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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 3 NOVEMBER 2020 VOL 47 NO 05
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF REPORTING PERIOD BY THE
PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEDGES COMMITTEE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that the Privileges Committee investigating the alleged misconduct by MDC members has sort an extension of its reporting period which has been duly granted to the 30th November 2020.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: On a point of order
Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very
much Mr. Speaker Sir. I stand on a matter of national interest. Last week there was issuance of Statutory Instrument 261 of 2020. I am concerned with two issues that arise within that Statutory Instrument. It is a Statutory Instrument that is supposed to be looking at issues to do with benefits and pensions for former First Ladies. Whilst in principle, I am in total agreement; I think that I would want to ask, through you, to request that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs comes to this House and explain the thinking and the criteria behind the Statutory Instrument. Largely for two issues Mr. Speaker Sir...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Is it for two issues or two reasons?
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: For two reasons Mr.
Speaker Sir. The first one being that the Statutory Instrument refers to spouses of former Presidents. However, in the same Statutory Instrument, it then says only as of 1987. That creates major problems because it actually means that one of the founder First Ladies, Mrs. Banana, would therefore be excluded from those pensions and those benefits. It is of concern and one would want to understand where that thinking is coming from.
The second one is to speak about some of those who are also in the leadership of the State and I know I will not ask you to rule on this one but I have to speak to it because you may find it difficult to rule on it. Your own spouse is not reflected in that Statutory Instrument. I think particularly if we are looking at heads of institutions, I think it will be unfortunate if we are looking at spouses and we do not necessarily address also spouses that are to do with Speakers’ spouses – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I would therefore, request that we have the Minister coming to the House to explain in detail firstly on the time, why we are speaking to 1987 and not 1980 and also why we are picking particularly spouses of former presidents. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank
Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga for the proposal but perhaps also Hon. Speaker, to mention that when you talk of leadership, it actually includes those that have been occupying space in Government at national level. You would not also have done justice if you were to leave even the former Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers.
What then happens because those offices in terms of that Statutory Instrument have got to be considered?
THE HON. SPEAKER: I supposed unintended or omission,
you have three organs of State. That is the Executive, Parliament and
Judiciary and I thought Hon. Mpariwa was standing up to include the
Judiciary and the Chief Justice. We will convey the matter to the Leader of Government Business to make a statement on that.
HON. MBONDIAH: My point of privilege arises from the issue of the young boy Tapiwa Makore who up to now has not been buried. I would like to appeal to your office Mr. Speaker Sir and the powers that be, that can the matter of Tapiwa Makore be dealt with and put to an end so that the mother and father can get closure because as you well know, when your relative dies and you still have not buried that person, you do not find closure. I am sure by now Mr. Speaker Sir, the body of Tapiwa Makore is in a state of decomposition. So I would like to appeal to your good office Mr.
Speaker that this matter be put to an end.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We will advice, I think the Hon.
Minister of Home Affairs to make closure to the issue because it is the police who are engaged with investigations on the matter and it could be quite a trauma for the parents and relatives when you have such a long period of waiting to bury your child who lost his life under some gruesome circumstances. I shall convey the message Hon. Mbondiah, accordingly.
HON. T. MLISWA: My point of national interest is the legislative agenda set by His Excellency, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa on the State of the Nation Address requires Ministers to be present in Parliament and as such, I want to read out the Ministers who were absent on the 28th October, 2020. Mr. Speaker, you are aware that there is no legislative agenda which can be achieved without Ministers being here. It being the 9th Parliament, Third Session we must set the tone as Parliament - allow me to name the Ministers who were absent. Absent on the 28th October, 2020 was Hon. A. Masuka,
Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement; Hon.
Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce; -
HON. TOGAREPI: My point of order, with all due respect of
the issue being raised by Hon. Mliswa. Is the list that he is reading out a correct list that really reflects that these Ministers were absent or we then find ourselves with a list that wrongly informs us or is read out to then discover that the Minister had taken all due process to advice this House? Is this list correct? Has it been authenticated either by our Parliament administration first? So I think by reading this list without such type of concurrence would be like jumping the gun. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, was that list
authenticated by administration of Parliament?
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I think the Chief
Whip brings about a pertinent point. I will respond to him and say just a few minutes ago I was in the Papers’ Office and this would not have been the only thing that I did not explain if I had finished, was to say as per register. That was part of my summation of what I wanted to do just that I had not finished, but I am a very thorough person you know that and I would never come with a list which is not within Clerk or Papers Office of Parliament. So it is indeed that list Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Does this refer to Wednesday last
HON. T. MLISWA: Yes.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Did you see the Clerk of Parliament?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, allow me. I have been on this mission for a month now and you know, I have been told this or that. I have come to you. The Clerk knows. I have seen the Clerk and he has exactly told me, I thought it would be a motion. I have gone through every other office so that I do not make a mistake and if indeed there is a mistake, things can be verified.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, you are quite right Hon. Mliswa because when I read the list here I recalled clearly that Hon. S. Nyoni - and I hope she is not in your list and several other Ministers had actually written and the letters came through my office. I asked the Clerk of Parliament why those Ministers who had sought leave of absence were not in and the Clerk, Mr. Prince Daniel after I had asked him, he admitted that he had not checked properly on the written letters asking for leave of absence, if that list came from the record as submitted and read out on that particular day is inaccurate. That I can vouch.
Secondly, the Clerk of Parliament had been informed by Cabinet Office that ministers were going out on a Strategic Plan process – the whole cabinet. I did ask him whether that message was communicated to Mr. Prince Daniel. It would appear it was not communicated. There was a breakdown in communication.
Hon. Mliswa, this is not to muzzle your proposed motion. I think you will need to sit down with the Clerk and clean up that list which may result in one or two Hon. Ministers only who were away without leave of absence. It thought I should bring this to your attention.
HON. T. MLISWA: Sir, thank you very much and as head of Parliament, you certainly have more information than I do. We just wish that information could be communicated earlier. This is one of the issues where you said there was a workshop for all Cabinet ministers. Why were others here and not there? There is inconsistence and there seems to be a lot more lies which the administration of Government is constantly bringing to you. There must be rules and we must at least know at what point should be letters of apology be with Parliament. There should be a cut-off point. You cannot be at your house 12 mid-night and you forget to seek leave of absence and then call – that is what has been happening.
I say this with your understanding, that there has got to be a cutoff point to which these must come through. Government is a serious department and as such, it has people who are paid to do this. What are they doing in those offices? I cannot comprehend how they miss that when they have technocrats with them, full time to be able to ensure that their office has some credibility and integrity and respects another institution. At times when you go and ask for the papers, they still say we are still waiting for a list to come. So, at what point do we then say this is the cut off?
Secondly, I thought this would be a start. Let the list be read and let us see who was absent. One or two might be absent but my point is that some Cabinet ministers were here whilst others were at a workshop. Was the Cabinet now split, I do not know. They said they were going for a workshop.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mliswa.
You have some good points. You may take a seat.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I will explain. First, I agree with you totally that the Clerk of Parliament should write through the Chief Secretary the cut-off point so that we do not have apologies coming after the event. That is one.
Secondly, on the question of ministers who were here, I was informed that there was a question of venues being unavailable. Some ministers started their strategic workshops on Thursday and others on Friday as a result of failure to get venues. For example at
Kariba, there were two ministries there who came one after the other; Ministry of Tourism was the first. They had started on a Monday and then Ministry of Information and Publicity came after on a Thursday.
It was a question of those who could not get appropriate venues. That is why those ministers were here. Otherwise, all of them were supposed to be out there doing their strategic planning.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As such, I will rest my case. What we have established today which I look forward to, is a cut-off time being written if possible tomorrow. I know you do not suffer from inertia, so I am hoping that the letter will be with the office of the President and Cabinet so that this becomes the way of doing things because as Parliament, we are eager to drive home the legislative agenda set by the President in the State of the Nation Address. I thank you for that Mr. Speaker Sir and moving forward, I think it will certainly help us.
The last one is welfare of Members of Parliament (MPs). Schools have opened; the primary, secondary and tertiary and the issue still hangs. They absolutely have nothing; their children are being sent home and it is embarrassing for the MP. Fees are not being paid because of the situation. Let me say that you have been extremely considerate about our plight despite us again passing a
Budget which does not look after us but the Chief Whips must – I have no official position to fight for them but what I do is to just lobby for my fellow MPs. I can only do so much and through God I pray to – at least he can tick me off and say I tried to help my colleagues but the Chief Whips and I must say this; I am the only person who can say you are not doing your fellow colleagues a favour. I speak this from a hearty point of view. It is wrong for you to sit well and your MPs who you work with are not well. It is totally unfair and it is ungodly.
Part of being a Chief Whip is for you to look after members. That is the reason why they never perform. That is why they are always quiet. You are good at whipping them but you are not good at improving their welfare. I am emotional about this. You cannot just do that. They can only perform if their welfare is intact. They do not even know how they get home. They do not have shopping but their families are looking up to them.
Can you put yourself in their shoes and see how they are performing. This ungodly punishment must stop because it cannot continue like this. I was good enough to say, can we have a joint caucus and thank you to the Administration of Parliament. Hon. Mthuli Ncube came together with the Permanent Secretary and that is a first. There are a number of issues which they tabled before which must be considered by all Parliamentarians. I cannot tell them, I do not represent them. They must also hear what Hon. Mthuli Ncube proposed; we discuss it; we agree and move forward.
This can no longer continue. The Chief Whips, I am now whiping you – get your act in place and represent your MPs so that they can be effective. We are tired of this.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I was not sure whether the Hon. Member Mliswa was now assuming the title of Chief Whip extraordinary – [Laughter.]- I do not wish to defend the whips. I think there was a breakdown in communication at the appointed time, both the Government Chief Whip and the Chief Whip from the opposition. When the meeting was held, I was there and Hon. Mliswa was there by invitation and agreement between the two Chief Whips of the governing party and opposition. I must put it on record that the Hon.
Minister of Finance and his permanent secretary were quite accommodative in many ways and the issues that were concluded on that particular day after very passionate contribution by Hon. Mliswa as Chief Whip extraordinary. His views were taken on board and during the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, those issues were summarised. I am surprised that the whips did not report back to their caucuses because they attended the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders meeting where the Hon. Minister was there with clearly summarised report reporting to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. I am sure the Hon. – [HON. TOGAREPI: But who said we did not report back to our causes?] – I had not finished. I was saying if Hon. Mliswa’s position is correct, I am simply saying the matter of that meeting where the two chief whips were unavailable because of circumstances beyond their control which they explained to me, the matters were discussed during the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. My question is they were supposed to have reported and Hon. Chief Whip of the governing party said it was reported. I am not sure of Hon. Mpariwa whether the report was given to your caucus – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order. My question is very simple Hon. Togarepi. Did you report to your caucus as agreed at the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders?
HON. TOGAREPI: Yes, we did and we had a meeting Mr. Speaker between ourselves. Mliswa and yourself. We cannot be called to caucus by Hon. Mliswa – [HON. MLISWA: Inaudible
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS:
Inaudible interjections.] – Order. Hon. Mliswa, can you withdraw that aspect.
