Republic of China and expressed the challenges that we are facing as a result of the illegal sanctions that have been imposed on us and they built warehouses – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - So, Hon. Speaker, I was saying for us to be able to – [HON. HWENDE: On a point of order.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order! There is no point of Order there. Hon. Minister, you may continue with your answer.
Hon. Hwende approached the Chair
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker Sir, - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please withdraw what you have said? Hon. Members, let us be mature in this House. We are representing our constituencies who want to know what is going in this House.
HON. HWENDE: I withdraw.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I was saying that His Excellency, the President has noticed that our people were being affected by the illegal sanctions that were causing drug shortages, he went to his friends. The Egyptians agreed to assist us and they should come to set up factories to manufacture drugs in this country, but before that is done, in the interim, drugs are going to be imported from Egypt so that our people can get drugs.
So, plans are afoot, those built in Manicaland were the warehouses for NatPharm so that they can store drugs. Motor vehicles to distribute drugs nationwide are also now available. It might take a bit of time to ensure that everybody gets these drugs in their local clinics, but plans are underway and they are ongoing. I thank you – [HON. ZHOU: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, Order! Hon. Zhou withdraw your words.
HON. ZHOU: I withdraw that vanoisa list kuna Tshabangu…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: No, no! Just withdraw
HON. ZHOU: I withdraw.
*HON. HWENDE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Minister did not answer the question. The question was people are dying in the hospitals, there are no drugs, we cannot sit here and the Minister is telling lies. Even Panadol tablets are not there…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: First of all, I want you to withdraw that the Hon. Minister has lied.
*HON. HWENDE: What the Hon. Minister has said and what is obtaining on the ground is different. People are dying, there are no drugs in the hospitals. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Are the drugs there in the hospitals? Why are people having to buy gloves, syringes…
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Hon. Minister has already answered the question. He went further to talk of the plans that are on ongoing. He said sooner or later, people will be able to access the drugs.
*HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member who was raising a point of order and accusing the Minister of not answering the question must ask his own question and not to say someone’s question has not been fully answered when the person who asked the question is satisfied.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon Chief Whip. That is why we did not ask the Minister to answer that question.
*HON. MASHONGANYIKA: I want to thank the leader of the House for the response that he gave. However, my supplementary question pertains to balanced diet in Government hospitals. There are certain conditions that can be treated using a balanced diet. These are diseases such as diabetes, Kwashiorkor, Marasmus (slimming disease), Measles, Tuberculosis, wounds and bone diseases. We have dieticians in hospitals who are in charge of administering diets for different ailments. My question is, do you have any plans to ensure that there is a balanced diet in hospitals?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I think that is a specific question that has to be answered by the Hon. Minister of Health. Please, put your question in writing so you can get a proper response.
HON. MURAMBIWA: We heard what Government is doing to ensure there are medicines in hospitals, but the majority of these clinics and hospitals have very few doctors, maybe one or two. What plans does Government have in place to ensure that such hospitals and clinics are adequately staffed?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is a new question.
HON. MUGWADI: Thank you very much. If I may remind you Hon. Speaker that the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. J Mudenda, according to Standing Rules and Orders, made a ruling on the dress code pertaining to MPs. I realise Hon. Sithole has violated that ruling by putting on a yellow tie. I think it should be considered that he be ejected out of the House.
HON. KUKA: Good afternoon Hon Speaker Sir. I represent Mkoba South Constituency. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. According to NDS1 which runs from 2021 to 2025, there is a Decent Work Agenda where the country seeks to promote decent work and economic growth. In light of that, what is Government doing to ensure that the goals of NDS1 are realised, especially to ensure that workers in both public and private sector are not retrenched from institutions which are facing economic challenges? For instance, we have BATA Shoe Company in Gweru, which is currently engaged in massive retrenchments. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Leader of Government Business, did you get his question? Can you go direct to the point Hon. Member?
