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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 29 SEPTEMBER 2022 VOL 48 NO 81

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 29th September, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

          *HON. MASENDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  It is unfortunate Madam Speaker Ma’am that for basic necessities like cooking oil, you find retailers demanding US dollars which prompts consumers to go to the black market to buy the foreign currency at exorbitant rates.  This situation is not limited to retailers but schools and hospitals are also demanding US dollars.   Farmers who engage in market gardening are equally affected in that they procure inputs and implements using US dollars whilst they are expected to sell their produce in the local currency. They have to buy the different forms of energy using foreign currency from electricity, fuel and all other alternative forms of power.

          Madam Speaker, wheat producers also need foreign currency for fuel and other inputs.  The transport sector is facing a similar challenge which culminates in the fluctuation of prices as they seek to make profits from their investments.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, there is a law which applies to the procurement of products and services using US dollars, why is it that farmers are not given alternatives? I therefore, implore this august House to promulgate laws which will protect farmers because as it is, it is difficult for those in the farming industry to operate viably.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Masenda.  I encourage you to ask the question next week during Question Time to the responsible Ministry.    

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Good afternoon Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon Hon. Mutseyami.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker for according me this opportunity.  My question of national interest is for the attention of the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Hon. Speaker, the 30th August internationally, is recognised as a day of the victims of enforced disappearance and those who will be missing.  There is a Convention which recognises that. Our Republic of Zimbabwe is not a signatory to that Convention.  It is the Convention to do with the enforced disappearance and missing people. 

My humble appeal and the question to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is why the Hon. Minister does not address this gap because we are a family in this world and the world is a global village.  I humbly request the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to come up with a Ministerial Statement so that we interrogate and have clarity on grey areas with regard to this issue. 

Madam Speaker, we have to note that Zimbabwe as a country, is a victim as a result of this.  We have had the disappearance then of one called Manyama in Bulawayo, Rashiwe Guzha, Itai Dzamara whilst we are not a signatory to a Convention which addresses that situation.  So my appeal is for the Hon. Minister to look into that.  Thank you very much - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Edson Sithole] – I have just noted a few, we have as well Hon. Edson Sithole and many others who have gone missing in this country. 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mutseyami, I will ask the Government Chief Whip to convey the message to the responsible Minister to bring the Ministerial Statement to the House.  Thank you. 

  *HON MACHINGAUTA: Madam Speaker, I said I am going to talk about the provisions of the Constitution and also what is happening in Zimbabwe, if these provisions are followed, all Zimbabwean citizens will be happy.

Madam Speaker, our Constitution of Zimbabwe in Section 67, talks about political rights. If we go to Sub-section 1(a), it says every Zimbabwean citizen has right to free and fair regular elections. That is what our Constitution says. If we go further to Section 155 on Chapter 7, it talks about principles of electoral systems concerning elections. Sub-Section 1(a) of Section 155 further speaks to every Zimbabwean having a right to peaceful free and fair elections. If we go to Sub-section 1 (d) of the same section, it speaks of free from violence and other electoral malpractices. Our constitution goes further to say …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Machingauta, I want to remind you that you are supposed to talk for a minute only

HON. MACHINGAUTA: Okay Madam Speaker, let me try to be fast. Thank you.

Section 66 talks about the freedom of movement. Section 58 talks about freedom of association and disassociation. Madam Speaker, we are near elections but if we look at what is happening in our country, we see that there is political violence in provinces like Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, and Midlands and other areas like Seke. I plead to the Minister of Home Affairs to bring a Ministerial Statement to this august House which shows us plans and ways which the Ministry has so that we have free, fair, non-violent elections on the upcoming elections.

In his Ministerial Statement, he must also cover Section 219 which talks about the role of police service because if you closely check right now, we are experiencing the role of police while we have already transformed to police service. The statement must instil confidence to Zimbabweans on how the police has transformed. First thing when we return, I urgently urge the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Kazembe Kazembe to bring the Ministerial Statement which covers all the raised concerns.  This will help in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the country and we will be able to live in peace and harmony. Thank you Madam Speaker.

          (v)HON. D. P. SIBANDA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I have observed that on the submissions that have been made by Hon. Members, you have directed the Government Chief Whip to notify the Minister. I am not sure how effective that is, looking at the fact that Parliament has got administrative machinery that is capable of relaying that message direct instead of apportioning that obligation to a Chief Whip. The Chief Whip cannot be accountable to the whole House in the same manner as when the Speaker directs the Administration of Parliament to put across that message to the relevant Minister. That is my observation. Thank you. 

          HON. HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Sibanda. I have consulted with the Administration and they said they will communicate with the responsible Ministers.

          (v)HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.

          *HON. MUKAPIKO: Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity. I stood up to request the Minister of Home Affairs to  enable us as Members of Parliament to convene meetings with our constituents because it is difficult for us to meet with our people as a result of the laws that are being applied by the police to political gatherings. This is because at the moment there is no clarity on whether feedback meetings by Members of Parliament are allowed as we have seen in the past that some Members of Parliament are barred from meeting their constituents on allegations that these are political gatherings. I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUITY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Member. I believe this should be taken up by the Ministry and I believe the Minister will look into the issue.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. TOGAREPI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 14 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 15 has been disposed of.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          (v) HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of privilege Madam Speaker. Hon. Speaker, I approach you in terms of Standing Order Number 73 as read with Standing Order Number 72 (d), of the Standing Orders of the House.  There is a circular or a memorandum dated 28th September, 2022 coming from Traditional Leaders Support Services Acting Director (Administration) in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.  This circular is indicating allocation of fuel from the Ministry of Local Government to particular departments and individuals.   Amongst the individuals that are listed on point number 3 of that circular, is one V. P. Mohadi  of Mashonaland Central on 12 October, 2022; 1 960 litres.

          Hon. Speaker, this is a payment that is coming out of public coffers, which was distributed by Parliament of Zimbabwe.  This country no longer has, in State Presidency, a person called V.P. Mohadi.  Now, Mohadi is known as the Second Secretary and Vice President of a political party.  The question that we have as a nation is, how many other ZANU PF officials are drawing resources from the public purse?  Is that allocation lawful in terms of our Public Finance Management Act?  I propose that the Hon. Minister of Finance together with the Minister of Local Government should come to the House and give Ministerial Statements on the use of public resources by people who are not public officers.  We want also Hon. Speaker, that an audit be taken on how many other unentitled people are drawing from the public resources at a time when public services in terms of clinics are basically non-existent; at a time when civil servants are crying for better wages.  We are seeing non-public officers accessing State resources.  I therefore request that the two Hon. Ministers should come to Parliament and explain how that is possible.  I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Sibanda.  How authentic is your source of information?

          (v)HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It is very authentic and if the Ministers can prove otherwise, let them do that. However, this is very authentic because Members are all aware that Mr. Mohadi has been visiting each and every district.  What we did not know was the source of funding.  Now this source of funding has come out in the open.  Therefore, an inquiry is desirable to determine whether this is authentic or not authentic.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, I am encouraging you to bring the source of information first before I make a ruling. 

          (v) HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I will do so Hon. Speaker.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES ON PETITIONS PERTAINING TO SERVICE DELIVERY AND IMPLEMENTATION OF DEVOLUTION

HON. CHIKUKWA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on five petitions pertaining to service delivery and implementation of devolution.

HON. RAIDZA: I second.

HON. CHIKUKWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I will table the report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on five petitions pertaining to service delivery and implementation of devolution funds. 

  • Introduction

According to Section 149 of the Constitution, read together with Standing Order No. 191 and Appendix E, every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation. 

Parliament received five petitions from the Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance, Headlands Residents Committee, Budiriro High Density Community Water Supply, Gweru Residents Forum and the Southlands Community. The petitioners beseeched Parliament to discharge its oversight function on issues pertaining to service delivery and participation of the citizens in the utilisation of devolution funds. The petitions were referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities. 

2.0    Methodology

The Committee held oral evidence with Harare City Council on the petitions from the Budiriro High Density Community Water Supply.  The Committee invited the Headlands Residents Committee to a meeting to get an in-depth understanding into the issues raised in their petition. Further the Committee conducted public hearings in Masvingo, Gweru, Headlands, Budiriro and Southlands in Harare on the petitions from 3 to 8 April 2022. 

3.0 Committee’s Findings from the Petitions

The section details the Committee’s findings from the inquiries conducted on the petitions.

Petition from the Gweru Residents Forum

The Committee considered the petition from Gweru Residents Forum (GRF) and conducted public hearings in Gweru. The hearings were attended by the petitioners, residents of Gweru and Gweru City Council officials and Councillors.  The Gweru Residents Forum was disturbed by the non-consultative process in the utilisation of devolution funds by Gweru City Council. Resultantly, the petitioners bemoaned the lack of participation by residents in the selection of devolution projects.  Gweru City Council was accused of conducting its business without considering the views of the residents including the tendering process of City Parking, servicing of residential stands and construction of bus termini.

The petitioners beseeched Gweru City Council to implement standing orders that are in compliance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and to revoke Section 26, 30, 49 which were said to be on pages 10 and 11 of Gweru City Council’s Standing Orders.  The Standing Orders were excluding the participation of ordinary residents and members of press in Council meetings. The Acting Town Clerk responded by noting that while the Urban Councils Act provides for the participation of the public in the council meetings, the Act also placed limitations on the meetings that public could attend. These limitations were on meetings pertaining to the Human Resources and tender/contract deliberation meetings. 

Pertaining to the utilisation of devolution funds, the public expressed concern on the failure by the Council to consult the residents. In most cases, Council would only come back with feedback pertaining to how the funds were utilised and sometimes the projects would not be of priority. It was also submitted that in Ward 5, the CBZ housing cooperative had last received water six months ago. They were relying on a borehole donated by a donor in Nehosho but that borehole had since been converted to a water kiosk by the Council, again without the consultation of the public.

The Acting Town Clerk, Mr. Chikwekwe in his response to the issues raised pointed out that the local authority was conducting consultations on the utilisation of devolution funds concurrently with budget consultations. The submissions from the public during that consultative process would then inform the selection of priority projects which include those earmarked for devolution funds. It was further pointed out that while there was no specific legislative framework on devolution, the local authority was conducting its operations guided by Circular No. 3 of 2019. However, it was observed that the Circular did not outline the implementation modalities and the role that the local authority has to play in enhancing citizen participation in the devolution process. It was opined that there was a need to expeditiously develop the devolution legislation which will explicitly define the implementation framework of devolution in Zimbabwe. The same sentiments were echoed in all the local authorities visited by the Committee in this and prior fact-finding missions.

Petition from Masvingo United Residents and Rate Payers Alliance

Masvingo Residents were disturbed by the manner in which Masvingo City Council was utilising devolution funds without consulting the residents. The residents were further concerned that several years ago, the Masvingo City Council received funds in the form of a loan from National Social Security Authority (NSSA) towards the completion of the Mucheke Main Trunk sewer project but the project has not yet been completed despite the project being included every year in the Council’s budget.

