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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 30 JUNE 2021 VOL 47 NO 64

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 30th June, 2021

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER SUSPENSION OF COMMITTEE BUSINESS

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that following the announcement by His Excellency the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa on COVID-19 lockdown, all Committee workshops, public hearings and field visits have been suspended with immediate effect. In the event Committees have to hold urgent meetings, these should be conducted strictly on the virtual platform in order to comply with the guidelines on the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

APPOINTMENT OF HON. CHINYANGANYA TO THE STANDING

RULES AND ORDERS COMMITTEE

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that following the resignation of Hon. Gonese from the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, the MDC-T Party has nominated Hon. Chinyanganya to be a member of the said Committee.  This is in line with Section 151 (7) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that whenever a vacancy occurs in the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, a member must be elected or appointed as the case maybe as soon as possible to fill the vacancy.  Hon. Chinyanganya is therefore duly appointed as a member of the Committee on Standing Rules and

Orders - [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER: The following Hon. Minister have given apologies; Hon. F. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Prof. P. Mavima, Minister Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. S. G. G. Nyoni, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development; Hon. Z.

Soda, Minister of Energy and Power Development; Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. July Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works.

HON. GONESE:  A point of clarification on your first announcement Mr. Speaker.  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just wanted to seek clarification relating to the announcement on the lockdown measures and the consequent effect upon the operations of Parliament.  I have understood what you have said in terms of the suspension of Committee business.  I just wanted to find out in view of the fact that normal business hours I think are now supposed to end at 3:00 a.m. and curfew is starting at 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. if my understanding is correct, whether this has any impact on the operating hours of the institution of Parliament in view of those curtailed hours.

I just wanted to find out if there is any effect on that considering that there are Members who may be travelling who are not necessarily resident in town and the curfew is supposed to start at 6:00 p.m. and normally our operating hours are from 5 p.m. to 7p.m. in terms of the Standing Orders if there is business.

           THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Vice President, can I confer with

you.

The Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Dr. Chiwenga approached the Chair.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Gonese for that

important request for clarification.  I have been having a tete-a-tete with the Hon. Vice President who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care. He has accepted to clarify the issue.

           THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH

AND CHILD CARE (HON. GEN (RTD) DR. CHIWENGA):  Mr.

Speaker Sir, on the point of clarification asked by the Hon. Member, we are in an emergency where we are trying to make sure we control the spread of this invincible enemy.  As His Excellency the President said yesterday in his address to the nation, that we must all go out and encourage all our people, the citizenry of this country to get vaccinated, is one way of preventing the spread of this disease.  Secondly, we must still carry out the protocols. So there are two tasks; to mop up everybody to make sure that those areas which have been identified as the hot spots, we want to vaccinate our people.  Everybody has followed those instructions like what has happened in Victoria Falls and we would want all our borders to be secured.  We want also our two metropolitan cities, Harare and Bulawayo to be secured and all those hot spots.

Having said that, Parliament is an essential service; it is one of the pillars of the State and so it must function.  If there is business to be done, the protocols have got to be followed. We need to do the business so that the country keeps on running.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I hope I have clarified this.  It is there in Level 4 which has been pronounced by His Excellency the President.  There is that aspect of the essential service.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I just want to help with the necessary SI.  It is SI 200 of 2020.  That is where it talks about Members of Parliament being part of the essential services.

So just to add on to that, it is SI 200 of 2020.

HON. NDUNA:  Sorry Mr. Speaker Sir, if I can rise and be recognised on a point of clarity.  If I can seek clarity on the announcement by the Hon. Vice President?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I thought the Hon. Vice President was

very lucid.  What is that area of clarity that you require?

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in the announcement as he has also alluded to, we have to now go in and be frontlines by mopping up the citizenry on the issue of vaccination.  My point of clarity resides in the resources.  Is Parliament now going to look at the policy in that context and immediately give us resources to go and mop up as has been alluded to Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thought I should ask in that context so that it can be answered holistically so that we can carry out that commission and mandate without any impediment.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I think the context in which the pronouncement has been made is that in your constituency, activities that should be part of your responsibilities – in the context of your responsibilities.  Thank you.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

              HON.  MADHUKU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, my

question is directed to the Hon. Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I would like to find out the policy guidelines for ZIMSEC and the Curriculum Change Process in schools, especially with regards to the introduction of new learning areas for those students in their final examination year.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very

much Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you very much to the Hon. Member for the question.  Examinations, as guided by ZIMSEC, are for those who have prepared for them and covered the syllabus.  In the case of ‘O’ levels, the syllabus is a two-year programme and those who started and did Form Three last year are going to be writing those subjects that they did this year.  If there are any other students who would like to do subjects this year that they did not do last year when they were in Form Three, it is up to them if they are ready.

The only component that becomes of essence is the component of continuous assessment that started off this year.  Even if they did the subjects in 2020 and no continuous assessment marks were stored for them, they will have to do them this year so that they can write this year.

I thank you.

HON. MADHUKU: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, my

supplementary question regards the introduction of the continuous assessment learning areas where we are having an outcry by the learners and teachers, because we understand that …

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are debating.  Ask

your supplementary question!