HON. KUKA: My question is, what is Government doing to ensure that the goals of NDS1 are realised, especially to ensure that workers in both public and private sectors are not retrenched from institutions which are facing economic challenges? For example, BATA Shoe Company in Gweru, which is currently engaged in a massive retrenchment process. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, the issue of retrenchment in private companies is regulated by law, whether there is NDS1 or no NDS1. If a company is struggling, I follow the necessary laws that apply to retrenchment. If it is approved and what they have submitted satisfies the requirements of retrenchment, then that will go. I so submit Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON MUSHORIWA: My supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir is on the Government Blue Print, the NDS1. Does the response by the Hon. Minister confirm that the Economic Blue Print (the NDS1) that is being run by the Government is failing, given that the economic fundamentals that underpin that economic blue print are failing to create a suitable economic environment which allows companies and entities to perform well?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, I cannot see the connection between the two questions. There is no supplementary question there.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is very simple. I am asking the Hon. Minister…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members.
HON. TSITSI ZHOU: My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. The recurrence of the El Niño induced drought has caused serious hunger in most parts of the country. What is the Government’s plan to alleviate hunger that is affecting almost everyone in the country since at the present moment, food aid is only given to vulnerable groups?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, indeed climate change is with us and because of that, you will realise that the President, in his wisdom, decided to have a Ministry of Agriculture that is linked to water. What Government is doing is to shift away from rain-fed agriculture and to concentrate on irrigation. Not only that, that is the reason again why Government came up with a climate proof agriculture in the form of Pfumbvudza/Intwasa.
All those programmes, we are trying to deviate from the normal part that we have been doing in terms of how we produce our food. Not only that, you will realise Mr. Speaker, that in the distribution of inputs, we were distributing the same inputs regardless of the ecological region. Now we are saying if you are in a dry region, the best is to distribute small grains there, the traditional grains and areas where rainfall is better, that is where we encourage people to grow maize. So, you will realise that the policy has now shifted whereby we are now saying if you are in a dry region, concentrate on crops or livestock that are suited for that region. If you are in a region that is suitable for a particular crop, concentrate on that. That way, we will end up when we harvest, with a pool of grain that will ensure that we are self-sufficient. What we are doing this year, the inputs that are being distributed and the hectarage that is going to be put under irrigation will be sufficient to ensure that we will go through the El Niño drought that is facing us.
+HON. P. DUBE: My supplementary question to the Minister is, may he clarify what really happens when it comes to the distribution of Presidential inputs. I got a chance to visit the rural areas and found that yes, the inputs are now there but you find five people sharing a 5 kg packet. Is that what is supposed to happen and on top of that people are made to pay $1 to transport these inputs so that they get to them. Can he clarify if that is what is supposed to happen?
*HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, in our constituency where I come from, we count the number of households in the area and the inputs we received and share accordingly after we have given the Ministry of Agriculture information related to distribution. If what the Hon. Member is saying is happening, it means that his question needs to be written down that in this area, people are being told to share a bag of seed, then we see where the problem is. Sometimes people we live with are the ones who are stealing the seeds or inputs which are meant to be distributed to the people. This other day, I saw a video of people fighting for a sack of seed. His question needs to be written down and we investigate why the seed which was meant to be distributed to the people did not reach the intended beneficiaries.
*HON. SHONGEDZA: Thank you Mr Speaker. My question was meant for the Minister of Home Affairs but since he is not around, I am now directing it to the Leader of Government Business. What is the Government policy with regard to those who died during the liberation struggle and are buried in different places far away from their homes? Right now, parents and relatives are selling their livestock to secure money for reburials. Some of them travel as far as Mashonaland Central to Mutare to exhume and rebury their relatives to their respective homes. What is the Government policy concerning that?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): The responsible Minister is around and he is the one who oversees on those who died during the liberation struggle. Let me allow him to respond to this question.
*THE MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA): Thank you Hon Ziyambi, Leader of the House and I am also offering my respect to the Speaker. The question that has been asked by the Hon. Member makes me very emotional since I am one of those who fought during the liberation struggle…
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Sithole, he has not yet said anything so what is your point of order?
*HON. G. SITHOLE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Our Standing Rules and Orders clearly state that on Wednesday, that is the date we ask questions. When we ask questions, we want to hear the Government policy not the Minister’s feelings. His feelings are not Government policy – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon Members, that is why I said you have risen on a point of order but the Minister has not said anything.
HON. G. SITHOLE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Sithole what is the point of order? He has not said anything.