Additionally, the petitioners were concerned with perennial water shortages in all the ten wards in the City due to intermittent power supply and persistent pump breakdowns at the Bushmead Water Treatment Plant at Lake Mutirikwi.  Areas such as Mucheke, Rhoden and Runyararo West had gone for three months without water. The petitioners were concerned that the protracted water shortages would result in the increased water-borne and enteric infections as well as the spread of COVID-19. The petitioners also observed that at Mucheke Hospital, patients were now asked to source their own water and theatre operations had been suspended due to the incessant water shortages. 

In his response to issues raised in the petition, the Town Clerk, Mr. Mukaratirwa pointed out that, pertaining to the Mucheke Main Trunk Sewer project which started in 2013, Council indeed received US$2.1 million from NSSA. The project stalled in 2015 after the funds had been fully utilised. Government further gave permission to the Council to acquire a loan to complete the project and NSSA extended a US$900 000 loan which was not enough to finalise the project. The project stalled until 2019 when, through the devolution funds, Council moved to complete the project. The Council expected to complete the project by the end of 2022.

Regarding public consultations in the utilisation of devolution funds, the Town Clerk indicated that the local authority was carrying out the consultations simultaneously with the budget consultations.  It was from these consultations that the local authority would prioritise projects that would be implemented using the devolution funds. He added that the selection of projects was informed by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works which required them to constantly submit quick-win or 100-day cycle projects. In that regard, and in most cases, the local authority would implement projects that were reflective of the guidance from the Ministry.

Members of the public also submitted that Masvingo City Council was failing to provide adequate services to the communities settled in the Victoria Range area. They bemoaned poor service delivery in the area despite religiously paying rates and levies to the local authority. Some pointed out that some parts of the Victoria Range area were yet to be fully serviced and as a result, some of the people were living in degrading and inhuman conditions. The Town Clerk responded by acknowledging that the local authority was constrained in its capacity to service the area. He pointed out that the local authority was providing the services to the area as a way of assisting the citizens of Victoria Range as legally, the area was still under the jurisdiction of Masvingo Rural District Council and that local authority was facing challenges to provide services to the area.  This situation however was not peculiar to Masvingo only but was also observed in other areas of Zimbabwe such as Bulawayo where the City Council was providing services to some parts of Umguza to prevent the spread of enteric infections to their area.

          Committee’s Observations for Gweru and Masvingo Petitions

The Committee noted that there were problems on how Councils were utilising devolution funds, service delivery and lack of civic participation in Council business. Even Members of Parliament in their Constituencies confirmed that they were not being consulted on decisions concerning the use of devolution funds. 

The Committee also noted the need for an engagement with the Ministry of Local Government and Local Authorities on issues of implementation of devolution and utilisation of the funds, lack of service delivery and civic participation in council business.

The Committee observed the urgent need for the formulation of the Devolution Bill which will outline the systems and processes necessary for the full and effective administration of devolution agenda.

The Committee noted with concern that Local Authorities only engage the residents during their budget consultations and as a result devolution funds were treated as one such revenue stream for the Councils yet the Constitution set parameters for devolution funds.

Committee’s Recommendations on Masvingo and Gweru Residents Petition

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should submit to Parliament the Devolution Bill that will guide Local Authorities on utilisation of devolution funds among other mechanisms by end of July 2022.

Local Authorities should conduct separate public consultations on the utilisation of devolution funds by 31 December every year.

ZACC should investigate tenders for the refurbishment of Gweru bus terminus and Gweru city parking by July 2022.

          Petition from the Headlands Residents Committee

The Headlands Residence Committee was concerned about issues around sewer system, stands allocation, water provision, road infrastructure, rates and rentals.  The petitioners were also concerned about lack of transparency, abuse and misappropriation of residents’ funds, corruption and poor service delivery to residents of Headlands by Makoni Rural District Council.

The petitioners explained that residents of Headlands were facing a number of challenges emanating from the administration of Headlands Growth Point.  They outlined that on rates and rentals, Makoni RDC did not consult residents on increases but just went ahead and impose figures on residents.  It was mentioned that the residents were not represented at the Council’s budget consultative meeting to afford them an opportunity air their views. 

The petitioners also complained that they were houses which were bought in 1972 on a rent to buy basis but up until now Makoni RDC was still collecting rentals and rates.  The petitioners said that the owners of those houses were expecting to get title deeds instead of continuing to pay rentals.  Residents were wondering for how long they will keep paying for the houses and also the value of those houses.  Council was accused of issuing summons and final demands for the lease rentals yet residents were expecting title deeds.  The petitioners felt that there were some corrupt activities by Makoni RDC officials concerning the matter of home ownership.

Another challenge cited by the petitioners was that Makoni RDC sold stands in Sunview and Sunset as developed stands but these areas did not have roads, water and sewer reticulation system.  The Council also charged residents for refuse collection and sewer charges when it was not providing such services.  In Sunview, the petitioners informed the Committee that some stands that were sold are surrounded by huge rocks that make it impossible to build houses while some stands are occupied by graves.  Residents who were allocated stands on graves were told to conduct exhumation and reburials on their own with the relatives of the deceased.     

The petitioners were also concerned that revenue collected from plantations, Inyathi Mine was supposed to contribute towards development of Headlands.  The petitioners alleged that Maungwe Investment (a timber plantation in the district) was owned by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Makoni RDC.  The petitioners alleged that the Maungwe Investment did not get the tender procedurally and that the company does not employ its labour from the local communities.  Instead, it hired from outside the Headlands community thereby denying locals employment opportunities.  The petitioners further alleged that Maungwe Investment was using Makoni RDC equipment such as tractors, trailers and management cars for its private activities.

The Headlands petitioners bemoaned the inconsistencies in the application of housing construction policies by Makoni RDC. They said that the local authority did not allow residents in Headlands to construct houses using farm bricks which were affordable and accessible yet in Nyazura and Chendambuya which are also under Makoni RDC they were allowed to use farm bricks.

The petitioners said that Headlands was managed by a Town Manager yet it had a rural setup which should be managed by a superintendent.  They felt that Makoni RDC set up Headlands as a town settlement to justify hefty charges such as stage fees which were higher than fees for the rural setup.  They also complained that in a rural setup graves were not sold but in Headlands the residents were charged $US50 per grave yet the grave site was not properly developed with no roads, water, toilets or refuse bins.

The petitioners also alleged that some house ownership in Headlands were being changed by the Town Manager without following proper procedures such as cessions.  The Town Manager was accused of asking residents to come during weekends to be shown their stands. 

In areas where there are sewer pipes, they were now too old and no longer able to cater for the growing population, thereby resulting in constant outbursts.  The sewer ponds were said to be too small for the population and were not properly constructed.  Of more concern to the petitioners were the stands that were being pegged around sewer ponds.  

In response, the Chief Executive Officer of Makoni RDC, Dr Pise explained that Makoni RDC held a stakeholder consultation meeting on the increase of rates and rentals and only a few residents attended and did not register any objections.  He explained that houses in the old location were allocated to applicants on rental basis.  Sitting tenants were then offered to buy the houses and only those who managed to pay off the given purchase price were now the owners of the 63 out of 96 houses.

Dr. Pise also explained that the stands in Headlands were not title surveyed so there were no title deeds.  The Council explained that consultations with the residents of Headlands on the issue of title deeds were done and only 10 people attended.  It was highlighted that all stand holders in Headlands had leases.

In response to stands in Sunview and Sunset, Dr. Pise explained that applicants entered into agreements with Makoni RDC on the servicing of stands and paid according to agreed payment plans.  However, some stand holders have not cleared up to their debts.  It was submitted that 40 stands in Sunset were connected to sewer, roads were attended to, reticulation system was in progress, blasting of stones was done in Sunview and title surveying was done in Sunset.  The Council explained that servicing was progressing according to collection of revenue.  In Sunview suburb, there were 200 stands fully serviced with water and roads and over 200 stands to be serviced.  Sunview is a low density area thereby residents have own site sewer.  The Council had started exhumation of graves and was at an advanced stage.

The Council explained that Maungwe Investments was a wholly owned Private Limited Company of Makoni RDC and declares its annual dividends to Makoni RDC.  The Chief Executive Officer is a board of director of Maungwe Investments by virtue of him being an employee of the Council.  Maungwe Investments’ dividends contribute towards service delivery.  The company hires permanent and casual labourers from the community.  The Community of Headlands gets firewood from the company on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The Makoni RDC admitted that it banned the use of farm bricks under Environmental Management and Climate Change Resolution No. FC 97/2019.  Farm bricks were banned as part of building material because of climate change resilience.  Headlands is a semi urban area and standards set are the same as for urban set up.

          Committee’s Observations

The Committee noted the need for the Makoni RDC to conduct several meetings and consultations with the residents of Headlands.  Some issues raised by petitioners could have been solved if the Council engaged the residents effectively.

Makoni RDC should consult its residents on issues of development, Maungwe Company and use of Council funds to avoid misconception because of lack of knowledge.

          Committee’s Recommendations on Headlands Petition

The Makoni RDC should consult residents of Headlands on issues pertaining service delivery, council budget, revenue collection and devolution funds every quarter.

The Makoni RDC should solve the issue of rent to buy houses in Headlands with the residents and come up with a possible solution to issue title deeds by December 2022.

 

          Budiriro High Density Community Water Supply Petition

The Committee had under its consideration a petition from Mr. Duma of Budiriro High Density Community Water Supply. The petitioners quoted the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its General Comment No. 15 on the Right to Water which provides that States are required to ensure that each person has access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.  The domestic uses of water include the prevention of death from dehydration, reduction of the risk of water related diseases, consumption, food preparation, washing and personal and domestic hygiene requirements. Section 77 (a) of our constitution provides that every person has a right to safe, clean and potable water.

The Budiriro Community pleaded with the Government of Zimbabwe and Harare City Council to urgently heed to its call towards the fulfillment of the right to water by mitigating the water supply challenges that the Budiriro Community was facing.  The petitioners indicated that there were more than 5000 households that had not received tap water in the last five years. This was attributed to reservoirs which were meant to cater for 12 000 households but were now catering for almost 25 000 households.  They also indicated that a Consortium from House Number 12 400 to 13 100 had no water for the last three years, Gleneagles Consortium had only 200 households out of 1300 receiving erratic water supply (from Stand Number 14 000 to 15 300).  Households Numbers from 6 100 to 6 400 and 17 330 to 17 436 had no water for the past four years.  In the CABS, Old Mutual Park area, households from 19 000 to 22 000 last received water in 2017 and Budiriro 4 Extension had not received water supply for the last four years.