HON. T. MLISWA: I withdraw that aspect that in future may Chief Whips be elected not picked by the Politburo. That is all I can say. There was no election of a ZANU PF Chief Whip. It was an order from the Party.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa.
HON. T. MLISWA: I am sorry again. I withdraw again –
HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As you may know that the work of the caucuses is work in progress, I thought maybe by the time we convene our own caucus as Opposition, we would have had more from the Minister of Finance as heard in the last Standing Rules and Orders meeting where myself and Hon. Togarepi were present. However, I am glad to say that we are to convene our caucus. You know we were overwhelmed. We had the SONA and the appointment of the Leader of Opposition from this side. In all this I have been briefing the Leader of the Opposition but I am happy to say that we will have our own caucus next week. We were supposed to have held it last week but we will have our caucus next week. Why not this week? It is because we are also overwhelmed with the work of Parliament Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Plus the Budget consultations. Thank you very much.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: On what?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, if Hon. Togarepi thought that I was asking for a ZANU PF caucus, I did not. You heard me saying a joint caucus which is within our Standing Rules. The reason why I said that is I honestly know that I have been playing on their side and for them to have their different caucus without even involving me who has been working with them so that there is clarity on issues is unfair. Let me say this is the last time I will ever talk about the Members of Parliament’s welfare with a heavy heart. I like to be appreciated, I am human. A joint caucus allows us to hear all sides and to tell them the truth. My whole point of a joint caucus was they have not been there and I have represented them and I thought in so doing, I would help them but God forbid me. I am no longer going to talk about the welfare of Members of Parliament. I am okay. God is taking care of me. It was the interest of us making sure the information is correct. What you did not pick up from Hon. Mthuli Ncube, I am able to tell you, this is the direction. I am sorry Chief Whip if I have insulted you but at the same time, I will never in this
Parliament talk about the welfare of any Member of Parliament.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Nos. 1 to 4 be stood over until Order the Day, No. 5 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
HON. TOFFA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We cannot have points of order when nothing has been spoken.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Point of
correction Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 6 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day No.
7 has been disposed of.
HON. TOFFA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Thank you
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am sorry to have to bring you back but I just thought the issue had not been completed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Which one?
HON. TOFFA: The one that was raised by Hon. T. Mliswa.
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no! That is not how we debate, it is unprocedural. I have made a ruling and you cannot open debate
HON. TOFFA: Okay, Hon. Speaker Sir, I just want to say that as Members of Parliament we support and appreciate what Hon.
Mliswa has done and we would like him to continue. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You know, ladies have got a soft spot
I hope you do not support that you will not speak again about the welfare [HON. TOFFA: No, no!] – Not that aspect, all right?
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker for
giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important debate. May I start off by appreciating the decision taken by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa to hold a virtual SONA in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. That move by the President is indicative of his caring nature as a leader of the nation.
Madam Speaker, let me proceed to comment on the fact that the President saw it fit during the period when Covid-19 was at its peak to recognise that it was important sooner rather than later to allow churches to be reopened. Zimbabwe is a Christian country and we believe that whilst science can be deployed to deal with COVID, we also need to be prayerful in the process and that in itself is something that we need to be appreciative of.
Secondly, the President has also seen it fit as the Covid-19 pandemic has been monitored, to see it necessary to reopen our schools because the future of our country lies in the continued education of our children. Let me proceed Hon. Speaker to comment on the fact that whilst the prophets of doom were settling and thinking that Zimbabwe was going to sink, the President of this nation His Excellency Hon. E. F. Mnangagwa instituted a Transitional Stabilisation Programme which has indeed yielded results. This is evidenced by the fact that the introduction of the foreign currency auction system in June 2020 led to a stabilisation of the price escalation which had gone haywire. For that, we are eternally grateful.
Hon. Speaker, I would like to comment also on the observation by the President that the 18 billion Zimbabwe dollar stimulus package for the productive sector contributed immensely to stabilising the negative vagaries imposed on the vulnerable social groups including public services especially health, water and sanitation delivery. I want to thank His Excellency for that provision.
Hon. Speaker, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme has also yielded tangible results in that exports for the first half of 2020 actually went up by 4.9%. At the same time, we experienced a reduction of 5.9% in our import bill. This is a highly commendable development given that most economies in other nations have actually tumbled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
I also like to observe that our foreign currency receipts for the period August 2020, went up by 18%. Again this is a highly commendable development. The State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa reassured the nation also that the first stage of the National Development Strategy which covers the period 2021 to 2025 is indeed on track as evidenced by the tangible deliverables from the TSP. As a result I have no doubt whatsoever that as stated by the President in his SONA address Vision 2030 is indeed on track.
I would also like to acknowledge the observation made by His
Excellency Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa on the historic signing of the Global Compensation Agreement, which has been a bone of contention with the previous commercial white farmers. The signing of that agreement has indeed brought stability to the agricultural sector which is a cornerstone of our economy. I would want to thank His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for ensuring that we got beyond that historic watershed point. As a result of that agreement we are in a better position as a nation to take advantage of the promised good or favourable rainfall season 2020 to 2021. Also, it creates a stable environment for us to start turning around the corner on ensuring that we are food secure as a nation. I would want to thank His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for that development.
May I proceed to also acknowledge the fact that notwithstanding the fact that the country is still experiencing illegal sanctions and we are reeling under the effects of COVID-19 and we did not have a good rainfall season last year, we have a programme that has been instituted by Government –Pfumvunza for climate proofing 1.8 million households which are generally in the marginal rural communities. I want to acknowledge His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for that observation in his SONA. May I proceed to comment on the constituency that I represent Chiredzi West is in the forefront of contributing to measures to improve food security through the process of reengagement where the private sector as we are talking has contributed 4500 ha that are under irrigation to
produce maize on 3000 ha and 1500 ha on indigenous grains. That also is testament to the fact that His Excellency, President E. D.
Mnangagwa is walking the talk.
May I proceed to comment further and say the commitment by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa in his SONA address to accelerate resuscitation and development of irrigation schemes is exactly what the country needs in realisation of the fact that climate change is resulting in less and less reliable rainfall patterns.
Zimbabwe is the most damed country in the SADC region and the province I come from of Masvingo holds 54% of the dams that we have in this country. The recognition by His Excellency President E.
- Mnangagwa that we identify key areas with good soils and climate for us to remove dependence on rain fed irrigation and start relying more on irrigation talks to the situation that I represent in that the south eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe, which includes Chiredzi West Constituency together with Bulawayo kraal in Matebeleland North and Muzarabani area in Mashonaland Central has been designated areas for irrigated crop production. I am convinced, given the address by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa, that there is no reason why those three areas should not be able to produce 1.9 million tonnes of maize that we require as a nation. That will release money that currently is being used to import food which can go towards improving the health sector, education sector and generally the socioeconomic status of our country.
Let me move on to comment on the social welfare deliverables that His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa and his Government have been able to put on the table, notwithstanding the challenges that we are currently under. Seven hundred thousand households are receiving grain per month and I am proud to say in the constituency that I represent 53% of the communities in the rural wards are getting grain every month. That is something I want to commend the President for and those are the most vulnerable. I also want to commend the President in that in his SONA he has gone a step further and not limiting himself to providing grain or food assistance for vulnerable communities in the rural areas he has gone into, the urban areas as well and instituted the cash for grain urban feeding programme. In Chiredzi West constituency where we have got a population of 90 000 people, 40% of whom are in Chiredzi town I am in a position to communicate to the House that 33% of the households are actually benefitting from the urban grain feeding programme on the basis of US$12 to 14 per person in a household and I want to thank the President for being a caring father in that regard.
May I move onto the legislative agenda that the President elaborated in respect of the Third Session of the Ninth Parliament. I represent the only constituency where we have the two sugar mills that produce sugar for the country. The fact that His Excellency saw it fit to state that the Sugar Industry Act will amend the Sugar Industry Production Act of 1964 at the top of the Bills that he alluded to, speaks volumes about the fact that he realises the strategic importance of this industry which is only currently found in the lowveld. I thank you President for that. May I also acknowledge His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for emphasising the need for the Economic Empowerment Act to come in and repeal the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act so as to accelerate availability of economic empowerment instruments to the average man on the ground. That is highly commendable and it talks to attainment of Vision 2030. The Savings and Credit Cooperatives Society Act is going to be targeting the SMEs which are the bedrock of our economy. More than 80% of the economy of the country is now in SMEs mode and I want to thank His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for urging Parliament to ensure that we expedite implementation of the economic empowerment of the Savings and Credit Cooperatives Society Act. May I also acknowledge the recognition by His Excellency President E. D. Mnangagwa for us to have a Children’s Amendment Bill. Just now we heard one of the Hon. Members talking of the brutal murder of the young boy in Murewa. Given the challenges that His Excellency has and workload on him, his recognition on the need to have that Bill again speaks volumes about his caring and the onus is on us as Members of Parliament to act and walk the talk in respect of accelerating the process to ensuring that the children of Zimbabwe are protected from gruesome evil people who took the young child’s life.
May I conclude by recognising that amongst all the Bills that the President put in place, with where we are coming from the drought, COVID-19 and the sanctions have got a bias towards social economic translation of our economy, is indeed the right way to go. If we do
not have a stable socio-economic environment, it is not possible to deliver on Vision 2030. The fact that the President is urging Parliament to focus on Bills that give light to the process of devolution speaks to the fact that indeed we have a caring President committed to ensuring that by 2030, Zimbabwe will be an upper middle income economy. Thank you very much Madam Speaker
Ma’am for allowing me this opportunity to contribute to this debate. May God bless Zimbabwe.
HON. MOKONE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for
according me this opportunity to stand before you in this august House for the first time. I would like to thank the Lord Almighty for giving me this rare opportunity to be part of the Ninth Parliament. My name is Hon Sipho Mokone and not Makone. That is a Sotho surname and I represent Matabeleland South Province. I would like to thank the Matabeleland South populace for bestowing me with such an honour to represent them here. Let me also thank my party MDC-T for the recent appointment as the Chairperson of the Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. Indeed, the young people are the leaders of tomorrow.
To commence my contribution to the State of the Nation Address that was delivered by the President of Zimbabwe in relation to Matabeleland South Province, I would like to give an overview, or rather a background of what Matabeleland South looks like. It is a province that has five border posts. There is Beitbridge, Plumtree, Maitengwe, Mphoengs and Mlambapeli that was opened recently. It is a province that is very rich in mineral resources with gold being the core mineral in the province. For example, gold is being mined at Blanket, Vumba and Farvick Mines, just to mention but a few. There are so many mines in Matabeleland South.
One of the major plants of cement is also found in Matabeleland South that is at Colleen Bawn Mine. Different ethnic groups are found in Matabeleland South Province. These are Sotho that is where I come from originally, Vendas, Kalangas and Ndebeles et cetera. Matabeleland South has 168 wards in total. Having highlighted the above and having given you the history of Matabeleland South, devolution therefore is very key. Amendment No. 20 of the Zimbabwe Constitution talks of devolution that can be achieved through setting up of Provincial Councils. Let me hasten to say that I am rather disappointed because from 2013 these councils are not functional. They are only there theoretically, but practically they are not there. I remember sometime in 2013, one of my friends was also part of the provincial councilors and she is a Member of Parliament, in this Ninth Parliament, Lindiwe Maphosa. I therefore call for the provincial councils to be set up with speed and to fully function. This will enable the province to use its own resources for the betterment of its own people and development.