*HON. G. SITHOLE: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Our Standing Rules and Orders say that every Wednesday, Members of Parliament can ask questions. When we ask questions, we want the policy position of Government and not the feelings of the Minister. If the Minister says what he feels, that is not a policy position. He becomes emotional because that is not a policy position – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order in the House! Order! Hon. Member, the Minister has not said anything and you are already saying point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Order, order! Let us wait for his response. If there is a supplementary question then we can pause the supplementary question.
*THE MINISTER OF VETERANS OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE (HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA): We recently had the Ministry of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle after the new Cabinet after the recent elections. This was created by His Excellency, the President, Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. The fact that the Ministry was created clearly shows that our President places a lot of importance to the issues that pertain to war veterans. That we have a full Ministry that looks at the affairs of war veterans which is on par with other Government Ministries, I want to thank the President for that.
In the same trajectory, we are going to be seized with issues that deal with the affairs of war veterans as a Ministry. I want to thank the President that after 40 years, we now have a Ministry.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, if you repeat that, I am going to chase you out of this House.
HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: I stand by what I say. I thank His Excellency the President because he has been able to - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. MAVHUDZI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MAVHUDZI: Hon. Speaker Sir, we are here to discuss the policy. I am kindly asking the Hon. Minister to answer in regards to the policy position. We do not want his opinions, we want him to answer specifically to the policy position.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please wait until he has finished answering then you can comment. Give him the right to be heard in silence.
*HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: Mr. Speaker, what I am able to respond to, comes from the appointing authority, from my principal – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - His Excellency, the President who appointed me Minister.
Since I am a recently appointed Minister, when I was given the terms of reference to lead this particular Ministry, I still am there. So he is the appointing authority. His Excellency, the President, Dr. Mnangagwa said I must look at everything that involves the liberation war veterans - those that went to the liberation struggle, the war collaborators and the rest of them. So as the Minister, I am waiting to put in place a theme to ensure that the Ministry can start running. Tomorrow, there will be a national budget that will then make my task much easier as you suggest. Once I am given a budget, I will have the parameters within which to carry out the task.
I am concerned about those who died within the liberation struggle, those that died in Zimbabwe in various places and other related issues pertaining to war veterans as regards the law that you enacted as ZANU PF and MDC, as COPAC. During the COPAC period, we ensured that the people’s Constitution and wishes are respected. I thank you
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members, I am not allowing any supplementary questions.
*HON. KARIKOGA: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. When we started working as Parliamentarians, Mr. Speaker through your wisdom, you saw it fit for us to be inducted. The majority who I face did not attend the induction. We are going to waste a lot of time, wasting precious time for things that they should have learnt during the induction. We drove from far to come here only for those that live 20km from Parliament to make a lot of noise when we have driven 600km. It defeats the whole purpose.
It is my plea, you have the register for people who attended the training. Those who were not trained should go back and be trained because we will spend five years facing the same problem with people who do not know the reason why they came to Parliament. I thank you.
HON. G. K. HLATYWAYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Section 210 of the 2013 Constitution provides for an independent complaints mechanism for receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of the security services and remedying any harm caused by such misconduct.
In October 2022, the Independent Complaints Commission Act was promulgated into law. It is mandated to appoint Commissioners, this did not happen. The Commission is extremely important, given the prevalence and history of State sponsored violence and human rights violations, abuses in our country…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your question Hon. Member?
HON. G. K. HLATYWAYO: It was also one of the recommendations that was made by the Motlanthe Commission after the August 1 incident in 2018…
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, what is your question? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Member, please sit down. I asked you what your question is. Ask your question.
HON. G. HLATYWAYO: My question is, why has Government not appointed the Commissioners to the Independent Complaints Commission?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you, that is a question.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, that is not a policy question. It is an operational question.
HON. MUNEMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is the ministerial position regarding the transfer and replacement of teachers, especially to low lying borders of our State, in light of those schools that have taken time without teachers after they have been transferred? Students may go for two to three terms without getting replacements. What is the policy of the Government regarding that?