The petitioners indicated that after the establishment of the Old Mutual Park, Gleneagles Consortiums, Budiriro 4 Extension and Budiriro West, there was no development of corresponding water infrastructure to cater for the growing population except the CABS reservoir. However, the Committee was informed that the constructed reservoir was condemned and was never commissioned.

The petitioners requested City of Harare to immediately address the issues of water challenges in Budiriro by coming up with short and medium plans.  They also requested City of Harare to introduce a rationing system in the areas affected and make the CABS water reservoir functional by urgently addressing all the issues that led to the condemnation of the reservoir.

As part of its inquiry into the petition, the Committee received oral evidence from the City of Harare.  Eng. Moyo the Acting Town Clerk for City of Harare informed the Committee that the water supply situation in Harare was not adequate due to the ever increasing demand.  This was attributed to the expansion of the city while the water supply infrastructure remained static for many years.

He explained that City of Harare was currently producing an average of 320 mega liters per day while the Harare Metropolitan Province requires a minimum of 1200 mega litres per day.  At some point in 2021, the Council managed to pump 420 mega litres but gone down to 320 mega litres because of the shutting down of Prince Edward water works.   Prince Edward was shut down because of inadequate raw water in dams that supply the water works. Given the situation the City of Harare was facing; the Council came up with an institutional plan where residents share the little water that is available.  The City of Harare’s target was that every household should get water at least twice a week. ,However, some residential areas in the southern suburbs like Budiriro, Glenview and Highfields were getting water about five times a week but there were other areas in Budiriro that were not getting water at all. The City’s water demand management strategy is that from Monday to Friday water is being pumped to Alex reservoir which supply Northern Suburbs of Highlands, Mount Pleasant, Avondale and the southern region which includes Glenview, Mufakose and Dzivarasekwa.  Eng. Moyo further explained that on Friday nights, water was being pumped to Letombo in Msasa Park to service the Eastern suburbs and supply Greendale and Highlands areas and during weekends the concerned area that is Budiriro does not get any water.

It was also mentioned that CABS in Budiriro Ext, which had about five thousand stands was established in 2009.  The local authority constructed a reservoir tank but the tank was not designed adequately so it was not receiving any water, resulting in sharing of water from the original Budiriro reservoir with the CABS area. They explained that the request by petitioners to rationing of water was already in place.

The Committee was informed that the Council was currently working on rehabilitating the valves in the Budiriro area so that they can effectively shut off the areas under rationing. This was being done through devolution funds from the Central Government.

In response to the proposed solutions by petitioners the local authority indicated that it was procuring new valves and replacing the aged pipes in the area. The Council normally pumps water from Morton Jeffry with one medium and small pump towards Marimba and Lochinvar reservoirs, so during the pumping process City of Harare usually shut down the outlet valves so as to improve supply to those areas either CABS or Budiriro. 

Regarding its long and medium term plans to mitigate the water challenges, it was pointed out that while the Council had plans to operationalize the CABS reservoir, it was also their aim to continuously have their existing reservoir at a height of seven meters but that could not be achieved because of inadequate pumps at the Morton Jaffray water-works which was producing only 320 mega litres instead of the required 1 200 mega litres.

The Committee was informed that City of Harare and Central Government were working on improving water supply in order to avert the water crisis. Tenders had been advertised for valve and pipe replacement programmes and residents were also encouraged to pay their bills.

The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works in response to the petition indicated that Harare City was facing many challenges which include, among others, the expansion of the City and the aged water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure which had led to over 60% non-revenue water. Furthermore, it was highlighted that residents owed the council about ZWL13 billion, which, if recovered would ameliorate the perennial WASH challenges in the City.

          Committee’s Observations on Budiriro Petition

The Committee observed that while the petition was from Budiriro, the majority of areas in Harare and Zimbabwe were facing WASH challenges which required urgent intervention by the Government.

The Committee noted with concern that lack of adequate WASH facilities heightened the risk of water-borne infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery in most of Harare’s high density suburbs.

The Committee observed that the water supply infrastructure in Harare was obsolete and was leading to substantial losses in revenue due to the non-revenue water.

The Committee observed that Harare City Council was not effectively following up on debtors hence the failure to recover some of the funds owed by the public.

The Committee observed that the dams that supplied Harare with water were now inadequate due to the expansion of the City.

          Committee’s Recommendations on Budiriro Petition

Since water is a right, devolution funds should be channeled towards water and sanitation to solve the perennial problem of water in Budiriro and other suburbs in Harare where water is a problem starting from 2023 financial year.

The contractor who constructed the reservoir for CABS area should rectify the problem to enable the reservoir to function properly and supply water to residents by December 2022.

Budiriro and Glen View suburbs should be declared red zones in terms of water provision to avoid outbreak of water borne diseases by August 2022.

City of Harare should replace water valves and old pipes in Budiriro by December 2022.

City of Harare should come up with a lasting solution to the water problems in Budiriro by providing water to every household at least three times a week by July 2022.

City of Harare should ensure water meter reading employees visit each household to take actual readings and desist from billing residents based on estimates by August 2022.

          Petition from Southlands Residents Association

The petitioners were aggrieved that the right to education for the children of people living in the Southlands/Tariro Township had been violated by the City of Harare. Specifically, the petitioners observed that based on the initial surveyors plan for the area, there was land allocated for the construction of five schools. However, it was observed that City of Harare had allocated the land to land developers thus leaving the community without space for construction of affordable, accessible and available schools. Essentially, the petitioners believed that this was in direct contravention of the right to education. 

Mr. A. Makara, the Chairperson of the Southlands Residents Association indicated that they approached Harare City Council concerning the issue. They presented to the Committee that five sites were earmarked for the construction of schools (3 sites for primary schools and 2 sites for secondary schools) in Southlands.  However, much to their dismay, private players had occupied the sites and were in the process of developing residential areas.  They further pointed out that their engagement with the Harare City Council yielded low positive results as they were told that they were supposed to find donors to construct the school in the area. Essentially, Harare City Council had reneged on its mandate to provide adequate education facilities in areas under its jurisdiction.

The petitioners bemoaned the lack of adequate education facilities in Southlands, yet the area had a growing number of children of school going age. They further observed that their children had to travel very long distances to find proper education facilities. This daily commute, as they pointed out, was too costly for them, cumbersome on their children who had to wake up early and come back home late and exposed them to risks that threatened the children’s health and wellbeing.

In response, Mr. Sithole from Harare City Council indicated that contrary to the allegations in the petition, the local authority had not allocated the sites to private land developers. Instead, the local authority, guided by the physical plan of the area produced by the Physical Planning Department in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, the local authority intended to construct seven primary and three secondary schools. He further pointed out that the local authority had intended to implement these projects using devolution funds, but those funds have been constrained. It is because of that reason that when they engaged with the petitioners, they pointed to the need to engage private partners in the construction of these education facilities.

          Committee’s Observation

The Committee observed the need for City of Harare to engage the residents whenever an issue of lack of provision of services has been raised.  The Committee also noted that residents need to constantly approach the Council with their problems so as to come up with some solutions.

The Committee noted that the issue of schools involves the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the City of Harare.  These three entities need to come up with a solution to the issue of construction of schools in Southlands.

Residents of Southlands should also fulfil their obligations by paying rates to City of Harare to raise funding for the area to be developed. 

Government should come up with lasting solution to settlement such as Southlands which were allocated to Housing Cooperatives.  The beneficiaries went on to build houses where there were no basic infrastructure services such as sewer and water reticulation, roads, clinics and schools.

          Committee’s Recommendations

Government through the Ministries of Local Government and Public Works and Primary and Secondary Education and City of Harare should work together to ensure the available of schools in Southlands by December 2023.

Treasury should allocate resources to cater for the construction of schools in Southlands in the 2023 National Budget in order to avoid violation of the right to education as enshrined in our Constitution.

Going forward, Government should not allow construction of houses where there is no offsite infrastructure.

4.0    Conclusion

In conclusion, the report detailed and exposed the limitations in the implementation of devolution, provision of adequate services and the lack of public participation in the local economic development discourse. It is therefore imperative that the Government considers the plausible recommendations proffered by the Committee in order to ameliorate the challenges observed. I thank you.

          *HON. RAIDZA: Thank you Madam Speaker and how are you. I want to support this report which has been brought in by Hon. Chikukwa in connection with the tour of the Local Government Committee as a follow-up of five petitions that were brought into this House. The issues that were at stake were in terms of the devolution funds which were not transparent in terms of their uses in Masvingo, Gweru and also lack of water supply in Budiriro and some challenges in Makoni Rural District. What we gathered from our visits is that most of the things are pathetic. In our Constitution, there is the issue of devolution, returning power to the people. The Government brought in the devolution and decentralisation policy and in that policy, the Head of State, His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa wrote in his preamble on the policy document, explaining the importance of the policy on devolution and decentralisation.  Some might not get it clearly on how to implement it but he said that, let me repeat. In that policy, he stated that we are bringing back devolution in order to bring back power to the people so that the residents should be in control of development in their area.  However, if we look at the complaints that were raised in Masvingo and Gweru, you find that after passing the Bill and Hon. Prof. Ncube gives the money to the councils, that is when the challenge started because the council officials are corrupt.

          Firstly, they did not want the residents to know that there are some devolution funds that have come from Government.  The residents will hear it as hearsay.  The policy of Government is very clear that when the money is released, the residents should be informed and they would work together and come up with challenges that they are facing.

          We also heard that there is a project which was started in 2013 in Masvingo and that project would not be completed.  They even borrowed money from NSSA but still the project was not completed.  In fact, the money that was borrowed was not used for the project.  To the residents, that project was very important.  You will find that the way that the devolution funds were being handled was not clear to the people.  It was only the council officials who would do whatever they wanted.

 From our investigations and as a Committee, we noticed that corruption was a hindrance to the development.  Even if the policy and the Constitution are clear but corruption and theft which is rampant in our councils is the one that is causing animosity between the residents and the councillors.

          If you read the report of the Auditor General from 2019, 2020 and 2021, you will find it disturbing.  In 2020, out of 90 only 46 councils were able to bring their books for audit.  In 2021, the numbers even decreased from 46 to 21.  Maybe in 2022, we might not get any councils bringing their books for audit.  If you want to look at issues of development in the rural areas you will find that it works with transparency.  The reason why books should be audited is that people want to see how money has been used.  If accounts from council are not audited, there will be a challenge because people will suspect that there is corruption and theft going on.

          As Parliament, because we are giving them 5%, we are supposed to come up with ways where these monies should be accounted for.  That will put our minds to rest as Parliamentarians because we would want to know whether the money is being used for the intended use.  If they do not want to be audited, it means there are shenanigans that are going on. 

          If you read from the media, you will find that places like City of Harare, they lost a lot of money, about US$200 million.  Losing such amount of money, what more the devolution money, is it safe?  Also, as a Committee, we were also faced with a challenge, like in City of Harare where they paid for 25 refuse trucks and none has been delivered since 2017.  We are continuing giving them money yet what they have, they are not using it properly.  They also do not want the Auditor General to audit their books.  So when we are talking of people getting services in urban areas, we should talk about it and make noise targeting the town bearers from the Town Clerk to the least person. These people are hindering the progress of this issue that is in our Constitution and is being led by our Government which is aiming at bringing sanity in our councils.