The number of primary and secondary schools in Matabeleland South does not match the number of wards that are found in that province. As I alluded to earlier on, Matabeleland South has 168 wards, but if you go on the ground you will discover that there is only one school serving four wards. That is not fair. It means that the children have to walk long distances in search of education which is a constitutional right. Having said that, due to covid-19 the Ministry of Education has actually revised the teacher-pupil ratio in schools, meaning to say that the classes that had 60 pupils are going to be broken into two. It is going to be two classes that used to be one. That is very key in the sense that we need more schools in Matabeleland South both primary and secondary schools.
Some of the schools in Matabeleland South are in a sorry state. I have some visuals that I brought to this House which I wanted to show you so that by the time I am giving my maiden speech, you could appreciate what I am talking about. The school is really bad. It is an ECD primary school. I therefore challenge the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to have an audit at all the schools in Matabeleland South so that they upgrade the ones that need to be upgraded and build the ones that need to be built for the betterment of the children.
Currently the teachers are on strike. I call upon the Government to give the teachers a decent salary so that they may execute their duties wholeheartedly. I am a former teacher myself, but I left the profession because of the peanuts that we used to get. It is high time that the Government actually acts upon the welfare of the teachers because they will keep on losing resourceful teachers like myself.
Right now teachers have resorted to gold panning. In almost all the mines in Matabeleland South, you will discover that there are teachers and children. Surely is that a normal set up in a country? We cannot have a country like that. It is high time Government looked at the plight of teachers.
At one time the teachers went on strike in Gwanda town and children, including my own son who is a grade 1 pupil, would come home and say today we were playing with baboons. We are really exposing our kids to danger because Government is not paying the teachers the salaries that they want. Education has become a preserve for the elite. The kids who go to school are those whose parents can afford to pay the incentives to the teachers. What about those whose parents cannot afford an extra fee? Are we now saying that because of the situation in the education sector we are now creating a disparity between the rich and the poor? What about the constitutional rights of education to our children?
Madam Speaker Ma’am, as I alluded to in my introductory remarks, I said Matabeleland South has 168 wards. We need clinics in each and every ward so that someone with a minor ailment can go to the clinic, get paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets and if it is a major ailment, they are referred to Gwanda Provincial Hospital. Since
Matabeleland South is a protracted province, I therefore challenge the Minister of Home Affairs to come up with District Passport Offices that will in turn take the documents to the provincial or the capital city which is Gwanda for processing. The capital city of Matabeleland South is Gwanda.
It is rather impossible for someone from Madhlambuzi in
Plumtree or Tokwana in Plumtree or someone from Luthumba in Beitbridge to come to Gwanda, only for a passport considering the high cost of living in Zimbabwe. People do not have money to travel that far. The provincial capital of Gwanda has a problem of dual ownership of the water plant between Gwanda Municipality and
ZINWA. This wrangle has taken too long. I therefore challenge the Minister of Local Government to fix the issue because many times the residents are on the receiving end because ZINWA at times closes water and people will go for a week without water.
In Gwanda, Spitzkop North, it is a very good example where people can even go for two weeks without water because if you go to council, they will tell you that it is a problem between ZINWA and the Municipality of Gwanda. There is a tank that they started building long back that should service this township of Spitzkop North. I think it is ten years if not fifteen but up to now, the tank is not yet completed. I therefore call the Minister of Local Government to ensure that the tank is complete.
As the new Chairperson of the Media Portfolio Committee, I welcome the call by the President for the enactment of the
Zimbabwean Commission Bill, the Broadcasting Services Bill, the
Cyber Security Bill, the Protection of Information Bill and the Freedom Bill. However, the Act should ensure a smooth process for the licencing of media people in order to promote, not only pluralism but media diversity. It is saddening to note that 40 years after independence Zimbabwe is one of the few countries in Africa that do not have licenced community radios.
The recent call by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe for community radio applicants should provide for a transparent and accountable process that will allow for genuine community broadcasters to be licenced. Madam Speaker, journalists must not be intimidated as they execute their job as long as they execute them in a proper manner. Many times we have seen journalists being criminalised because they would have unearthed a serious scandal in the top Government echeleon. So, journalists must be left out to carry out their mandates as they will do that in line with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and with the media ethics in Zimbabwe.
There are some parts of Zimbabwe, for instance in Gwanda
South where I come from, areas such as Kafusi where there is Mulambaperi Border Post that are forced to listen to Botswana or rather they are forced to live in Botswana and yet living in Zimbabwe. Why am I saying they are forced to live in Botswana yet living in Zimbabwe – it is because they are listening to the Botswana FM yet they are living in Zimbabwe? So as Zimbabweans, we need to make sure that we put signals in those areas so that they listen to our own
We need an independent broadcaster. Since the days when I was young, we only had ZTV and up to now there are no new players in the broadcasting industry, it is only ZTV. Let us open the airwaves and have competition that will in turn enhance quality because as more players come into the field of media, it will mean that the Media houses would have to pull up their socks. Madam Speaker, we need an improvement in as far as programming is concerned in ZTV because there is a vast difference in the programmes being shown by SABC, CNN, REUTERS, ALJAZEERA and other foreign stations with ZBC. If you compare the foreign stations with ZBC, you will see that there is great disparity in terms of picture quality and programming as well.
ZBC turns to cover certain areas much at the expense of others.
You will discover that some areas like where I come from in Matabeleland South, they only get two slots per week but other provinces are always being covered by ZTV. We call upon ZBC to be even in their coverage of stories.
The Leader of the Opposition last week as she was also delivering her maiden speech, spoke about the need for a genuine dialogue in Zimbabwe. Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe now needs an integrative approach. Where we are as Zimbabweans, we need to sit down and talk because people are really suffering. I am also buttressing on what she said; I am for the idea, I support the idea and what she said when she spoke about the need for dialogue for the people of Zimbabwe...
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are left
with five minutes.
Hon. Sikhala and Hon. Mpariwa having stood up to extend her
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think the procedure is that
you wait until the five minutes expires. You can proceed Hon.
HON. MOKONE: In Zimbabwe, if you go to the police right now and you take their statistics regarding the gender based violence in Zimbabwe, you will discover that gender based violence statistics are going up on daily basis. We therefore challenge the Government to have stiffer penalties on those men who inflict pain on innocent women. Having said that Madam Speaker Ma’am, I think I have to rest my case. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am for
giving me this opportunity to express my views as I contribute to this very important motion that was raised by Hon. Togarepi and supported by Hon. Mhona. I wish to thank His Excellency the President, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa for a very insightful and comprehensive report that he gave when he was making his State of the Nation Address. His Excellency the President spoke about reopening of our skies to domestic and international flights. This is very important and indispensable Madam Speaker Ma’am. When we open our skies, it will bring about stimulation to the economy. It will bring about forward and backward linkages, downward and upstream connections in terms of our economic stimulation.
The President, in his speech, spoke about the Government’s deliberate decision to open schools. It was not haphazardly done Madam Speaker Ma’am. It was calculated using different phases. The first phase in the opening of schools was designed for those candidates sitting for final examinations; Grade 7, Form 4 and Form 6. Before those schools were opened, the Government set aside millions of dollars to ensure that the schools were quarantined before students went to those schools. A deliberate effort was done to spray those schools as a mitigatory measure against the spread of Covid 19
Madam Speaker Ma’am.
Regrettably, most of the teachers who are participating in withdrawing their labour, to me they are so unpatriotic. By withdrawing labour, it is a violation of rights to education for our students. Whilst I appreciate that those teachers have genuine concerns, it is very unfair for those teachers to withdraw their labour. They should look at what is happening and obtaining in our universities. Lecturers in our universities are working but negotiating. I happen to be a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe where my colleagues are working; they are not withdrawing their labour. They are not violating access to education by our students. I want to urge educational practitioners to go to work while the Ministry is also trying to make efforts to ensure that their salaries have been increased. The Tripartite Negotiating Forum should be expedited in terms of negotiation so that the teachers will be accorded decent salaries. Withdrawal of labour is tantamount to abuse of our children to their rights to education.
I want to talk about the Transitional Stabilisation Programme
(TSP) that was one of the key objectives by His Excellency the President. The TSP has helped the Government to stabilise our economy. We have seen the introduction of the auction system in trying to stabilize the foreign exchange rate and that has brought about stability in prices of basic goods and services. We need to commend the Government for a job well done.
HON. HAMAUSWA: I have a point of order.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Moyo. What
is your point of order?
*HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point
of order is, is it procedural to discuss the issue of teachers’ salaries, while negotiations are underway? - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Can I be protected Madam Speaker Ma’am? It is an important issue. The issue of the welfare of teachers is important. As Parliamentarians, we should not be seen to be criticising them. The Hon. Member debating was a lecturer and we used to go on strike together in protest against low salaries.
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member.
The Hon. Member is not criticising teachers. He is encouraging teachers to return to work while negotiations are taking place.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. His
Excellency the President spoke about import substitution industrialisation. Import substitution industrialisation is a situation that happens when there is a barrier to trade. Covid 19 brought about obstacles in terms of importation of goods into the country, just like what obtained during the First World War and the Second World War where shipment of goods was problematic and that created infant industries or industries that emerged to produce what was needed on the market. We are saying that the Government of Zimbabwe, after realising that the pandemic was disturbing importation of goods, encouraged local industries to manufacture goods in large quantities. This has witnessed the amount of exports increasing by 4.9% to $1.96 billion during the first half of 2020 from $1.86 billion in 2019. Also, imports declined dramatically because of the emphasis on local industry. That was very important especially in addressing balance of payment problems. Balance of payment problems arise because of two variables. When value of exports is less than the value of imports we have balance of payment problems. Also, when the Government fails to get balance of payment support from credit lines – I will discuss that in detail when I address the issue of sanctions. The President talked about the need to condemn in all strongest words, the issue of illegal sanctions. You will realise that as Zimbabwe, we have Zimbabweans who believe that there are no sanctions. We have Zimbabweans who support the imposition of sanctions and those Zimbabweans are so unpatriotic.
As Parliament, we need to come up with a Bill which should be enacted as a law which criminalises those people who are Zimbabweans who go to South Africa, Washington DC, Belgium et cetera to call for imposition of sanctions on our Government.
Sanctions are evil, devilish, and ungodly and need to be condemned.
There is an organisation called OFFAC (Office of Foreign Assets
Control). That organisation punished the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe. It was fined to the tune of US$8bn for giving credit lines to ZB Bank. That shows that sanctions are hurting not just people in authority but the ordinary people. So, they need to be condemned and we need to commend SADC and the African Union for being vociferous in calling upon the Western world and USA to remove these sanctions. Sanctions are bad because Zimbabwe’s economy is being negatively affected.
We cannot afford balance of payment support; we cannot afford credit lines which we are supposed to get from the Bretton Woods Institutions. Here we are talking about the multilateral corporation or institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. We cannot have access to those credit lines and the issue of sanctions should be condemned using the strongest words that you can find in the dictionary.