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Regarding transfer of teachers, it is an individual decision for a teacher to seek transfer to an area that he or she wants. Regarding the plight of students in the marginalised districts like Binga, Gokwe North, Rushinga, Muzarabani and so on, Government has a deliberate policy to ensure that teachers – coming 2024, we are going to have a decentralised recruitment Mr. Speaker Sir, so that we deal with those. Most disadvantaged districts are going to have teachers and our learners will not be disadvantaged. I thank you.
HON. S. ZIYAMBI: My supplementary question is, we have noted with concern that newly recruited teachers spend two months at a school where they are deployed. Thereafter, they now write letters of transfer on preferred schools. That will result in disadvantaging marginalised areas like what my colleague Hon. Member said. What is Government’s policy with regards to the transfer of newly appointed teachers to areas where they are deployed? Thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank Hon. Ziyambi for such a very important question. The phenomenon has been that, after deployment, teachers were deployed to areas that they were not interested in. It was a culmination of the policy of centralised deployment. We have identified the disadvantages of centralised deployment whereby a person from Manicaland is deployed to Matabeleland North. After serving for two months, that person wishes to go back to Manicaland. In order to address that problem, that is why we are going to resort to decentralisation so that we encourage teachers from Matabeleland to be deployed in areas of their choice, most likely in their home provinces. I so submit.
*HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me take this opportunity to ask my question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education…
HON. HWENDE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. HWENDE: I think it is important for the Speaker to be consistent. You just ruled that you are not taking any supplementary or point of order. Even on point of order, you ruled that when someone is rising on a point of order, they must quote the specific Order. I think now you are not doing the same regarding the Members from this side, but you are only applying your ruling to Members from this side. You need to be consistent as a Speaker and stick to your rules.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, I am as constant as the Northern Star. Hon Mugwadi, can you please go on.
*HON. MUGWADI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me proceed as the one who has been recognised by the Chair to proceed. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, there is an issue and I do not know if you are aware, does your department also come up with statistics about schools that are in bad shape, that are being damaged by the rain or schools that have not been repaired for a long time?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mugwadi, that is a new question. Please sit down.
*HON. MUGWADI: Hon. Speaker, as an obedient child, I will sit down.
HON. MAKUMIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise to question the Minister of Local Government and Public Works with respect to the payment of municipal rates and settlement of arrears to local authorities by Government departments which are owing rural and urban local authorities. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This is a very specific question which relates to the monies owed by the State and the fact that he alluded that these are monies owed, means they must be paid. I thank you.
HON. MAKUMIRE: My supplementary question Mr. Speaker is, the Government is owing bills to local authorities and we want to know when the Government is going to settle these arrears. This is crippling service delivery in these local authorities. Thank you.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Garbage collection which is supposed to be done by local authorities has been taken over by another company. Right now…
HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order! The Hon. Minister must respond to the question that I have asked. He is trying to evade the question because he really knows that the Government is sabotaging local authorities – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - Mr. Speaker, may I be protected…
HON. MUSA NCUBE: On a point of order!
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You cannot have a point of order over another.
HON. MUSA NCUBE: On a point of order! Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – the Hon. Member is misrepresenting facts. If he is saying the Government is sabotaging the programme, he must withdraw the word ‘sabotaging’.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you withdraw. You should always avoid those words like the Government is sabotaging.
HON. MAKUMIRE: I withdraw.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: May you continue with your question.
HON. MAKUMIRE: The Hon. Minister must respond to this issue with the attention that it deserves because as we are speaking now, Harare City Council is being owed more than 25 billion by the Government, Bulawayo City Council is being owed more than 13 billion, Masvingo City Council is being owed more than three billion, Chiredzi Town Council is being owed more than 500 million and this is crippling service delivery to local council and the Government comes in now to do roads and other services that must be offered by local authorities. We want to know when the Government is going to settle these arears so that service delivery can improve in local authorities. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Minister before you rise, I think I heard the Hon. Minister saying that is a specific question. May you put that question in writing then he can answer you…
HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order! This issue is affecting all Zimbabweans both in the rural and urban places.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Yes, it is specific, put it in writing.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In my earlier response, I cautioned Hon. Makumire that he should get his facts correctly. In terms of City of Harare, the water reticulation system was paid for by the Government. I said he should get his facts correctly and when he does so, he should put that in writing. The Minister of Local Government will come and give correct details, those things are being done by the Central Government.