          I would also want to talk about companies which are said to belong to local authorities.  We have Maungwe Investment Company in Rusape but that company is the name of the CEO.  If you read the Auditor General’s reports, you will find that most councils have a lot of companies but they do not want to bring them to the fore so that they can be audited to find out what is really happening in those companies.  What it tells us is that by refusing with that vital information, they know the corrupt activities that they are involved in because by putting the  company in the name of the chairman and the CEO, is the beginning of fraud.  In our laws, there is nothing wrong in stating that council is the shareholder of such and such a company.  We have City Parking in Bulawayo, Harare, Gweru but what happens with the money that is collected from there?  We do not see it in the Auditor General’s report.  We do not know how it is helping the residents.  They are collecting money every day but after collecting the money, we do not know where the money is going.  As we are investigating, we find that those monies end up in the pockets of officials in council and councillors. 

          Madam Speaker, if it were possible, there should be an enquiry to find out where all the investments that are being done by the City of Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru are going.  Who are benefitting because the residents are not getting anything out of those investments?  The challenge that we have of poor service delivery is being blamed on the Government.  We are saying the Government should help them but they should also do their mandate.  What we are seeing in our councils is that people are just stealing.  After that, they blame the Government and say the Government is not doing anything.  What are they doing with the rates that people are paying?  Where is the money going?  That is the question that we should ask them.  Devolution funds are just adding on the money that they are collecting from the people.  Most residents in urban areas refuse to pay rates to the councils because they have realised that even if the councils are given money, they are not doing anything to alleviate the challenges that residents are facing.  The issues that we hear these days are that there are thieves in the councils.  As Parliament, I think we should make sure that our laws are in place and they follow the mandate that they were given. 

          If we look at Kenya, they ended up removing the councils and bringing in counties because what happens when these councils are abusing funds, the people suffer.  They ended up working with the Government and counties.  I want to support this report on the cry of all the people that have been mentioned. 

I also encourage the Minister of Local Government to bring in the Devolution Bill to reduce the challenges that we are facing.  If that Bill  comes and we look at it, it can help our Government to come up with a good law that will help the people.  We have seen the challenges that are being faced by people.  If the Bill is expedited, it will help so that we can trace some of the monies that are not being used well.  It will bring clarity on implementation of devolution so that when we get to 2020, at least everything will be in place.  I thank you. 

          *HON. MACHINGAUTA:  Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for giving me the opportunity to debate the report which was presented by Hon. Chikukwa who Chairs the Local Government Portfolio Committee.  We moved around the country and we found that the accounting officers or directors were in acting capacity.  They do not do due diligence because they are on an acting capacity.  Because there is no Local Government Board which has a responsibility of hiring substantive accounting officers, I think the Local Council Board can employ and appoint accounting officers.  I will give an example of City of Harare where there is only one substantive director, the Director of Health and the rest of directors are acting.  On an acting capacity, someone cannot make substantive decisions. 

As we moved around the country, we noticed that Chapter 14 of the Constitution which speaks to devolution of powers, there are powers which are decentralised.  You would find that on issues like the ZINWA and ZINARA that get the dictates of the Constitution, if we look at Section 276, our Constitution empowers local authorities to exercise their authority without interference.  In this case, you find the Minister of Local Government interfering in council operations.  The then Mayor Makombe at one time pointed out the fact that he was instructed by the Local Government Minister, Hon. July Moyo, to buy pumps.  My request is that the Minister of Local Government should respect the Constitution of the land and observe the law.  When people are empowered, there should be consultations.  On the same issue, there is no consultation.  It seems as if this is the Minister’s private bag which he carries wherever he goes. 

Tenders are also the purview of the Hon. Minister.  These are issues which have even come to this august House.  My request is that we need to respect the Constitution.  We wrote it and voted for the Constitution as Zimbabweans and it is our right to observe the law.  Not following the Constitution is not right and this is retrogressive.

Let me continue saying that on issues regarding water, there are some areas which do not have access to water because of load shedding.  Some areas have water maybe once in two weeks. The water comes at 10 p.m. to maybe 5 a.m. You will find women and children going to boreholes to fetch water.  Women do not have time to do other duties but to pursue the issue of fetching water.  Section 77 of the Constitution says that every citizen has a right to clean water.  Government should intervene on this issue because it is constitutional.  Government has that responsibility of rehabilitating dams around Harare and other cities because relying on water from boreholes in towns is not the right thing.  Kunzvi Dam should be rehabilitated.  We heard that there were monies but we do not know how it was used.  All the other dams should also be rehabilitated so that there is enough water in Harare and other cities. 

On the same issue, there is need for the accounting of the different allocations like the $144 million from China, which was earmarked for the Morton Jaffray Waterworks.  We do not know how the money was used.  There is need for investigating some of these monies and how they are used.  Whether the money was donated or it is from other sources, the Central Government should empower those who are responsible for investigating such issues.  There is need for clarity on that issue.  It must be clear that every national initiative is driven by the people of Zimbabwe.  It must not be from top down but should be from the people to officials.  Whether it is devolution funds or tenders and other monies which should be channeled to water and the provision of water.

I will repeat that women are in trouble because they are forced to forsake other duties.  They spend a lot of time fetching water.  You find them sleeping at 10.00 p.m.  They wait for the water to come then at 5.00 a.m. they wake up in the morning to cook for whether Hon. Biti or whoever.  So if there is water which is coming from the taps, then you would find that women are able to rest.

It is important to empower women who should be employed in some influential positions.  This is constitutional.  I am sorry that I will continue, Hon. Chair, regarding that issue because I know that this is happening.  Even at home, sometimes we do not have quality family time with my family because you will find that women are always busy doing these other chores.  So I believe that they should be honoured and this should be looked into.

Lastly, we need to consider the recommendations which came from the report.  Parliament should take recommendations from the Local Government Committee that were read out by Hon. Chikukwa seriously.  Ministers should also look into the report and apply the recommendations.  It does not matter whether you are tall, short or you belong to any political party but the issue of access to water is universal.  It cuts across the political divide.  It is important that water is found in Zimbabwe and being supplied to all people.  I thank you.

HON. BUSHU:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debates that have been going on related to the motion made by Hon. Chikukwa who is the Chairperson of the Local Government Portfolio Committee.

Whereas most of the issues seem to have been covered, I would like to appeal to this House to give attention to three major issues.  The first one is that the House of Parliament has taken the petitions from the people of Zimbabwe seriously.  The second one is that we have issues related to water that seem to run through all the problems that were brought to this House.  The third issue is that encapsulated in all is the issue that relates to governance and bordering around corruption which is the cause of all these problems to come about.

Madam Speaker, if you look at the problem in Gweru, the City Council did not consult residents.  Looking at Parliament, when Parliament comes up with a budget, when Parliament comes up with a piece of legislation, Parliament goes out and consults and the provision in the Constitution is that the people to whom the services are going to be provided must be consulted and when we do not consult, then it becomes a problem. 

Whereas the City of Gweru says there is no provision for consultation in their standing rules with the residents, it is contrary to the Constitution.  It is also not correct.  It can also not be morally defended.  So what we are saying is that consultation is key.  Madam Speaker, you will find that the same complaint of none consultation runs through Masvingo, Southland Park and Makoni Rural District Council.

What we are saying is the Committee has picked up issues that are affecting Zimbabweans.  Issues that are pertinent to ensuring Government as a whole, including municipalities, provides service to its people.  Now when we look at all this again, Madam Speaker, we are saying that the City of Harare for instance, is a vast area.  Everyone knows that in a lot of areas, water has not been available.  It is something that has been worked on and what we are saying is that there are mistakes that were made in the past.  Now that Government is intervening, the city fathers must ensure that water gets to the people.  If the city fathers fail to do so, we implore Government to support the city fathers to ensure that our people get the water and we avoid the water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and dysentery.  Very soon we will be getting into the rainy season and this problem may arise.  These problems are likely to arise and we will be talking about these again and allocating money to ameliorate the problems that we would have had.

Madam Speaker, your Committee made very important observations and what I would like to do is to implore this House to take seriously the work that was done by the Committee because the Committee called in respondents and also visited the areas which means a thorough job was done and the investigations and the results thereof are very clear to us all. 

So I implore this House to adopt the recommendations by the Local Government Committee and implore that the Minister of Local Government and National Housing takes those recommendations seriously and implements some of those recommendations, particularly the issue of bringing the Devolution Bill into action so that we look at it as Parliament.  It has been overdue, it is four years old now and what we are saying is we are aware that it is at the Attorney-General’s office but it must come through.  It is being used as an excuse and therefore what we would like to do is to avoid excuses as we serve our people.  I thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity and I feel that this House will do a good job in implementing the same. 

*(v)HON. R. R. NYATHI:  I want to thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute what I witnessed as a member to this Committee on Local Government in support of the report which has been brought in by our Hon. Chair Hon. Chikukuwa. I have two or three points which I want to add.   The first one, I want to talk about Budiriro area where we received a petition concerning the water situation.  The main reason why they are not getting water is that the tank that was installed is not pumping out enough water.  When the Old Mutual houses were built, that is when they started experiencing low levels of water supply.  Prior to that, they had agreed with council that they would construct a reservoir which would supply water to the residents. 

          Mr. Speaker, even if water is pumped into that reservoir, it does not reach a level where it can be pumped out to the residents.  So when we engaged the residents in Budiriro, they took it lightly that they were given water for certain hours and mostly midnight.  This is causing challenges to the elders and people living with disabilities because they are only receiving water at night.  This is a very big challenge to the extent that we recommended that people who constructed the reservoir should be followed up so that they rectify the problem because water is a basic right; everyone should get water any time and not be rationed.  Some are nursing sick people in their homes and water is a necessity and a basic human right. 

When we were now talking about the devolution funds, I was surprised because there were some people from District Development Coordinator (DDC), they were surprised that they attended meetings in which they were supposed to deliberate on how to use the devolution funds.  It means devolution funds are not being administered properly.  The office of the DDC is supposed to work with the council in consulting residents on what they want to be done by the devolution funds.  They just find the projects going on but they do not know who is behind.

Mr. Speaker Sir, we were very lucky that when we went there we had the local Member of Parliament who was not aware.  He is not consulted; he just sees things being done, which shows that this Bill on devolution has got a lot of things that need to be looked at so that people move together in the same direction.  I also witnessed this same challenge in Gweru.  The devolution funds are not getting to the people, they are not being consulted.  The residents of Gweru were complaining because they are not being involved in the Committee which comes up with projects that need to be done using the devolution funds.