On the issue of vulnerable communities that received a lot of support from the Government led by His Excellency Dr. E. D.
Mnangagwa; there is a programme which is being championed in Zimbabwe where urban and rural farmers are receiving inputs in the form of fertiliser and seed. As I am speaking, in my constituency Gokwe-Chireya, we have already completed the exercise of distributing inputs. We do not look at someone’s political affiliation, we give everybody who has dug the holes for Pfumvudza and that is what the President did to Zimbabweans so that we have food security. Inputs are being availed to everybody who has the capacity to work for Zimbabwe. From the meteorological predictions that have been done, we are going to experience the La Nina phenomenon where we anticipate normal to above normal rainfall pattern and where we want to encourage farmers throughout Zimbabwe to ensure that they produce a lot on a very small piece of land. The Pfumvudza programme is very important. In the event of climate change where we will experience La Nina, one should be able to irrigate a small piece of land using a bucket and that is highly commendable. We need to appreciate and applaud the President for such a good programme.
I will now talk about corruption, it is a vice, is bad, is ungodly, is unnatural and we need to commend our President for speaking against corruption. The President is known for being somebody who says no, no, no to corruption. We have seen high profile people being arrested for being corrupt. We have seen Ministers who got arrested and we have seen people who are in authority being arrested and some of them have lost their Cabinet positions and this shows that the President is a man of his word. He is a man who first researches and thinks carefully in whatever he says and we need to commend him for that. As Parliament of Zimbabwe, we need to come up with pieces of legislation that would protect whistleblowers and I think this is missing in our Constitution. We need to protect people who give out information. Whistleblowers need to be protected so that they are not harassed as they appear in court or as they give information to law enforcement agencies.
The Government of Zimbabwe that assumed office in November, 2017, is known for undertaking massive projects, capital projects. In this case, I am talking about construction of roads and bridges. These are being constructed in rural and urban areas, like the Harare/Beitbridge Road. That is an engine for economic growth. We have seen roads being constructed in my constituency. As you drive from Kadoma going to Gokwe, there is a road which is being tarred and dust roads are being habilitated. In my constituency, I will talk about the road between Galiver going to Chireya, Zumba up to Nembudziya growth point which we rehabilitated and we want to thank His Excellency the President for allowing DDF to do the rehabilitation process. That is very important to the economy in that we can move goods fast and also people can move from one point to the other and that brings about economic growth and economic development.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. T. Moyo, you are left
with five minutes only.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker, I am almost
done. I think I will need to consider the last issue. So, I was saying that the former regime used to spend 95% of what was collected as revenue on salaries. The current regime spends 50% on salaries and the other 50% goes towards investment in the construction of roads.
However, we need to do more especially in trying to construct some bridges. We have some bridges that would need some repairs. We want to encourage the Ministry of Finance, especially as we discuss the 2021 Budget, the Ministry of Finance should capacitate the Ministry of Transport. Even DDF needs to be given a lot of money so that the process of road construction, repairing or rehabilitating our railway lines is expedited and that will be very important particularly in economic development and growth. On that note Madam Speaker
Ma’am, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to air my views. I thank you.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I
wish to first start by thanking the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Khupe who set the record and raised the bar as she delivered her maiden speech in response to the State of the Nation Address. I think she raised very pertinent issues, some of which I will not touch on because I might messy the good work that she did especially her clear statement on sanctions and other policy measures.
Madam Speaker, I want to touch on a few issues by way of complementing Government and these issues came out clearly when the SONA was being presented. I come from Masvingo and I am pleased to also acknowledge that a lot of developments are happening on the Chirundu – Beitbridge Road. I think that is a positive development given the role infrastructure plays in the economy.
Madam Speaker, a road is an economy. This road carries Zimbabwe. This road supports the north to south corridor. It takes volumes of imports and exports, bound not only for Zimbabwe, but for Zambia, Tanzania, DRC, Kenya and so on and so forth. It is a very critical road which needs to be fixed. The state of the Masvingo highway has been pathetic for many years and has been a death trap. So when resources are used to develop the country and to build the roads, especially our trade route, we must appreciate that very honestly.
I also note that there are a lot of developments taking place in the energy sector. This country is moving towards energy self sufficiency. If you listen to the SONA report, I think there are possibilities that we might be a net exporter of energy in the near distant future. This has taken the right direction if we achieve the 6 000 mega watts from our power stations. I thought I should highlight those two things which emerged from the SONA.
I also want to touch on the Global Compensation Deed. It is common cause that Government has finally realised the importance of compensating erstwhile commercial farmers for the developments that they made on the land. This is not compensating for the soil but but for the developments that were made on the land. This is what we have been saying all along as the opposition that land must not be compensated but the development must be compensated. We fought very hard during the Constitution making process to make sure that compensation is included in the new Constitution.
I am happy that the 2013 Constitution recognises this issue of compensation but one thing which compensation does now is sending a great message to the Government of Zimbabwe. A message of respecting rights, whether they are property rights as in this case with this Global Compensation Deed, labour rights, human rights or political rights. Those must be respected by the State. Rights are indivisible. Here, we are talking about property rights but let us extend these rights that must be protected across the divide. A right must be protected and upheld in all their dimensions.
Properties that were covered by BIPPAS had been appropriated. Land that was covered by international treaties had been appropriated but I am happy that this has now been recognised. My message is that whilst you are recognising the sanctity of property rights, let us also uphold all other rights in their entirety, including the right to demonstrate, organised by trade unions and to strike. Those are fundamental rights that should be upheld in this country. We cannot be seen as a country which does not recognise rights in their entirety.
Madam Speaker, I now come to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and I must explain this very clear and explain what stabilisation means because a lot of people are saying things are now stable but we have to ensure it is a qualified stability. If I was an auditor I would issue a qualified opinion on the economic stability.
Why am I saying we must qualify the stability that is often founded about? When we talk of macro-economic stability, we are looking at four things; budget deficit, inflation, GDP growth and the exchange rate.
Now, we are celebrating stability because Government managed to reduce the budget deficit, fair and fine. We need to balance our books but like I said, we have to qualify this balance. You cannot celebrate a surplus amidst poverty, joblessness, when hospitals have no drugs, nurses are on strike, doctors are not adequately paid, teachers are not going to work and the children are out of school. These are qualitative socio-economic issues that you have to balance, not just the matrix because development is not about just matrix or number crunching.
It is also about what is behind those numbers in terms of the quality of life of the people. So, whereas the books have been balanced, it has happened at a very huge socio-economic and humanitarian cost. I think in the development discourse, we must place the people at the centre of our development trajectory, not numbers and figures. When we talk of stability and referring to the surplus, let us qualify it and take into account these other issues.
The second indicator of stability in the TSP is the inflation. I hear everyone saying prices have stabilised and so on. Madam
Speaker, I must put it on record that Zimbabwe’s inflation is hyperinflation. So, we cannot celebrate stabilising at a hyper-inflationary level and what do I mean by hyper-inflation? According to international financial statistics and definitions, any rate of inflation which is above 50% is called hyper inflation. So, when our inflation is still in the region of 400/430%, we are over and above 50%. We are just in a hyper-inflationary mode. So, yes we can celebrate that prices have stabilised but we are still in a hyper- inflation situation. We need to work hard to make sure that we reduce inflation to a single digit figure from the 400s and so on. That is when we can celebrate the stability of prices when we reign in hyper- inflation to below 50% and we eradicate hyper inflation.
The other measure of stability and I am talking of stability because it has been referred to in the SONA. The other measure of stability is growth. You cannot have stability when the economy is registering a negative growth rate. If there is no productivity in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and even tourism, it means you are not able to grow the cake. The cake is growing a negative rate. Therefore, it is compromising your ability to provide for the nation because you cannot collect enough revenue from a shrinking economic base. Whereas you can say the deficit is alright or inflation is stabilised, but the economy is not growing and growth is the basis for sustainable macro-economic stability. Let us grow the economy. Let us attract FDI. Let us promote domestic investment. Let us do everything in our power to make sure that the economy is ticking – it grows.
If you go to Bulawayo now, you will see that factories are still closed. If you go to the Midlands, ZISCO Steel is still closed. Mutare, Harare – Coventry, Birmingham area; factories are still closed. The day these factories are going to be open, that is the day we are said to be working on our growth, production and productivity. That will give us a sustainable stability in the economy. So far this stability is shaky or hazy because it is not backed by production or productivity.
The other objective of the TSP was to eradicate the trade deficit. The trade deficit arises between the ratio of exports and imports, and I must say the gap is narrowing. Our exports are catching up with our imports gradually and that is a positive trajectory. I hope we can continue to implement policies that will promote more exports into the region and beyond so that we can maximise on the opportunities presented by the African continental free trade area by way of developing our markets and exploiting the supply value chains in the trade sector.
The balance of payment is also very critical when we talk of stability and in this relation, the current account balance is improving quite gradually and that is positive. You know that when you talk about the external sector, you are not only talking about the current account balance; you are also talking about the capital account. The capital account is very sensitive to political stability and confidence issues. Capital inflows are erratic at the present moment because we are still considered an unsafe destination. Our sovereign risk is still very high. We need to work on our sovereign risk so that we can have capital flowing back into the Southern African country. If we do not work on our perceived sovereign risk, we are not going to get enough capital flows.
In other countries in the region, they do ratings. They take standards and pull ratings. They take Moody’s as ratings for their economy and investors take those ratings very seriously. In our case, we are not subjected to ratings. It is only our sovereign risk which is at stake. If we improve our sovereign rate, we can be able to improve on portfolio investments, FDI investments and other inflows that come into the country; that will boost our capacity to ratchet up economic activity to stimulate economic activity.
In the SONA, the President also touched on the economic stimulus package; the 18.3 billion economic stimulus package. We must see the results of that economic stimulus package on the ground.
So far, there is nothing to show for that economic stimulus package.
The results are not yet tangible for us to see the post COVID stimulation package that was put in place by the Minister. I do not know the implementation mechanism, but I have not seen the impact of the stimulus package. There is no supply response in the manufacturing sector or other sectors. We are yet to see the impact of the 18.3 billion stimulus package and I urge the Minister to work hard to make sure that the package gets traction and gets results.
Having said that, we in the Opposition are worried by the fact that these economic policies are being formulated and implemented without the participation of stakeholders. The Ministry of Finance is just sitting on its own. I sit in the Budget Committee. Yesterday we were actually complaining that we do not know anything about the formulation of the TSP. We were not consulted on the formulation of the successor programme which is the National Development Strategy...
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO): Hon.
Member, you are left with five minutes.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: If policies are made and the stakeholders are not consulted, it is not good for the country because these policies are made for the people. The trade unions were not consulted. We are a labour backed party which is pro-poor. We get concerned if the trade unions are not consulted when these policies are being formulated. We get concerned when the civil society is not consulted. We get concerned as an official Opposition Party if we are not consulted; when the NDS and the TSP are pronounced and developed because we will have no option but to attack those policies because we have not been part and parcel of their formulation.