Water reticulation, only on Monday – [HON. MAKUMIRE: Point of order!] – His ignorance is disturbing him because he thinks he knows everything. He does not know anything about local authorities, someone told him lies – [HON. MAKUMIRE: On a point of order!]- Mr. Speaker, it is very bad for someone to interject when I am trying to explain the actual position, each time I try to explain what the Government has been doing to ensure that residents enjoy a beautiful life that was ruined by the opposition councillors that are running local authorities.
So, Mr. Speaker, what I would advise the Hon. Member is to put the question in writing and get the facts correctly. The Minister of Local Government will come in with his facts and that will be answered but for him to say that Government is sabotaging local authorities is utter rubbish…- [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Makumire, may you withdraw your statement that Government is sabotaging… [AN HON. MEMBER: Withdraw rubbish.] – Hon. Members, I am speaking to Hon. Makumire.
HON. MAKUMIRE: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw what I have said.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, withdraw that the Hon. Member was speaking rubbish. May you also withdraw your statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: I do not even know what he said…
HON. HADEBE: The Hon. Minister is refusing to withdraw his statement, so he must just leave the House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are not the Speaker, leave the House.
HON. HADEBE: On a point of order, the Hon. Minister should leave the House.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, the Hon. Member should leave the House. You are not the Speaker. Hon. Member, leave the House now. I will call Sergent-at-Arms. Leave the House.
Okay, the Hon. Member wants to withdraw. Please go ahead.
HON. HADEBE: I withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I felt pained when a question was posed. It felt like a political question, but it was a question which when looked at objectively by Hon. Members who are still learning, Hon. Ministers should bear with them when they answer questions. The first part of that question was what is Government’s policy regarding payment of rates by Government departments to rural and urban authorities? It did not specifically say Harare only or urban areas. Mt Darwin Rural District Council is owed by Government. It would have been important for the Minister to have responded, citing the measures they have put in place at the end of the month.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hamauswa, as the Chair, if you wanted to teach your colleague how to pose questions, you are at liberty to do that. What ended happening was that the Hon. Member accused the same Minister whom he was asking a question by alleging that Government was sabotaging programmes and I asked him to withdraw that statement. The Minister said he heard him say I withdraw and what exactly was it that he was withdrawing? He should have withdrawn by fully stating that he is withdrawing the statement that Government is sabotaging urban or local authorities.
You are protected Hon. Hamauswa. I understand you, you have pleaded with this august House that they bear with new Members because they are not experienced.
Hon. Tsvangirayi having insulted Hon. Ziyambi
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please stand up and leave the House. Hon. Hamauswa is debating and you are busy insulting Hon. Ziyambi. Please go out of this Chamber. Sergent-at- Arms, please escort this Member from this House.
*HON. SEN. C. MUTSVANGWA: The Ministry of War Veterans Affairs was established after the 2023 harmonised elections. This Ministry was established recently under the Second Republic… *HON. HAMAUSWA : The first question is for the services that the Government is receiving from urban authorities, what has Government put in place to pay them or the Government will not pay and simply say that we are the ones who have been responsible for the road maintenance.
* HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: What Hon. Hamauswa is saying is what I have done. I said if it is a debt, once you have mentioned that it is a debt, at law, you pay your debt. Even in the Bible, it is there, but the Hon. Member then said we were sabotaging these councils. Please Hon. Hamauswa, do not leave this august House saying that I have not responded to the question. One, I said the question is specific and he must put down the figures that are owed to these local authorities, but Government policy is that all debts are to be paid. As he was going further to then make accusations against the Government, that is when I said he was now going into an area where he was not vexed.
*HON. TSITSI ZHOU: I wanted to highlight that the Hon. Minister has already responded to the question. Hon. Hamauswa kept going on things that have already been responded to.