Hon. Speaker Sir, I am a Member of Parliament for Shurugwi North, I represent 13 wards in town.  As I speak, at times it is surprising to hear people complaining about the devolution funds, even when electricity goes up, they do not know, no one explains to them - they just receive bills.  I think in this New Dispensation, the President wants us to do all our things in transparency, leaving no one behind.  So we want to encourage each other as Parliamentarians that this issue of devolution should be clear and inclusive to everyone so that we move forward together. 

Wherever we visited Hon. Speaker, we found that devolution funds do not have a separate account.  When they are giving a feedback report to the residents, councillors are not separating the devolution accounts; they are mixing the accounts both in the rural council and town councils.  It is very important that when devolution funds are coming from the central government, there should be a separate accounting system which shows what the devolution funds have been used for. 

I also want to talk on residential stands.  We want to support that people should not be given unserviced stands so that we have order.  What we are saying as a Committee is that this Bill which you are talking about should be expedited in this House so that it is scrutinised and we see who the beneficiaries of the devolution funds are.  I think there are people who misuse money when we talk of provincial councils, local councils, metropolitan councils and MPs, thinking  that thy know their job descriptions.

You are aware that our President is a lawyer, so when it comes to legal issues, he is very thorough. That is why he emphasised that the devolution money should come from our budget.  When we came the 2013 devolution was there on our budget but was not implemented. Now with the coming in of the New Dispensation, they found that this devolution money will help in the mantra of leaving no one behind.  We are looking forward to this Bill, it will quicken the progress in development of our areas so that by the time we get to 2030, there will be no poor people.  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  

          (v)HON. WATSON:  Thank you Hon. Speaker for this opportunity to contribute on the motion. I would want to reiterate what the two colleagues before me, Hon. Machingauta and Hon. Bushu said. These issues affect not just the Committee and I want to thank the Committee for the report and all the work they have done...

          HON. T. MLISIWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): What is your point of order Hon. Mliswa?

          HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, thank you for affording me this opportunity to rise on a point of order. I am the Chairperson for the Welfare Committee of Parliamentarians, a pressure group which is not part of the Standing Orders. I am disturbed to hear that there has been deliberation pertaining to our welfare where we should be getting ZWL9.2 million for CDF which really is not enough. We worked with ZWL50 000 per constituency which if you calculate ZWL50 000 at ZWL650.00 which is the official bank rate, you get ZWL6.8 billion and our vehicles, ZWL30 000. This ZWL30 000 motor vehicles, if you calculate that at ZSL650.00 which is the rate again, it should be ZWL19.5 million per vehicle. You then also get ZWL60.8 billion. If you put that together, you are probably getting ZWL13 plus billion, which means there is no enough money. What is disturbing is the arrogance of the Committee which deals with our welfare, to continue making decisions without talking to us. We need to be consulted just as the budget and everyone is consulted. Why is it that when it comes to our welfare issues, we are not consulted? So I would like to say that this must be thrown out of the window with immediate effect until we are consulted. The pressure group has got nothing to do with Chief Whips; it has nothing  to do with anyone. It is a pressure group and this is the pressure group I am mandated to put. We ignore and this issue must get to the leader of this House, Hon. Adv. J. F. N. Mudenda, that we need to be consulted in terms of our welfare. We are not children. So may these decisions made be suspended immediately until they approach the Welfare Committee which represents these Hon. Members? The concerns of the Hon. Members are channeled through us, they come to you or we want you to communicate to us. Thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. In as much as I do appreciate and understand your point of order which is a privilege, at the moment it is a bit out of order but I have understood your concern. Thank you.

          (v)HON. WATSON: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I was thanking Hon. Chikukwa, the Chairman of the Committee and the Committee for all the hard work which they did and for the presentation of this report. I also just want to re-emphasise that the issues raised by the petitioners and examined by the Committee, as others before me have said, are not just found in those areas. They are found across Zimbabwe. Water in Bulawayo is now a crisis. There is 72 hours water rationing, which means some residents in bad areas get no water or if they do, they get it for a few hours a day and it is leading to the outbreak of diseases which we could well avoid. The Local Government Ministry, while we await the completion of certain infrastructural projects, needs to take these issues across the country seriously and find ways to ameliorate the situations in the interim. Bulawayo has a plight, a water crisis and recently was not allowed to have that through the Ministry for whichever reason. These are issues which should be taken seriously by the Local Government Ministry and the Government as a whole. Also, as others have said, the lack of consultation in local council areas is cause for great concern. Residents are constantly complaining on the issue that they are not consulted. When they raise their concerns, they are not heard or answered to.  So I think these are issues which Zimbabwe needs to address. The devolution Bill needs to come to Parliament. It needs to be solved because it is an excuse as Hon. Bushu said. So it really needs to be solved. Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to be brief in adding my voice to the report on Local Government presented by Hon. Chikukwa, seconded by Hon. Raidza who by the way, Hon. Raidza also sits in the sub-Committee on Public Accounts Committee which yours truly chairs. I want to say water is life and it is a human right and  not right, just and it is not fair that local authorities in their mold, size, and shape should deny people that right in terms of water. As I talk about the right to water, I also want to talk about accountability of using State coffers and that is the second issue.

          The third issue is the availability of land, housing infrastructure to those people in those localities. Housing infrastructure and the services that are robust, resilient, effective and efficient and that can only speak to and about the issues of accountability. If accountability, ethos, ethics and values are exhibited, there definitely can be delivery of such services that speak to water, clean, potable, safe, effective and efficient drinking water and also the infrastructure that I have alluded to.

          The other issue that is key in the report that has been presented is the issue of sewer and water reticulation services. The Committee that I chair has also looked at the dysfunctionality of the sewer and reticulation services in these local authorities. I will touch on Bulawayo where there is the Auditor-General who has observed that there are seven sewer treatment plants at Thorngroove...

          Hon. Nduna’s gadget lost connection.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I also want to thank the Hon. Deputy Minister, Hon. Musabayana for extending his hand.  As I continue, Thorngrove has seven dysfunctional sewer treatment units.  This speaks to the dysfunctionality of the sewer treatment across a plethora of these local authorities.  These all have been tabulated and pointed to by the Auditor-General. I will leave the issue of the sewer treatment plants which has been brought about so vociferously by the Chair of the Committee on Local Government and ably seconded by Hon. Raidza.

          The issue of water has been touched on but as I speak to this report, I also want to talk about the deficiency that is caused by the lack of enough water bodies.  Where I come from, we use two water treatment chemicals because we have John Bhinya Masterpiece backs Mupfure Dam, Pull Dam and Suri Suri River, Suri Suri Dam.  A lot of these water bodies - because of the copious amount of water that we have, we are using less chemicals than Harare City Council, which is mostly using or reclaiming water from the sewer treatment plants at Motton Jaffray water plant and also takes from Lake Chivero.  There is need to augment, complement and rejuvenate, rehabilitate and also establish water bodies like Hon. Machingauta alluded to the issue of Kunzvi water body.  There is need to bring that to conclusive end.  

          In the Second Republic, I would want to touch on Gwayi-Shangani water pipeline.  With such infrastructural development in Harare, like Kunzvi, dam water can actually bring to a screeching halt and completely annihilate the scourge of lake of potable safe treated water.  It is with a heavy heart that I stand here and speak about the deficiency of enough treated water in Harare, where there is spoken about and to the issue of 320 mega litres per day against the need of 1200 mega litres per day.  I shudder to think how the people of Harare survive.  I have a lot of boreholes to augment and complement the meagre and pittance water supply in Chegutu but in Harare, there is so much need to expeditiously complement the meagre water supplies.  Otherwise we will have this medieval disease called cholera and typhoid.  It is archaic, moribund and rudimentary to continue to have such medieval diseases in this day and age.

          I am confident where Harare City Council has not been able to provide services and water for its people, the Second Republic is moving with exceptional great speed and is going to come into Harare very soon in order that the Kunzvi water project gets to its final conclusion. 

A local authority has failed and it is open for all to see, whereas we can use Section 13 (4) and speak to all the mining houses around these local authorities in order that they bring in some financial benefits to these local authorities using the minerals that they are extracting from the localities of those local authorities.  Alone, the devolution funds are just but a drop in the ocean, whereas that ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth where we have more than 60 and we are only extracting 20 and beneficiating none so far can be used.  That money can be used to augment the devolution funds and also better the lives of the people in the localities from where these minerals are extracted. That is my proposal.

          When it comes to issues of robust and resilient effective and efficient housing infrastructure development, this is how I propose we should go forward.  There has been alluded and observed, the mismatch of the Urban Councils’ Act versus the Constitution, which again I continue to say is sui generis and in a class of its own.  If we go to Section 2, it actually says, any Act of Parliament that is ultra vires to the Constitution should repudiate to the extent of its consistency.

          In the Estate Management, in Section 152 and Section 205 of the Urban Councils Act, there is need to align those sections to Section 71, in particular Section 72 (7) ( c) of the Constitution in so far as it relates to provision of infrastructure development in particular, housing.  There is what is called the masterplan of these local authorities, which master plan now derive their land from that of the agricultural land for urban expansion.  If we can have non-monetary benefits to the civil servants of these localities, pensioners, war veterans, restrictees, detainees, the war collaborators, the artisanal miners and school children, if we can have benefit from the extension or from these master plans which now speak to the Minister of Agriculture giving this land to the local authorities because they no longer have any of their own.  So we need to align that section to Section 72 so that we can ameliorate as has been observed by the Chair of the Committee, the issue of the deficiency of housing development system. 

          As we do, there is need for accountability in the usage of funds in order to augment the issue of the issuance of this land to the urbanites.  In so much the same way as has been provided by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa to the ruralites for A1 and the A2 farming community.  This is how I propose that we re-purse the deficiency in so far as it relates to housing infrastructure development.  I speak about this with a passion because I have got about 18 to 20 days of jail time where I come from because I have a lot of other  electorate in my constituency that also believes with passion that as long as we do not align the Urban Councils Act with the Constitution, there is going to be continued deficiency of housing infrastructure development Mr. Speaker.  If you do not do that, there is no civil servant, pensioner, war collaborator or war veteran who will be able to afford the usurious amounts of payments in USD form that are being charged by these local authorities.  I will give you an example.  An A1 is 10 hectares and when you put it in towns, it is 100.000 square metres.  At a rate of $25 per square metre, a civil servant is meant to fork out $25 million for 10 hectares.  Mr. Speaker Sir, where on earth does a civil servant get so much money when they earn about ZWL62.000?  It will take them a lifetime to own a house. 