I want to urge the Minister of Finance and Government as a whole to adopt a participatory and consultative approach so that all stakeholders are consulted in the formulation of economic policies for Zimbabwe. That is the only way to make sure that even the forth coming Budget will be pro-poor and development oriented.
I will not say much today. I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have given me.
*HON. E. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to debate – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order please Hon. Members! Hon. Paradza, order please. – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Sikhala, the Hon. Member wants to contribute. Order please. You may proceed Hon. Member.
*HON. E. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me the opportunity to debate on the motion which was raised by Hon.
Togarepi and seconded by Hon. Mhona on the Presidential Speech by
His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa as he set out the agenda for
Parliament of Zimbabwe as well as the vision for the country Zimbabwe. In a few words, I would like to debate about the issue of the road infrastructure.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the President for constructing the Beitbridge-Chirundu road. It had a nickname because of the accidents that were occurring on that road. It had become so bad that it was now referred to as a death passage. Today, if one were to travel along that road, you would find that the road is now properly tar macadamised and well constructed. I would want to thank His Excellency profusely for walking the talk in as far as road infrastructure development is concerned so that there can be easy passage by the travellers. It will also enable the heavy vehicles or trucks that transport goods from countries within the region to travel well. This will lessen the burden on the railway infrastructure which has not fully returned to normal. In light of that I would like to thank His Excellency the President.
Furthermore, we request that there be more roads that branch from the main Beitbridge-Chirundu but there is a road that leads from Turn P to Neshuro Growth Point - there is a hospital where most of the people that would have been involved in accidents along that road are treated. It is a 17km road and it is our request that when the major road is being tarred, the 17km minor road should be constructed and tarred. The Chibi turn off to Mhandamahwe turn off, the one that joints the Bulawayo-Masvingo has been reconstructed but we request that the remaining 10km be tarred so that there is easy passage. It will help farmers to help people in that area and members of the community in the area as they sell their produce. We know that Mwenezi is a cattle rearing area and a lot of beef is produced in that area and is sold either in Harare or outside the country. Therefore once the road has been tarred and well maintained, people would easily transport their products on that road.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to talk about the issue of water. His Excellency also mentioned that many dams are going to be constructed in Masvingo, in my constituency Chivi, Mwenezi. There is a dam called Tete-Runde whose construction should start very soon. I thank the President for ensuring that we have adequate water since water is life. Tete-Runde Dam is being constructed in a dry region. As a result, farmers may not be able to grow a lot of crops but because of the construction of this dam, there is going to be irrigation and the standard of living will be improved. This will lessen the burden on Government as it will no longer be supplying food aid to the people because they will be self-sustained. I want to thank the President for such an excellent vision and ensuring that we continuously receive water as well as reduction of drought and starvation in the country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, on the issue of health, His Excellency mentioned a lot of things but I am mostly grateful about the health sector. We are all aware that the nurses and doctors had gone on industrial action after their grievances had not been heard and that they have no equipment and sufficient PPEs to protect them from covid-19. After discussions with the President and Vice Presidents, they were able to convince doctors and the nurses to go back to work despite the fact that there were few drugs in the hospitals. Should one fall ill and go to the hospital, they will be able to receive medical attention from doctors and nurses. This will help to cure or heal the person that is ill because psychologically, they would have seen the doctor and the nurse and would belief that help has come. Mutual agreement was reached as well as the need to improve their conditions of service and the equipment that they use.
Lastly, I would like to end by commenting on the issue of corruption. The President strongly condemned corruption and said that there would be no sacred cows and that it does not matter whether it is his relative or a member of his own family or any senior Government official. Anyone who is going to fall foul of the law would be dealt with accordingly. This is a cancer that has spread. He said he will never support corrupt individuals. Corruption is one of the social ills that has destroyed Zimbabwe. Law should be put in place to ensure that whoever would be found guilty of corrupt activities or bribery, their cases should be quickly tried by courts of law and once the person has been convicted, they should be sentenced to jail term. Corruption has destroyed this country. Once we eradicate corruption, our country’s economy is going to grow and become a better nation. I want to thank the President for listening to us as sugar farmers that the 1964 legislation is going to be amendment and a new law will come on board. The problem that sugarcane farmers face is that they were growing sugarcane without appreciating that the price of the sugarcane is determined by someone else. The bi-product that is going to come from the sugarcane was unknown. Most of the bi-products were taken by the miller. So that was a bad law as it tended to look at sugarcane as not a strategic crop just like the case is with soya beans, maize crop, tobacco and other crops. If we look at the way people are surviving in Zimbabwe, everything that you prepare, you require sugar, for drinks, tea, fuel, alcohol et cetera. Sugar is an integral component of products manufacturing, hence it is needed to be treated as a strategic crop unlike what it used to be in the past. Thank you so much Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to add a few words. I thank you.
*HON. MUNOCHINZWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on the motion on debate on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President. First of all, I want to thank my political party, the MDC-T that found it prudent for me to represent Masvingo Province in this august House. I am going to deal first and foremost with the issue of the education sector with special reference to the teachers. I was a teacher for a long time. I appreciate how difficulties it is for one to be a teacher. Mr. Speaker Sir, teachers require decent food for them to be able to perform their duties well. They want to be smartly dressed as this befits their status. You cannot in front of the classroom when you are not properly dressed.
Teachers would also want to receive meaningful pensions so that they live in their own houses which they will have constructed for themselves. There are a lot of things that are required Hon. Speaker
Sir by teachers. It is my plea that the Government should do something in terms of alleviating the plight of the teachers’ salaries so that they can go to work and be able to perform their duties properly. If you are to look at what is happening these days, children are going to school but teachers are not teaching. Children are not learning and during lunchtime children go back to their homes, a day wasted for they will not have been taught anything. I earlier on pointed out that I was a teacher for a long time; it pains me to witness this new trend of events.
It is not easy for a teacher to be found teaching children at a beautiful school when their own children are not learning at those beautiful schools. It is good for a teacher to have their children at a good school where the parent is also teaching. That will encourage the teachers to do well because their children will be part and parcel of the student complement at that school.
I also want to talk about the long distances that the students are covering in order to access education. They are walking long distances, several kilometres such that upon arriving in the classrooms, children fall asleep and they will not be able to pay attention to what the teacher will be teaching. It is our plea Hon. Speaker that since they get to the classroom already tired because of the long distances covered, we urge the Government to construct more schools so that the distance that will be covered by pupils becomes shorter. Schools should be within stone’s throw away from the pupils’ homes. By so doing, we eradicate the issue of people getting to schools already tired and falling asleep in the classrooms.
With those few words, I thank you.
*HON. JAJA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want also to thank the Leader of the Opposition for allowing us to debate the SONA. We also want to thank the President for the Pfumvunza Project. It allows the poor to be able to do some farming, even those without draught power in the form of cattle can also dig holes, access free fertilizers and all other inputs in order to grow crops and sustain themselves.
I want to thank the President for reminding us that no one is above the law and that corrupt elements within the society should be weeded out. Anyone who commits an offence should be arrested. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. TOGAREPI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 4th November, 2020.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker Sir,
I move that the rest of the Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper
be stood over until Order of the Day, No. 9 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RECAPITALISATION OF DDF
HON. CHINGOSHO: I move the motion standing in my name
that this House:
MINDFUL that the District Development Fund provides services to a wide range of clientele which includes among others Non-Governmental Organisations and private individuals all over
ALSO MINDFUL that DDF is mandated to facilitate rapid and equitable sustainable rural development and assisting in ensuring adequate food security;
DISTURBED that DDF has been incapacitated in fulfilling its mandate due to dwindling financial resources, obsolete equipment and dilapidated infrastructure;
CONCERNED that the lack of resources at DDF further disadvantages vulnerable communities in terms of development, maintenance of infrastructure, water supplies, tillage services, equipment for hire during rehabilitation and construction of roads thereby impacting negatively on service delivery;
NOW, THEREFORE, calls upon the Executive to:
- Recapitalise all sections of the District Development Fund so that the department fulfills its mandate and enhance service delivery to its clientele.
- That adequate funds be availed for the sustenance of DDF operations county-wide by year end.
HON. CHIKUKWA: I second.
HON. CHINGOSHO: My motion is on the recapitalisation of the District Development Fund (DDF). The District Development Fund is the quasi Government under the Office of the President. It is tasked with the development and maintenance of infrastructure, water supplies, roads, services, hire of plant and equipment and a tillage services. Mr. Speaker Sir, the department was established at independence to facilitate rapid and equitable sustainable rural development and to help ensuring household food security in the remote areas of Zimbabwe. Additionally, its mission is to provide and maintain sustainable rural development infrastructure, resettlement, tillage, transport and other related services so as to ameliorate the standard of living of the disadvantaged communities who are the majority in the country. DDF has six main departments all of which exist in each of the country’s 66 administrative districts, namely:
- Water supplies
- Plant equipment and hire
- Aircraft hire and
- Finance and administration
In terms of roads maintenance, DDF is mandated to maintain around 32000 of rural roads which are gravelled. The department’s mission is to construct and maintain technically and complete rural feeder roads with a view to improving rural communication linkages and so provide access to various service centres based on people’s priorities as decided through their local instutionalised government structures. The process would be implemented guided by the fundamental principles that everyone in communal and resettlement areas should have access to a DDF road within 10kms of every homestead in flat terrain and 3km in hilly terrain. Mr. Speaker Sir, over the years, there has been dwindling financial support directed towards the department, resultantly the rural road network where the majority of the people are in a deplorable state and in need of urgent attention.
It is important to note that of the approximately 53000km gravelled roads that service Zimbabwe, 32 000km which is 60% are under the administration of the department. Over 70% of these roads are not trafficable. The department has a depleted plant and equipment complement and this militates against the efficiency of the department in road maintenance. The department’s water division has the mandate to provide and maintain sustainable rural water supply. This is done through a range of services offered by the department. These include inter-alia prospecting and drilling, operations and maintenance, dam and irrigation services.
Over the years, rural water supplies have been steadily increasing from 70% in 1990 to 98% in 2020 due to the interventions of DDF and strategic partners. In contradiction, rural sanitation has been on a gradual decline, from 35% in 1980 at independence to less than 30% in 2020. The large sanitation coverage deficit has been attributed to the shrinking capital expenditure in increased sanitation facilities in the rural areas of Zimbabwe. The department added to the equally depleted equipment to carry out these functions also has a depleted human capital complement. This points to an urgent need for increased investment in improved water and sanitation (WASH) facilities in the rural areas. Ultimately, DDF has been generally invisible in the rural development efforts due to a range of factors which include;
- Lack of adequate funding to support its national development
- Lack of a modern plant and equipment resource complement.
- Lack of adequate human resource complement.
- Lack of capital expenditure to recapitalise the department which has sub offices in all the 66 districts in the country.
It is therefore of paramount importance that government provides adequate financial support for the recapitalisation of the DDF. The recapitalisation programme will be pivotal in ensuring that DDF meets its set goals and objectives of bridging the gap between the urban and rural areas of Zimbabwe.
I want to conclude by acknowledging with thanks the presence
of all the Hon. Members who are here to listen to this important motion which is to do with our lives, especially with those in the rural areas. Many thanks go to the President who in his national address also alluded to this support. I would like to thank you Mr Speaker Sir for giving me this important time. I so move the motion.