*HON. MUWODZERI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity, but when we were debating last week, we had Hon. Mr. Mhona, he was not emotional even if hard questions were being put to him. Mr. Speaker, allow me to also speak. Let me proceed Hon. Speaker and say, he remained porker-faced as he was from ab initio. If a Minister has come to answer questions, we expect that if he has been asked a lot of questions by a young Member of Parliament, and he becomes emotional, that surely is not on. When you are in this august House…
HON. MUGWADI: I want to remind you Hon. Speaker that earlier on, you had given me the reprieve to ask my question later. May I proceed to do that now? I think my question is based on very clear reflections on what is obtaining in this House today. A point has been raised by Hon. Karikoga. I reiterate the question to Minister of Justice and the Leader of Government of Business that it is very clear in this House as they say in vernacular, takasunga mombe nemadhongi - we are unevenly yoked. My question is saying some other Members under- went a very thorough and serious training process of conducting Parliament business. When is the next training session for those that both absconded and could not continue the training process so that we are on the same wavelength in this House, otherwise we have our time wasted here?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, that question is wrongly directed to me, but it indicates that a workshop is necessary. Mr. Speaker, can you organise another orientation so that those Hon. Members that did not participate can be orientated so that we are on the same page.
HON. PINDUKA: Mr. Speaker, we are into the summer cropping season, human and wildlife conflict in most of our rural communities is inevitable and will be on the rise, elephants and baboons will be ravaging crops and fields of our people. What is the Government policy available in mitigating or reducing human-wildlife conflict?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Mr. Speaker, actually the human-wildlife conflict occurs throughout the year. We have the National Parks which is on hand to deal with it to ensure that as far as possible, they mitigate when animals move and stray into areas where humans habitat. They remove them and put them into National Parks. So that particular issue, whenever elephants stray into areas where humans habitat, the easiest and fastest way to do is to inform National Parks so that they can remove them and take them back where they belong. I thank you.
*HON. MUCHEMWA: My question is directed to the Ministry of Agriculture. We have cotton farmers who sell their produce to COTTCO which is under Government. We want to know when those farmers are going to receive their dues which have gone for three years without being paid? I also want to know if they are going to receive their monies first before they are moved from COTTCO to GMB? What measures is the Government putting in place in order to avail cotton pesticides so that the crop is not destroyed by worms? Can Government not increase the number of agencies to deal with the issue of cotton so that it helps our farmers to choose where to sell their crop?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Honourable, but that question was asked last time, so you can refer to the Hansard.
HON. MAPHOSA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government since he is the one who oversees local authorities. We have got a case where local authorities misuse funds. ZACC people come and give a report, then the CEO or whoever is accountable is suspended, but the Minister of Local Government went on to write a memo to say, can you pay him or her salary when the case is still pending.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is a specific question Hon. Maphosa. Can you please write it down?
HON. MUROMBEDZI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. What is the Government policy with regards to the status of State owned enterprises seeing that they no longer maximise economic impact as they were comissioned to do and whether the Minister has found the Government’s policy inability to manage the State owned enterprises efficiently as a course that now burdens tax payers by continuing to be funded by the fiscus. If not, what is the position in this regard? If so, what are the relevant details? Thank you very much.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Murombedzi for that very good question. Mr. Speaker, when she was reading her question, it is a good question but full of specifics and she indicates that there is need for parastatals to be managed efficiently. That is not a policy question, it is an operational one. I urge Hon. Murombedzi, her question may have merit but if she can put that question in writing so that the Minister can come and interrogate with the specific issues that she has raised, which I believe are worth responding to. I thank you Mr. Speaker
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No.68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO PROSECUTE BANKING EXECUTIVES AND DIRECTOS FOR MISAPPROPRIATION OF LARGE SUMS OF MONEY
- HON. JERE asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to inform the House the legal framework that is in place to prosecute banking executives and directors who were responsible for misappropriation of large sums of money and other financial improprieties such as huge none-performing loans and poor credit risk management between the period 2012 and now.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank Hon. Jere for the question. Mr. Speaker Sir, the legal regime that we have is that anyone who is suspected to have committed an offence, you report to the police and the police will investigate. Once they are convinced that there is a case, they will take the docket to the Prosecuting Authority and the Prosecuting Authority will take over and prosecute the individual. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. JERE: Supplementary question Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir. My concern is, we all saw these issues happening in our country from the year 2012 whereby directors of the banks were using what is called insider trading. When huge deposits were coming through, they were giving each other loans which were not deserving and that saw a lot of our people losing a lot of money. Some of them died and some of the chronic diseases we are seeing now was a result of that.