I ask that at the close of this debat,e there be coming together of this House at the conclusion of this report that says we need to align the Urban Councils Act with the Constitution.  This will enable the urbanites to benefit from the God-given ubiquitous amount of land that is vested in the President in the same way that the rural folks have been able to benefit Mr. Speaker Sir.  That is going to give rights in the benefit of those that are in the urban sector and they are all given that scenario going to vote for the President because he would have given them that land in the same way he has given the rural folks land.  I am quite sure because of that we can clap hands in advance and make sure that we now have captured the imaginations, the ethos, the values and the interests of the urbanites, using what we have to get what we want.  We should make sure that we are there for the people, with the people and vox populi vox dei as has been alluded to by His Excellency the President that the voice of the people is the voice of God.

As I conclude Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say there is the issue of accountability that needs to be brought to book.  We are interrogating the Auditor General’s report of 2020 and there are 51 local authorities which have not submitted their financials for audit.   We will be going to Bulawayo soon and will be calling them to account for their actions.  The issue Mr. Speaker Sir, as I conclude, that speaks to insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, the same way and expecting a different result.  Mr. Speaker Sir, we are now employing a plethora of acts in order to criminalise the delinquency of those local authority officials that think that the Auditor General has no teeth.  There is the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and a number of other Acts including the Public Finance Management Act that we want to employ in order to get to the root of this corruption and corruptible tendencies and bring them to a screeching halt.  Mr. Speaker Sir, as long as we do not do that, we will continue to have people that think the Auditor General does not have any teeth.  We will continue to have en masse petitions numbering more than seven on local authorities alone.  That is not right and just.  We need to make sure we have something differently done in order to get to the root of that which we desire, which is none corruption. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I have contributed to this report in the manner that Cde. Nyamarango in Chegutu West Constituency, Sarah Chikukwa, Marjorie Ruzha, Patricia Nyamadzawo, Tapfuma Wunganayi, Tatenda Chimtashu and all the other electorate who have commissioned me to come to this House in the manner that they would have wanted me to contribute, I have done so Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am hoping that the Hansard is going to vindicate me on such contributions.  I thank you.

HON. BITI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for allowing me to join this important debate.  I think the Committee must be commended for doing an extensive job that involved an outreach in the various parts of Zimbabwe that they travelled to, including going to Headlands and Makoni Rural District Council.  For me Hon. Speaker Sir, the first thing that sticks out and the number one recommendation that comes  through is the obligation that the Minister of Local Government must come up with a devolution law.  The absence of a devolution law, coupled with the fact that disbursements are being made in the absence of that devolution law is creating contradictions, inefficiencies, terrible governance and the corruption that other Members have alluded to. 

The report speaks to Gweru for instance, receiving devolution funds, Makoni Rural District Council and even the City of Harare itself receiving devolution funds.  If you look Mr. Speaker Sir, at the structure of Chapter 14 of the Constitution, these local authorities are not devolution authorities.  Devolution authorities are provincial councils, which up to now have not been legalised, even though they were elected in terms of the election that we conducted on 31st July, 2018.  So, we now have unfortunate citizens coming from all the major parties represented in this House who were elected in 2018 but five years have finished without them being served.  Some of them have in fact been recalled without actually having served in office.  Monies are therefore going to bodies that are not supposed to receive them. 

In the case of Masvingo, it is supposed to be Masvingo Provincial Council and in the case of Harare, it is supposed to be the Harare Metropolitan Council, which includes Chitungwiza.  In the case of Bulawayo, it is the Greater Bulawayo Metropolitan Council.  In the case of Manicaland, it is the Manicaland Provincial Council, not Headlands, Makoni North or Chiendambuya.  The challenge now is that we have created this problem because of the omissions by Hon. Minister July Moyo.  The omission does not start in 2018 because the new Constitution of Zimbabwe became law on 8th May, 2013 pursuant to the referendum that we held on the Constitution, so it is a nine year omission.  Bring the devolution law, codified and obligated in Chapter 14 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. 

Equally, the Minister of Finance must bring the Finance Bill, the Finance Act envisaged in Section 304 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which describes how resources are going to be distributed amongst provincial councils.  The law that deals with whether size, developmental needs or deficiencies of the particular province. So we are suffering because of the omission by Minister July Moyo.

There is a second challenge Mr. Speaker Sir again, which lies squarely on the doors of Mr. July Moyo.  It is that he has not harmonised both the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15].  The Constitution of Zimbabwe in sections 274, 276 says local authorities are run by those who are elected to run them.  In section 276, it says local authorities are governed by those that are elected.  In other words, the councillors that are duly elected to run the council, but if you look at the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] in particular, the Minister of Local Government and Public Works is given such overbearing executive powers that make him the defacto chief executive of the local authority and I want to mention four examples of the lack of harmonisation and of the unconstitutionality of the Urban Councils Act.

The first one is Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act.  Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act allows the Minister to suspend a chosen councillor or councillors and replace them with a commission.  So consistently, we have seen commissions running local authorities instead of the duly elected councillors and Ministers.  Particularly Minister Chombo and now Minister July Moyo, they have had this appetite of micro-managing councillors, suspending councillors.  The current Mayor of Harare, Jacob Mafume, has been suspended countless  times as if he is the general manager of the City of Harare.  He is not.  He is a duly elected councillor of Ward 8 in Mt. Pleasant in Harare.

The second problem -  section 142 of the Urban Council’s Act; this is the establishment of the Local Government Board.  Now what the Local Government Board says and does, is that it has the veto power over local authorities in respect of whosoever is employed and whosoever is fired, but surely Mr. Speaker Sir, the employer, in this case, the local authority, must have complete discretion over who it employs.  We do not have that same veto power over people who work for parastatals.  We do not have a Local Government Board or the equivalent of the Local Government Board at Air Zimbabwe, ZIMRA, ZINARA and so forth.  So, why do we need the creature called the Local Government Board in respect of local authorities?

You have nasty characters, some of them thieves who get fired by the local authority but the Local Government Board says return them.  You have some fantastic individuals recruited by the local authority.  I remember James Mushore, a top banker was recruited by the local authority to be the town clerk and the Local Government body said no.  So that again is interference with the right of local authorities to run their affairs smoothly.

Thirdly Mr. Speaker Sir, is the issue of procurement.  Local authorities are part of central government.  They should have their own procurement mechanism.  In the case of the City of Harare, local authorities, we have had countless stories of the current Minister of Local Government and Public Works actually directing that you buy water chemicals from company A, B.  It has happened in Gweru and in Victoria Falls.

Lastly on interference, you have got section 314 of the Urban Councils Act and section 314 says if the Minister issues a directive, he will be able to reverse any policy decision that would have been taken by a local government authority and as recent as 9th July, 2022, we saw Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Mr. July Moyo, write to the City of Harare to suspend the decision it had taken to suspend the contract of garbage collection that had been granted to a company called Geogenix BV in respect of Pomona.  The City of Harare had sat in a council meeting on 22nd June and came to the conclusion that sticking to a contract that asked to pay US$22 000 a day for the collection of their dump was unjust on the citizens, but the Minister reversed that.

Only a few months ago Mr. Speaker Sir, this august House received a Ministerial Statement by the same Minister of Local Government and Public Works read by his deputy, Dr. Marian Chombo in which the Minister tried to justify the purchase of fire tenders at a cost of US$500 000 each for local authorities that did not need them including rural authorities, some of whom the closest thing you can get to a fire is a bush fire but they are buying local authorities as if there are 20 storey buildings in Dotito, Chiendambuya or Murewa South.  So this is the micro-management by Minister July Moyo which is killing these local authorities.  So apart from the enactment of a devolution law, there must be harmonisation of both the Rural District Council Act and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] 

The third thing I want to emphasise Mr. Speaker Sir, which my colleagues have mentioned is that these towns that we are staying in, whether it is Gweru, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Rusape, Mutare, Chegutu or Kadoma, were designed for a small metropolis.  The citizen was a white man and we the blacks were subjects who were chased away to the reserves by virtue of the Land Apportionment Act of 1951.  You needed a pass to come to Bulawayo, you needed a pass to come to Harare and road blocks were mounted to prevent us the natives, the owners of this country, vana vevhu to come to urban centres. Women were not allowed Mr. Speaker Sir, so to bring a wife you needed permission.  The word kuchaya mapoto originates from the 1930s because what the whites now realised is that there were some jobs that required women, so they then allowed women to come into the urban areas.  They then had to give women permission to stay with men because men stayed in hostels such as Makokoba and Mbare B.  I was born in Block C Mbare when my father came in the 60s to stay as a bachelor.  So a man and a woman would then stay and live together.  They called it kuchaya mapoto because makunyengesa mapoto musina kurorana.  That is the origin of that term.

So Mr. Speaker, we have towns.  Harare was built for 400 000 white people.  Now Harare, if you include Greater Harare designed to include Norton, Ruwa, Goromonzi is also extending, Arcturus is also extending, where I am Member of Parliament Harare East, Tafara, Bhobho, Eastview, it is extending all the way into Chinamora.  Southlea Park which the report touches on, those were commercial farms owned and run by Crest Breeders which a long time ago closed.  So you now have the problem of infrastructure that is outdated, infrastructure that is archaic, infrastructure that is antiquated, to quote my learned brother in the making, Advocate Dexter Nduna.

So we need to build smart cities Mr. Speaker.  Smart cities that can accommodate our people and we need to do it as a matter of urgency.  In the next 15 years, the population of Harare alone will be 10 million people.  By 2045, the population of Zimbabwe will be close to 32 million, so we need urban cities, we need water.  They have spoken of Kunzvi Dam.  Even if you build Kunzvi Dam today, it will be too small for Harare.  We have to build that dam in Mutoko to cater for Harare, for Bulawayo we have to complete the Gwayi-Shangani Dam. For Masvingo, we need an extra dam and for Marondera, Wenimbi is already too small.

          What about traffic? In Harare, I live 35 km from Harare and it takes me two hours to get home. Ndosvika sadza kumba rave munya because of motor vehicles on the streets. You cannot travel along Enterprise Road with maHonda Fits and so on. So the question is we need a deliberate plan crafted by the Government to deal with urban regeneration and the construction of smart cities to cater for the huge gigantic populations that is imploding in this country.

My appeal is that we should not concentrate on the traditional five cities of Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Harare and Masvingo. Let us concentrate on the burgeoning cities.  By the burgeoning cities, I am referring to cities that we miscall growth points. They are not growth points and if you call them growth points, they will just go prostitution and cry. We should build cities out of Murewa Centre, Madziva, Dotito, Concession, Murambinda, Dorowa and Buhera too Mr. Speaker, in other words, the small towns that we call growth points so that we decongest the traditional cities.

Mr. Speaker, that de facto growth is already taking place. If you go to Mt. Darwin and Murewa, it is a town. In Murewa, there is a big hospital and schools there. In fact, Murewa is bigger than Macheke and with due respect to my friend, Adv. Dexter Nduna, Murewa is bigger than Chegutu at the present moment. Chegutu without the highway is a small village. I submit that we need to build smart modern cities with ring-arounds, spaghetti roads and high office buildings. We need gross capital formation. 