*HON. CHIKUKWA: I want to second the motion on DDF raised by Hon Chingosho. DDF is a Government department which helps a lot in road construction in rural areas because there are some roads which need attention. These roads are not being repaired by the
Roads Administration but DDF sometimes repairs these roads.
Nowadays it is very difficult for DDF to repair these roads because they have obsolete equipment. I therefore call upon Government to allocate some funds to DDF so that they acquire new equipment so that they can attend to these roads. Furthermore, if you look at places like Harare, there is no running water and DDF is the one that drilled some boreholes in major cities and towns so that people may have potable water. I plead with the Ministry of Finance that in the coming budget, some funds must be set aside to allow DDF to purchase new rigs for borehole drilling.
DDF also plays an important role in the agricultural sector because they assist the small farmers with equipment. A lot of farmers are being charged US$50 per hectare for tillage and a lot of farmers cannot afford this amount. DDF sometimes only charges for fuel and this really helps the small scale farmers. I urge all Hon Members in this House to support this motion so that DDF can be assisted with funds in order for them to acquire new equipment. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion moved by Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa. The issue at hand and the motion is pregnant with a lot of good in terms of capacitation of
DDF. I want to show you how serious the Second Republic is about
DDF. DDF currently resides in the Office of the President and Cabinet and it is chaired by a Chief Secretary in that department. It really shows that it is at the core, heart and pith of the Second Republic in terms of development in the rural district sector. It is my hope and fervent view that in the same vein and scenario that it has been taken under the armpit of the President’s Office, it is going to be capacitated in the same way to enhance its operational positive capacity.
DDF is one of the three road authorities which is given monies both periodic and routine maintenance funds from ZINARA. However this is just but a pittance in terms of the magnitude, nature and extent of which the road network needs to be rehabilitated, maintained and reconstructed in particular the 70% of road network in the rural areas that Hon Chingosho speaks to and about which is part of the 56 000 km taking a large chunk of 33 000 km, it speaks of the 70% of the gravel road network.
My point exactly speaks to the history of DDF, the road network that it takes care of. How was it taken care of in the past? It was taken care of by the road network that criss-crosses the width and breath of our country. It was taken care of by the farmers in those areas. Yes, Government was at the core and pith of capacitation of DDF but it is primarily the farmers in those areas that were sprucing up their road network so that they could take their produce to the market. The former and erstwhile colonisers did this because there used to be an Agricultural Finance Company but when we took over our land, all these companies went underground. So, now Government is saddled with trying to resuscitate and revamp the equipment of DDF because there is a lacuna that has been created by the lack of capacitation, financing in the agricultural sector.
I want to applaud the Second Republic because of Command Agriculture that has come into place and I implore the farmers in those areas to take some of that money and plough it back on to the road network. The road rehabilitation maintenance and reconstruction backlog stands; in terms of amount, at 20 billion USD. There are three departments, Road Authorities, District Development Fund, the Department of Roads, the RDC and all the local authorities. They all get money from ZINARA or from the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development which speak to and about the routine and periodic maintenance. That money is not enough to cover the deficit of the road network rehabilitation that I have spoken to and about of 20 billion USD. So, it is incumbent upon these three road authorities to think outside the box in order to both capacitate themselves and capacitate the road network for the good order of our people in Zimbabwe. How can we do it Mr. Speaker Sir? First and foremost, by making sure that the land that we have been given, we produce. For as long as we produce, not only for our subsistence but also for the external market, there is going to be money left over for us to rehabilitate and maintain our road network especially in the farming community.
As the formally marginalised black majority, we need to take on board the culture of ploughing back in the community that we are currently getting our agricultural produce. As long as we do not plough back, we cannot capacitate DDF in the manner that is so required. The amount of money that is received by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority is just but a little. So we need to make sure that we have a holistic approach and make sure we rehabilitate and maintain our own roads.
It should go further than just maintenance of the gravel roads, we should tar those roads. If you see the road that is called Old Victoria Falls Road in particular at Gwayi River, you can see it is a strip road that is tarred on both sides and it has gravel in between. You can see that there was something happening before we started either mining or conducting agriculture in those areas. Before the main road to Victoria Falls was constructed, there was some little strip road, let us now get that culture in order to create our small little tarred strip roads in our farming community in order that we augment, complement the efforts of DDF. None but us can liberate ourselves in terms of infrastructure development. There is a deficit that far outstrips what it is ZINARA is getting in order to periodically and routinelly maintain our roads.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I am your former Chairperson of Transport in the Eighth Parliament. I speak so because at one time we went to Charles Prince Airport where Hon. Musanhi also has his aircraft. Charles Prince Airport has got some aircrafts that belonged to DDF that were given to DDF and we need to find out what happened to them that they became so dilapidated, deplorable and disused. So, we need to put our money where our mouth is. When we have equipment, it should not just lie idle without being utilised. We need to put square plugs in square holes not square plugs in round holes. So, we need the right people to man these offices in order that we enhance the operational capability of DDF.
It means that DDF did not only have aircraft, DDF owned some airstrips in the country. Today, I come here to compliment the motion just on gravel roads. We need to think much bigger than this. We need to maintain including the airstrips that obtained during the time before our Agrarian Reform Programme so that our agricultural produce can be effectively transported to the market and to the buyers. It is only fair, good and just that we maintain and protect that which was always there using the right officials in the right places.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I come from Chegutu West Constituency where there is a deficit in terms of water supply. I want to say how we got 48 boreholes drilled by DDF to augment the meagre supplies of our water in Chegutu Municipality. Chegutu has residents that number more than 40 000. It has an infrastructure deficit of more than 25 000 households. We are receiving 3 mega liters when we are supposed to be receiving 22 mega litres. We use 22 mega litres but we are receiving treated water of 3 mega litres yet we are treating 10 mega litres. It then goes through dilapidated, deplorable and disused pipes and we receive it at the end, about 3 mega litres.
My point is that; then enters DDF, they came to Chegutu Municipality and I fostered barter trade. They wanted land to build houses for their workers and here was Chegutu Municipality which was endowed with humongous and gigantic tracts of land and they needed water. So, I fostered that joint partnership where there was barter trade. They have got the land and they gave us 48 boreholes.
So, my point is that we managed to augment the meagre supplies of treated, portable drinking water in Chegutu through a barter trade with DDF. So, I am proffering such a solution to other municipality areas because DDF has got the capacity, the manpower to drill water and they also have requirements in terms of land and housing infrastructure. So, it is only prudent, good and just for the municipality to be engaged in barter trade so that they can augment their water supply.
So it is my thinking that instead of depending only on Government handouts and benevolence, DDF should go out there, emancipate themselves and get a lot of money instead because DDF in its nature is structured, it has engineers both water and civil engineers. It can utilise the efficiency and effectiveness of its workmanship and manpower in order to even declare a dividend to Government. They can utilise those civil engineers, their manpower and water engineers, outsource their labour and workmanship in order to get what they can from what they have – get what they can, can what they get and make sure that they surprise Government and declare a dividend where they want to get money to be capacitated.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I speak like this because on the Beitbridge to
Chirundu highway, the current President Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa was Vice President when the engineers of this country were clamouring just for 40% inclusion of infrastructure development on the Beitbridge to Chirundu highway. When he came into power in the Second
Republic, he actually got our road infrastructure development on the Beitbridge to Chirundu highway to be 100% locally based because our raw materials in terms of chimbomirai, construction and infrastructure development is 80% based here in Zimbabwe. I speak like this because DDF’s raw materials for all their needs in terms of road rehabilitation reside here in Zimbabwe and …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO):
Order, order Hon. Member, you are left with Five minutes.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, ndambozvitaura,
as I conclude because of that leeway that has been opened by the Second Republic, they can get employed in infrastructure development projects and get income that they can plough back into their operations. Also as I have said, declare a dividend to Government. The issue of road rehabilitation and reconstruction should be augmented and complemented by all.
The mines and the people who are mining in those areas and farming areas as well should plough back in order to rehabilitate these roads. On that score, I call for the Mines and Minerals Act of 1951 to come in here and we need to actually shred it into pieces and make sure that we repeal it so that it includes not only the corporate socioresponsibility for the rehabilitation of these roads but includes the construction of macadamized roads in all these places so that the dust and earth roads become a thing of the past and DDF becomes a big giant that is in sync and moving with the times in a coordinated, collaborated and networked manner.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank you for this opportunity of vociferously, effectively and eloquently representing the people of Chegutu West Constituency on this motion. I thank you.
HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this very important motion tabled by
Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa.
The responsibility of DDF - we are all quite aware that it is a maintenance and rehabilitation Department of infrastructure. They are also a water supplier, road services, hire equipment and tillage services. We are quite aware that roads in rural areas are in a dilapidated state, particularly feeder roads used by our rural communities. These roads, of course, are used for transport purposes to transport materials and people.
The other challenge was of roads which were facing major repair challenges and what we were spending on those potholes. We are aware that our country has been facing a major drought and water is a necessity, of which DDF has not been able to carry out their duties fully because they are incapacitated. In brief, it is important that DDF is capacitated. We are now in the budget period and we are all aware that from 5th to 7th November there will be the Pre-Budget Seminar. This is the time for us to lobby for DDF to be capacitated with enough resources so that they can fulfill their mandate. This will go a long way in terms of capacitating DDF with new equipment. Here I am talking about new borehole drilling rigs, caterpillars for maintenance of rural roads and other relevant equipment such as tractors for ploughing. The new budget increase will also go a long way into helping DDF to carryout repairs on all the equipment and boreholes that are not functioning at the moment.
I further suggest that part of the Devolution Funds that are being allocated to various provinces, substantial chunk of the Devolution Fund should accordingly go to DDF. The ZINARA allocation is also a pittance and I am sure the money that is being raised by ZINARA, quite a substantial amount should also be allocated to DDF so that they are able to do their road maintenance and renew feeder roads in our rural areas.
In brief Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue here lies in re-equipping DDF and capacitating them in terms of enough resources. I thank you.
*HON. SVUURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank you for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to the motion on DDF. I want to talk about the District Development Fund (DDF) department and propose that it should fall under the President’s office. DDF is an important entity, a lot needs to be done in terms of how it operates. They should be allocated a substantial amount of money because of its mandate. If you look at the development that is taking place in rural areas, it is because of DDF. Even when you look at the road network and borehole drilling in rural areas, they all fall under DDF.
However, when looking at the resources that they currently have, that should enable them to perform their work, it is not adequate and most of the time they tell us that they do not have enough resources to implement the projects. If tools of trade are not availed to DDF, it means they are handicapped in terms of offering required service. So, DDF should be well capacitated and should get adequate funding, especially from the Devolution Fund. I will give myself as an example, I have the worst roads – I requested that rehabilitation of these roads be done but since August, 2020, I am still waiting for this to take place. I also await the drilling of boreholes in the area.