Can you imagine Mr. Speaker Sir, you have had all your savings and you put them in a bank, you go to a bank this morning and the bank has closed. We need our people to be protected Mr. Speaker Sir. If you look at the developed countries, these are serious issues. It is economic sabotage and playing with depositors’ money. The situation that we are in today, we need each and every Zimbabwean to take responsibility of their actions. The banking sector has been left, Mr. Speaker Sir. They have been taking our money, stealing our money.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. JERE: My supplementary question is, there should be a robust policy to make sure that people are protected in the banking sector so that we do not wake up in the morning and your money has been taken because it is still happening today.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your supplementary question?
HON. JERE: I wanted that background to be made clear. What is the policy in place to make sure that our people are protected because it is not all of them who can go to the courts?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think it is a bit clear now. The question then is misdirected. The written question was supposed to be to the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion because banks are supposed to be supervised by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and they put in policies to ensure that depositors’ funds are protected. So, I think with your indulgence, if Hon. Jere can re-couch his question and direct it to the Minister of Finance and Investment Promotion so that perhaps we can have a review of how depositors’ funds are protected by the relevant authorities. I so submit Hon. Speaker Sir.
SHORTAGE OF BALLOT PAPERS DURING THE 23RD AUGUST HARMONISED ELECTIONS
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain why the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ran out of ballot papers during the 23rd August Harmonised Elections.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Markham for this pertinent question. It is the function of ZEC to ensure that elections are conducted efficiently. Most importantly, the Commission has the function of designing, printing and distributing ballot papers. On 23rd August, 2023, we witnessed or heard about the logistical challenges that the Commission faced, as a result, hindering its execution of its earlier mentioned function.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Commission faced challenges in the production and distribution of ballot papers for a few constituencies and wards emanating from the unprecedented number of court challenges that it faced. More than 100 post nomination applications were filed in the Electoral Court and the High Court of Zimbabwe. Due to the large amount of court challenges and the late determination of the same, the ballot papers could not be designed and printed without confirmed candidates. This resulted in the time to design, print and distribute ballots being affected.
The Commission calculated ballot papers to be printed per polling station based on population per polling station. It also projected when it expected ballots to be produced. This information was submitted to printers who were working on the said projections but the actual printing unfortunately, had to be stalled pending the outcome of pending cases.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the Commission adopted a production and distribution strategy which prioritises the remote and more distant provinces to ease the distribution challenges against limited timeframes. For this reason, it should be noted that delays were largely experienced in Harare because the printing and distribution was done last due to the province proximity to the printer. In a few reported cases of Bulawayo and other areas, delays were occasioned by the need to reprint ballots after it had been observed that there were errors on the ballots that had been sent to the affected polling stations.
Further Mr. Speaker, in mitigation of the said challenges, efforts were made to ensure that voters were not disenfranchised. The Commission requested the President to consider exercising his powers under Section 38 of the Electoral Act and alter his earlier proclamation so that voting could be extended to 24th August, 2023 in those areas that had been affected by the delays. As a result of these efforts, a statistical analysis of the average voter turn-out by polling station showed no significant difference between affected and none affected polling stations. I submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, I understand what the Minister has just reported. On the 17th of August, in front of local and international observers, ZEC stated and issued a statement, categorically stating that we are ready and all ballot papers were complete and printed, thus, 10 days or some days way before the election. While I understand the Minister saying there were legal actions, most of them were complete. In most of Harare and rural areas like Nyanga South, there were no legal issues. The Minister is misleading the House as to why there was an extension and a withholding of ballot papers by ZEC. In a current annual report, ZEC washed over the issue of lack of ballot papers stating they were all ready. So there is a direct conflict between what the Minister has reported and what ZEC has reported. Which one is telling the truth? Thank you.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What I have presented is consistent with what transpired. If there was a statement that was issued to the effect that all the ballot papers had been distributed and then a proclamation was made after ballots were not distributed, the Honourable cannot accuse me of not saying the truth. What I have said today is actually the truth. The reason why, I said, largely in Harare, ballots were delayed, is because they had to print ballots and dispatch them from areas that are far off and do Harare ballots last because of the logistical challenges because due to many court challenges that delayed the programme of ensuring that ballots are printed on time.