Take Harare Mr. Speaker - Harare is full of rats that are bigger than you. There is total collapse. The last building that was built in Zimbabwe, gross capital formation was the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe building. So, if you wake up a person who died in 1968 who lived and worked in Harare, she will not get lost. The only thing that will confuse her is that where there was Jameson Ave, there is now Samora Machel Ave; where there was Baker Avenue there is now Nelson Mandela Avenue and where there was Moffat Street there is now Leopold Takawira Avenue. We need to build modern smart cities. I thank you Mr. Speaker and I support the recommendations of the Committee with the addition that the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Mr. July Moyo must harmonise the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Siyabonga!

Twalumba lokho!

Zikomo kwambiri!

Merci beaucoup!

Domo arigato!

HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  Mr. Speaker, I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day be stood over, until Order of the Day, Number 35 has been disposed of.

          HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE BENCHMARKING VISIT TO KENYA, ZAMBIA AND GHANA ON EDUCATION FINANCING

Thirty-fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Second Report of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the Benchmarking visits to Kenya, Zambia and Ghana on education financing (S.C. 16, 2022)

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me to provide the requested update in response to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee’s recommendations on Education Financing, the Inclusive Policy and Better Schools Programme.  I wish to thank Hon. Members for the highly informative reports that they tabled in Parliament following their benchmarking visits to Ghana, Zambia and Kenya.

Education Financing

  1. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education

(MoPSE) should enact an Education Financing Bill and policy framework to realise Section 75 of the Constitution by end of December, 2022.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is seized with enacting an Education Financing Bill and policy framework to realise Section 75 of the Constitution.  So far, discussions are still underway as to how best the Ministry can roll-out State funded education in a phased approach.  Already, Cabinet has made its recommendations and as such, the Ministry is coming up with a feasible framework in terms of how revenue can be raised to provide fully-fledged State funded education.

We have noticed that in other countries, an education tax has been raised to fund education while in other countries, big corporates have been mandated to support education and the manpower needed thereof.  It is our clarion call as a Ministry to Members of Parliamen,t to provide us with additional suggestions as we make further consultations in order to harness the necessary revenue for State funded education.

          I can confirm however, that the draft School Finance Policy has been tabled in the Cabinet approval system and the Ministry is currently working on the recommended revisions before submission to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).  In this regard, my Ministry takes serious note of the information in the benchmarking report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee that visited Kenya, Zambia and Ghana.

  1. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should reconsider structural reforms aimed at decentralizing services such as establishment of a stand-alone department meant for schools’ construction by December, 2022.

           The Ministry already has a stand-alone division of Strategic Policy Planning Research and Statistics whose mandate includes the establishment of schools and management of construction works, with Planning Officers as part of each provincial structure.

  1. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should

expedite the establishment of a Teachers Professional Council

by end of December, 2022.

          With regards to the establishment of the Teaching Professions Council, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has come up with a draft on the Principles of the Teaching Professions Council Bill which would be submitted to Parliament after feedback has been received from Cabinet.  The objects of the Bill are to:-  (a)  establish the Teaching Profession Council of Zimbabwe and define its functions and powers; (b)  provide for the regulation of teachers, their practice and professional conduct and other matters incidental to the foregoing.

  1. The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should

consider extending the school feeding programme to secondary schools to encourage schools’ turnout by December, 2022.

          The recommendation has been adopted in full and is part of the Budget Strategy for the Ministry’s 2023 bid.  However, it is important to note that the budget for primary schools has not yet covered all intended beneficiaries.  Part of the challenge has been the practical challenges and overheads in implementing centralised procurement.

          Inclusive Education Policy

          The draft Zimbabwe Inclusive Education Policy and its costed Operational Framework have been submitted to the Office of the President and Cabinet and is now awaiting the requisite approval processes.  In compliance with the guidance from Parliament, due consultations were made to align the draft to the National Disability Policy.

  1. In the 2023 budget, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should consider provisions for the construction of model schools in each district that should also serve as a good example on how an inclusive school should be.

I wish to assure Hon. Members that this recommendation has been taken on board as part of the 2023 Budget Strategy.  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will bid for provisions for the construction of model schools in each of the 72 districts to serve as a good example of an inclusive school. 

However, due to budgetary constraints, the Ministry is working on construction of eight (8) new schools that will provide inclusive compliant education in 2023.  Furthermore, all schools are being retrofitted with inclusive compliant components throughout all provinces.

  1. The MoPSE should conduct an exercise to compile the statistics on learners with disabilities (either going to school or not) to ensure proper planning in future by December, 2022.

The Ministry continuously conducts exercises to compile statistics

 of  learners with disabilities as well as those who are orphans and vulnerable children.  Through the annual school census (Education Management Information System), the Ministry has statistics on pupils with visual, physical and hearing impairments, intellectual challenges, communication and speech and learning disabilities, Albinism and multiple disabilities, disaggregated by sex, education level and school setting.  The majority of pupils with disabilities are attending mainstream schools.

  1. The MoPSE should ensure that every school has a trained teacher to handle learners with disabilities by December, 2022.

The Ministry takes note of the recommendation and hereby

confirms that in the current Teacher Capacity Development Programme, one of prioritised critical skills shortage area is that of teachers specialised in addressing disability-related special educational needs.  Since the programme launched in 2014, the number of trained special needs education teachers continues to increase.

          Hon. Members may be happy to know that with the recognition of Sign Language among other indigenous languages, the Great Zimbabwe University is providing a course in Sign Language, in response to our request and the Government of Zimbabwe is sponsoring the teachers selected to attend.

          Through the Learner Welfare Psychological Services and Special Needs Education structure, my Ministry has ongoing in-service training activities aimed at reskilling and multi-skilling all teachers for inclusive teaching and learning.

  1. The Ministry should conduct awareness programmes on the IEP to ensure that communities, schools and teachers are informed and capacitated by December, 2022.

The Zimbabwe Inclusive Education Policy is still in the Cabinet

approval system, hence the intended policy awareness programmes will be conducted after its launch.

          In the meantime, my Ministry has embarked on Integrated Primary and Secondary Education Community Service fairs through Outreach in all provinces.  Such community outreach programmes are a platform for promoting inclusive education practices and ensuring that all children and adolescents of school going age are not left behind when access and participation in learning.  The integrated primary and secondary education community service phase through outreach takes office based services to people to make education inclusive for marginalised and disadvantaged children including encouraging girls that fall pregnant or teen mothers to come back to formal schools as promulgated by the Education Amendment Act of 2020.  Such services include special needs assessments that are conducted through our offices but through this phase, these services are taken to the communities so that they are closer to the beneficiaries.

          On the Better Schools Programme Report, the recommendation was that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should craft a legal framework on the collection and use of BSPZ funds by December 2022.  The Ministry is currently working on a legal framework for regularising the collection of BSPZ funds.  To date, the Ministry has established a Business Development Unit and one of the task that it has been working on is evidence gathering to better inform the approach to be taken towards the regularisation of the Better Schools Programme Zimbabwe funds with a target of submitting a report to this august House by December 2022.

          It is however important to note that this target is dependent on developments on the ongoing school financing policy.  This should be finalised by December 2022.

          The second recommendation is that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should enact a statutory instrument to ensure uniformity in the collection and utilisation of the affiliation fee throughout the country by June 2 022.  The Ministry is currently working on a statutory instrument to ensure uniformity in the collection and utilisation of the affiliation fee throughout the country by December 2022.  This will allow the structures of the Ministry to do a policy document that guides functionalities and providing legal framework towards the collection affiliation fees and utilisation of such funds.

          That the Auditor-General should audit the BSPZ funds so that a clear picture on how the funds are being used can explain and create room for improvements.  The Ministry will facilitate for accountability on the use of the Better Schools Programme of Zimbabwe funds and other assets through the Audito- General. 

          The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education continues to strive to provide quality, relevant, inclusive, equitable and wholesome education for all Zimbabweans.

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I move that we revert to Order Number 27 on today’s Order Paper.

          HON. L. SIBANDA: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH, SPORTS, ARTS AND RECREATION ON THE STATE OF FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATION IN ZIMBABWE

HON. CHIWETU: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation on the state of Football Administration in Zimbabwe

HON. O. SIBANDA: I second.

HON. CHIWETU: INTRODUCTION

Over the years and worldwide, football has evolved from being a social activity to a commercial venture with the potential of impacting on the country`s gross domestic product, resulting in job creation and poverty alleviation. Congruent to this, section 32 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe imposes an obligation on the State to take all practical measures to encourage sporting and recreational activities including the provision of sport and recreation facilities for all people.  Sporting activities in Zimbabwe include football, cricket, rugby, netball, tennis, handball, golf, swimming and hockey, just to mention a few.  Football has gone global as a business which requires that it be studied in its own right as a field of economic endeavour just like any other industry. The phrase ‘football economy’ shows the acknowledgement now given to football as a source of economic and commercial activity.   In Zimbabwe, football is the most popular sport with a huge support base. Recently, the country was banned by Federation International of Football Association from participating in international football competitions following the alleged government interference in football administration after the Sports and Recreation Commission Board suspended Zimbabwe Football Administration Executive Board members from office.

It is against this background that the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation resolved to conduct an inquiry into the state of football developments in the country with a view to make recommendations.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

The key objectives of the inquiry were:

  • To understand the administration of football in the country
  • To understand and establish issues surrounding the suspension of the Zimbabwe Football Governing Board (ZIFA) by the SRC.
  • To come up with recommendations for effective football administration in the country.
  • METHODOLOGY

As part of the enquiry, the Committee undertook the following:

  1. It received oral evidence from the Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Dr. B. Dube and Chairperson of the Sports and Recreation Commission, Mr G. Mlotshwa on 18 February 2022;
  2. It further received evidence from Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Minister K. Coventry on 03 April 2022; and
  • It also analyzed written submissions from the Zimbabwe Football Association Executive Board.
  • COMMITTEE FINDINGS

4.1 The Role of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation

4.1.1 Hon K. Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation informed the Committee that the Ministry places sport and recreation as contemporary drivers for national economic development. Government therefore established an institutional arrangement for sporting in Zimbabwe which includes the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), National Sport Associations (NAS) and schools through National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) and National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH).

4.1.2 The Ministry plays an important facilitator role in the promotion and development of sport through providing an overall policy direction and regulatory framework and strategic direction to guide all sport delivery agents. Thus, the Ministry administers the Sport and Recreation Commission Act [Chapter 25:15] through which the SRC was established.

4.1.3 In 2016, the Ministry launched the Sport and Recreation Policy which gives clear guidelines as to the parameters within which sport should operate.

4.1.4 The department of Sport and Recreation under the Ministry has on its budget a budget line for the promotion and development of sport in the country and has been trying to give financial support to cover the needs of teams on national duty in and outside the country. To this end, an amount of ZWL 171 000 000 was allocated in 2021 for the programme support on Sport Promotion.

4.1.5 Despite having all these interventions, the country is still facing some deep-rooted challenges that undermine the development and growth of sport in general.