Looking at the challenges faced by DDF – in our province we
only have one rig that is used for drilling boreholes. It is used to drill in Gutu, then Mwenezi and other areas. In Masvingo province, there is nothing that they can do to expedite the drilling of boreholes because there is only one rig. So, what we request is that when the budget is presented, which we are expecting in three days’ time, this issue should be seriously considered and allocate a substantial amount of money to DDF. DDF is an important entity and has a lot of work but is incapacitated in terms of tools of trade. For us to engage in irrigation schemes it is because of DDF. I thank you.
HON. MASENDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to
support that DDF gets enough funding to develop the rural areas where the majority of our population is. They need to be capacitated with caterpillars and other relevant equipment that they need in discharging their duties. They should also be capacitated with resources to rehabilitate and maintain major roads in rural areas. Most roads in rural areas are owned by Rural District Councils, but they have no capacity as well to maintain them and becomes DDF’s obligation yet they are not capacitated. Bridges are broken down and it is DDF’s mandate to rehabilitate those bridges so that rivers are passable.
In my area, we do not have dams, hence we rely on boreholes, of which most of them are broken down. Villagers, school children and animals scramble at few functional boreholes to get water. We do not seem to appreciate the importance of DDF, especially in rural areas, but they are key in the day to day living of rural people. We know there is the Devolution Fund, in my area there is no project which was done by that Fund. So DDF should be capacitated through Devolution Fund so that they are capacitated. I thank you.
*HON. PRISCILLA MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I
want to support the motion that was raised by Hon. Chingosho about DDF. It is true DDF is a very important entity especially in rural areas where we come from. We have water challenges currently and there are no rigs to drill the boreholes. If you request DDF to drill boreholes, they only have one rig which is not even working such that with the drought and the dry season that we have, it becomes very difficult. For that reason we request that DDF should be given the tools of trade to enable them to perform their mandate.
We also realise that road networks are not being completed, especially in Mwenezi West Constituency we have roads that were only done halfway and have a lot of potholes. Council is getting devolution funds and rehabilitating their sections of the road but DDF is incapacitated to address the issue of road networks. So it is my request that we resuscitate DDF so that it can assist different areas to develop. If you look at the current period we are in, it is the farming season. If you seek tractors from DDF they do not have them. If they are available they are not functional. So we are requesting that since we are in the budget season where the National Budget will be presented, DDF should be allocated a reasonable amount to enable it to perform its mandate.
In Mwenezi, we no longer have cattle because of the drought. We do not have any animals for draught power and those who are most incapacitated are those with large farms. If they go to DDF they are unable to assist. My request is that with the forthcoming budget, DDF should be allocated a substantial amount to enable it to perform its mandate. The minor roads in the rural areas are now difficult to maneuver because you cannot see the road. You want to travel to different parts of the rural community but you cannot because the road network has not been attended to due to potholes and the trenches. I therefore implore the Government to avail a substantial amount of money to DDF.
We also have roads that are undergoing rehabilitation. I thank the Government for the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge to Chirundu Highway. That is what the Government should be doing to allocate money from ZINARA to DDF to assist in road networks within communities. When you are travelling along the highway, the roads are good but the moment you leave the highway and go into the rural areas it is difficult to maneuver.
These are my few words to add to the motion that was raised by Hon. Chingosho to capacitate DDF. We have boreholes awaiting drilling; people are dying because of shortage of water and even our domestic animals. You go to DDF, there is nothing. I want to repeat this because it is a painful situation. If only the Government could assist to ensure that we have the tools of trade that will develop this nation. We want to thank the Government for all the programmes that they are carrying out in the rural areas. I have travelled to different areas and have seen some of the work that is being done. It is the major highways that are being addressed. We want our minor roads in the rural communities to be rehabilitated as well. So I want to thank him for the motion as it will reflects to the nation that there is a department lagging behind and is being ignored.
The DDF workers are found in beer halls in the communities because they do not have tools of trade. So why are they being remunerated because you meet them now and again but they are not doing anything? What are we doing as a Government when we are letting DDF lie idle without the workers doing anything? The employees should be able to perform their work because that is the reason why they are employed. You cannot blame them because they do not have the tools of trade. The tractors, graders and rigs are not functional. I want to thank you Mr. Speaker for giving me this short time.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the mover of the motion, Hon. Chingosho. This is a very crucial motion indeed because it touches on the majority of our people. DDF is really a catalyst for rural development. It provides infrastructure that is needed in rural areas for them to see development and quicken that development. If you have good roads in rural areas, it means they will create accessibility to services. You would see that members of our rural communities do a lot of work, a lot of production in rural areas but their produce do not go to the market.
I will tell you Mr. Speaker Sir, this past weekend I was in Gutu
South near Chief Mukaro’s homestead. There are women there who are producing some of the finest horticultural products, but they have nowhere to sell. The market is there but the roads are not accessible. People who would want to buy from Masvingo and surrounding urban centres cannot get there but these are hard working people with a well capitalised DDF. Roads could be okay and these people could go to these women and buy their produce. It is very critical.
So DDF needs recapitalisation, they need new tractors and they need enough road equipment so that they deal with roads that are damaged. Especially now that we are getting into the rain season, roads will be damaged and DDF would come in handy if they have got equipment to come and then deal with those affected roads.
We also need dam construction. If we look at the President’s Vision of 2030, we can only get there if everyone in Zimbabwe participates. Rural communities can also contribute to the development of this country. We need irrigation infrastructure so that our agricultural production is modernised and is also facilitated so that we contribute to the development of the country and the Vision 2030 is achieved inclusive of rural communities.
We need equipment in the rural areas given to DDF so that they can construct bridges. With a lot of rain, we are expecting a bumper harvest this season and many bridges are going to be destroyed. DDF in its present state will not be able to assist. It is critical that DDF is equipped and I hope Hon. Members including the Minister of Finance and Economic Development will all support recapitalisation of DDF. We need qualified personnel and many of them have already left because of inactivity at DDF. We should be advocating that DDF gets more of these engineers, surveyors and qualified people so that rural infrastructure is enhanced.
Mr. Speaker Sir, what we are trying to achieve as a country is development. We have devolution to support that concept that we would want all our communities to develop. If we do not have Government institutions like DDF to support that, we will see development in major roads like some Hon. Members have said. We will see development in urban centres, mining areas but we will not see development in rural areas because these are simple things but they really play a big role in the development of rural areas. DDF will assist so much in the construction of schools. It will also access service centres, the construction of hospitals and it will play a big role if they are recapitalised.
So it is very critical that we help recapitalise DDF. As I have told you, women at Mapanje Horticultural Garden need somebody to go and buy their produce but those who have the means cannot reach that place because there is no good road that will take them there. As we advocate for more funding and recapitalisation of DDF, we should ask ourselves why DDF failed given that it used to have top of the range equipment at one point. Is it because of abuse of resources which were given to them and how do we address that? I think part of the address is already there since it now falls under the President’s Office, meaning that the President and his office will ensure that corruption that was happening in DDF is eliminated and DDF will function again.
We need to ensure that all equipment given or bought for DDF is deployed to work for jobs that it was designed or bought for because we have seen people using tractors for their own income corruptly. We have seen some of the equipment not serviced on time and ending up getting destroyed. We need these checks and balance so that whatever is going to be given to DDF should be looked after professionally and help develop. DDF as it will be doing all this work and if we recapitalise it, we will foresee a situation that employment in the rural areas will go up. We expect them to employ rural youth, people from the same areas are doing business and this will give them income. All our citizens will have access to Government resources and income given to them by DDF for their own livelihoods.
We expect DDF to partner rural communities and their chiefs – whatever they will be doing, let them take on board communities so that whatever it will be doing will be very effective. They would know which roads are critical for those communities. Seeing them just coming to do a road without consulting local people, they may misfire and go to roads that are not very critical. We have needs, we need dams in the rural areas to promote agriculture and also for us to get water. We need those boreholes, we need to know where to put them and we need community development.
We need to know which roads should be constructed and when. We need all that but the major beneficiaries of whatever DDF will be doing will be the communities and having communities involved and protecting against abuse of the assets of the State. So it is very important, I am for the motion and agree that it is pertinent. It is very strategic for this country to have DDF running again and fully equipped to do its work which is critical for the development of our country. It will help rural areas to develop together with urban centres, farming areas and rural areas must not be left behind. The catalyst would be DDF because it will provide infrastructure. I thank you.
*HON. TEKESHE: I would like to add my voice to the motion that was raised by Hon. Chingosho. For those who have rural constituencies, this is a good motion. When we look at the contributions made by others, it is a difficult situation. In rural areas, for a 30 km distance, you pay more than a person who travels 200 kms because of the poor road network. The people experiencing the most challenges and difficulties are in rural areas. We only want them when it is conducive for us.
It is important that we have the dams so that people can farm. If people can farm two hactres in 12 months only, it will change the lives of the people. The issue of mechanisation, in my opinion farm mechanisation should be given at ward level under the supervision of DDF ensuring that everyone benefits from the mechanisation programme. Farmers can know that their cattle are just for meat and milk and DDF can ensure that everyone gets service. Most people have lost their livestock and when implements are given to individuals, they only benefit the individual, hence my call that implements should be given to DDF. The money that is charged for tillage by DDF should be affordable. Farm mechanisation that is taking place these days is not right. If it was put under DDF, it would change the lives of the majority of people instead of just changing the life of an individual.
All the other issues have been mentioned already. I think DDF should be given a certain percentage of the money collected at tollgates to develop the rural areas. We are so happy with the rehabilitation of Masvingo Road but Masvingo Road cannot be accessed by everyone. So, the money for tollgates should be channeled towards DDF to rehabilitate roads in the rural areas. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
*HON. NYABANI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to debate the motion that was raised on DDF. When we talk of DDF, it is the engine of the country. It is the one that leads to development but it is incapacitated. If the engine is not powerful, it means the car cannot move. In my opinion, especially in Rushinga, I see DDF as being easily accessible to construct the roads and bridges and the provision of clean water. In rural areas, they have the greatest challenges. Some of the roads are no longer accessible because they have been neglected for years.
On the issue of access to water, people are failing to get water. Some of them sleep at boreholes and others drink water from unprotected sources. The engine needs to be in good working condition to enable the car to move. Funding should be availed to ensure that this entity becomes operational. Most of the development in rural areas is there because of DDF. If we talk of water, roads, tillage, these are some of the things that are done by DDF. We do not want to just have DDF in theory with an entity without tools of trade but we need it to be functional. For those roads that are inaccessible, those with vehicles charge exorbitant fares. If bridges are not constructed, what it means is that people cannot access certain areas. In my opinion, DDF is just like the breath that we take for us to live. If there is no breath, it means a person is dead. DDF should be given the breath which is the money to enable it to carry out its mandate.
We want to thank the Government for the devolution funds but these funds differ. If I give an example of Rushinga, I want to thank the council for using the money wisely. As an MP, I do the oversight to ensure that Government funds are used to develop the area. Therefore, I want to thank the President for the devolution fund because the money is being used to the last cent to make the lives of people better. The fund should be increased so that schools and clinics are built.
Countrywide, there is a challenge of water and road network. In Mt Darwin, they no longer have cattle due to drought. We now want DDF to be given tractors. In the forthcoming budget, we should push and lobby for DDF to be given a substantial amount to capacitate it so that we get clean water. With these few words, I thank you.