Perhaps Mr. Speaker, what we need is to change the Electoral Act to ensure that there is a cut off time in terms of electoral challenges. Thereafter, the Electoral Management Body will then proceed to produce ballots. That way, we can then hold them accountable to say that you cannot blame the electoral challenges because you have been given sufficient time to ensure that you print and check everything. On this current election, there were several challenges that gave logistical challenges in terms of ensuring that ballots are produced on time. I submit Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: On a supplementary question. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think we are going round. Elections have come and they have gone. The Hon. Member here has won an election where people voted. So my question is how did he win if people did not vote?
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker. On a point of order. In answering to the Hon. Minister’s statement, it is not whether I won or lost. My point is in my constituency, since he has brought it up, I had seven polling stations which were delayed up to 10 o’clock. It is quite obvious, I would have won by even more and the President would have even won by more and some of our two councillors by even more if they opened the ballot papers on time.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, I think the Minister has given his response.
HON. MARKHAM: I thank him, but I was answering the Chief Whip’s contribution.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Actually, what Hon. Markham is saying is not very correct. The voting was extended so that voting hours, in almost every constituency was the same. So he was not going to win even more because the voting hours were the same. Mr. Speaker, the long and short of it is, let us change our laws to ensure that when we have contestation among our political parties about nomination and whatever, we give sufficient time for that contestation to take place. Then ZEC gets sufficient time to do its processes. This will solve the problem. That is the submission I made, that ZEC were inundated with a lot of issues which they had and that resulted in whether the errors became whatever human or what, let us make sure that our laws give sufficient time to the electoral body to do their work appropriately.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Before I ask my supplementary question, I want to thank the Minister for accepting that our electoral laws need to be amended. We also need to give our views on that. We heard that the ballots had not been printed because there were issues that were before the courts. However, what we observed was that in a lot of constituencies in Harare, there were postal votes that were cast and there were ballot papers that were cast. They voted for the councillor, the Member of Parliament and for the President. So how were they printed since there were issues that were pending before the courts? If the Minister can explain, I would be most grateful.
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Hamauswa, I heard the Minister saying that ballots for Harare were delayed because of the challenges they faced.
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Mr. Speaker, I think you are not treating me well. I said there are those who do postal votes who had already cast their votes and their ballot papers were part of the votes. They were given to those that were at the polling station a day before elections and we have the records. How come the other ballots were not there when those for local Government were already there? May the Hon. Minister explain this discrepancy. What exactly was there? Was it someone trying to outwit the other?
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Yes, he is speaking quite well. Preparing 100 ballot papers is different from preparing 30 000 ballot papers. There was a time that we were almost through, postal votes are cast when we are close to the election. They were made in such a way that those who want to cast their postal ballots can do it. We need to urge and also give time for all ballot papers to be made so that there will not be any other obstacles like what happened. I thank you.
SADC REPORT ON THE 2023 HARMONISED ELECTIONS
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to avail the SADC report on the 2023 harmonised elections.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We do not have a custom of tabling observation reports in Parliament. I thank you.
HON. MARKHARM: Can the Minister of Justice confirm that he is not putting the observer report on the table for Parliament to debate.
HON. Z. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker, an observation report is just but an observation report. It does not come to Parliament.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order! Mr. Speaker, bear in mind that we are in the Tenth Parliament and bearing in mind the absence of numerous Ministers, and that there is only a handful. Also bearing in mind that today we received seven apologies, it gives the impression – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Mr. Speaker, how long are you going to allow the ruling party Members to continue heckling us before we can get down to business?
My question is this and it is for clarity for us, we do not know some of the Ministers because they have not been here yet. Secondly for the public, the public is under the impression that if there are eight apologies, then the rest are sitting in this House of which they are not. So, there are these questions which have been on the Order Paper for nearly four weeks and nothing has happened. Mr. Speaker, I implore us to change the protocol so that we name the Ministers that come to this House so we can recognise them for our questions, both written and without notice. So all I am asking is that if we can know the Ministers that are here, we can then ask questions to those Ministers. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Markham. The Leader of Government Business, may you help us?
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. Z. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.