4.2 Structure and Role of Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA)

4.2.1 Mr. G. Mlotshwa, the SRC Chairperson, informed the Committee that football in Zimbabwe is run by the Zimbabwe Football Association and it is arguably the biggest sport association in the country. The association has many affiliates which include the Premier Soccer League (PSL), First Division leagues, Provincial Leagues, District Leagues, Area Zone Leagues, NAPH, NASH, and Tertiary Institutions among others.

4.2.2. The ZIFA General Assembly is the supreme policy making body of ZIFA while the board is the executive arm of the association. The Secretariat and the Standing Committees make up the management and technical arms of ZIFA respectively.

The ZIFA Board is the Executive Committee responsible for the implementation of the association's policy. The ZIFA Standing Committees are technical arms of the association which formulate the policy framework of the association and are chaired by board members or selected specialists

4.2.3 Its Secretariat is the operational arm of the association, headed by the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) and its mandate is to implement resolutions and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the association.

4.2.4 The most critical role of ZIFA, through the above stated structures, is to organise national football competitions and the Zimbabwe national football teams.

4.2.5 In terms of membership, ZIFA is affiliated to Federation International Football Association (FIFA), Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA). FIFA is the supreme body governing football in the world whilst CAF is the administrator of football at continental level. COSAFA governs football at regional level in the Southern part of Africa.  It is therefore, critical to note that ZIFA is affiliated to all these bodies and adheres to their statutes.

4.3 Role of FIFA

4.3.1 Mr G. Mlotshwa informed the Committee that FIFA was founded in 1904 to provide unity among national soccer associations and to oversee international competitions by national associations. It is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland and its membership comprises of 211 national associations with ZIFA included.

4.3.2 It is of essence to note that FIFA frequently takes an active role in the running of football around the world. As such, one of its sanctions is to suspend teams and associated members from international competition when there is interference by national governments in the running of FIFA's associate member organizations or if its associate is not functioning properly.

4.3.3 Within this context, ZIFA operates within the regulatory regime made up of the following statutes: The Sport and Recreation Act [Cap25:15] and Sport and Recreation Commission Statutory Regulations of 2012, ZIFA 2013 Constitution, ZIFA rules and regulations, ZIFA code of conduct, CAF statutes and FIFA statutes.

4.4 Circumstances Leading to the Suspension of the General Secretary of ZIFA

4.4.1 The Committee learnt that Mr. J. Mamutse, the ZIFA General Secretary, was suspended on 26 November 2020 by the SRC Board. The grounds for suspension were that;

  • the National Women`s Football Team, under 17 Girls and Under 17 Boys Football Teams left Zimbabwe to participate in a tournament in South Africa without the necessary approval from the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and Child Care in light of the Covid- 19 regulations and;
  • The Zimbabwe National under 17 Boys Football Team was nonetheless disqualified from participating in the COSAFA tournament on allegations of including overage player(s) or those who failed ineligibility tests after the overage issue.

4.4.2 The Committee also learnt during oral evidence session with SRC Board that the ZIFA General Secretary had appealed against his suspension in the Administrative Court on 3 December 2020. However, the appeal did not suspend the decision of the SRC Board, thus he remained suspended pending the court decision to his suspension. Subsequent, the SRC Board appointed Mr. X Gwesela as the new Chief Executive for ZIFA responsible for the day-to-day operations and heads its Secretariat.

4.4.3 The Committee was however dismayed to discover that the ZIFA General Secretary was on suspension since November 2020 without any due process or disciplinary process taken.

4.5 Circumstances Leading to Suspension of ZIFA Executive Board

4.5.1 During the oral evidence session with SRC Board, the Committee learnt that the ZIFA Executive Board was suspended on 16 November 2021 on the following grounds;

  • It was implicated in mismanagement and lack of accountability in the use of public funds with specific reference to the letter issued to ZIFA on the 3rd of July 2019 where ZIFA was asked to account fully for the use of public funds in the aftermath of the 2019 AFCON campaign. This letter was not responded to at all by the ZIFA Board.
  • It sent National Football Teams outside of Zimbabwe without COVID-19 clearances from the Ministry of Health;
  • It failed to address gender imbalances relating to the treatment of female national teams compared to their male counterparts in terms of allowances, up-keep, and other operating conditions.
  • It also failed to address and make appropriate investment of the development fund as provided by FIFA for grassroots and junior football development.
  • It failed to give evidence of any meaningful development at grassroots level.
  • It was alleged on sexual harassment of female referees by key technical staff within ZIFA Executive.
  • There was a looming constitutional crisis within ZIFA vis-a-vis pending elections.

4.6 Response by ZIFA Executive Board to the Allegations by SRC

4.6.1 ZIFA Board indicated that it had received USD$53 000 from Government in June 2019 for Afcon and the full amount was fully acquitted to SRC in July 2019 together with evidence of all the transfers to the players. ZIFA Board also indicated that it had been subjected to several police reports leading to court processes but all resulting in acquittals or totally removed from the court roll for lack of evidence. Thus, four ZIFA Executive Board members were acquitted from charges of obstructing justice on allegations that they prevented a creditor from attaching FIFA money held in ZIFA Ecobank account.

4.6.2 Additionally, Mr. F. Kamambo the suspended ZIFA President, informed the Committee that resources from fundraising activities were receipted and deposited into an established fundraising bank account whose only two signatories were the then acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreations Honourable Minister Kazembe and the SRC Board member, Mrs Chipo Mutasa. He informed the Committee that payments by the Fundraising Committee were made directly into the individual accounts players who were the beneficiaries of the funds. In both circumstances, ZIFA indicated that it had no access to the bank account and the payment made thereof.  The Committee therefore, noted from the above that the SRC Board did not provide clear evidence on the actual amount that was abused by the ZIFA Executive Board.

4.6.3 On allegations of gross incompetence, Mr F. Kamambo disputed that the allegations appeared in a press statement only but were not raised with ZIFA or even stated in the suspension letter.

4.6.4 In response to sending National Teams outside of Zimbabwe without clearances from the SRC, Mr F. Kamambo argued that ZIFA followed due process and teams were cleared by the SRC. However, the Committee discovered that Mr P. Mupazviriho, the Director General for Sport and Recreation Commission was then suspended on allegations of clearing ZIFA without express authority of the SRC Board and/or the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.

4.6.5 With regards to alleged sexual harassment of female referees, the Committee noted that the Sports and Recreation Commission had conducted two enquiries on the matter. In addition, Mr. F. Kamambo also said that the matter was referred to the ZIFA Judicial Committee and the accused was formally charged.

4.7 FIFA`s Response on the Suspension of ZIFA Executive Board and its Implications on the Country`s Football

4.7.1 Article 14 paragraphs 1 (i) and 3 as well as article 16 paragraphs 1 of the FIFA statutes allow FIFA Council to temporarily suspend, with immediate effect, a member association that seriously violates its obligation without a vote of the Congress. In light of these provisions, the Committee therefore noted that the setting up of a Restructuring Committee by SRC Board was considered by FIFA Council as a clear case of undue interference by Government in football matters, hence the country`s suspension by FIFA.

4.7.2 The Committee also learnt that the FIFA Council executed that the lifting of the suspension be subject to; the repeal of:

  • SRC decision of 26 November 2020 suspending the ZIFA General Secretary;
  • SRC decision of 16 November 2021 suspending the ZIFA Board;
  • SRC decision of 17 December 2021 setting up the Restructuring Committee and;
  • Withdrawal of SRC’s legal complaint against the ZIFA President, three other ZIFA Board members and the General Secretary regarding alleged misuse of the ZIFA letterheads.

4.7.3 The Committee noted that in accordance with article 13 of the FIFA Statutes, ZIFA lost all its membership rights on 24 February 2022 until further notice. In addition, ZIFA representatives and club teams were no longer entitled to take part in any international competitions until the suspension was lifted. The implications of the above also mean that neither ZIFA nor any of its members or officials would benefit from any development programmes, courses or training by FIFA and/or CAF.

  • COMMITTEE`S OBSERVATIONS

The Committee made the following observations:

  • The setting up of ZIFA Restructuring Committee by the SRC Board triggered the suspension of the country from international football competitions by FIFA. The SRC being a government entity is deemed to have had no jurisdiction over the administrative operations of ZIFA which in this case is an affiliate of FIFA.
  • The Sport and Recreation Commission Act, Chapter 25:15 violates the doctrine of natural justice which gives an individual the right to be heard. In this case, section 34 of the Act is limited only to suspension of an individual without a hearing.
  • There is misalignment of the SRC Act Chapter 25:15 with statutes of international federations governing all sport codes especially those that deals with channels of communication and dispute resolution.
  • The SRC Board rushed to make a decision of suspending the ZIFA Board without conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.
  • The ban imposed on ZIFA by FIFA violates public interest since football is the major sporting discipline in Zimbabwe with a huge support base.
  • The Committee observed that the restructured ZIFA Board was illegal based on the reasons cited by FIFA as the world football governing body in its suspension letter to ZIFA.

6.0 COMMITTEE`S RECOMMENDATIONS

The Committee made the following recommendations:

  • By 31 October 2022 the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should ensure that SRC Board has repealed its decision of;

(a)  26 November 2020 which suspended the ZIFA General Secretary;

(b) 16 November 2021 which suspended the ZIFA Board and;

(c) 17 December 2021 which established the ZIFA Restructuring Committee; in order to pave way for the lifting of the ban imposed by FIFA on Zimbabwe from participating in international football competitions.

  • By 31 October 2022, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should ensure that the SRC has dissolved the current ZIFA Board and reinstate the Felton Kamambo led ZIFA Board.
  • By 31 December 2022, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should amend the section 34 of the SRC Act, Chapter 25:15 in order to provide for a fair hearing or a fine or an appeal mechanism before coming up with decision to suspend.
  • By end of 31 December 2022, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should align the SRC Act Chapter 25:15 with statutes of international federations governing all sport codes, especially those that deal with channels of communication and mechanisms of dispute resolution.
  • The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should ensure that SRC always make thorough investigations based on evidence in order to come up with unquestionable decisions.

              7.0 CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the Committee expressed its concern on overwhelming public outcry following the ban imposed on Zimbabwe by FIFA. It is indeed in the interest of the public at large and the soccer governing board in particular, to get the country back on the international scene in the world of football. As observed by FIFA Government, interference in football matters has far reaching implications that can undermine the country`s ability to enjoy the potential benefits that can accrue from participating at international fora. As such, there is need to observe and respect both the national and international statues, rules and regulations governing football administration. Therefore, the Committee implores upon the SRC to reverse its decision and implement recommendations by FIFA so as to allow the country to participate in international football competitions. I thank you.

          HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. TEKESHE: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

          On the motion of HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE seconded by HON. RAIDZA, the House adjourned at a Quarter to Six o’clock p.m, until Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

 

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