HON. BUSHU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for allowing me to contribute to this very important motion brought by Hon. Chingosho regarding the re-capitalisation of DDF. When you look at DDF, it is present in every district in this country which means the structure of
DDF is such that it can touch almost every part of this country. DDF has many years of experience in working on the issues that have been debated by Hon. Members of Parliament here, particularly relating to roads, water, water from boreholes, dams and relating to tillage. DDF also has got within it resident skills, both management and technical.
It is unfortunate that DDF has come to become what it is, a shell.
When you go to any DDF depot, you see broken down tractors, lorries, graders, farming implements and DDF is a sad story. In the past, DDF used to be a flagship of development. Now, when you look at what DDF has, you can see an organisation that can respond very quickly to the core to stimulate both rural and urban development but mainly so rural development. If then DDF is funded because it appears that it has not been funded for a long time, if it is funded it can then rejuvenate itself and assist the rural communities.
We are experiencing very bad roads that used to be maintained by DDF. We are experiencing silted in land dams that were dug by DDF and we are also coming across situations where small dams and boreholes could easily be dug by DDF because of their experience from the past. Now, because DDF has got a problem of funding, it is unable to provide those services that are so essential for the development of our communities and our country.
Now because DDF which is such a critical part of the backbone of economic development had been forgotten, it is one of the reasons why our roads are bad. Some rural areas in particular have got difficult in accessing water. Now, what we are saying is Hon. Chingosho brought in the idea that DDF must be funded because we have given so much support as Members of Parliament to DDF’s funding again. If they are listening now, they should present to us their capacity and capability to come up with a budget and their funding requirements so that we support them again in ensuring that funding comes through.
I lament the idea that we are coming to the end of the year and we are looking at budgets now. The one thing that we know very much is that most of the ox-drawn power is going. I am talking about cattle, most of these have died and most people in the rural areas are now depending on Pfumvudza. What it means is that the hectarage which is going under tillage is going to be much smaller. If there was a way of ensuring that DDF gets funding between now and the middle of December, it would stimulate at least the tillage activity as a start and then into the future we can look at roads and water.
If all those are going to be done by DDF, what is devolution going to do? My argument is very simple that devolution for me is going to give us results in the medium to long term. DDF funding can actually give us results immediately because the infrastructure, manpower, skills is there but what is lacking is the funding. As devolution goes on, there can be a meeting of the activities of both DDF and the local governing bodies. The bodies can also benefit a lot from DDF because in my view the skills based at DDF are much better, sharper and the rural district councils and other Local Government arms require skills development to the level that DDF is at the moment.
So, Mr. Speaker Sir, my plea is that funding for DDF has not been done for a long time and DDF is almost derelict but funding for DDF is urgent and it can cause development in the short term. It can solve a lot of our problems in the short term. Let us allow it to influence the medium and long term but funding is urgent Mr.
Speaker Sir. I thank you.
HON. MUSANHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the mover of this motion Hon. Chingosho for moving such an important motion. DDF is a very important organisation in the development of our country. DDF owns tourism facilities and they are the people who do most of our rural roads. They also have a lot of infrastructure in terms of earth moving equipment, tractors, ploughs, drilling rigs for water et cetera. What worries me is DDF has planes that are brand new that are lying idle for years at Charles Prince Airport.
At one time I was advocating to the head of DDF that why not sell these aeroplanes instead of keeping them to be in the deplorable state they are and actually diversify the money that you are going to get from these planes tractors and earthmoving equipment. There was no action from them at all. You know if a plane is not serviceable and not flying for a long time, it will lose its value and it depreciates quicker than one that is flying. These planes have been sitting there for more than 10 years and I think the value has been lost.
For what reason DDF keeps holding on to them when they can actually buy earth moving equipment that can cover the whole country from the sale of those planes. I fail to understand the logic behind it and I also fail to understand what decision stops them from doing that. Also they have camping sites which are out there. Some of these are almost deserted and there is nothing to talk about. If you get there you can actually see that the camping site has been run to nothing but those were assets which were very expensive. Instead of them partnering with the private sector or asking someone else to lease them and get a fair rental from them, they just left them like that. You know, if a building is not being used for a long time it just becomes deplorable.
The airstrips that they were maintaining, I have been in Kanyemba where we tried to land for several times and failed because there were some bushes that had grown on the landing strip. Some of these activities that DDF was actually doing I would recommend
them to diversity to their core business of getting drill rigs, tractors for our farmers, earthmoving equipment, bulldozers and graders to do our roads. In my constituency, DDF has not been visible for a very long time. For what reason, I do not know. I have been trying to hire equipment most of the time to do the roads on my own. The roads are in a very deplorable state. Bindura North constituency is partly urban and rural set up. You cannot believe that Bindura being the provincial capital of Mashonaland Central, the roads are in such a poor state.
I think Mr. Speaker Sir, I would urge - yes, for funding and capitalisation to DDF but I think it is important to look at what they have first and possibly be able to salvage something out of what they have so that the Government can top on the capitalisation of it. I think Government will actually top up and it will not be a substantial amount if they can dispose some of the things which they have with them right now which they are not using.
Mr. Speaker, it is a good motion and i would like to support the funding of DDF so that they can have equipment which is in sound condition. I would also want to urge them to spruce up their workshops so that their maintenance can be up-to-date. Equipment can be bought but if your maintenance is department is not up-to-date you lose a lot of equipment within a short time. So I would urge that please, if it can be a priority to look at DDF and recapitalise them.
*HON. NYOKANHETE: I want to add my voice to the motion that was moved by Hon. Chingosho on DDF. It is very critical motion that I feel I should add one or two words. DDF is an important entity. I am going to talk from experience as I worked for DDF for some years as the District Accountant in Mwenezi. There was a lot of work that was been done by DDF. There are department for vehicle maintenance and infrastructure development. These departments were pertinent in bring about development.
If you go to Mwenezi, there are schools such as Viriviri and Mucheni School, and a number of dams that were constructed by
DDF. It also has the department of roads. If you go to Mwenezi and Masvingo, there is a department of roads. Someone alluded to the fact that there is a road that goes to Neshuro hospital which is not passable. When I left DDF, there was no more funding such that the employees spent their days idle because DDF no longer had funding to perform its mandate. What is very important in my opinion is that DDF should be given a substantial amount of money to rehabilitate roads to address the water challenges being faced.
I have an urban constituency but we need water. In rural areas there is no water. If you go to Mwenezi where I worked, there is
Denhe bridge which was built by DDF. A very good job was done by DDF because they were been given funding but when I left DDF there was no more funding and most workers would spend their days idle and playing different games at the shops. When the salaries came, people would get paid without doing any work and this actually destroyed the career of the employees because they would spend their days idle.
This is something that is even affecting the workers because say, you are a water technician, but because you are not using your skills you become redundant. You are a district accountant but you also become redundant. Even those in the Department of Roads, they become redundant.
There was a Department for Tillage, what is very important is that DDF should be functional after getting funding. The time I worked for DDF, politicians got to a point of abusing DDF. You would find the equipment would literally be packed at the politicians’ house and there was so much abuse. They manipulated DDF equipment for their personal gains and advantage and this affected the community. I am sure you know some of the politicians who benefited from DDF and they contributed to the non-functional DDF we have today. They diverted the functions of DDF for their personal gain.
DDF management needs to be re-constituted and be professional. If we do not resuscitate DDF, it will become extinct. I want to support this motion but I think DDF needs to be well funded and not abused for personal gains by politicians to work on their farms but for development in communities. We should ensure that DDF restores its mandate and does work professionally. If we recapitalise DDF, we need experienced workers. The workers should be well remunerated.
DDF employees are lowly paid. In Masvingo Province, if you go to the provincial office – it is idle. There is no life, it is just a dilapidated building and there is nothing going on. For DDF to operate, we need to resuscitate all these.
In short, DDF should be availed funds in order for it to be functional.
I thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. S. SITHOLE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to debate a very important motion moved by Hon. Chingosho and seconded by Hon. Chikukwa.
As all of know, DDF is supposed to play a very important role in our community like roads, bridges for movements, tillage and ploughing by the communities for food, dams and boreholes for water. All dams in the community are silted. There is not a single scooper in a District. I am from Matabeleland South, which is a drought prone area, regions 5 which has a shortfall of rain. We only have one rigger in our province. As I speak, that rigger is now in Harare for service.
That is caused by sanctions. Sanctions also add on to corruption.
As Hon. Togarepi said, you can find corruption when you go out. DDF workers go to till the land outside. They can just record that they tilled one acre a day but they can till 100 hectares. The cost for tilling these 100 hectares goes into their pockets; that is corruption. We can say talk and say DDF must be capacitated with a huge lump sum but corruption is there. They talk about broken tractors and whatsoever – when spare parts are coming, they just polish the old ones and those new parts go somewhere. That is corruption.
I support other Hon. Members when they say let us look at the management at DDF per District and provincially because there is much corruption there. I am also supporting that when the time of Budget comes, as Hon. Members, we should speak with one voice to make DDF to be capacitated but let us look into corruption around the organisation. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to add my voice on the motion that was raised by Hon.
Chingosho. Mr. Speaker Sir, DDF is very important in our lives as
Zimbabweans. Looking at the constituency that I come from, Maramba-Pfungwe has critical shortage of water. I was thinking that the DDF should be availed resources. Most of the Region 5, the boreholes that are in the area are between 40 and 60 metres and they have now ran dry. My opinion is that if funding is availed to DDF they can drill boreholes in these areas to enable people living in
Regions 4 and 5 to have a better livelihood. Dams are needed in Regions 4 and 5. If dams are constructed they will assist communities to engage in horticultural activities in order to sustain themselves. I think we need to harvest as much water as we can in light of climate change.
The DDF’s mandate is broader than we think because they have
to rehabilitate the roads that lead to schools, clinics and also villages. There are other small bridges that are there that when heavy rains fall children cannot have access to their schools because of flooding and if DDF is capacitated, they will construct better bridges. In MarambaPfungwe Constituency, DDF does not have vehicles and if they have to drill boreholes they have to hire vehicles. I think the Government needs to give DDF a substantial amount as they did before. With these few words, I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
+HON. S. K MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for affording me this opportunity to debate the motion that was brought by Hon. Chingosho seconded by Hon. Chikukwa, which talks about
DDF. I would like to talk about what the President said about Vision
2030 looking at the DDF and the SDGs. The DDF is a branch of the Government that can assist us like what has already been said by other Hon. Members. The DDF helps us a lot in our rural areas when it comes to drilling of boreholes for drinking water, construction of wares; and construction and repair of roads.
Most of the roads in the rural areas are under the DDF. If DDF can get assistance and equipment, I think a lot of districts can develop. I know that DDF is also into construction of schools, construction of bridges and irrigation schemes. If we construct dams and wares, we can harvest the little water that we get from the rainfall.
I would like to commend the Hon. Member who brought this motion and what other Hon. Members have already said. This is a very important branch of the Government and I am saying they should get assistance. The Vision 2030 and all the Government programmes can be achieved if DDF gets funding. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. S. SITHOLE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. S. SITHOLE, the House adjourned at Twenty-Seven Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.