HON. MADHUKU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is

that these continuous assessment learning areas are being introduced now with the teachers being trained now.   The teachers are supposed to be part of the examination process at the end of the year.  How does the Ministry and ZIMSEC cope with these challenges of the late introduction of the learning areas in their final examination year for the Grade Seven’s, Form Fours and Form Six?  Thank you.

HON. E. MOYO: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker and thank you very much for the supplementary question.  Continuous assessment as a phenomenon of examination assessment/area has always been in the system, albeit in a few areas that we used to call practical subjects.

What has happened is that we have extended that assessment to cover all subjects.  The idea really is to run away from entirely assessing students on what they can remember but also to assess them on what they have done.  So in the context of this period where we are already halfway through the year, what is going to happen to make a start and keeping in mind that change is always a problem and we need to start at some point.  We have been discussing how we are going to model it and one way of doing it is going to be to reduce from the 30% that has been planned as colour to something less than that so that we can take care of the remaining period.  The idea really is that we need now to assess not only on what students remember but also on what they have done.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Local Government and Public Works in relation to the Act on Local Government Section 205 (1)(c).  What is Government policy in relation to estate land management as it relates to land given to Urban Councils for urban expansion, aware of the Urban Councils Act Section 205 (1) (c) also read in conjunction with the supreme law of the land Section 28 of the Constitution?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker

Sir and thank you Hon. Nduna for that question. I did not quite understand the actual question on what you presented.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: May you repeat your question Hon. Member? – [HON. T. MLISWA: Maybe he needs to explain the subsection…] – Can you paraphrase your question please?

HON. NDUNA: The question relates to estate management or issuance of land for stands for accommodation for the people in the urban areas.  So that Section 205 (1) (c), speaks to estate management in the Urban Councils Act and Section 28 of the Constitution, speaks to the provision of shelter.  So what is Government policy as it relates to the issuance of that land to those people on the housing waiting list in the urban areas, because that section gives three options – to lease, to sell or to donate that land to prospective house owners.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. Speaker

Sir.  As far as estate management to local authorities is concerned, we have laid down procedures on how people on the waiting list or how residents to be are allocated the land.  First and foremost, everybody who is going to be considered for a residential stand or commercial stand has to be on waiting list – that is the prerequisite.  After they have been put on waiting list, they have to go through interview with the relevant local authority.

As Local Government, we have some stands that we get from the endowment fund which is about 10% of what we would have given to land developers. Once a month, we do the allocation based strictly on the waiting list throughout the 92 local authorities.  We also have to assess if that person who is going to be awarded that stand or land is able to service that land.  Once we do that, we give out a lease which contains conditions which have to be adhered to. For instance, we have to make sure that within 12 months, you should have put up a structure and if not, the stand will be repossessed.  After about 3 years, you should have completed that structure and then you can go into negotiation of buying, having met the lease conditions.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: The section alluded to gives the Hon. Minister three options and the Hon. Minister has spoken about one option of selling.  In the context of the housing back-log that in some instances stands at 25 000 houses out of the national housing back log of 1, 5 million, would it please the Minister to exercise the third option that is enshrined in the section mentioned that of donating the land to those prospective house owners in the context that they have no capacity to pay as she has alluded to and also in the context that land reclaimed for redistribution by the Minister of Lands according to the Agrarian Reform Act of 2000 is not meant to be sold.

HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon.

Nduna for that follow-up question.  We have categories as far as selling or meeting the housing waiting list.  We have a percentage that we give to the vulnerable and they can be classified also under those that are not able.  That quota is about 10% of those that we can exercise that option for and if they have proven during the interview that they are not able to meet the conditions of the other 85% or 90%, then they are considered based on the recommendation from the local authority. I thank

HON. MARKHARM: I just want clarity from the Hon. Minister I

give or buy leased land, is it through the local council or can it be directed to developers directly from the Ministry.

HON. CHOMBO: We have land that belongs to council and they

have their own procedures.  We also have land that is State land that is managed through my Ministry and we have our own procedures.  So, it depends where the buyer is, which route he or she is taking.

HON. T. MLISWA: This is State land which is for free and we want to give affordable housing to the people as per the national housing policy.  Why is it that land is sold when it is State land for the national housing programme which the Government is embarking on because people then use the money to build the land?  Why is that land sold when it is free and you then give it to people who tend to be land barons?

HON. CHOMBO:  At the first instance, the person who applies is given a lease and in this case, we give out a 10 year lease with 10 different payments for leasing that land.  However, we cannot give somebody title deeds that have not yet paid for that piece of land.  The moment you give out a title deed, that means he or she is now the ultimate owner of that property.  I thank you.   

(v)+HON. L. SIBANDA:  I would like to direct my question to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  Why was the process of issuing IDs to children on Saturday and Sunday stopped before all the children were issued with IDs?  Can I get clarification on what transpired?

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI):  Thank

you Mr Speaker Sir.  Thank you Hon. Sibanda for the question you asked.  It is true that the children were supposed to be issued with IDs on Saturday and Sunday but even the adults attended.  So most of our offices were overwhelmed and they failed to serve everyone.  They were no longer observing social distance.  A lot of people came forth and they were not putting on face masks.  This then led to a situation whereby only a few children managed to be issued with IDs.  If we pay a closer look to the process on the whole nation, adults and children visited these places where they were supposed to be issued with IDs.  However, due to the fact that the adults attended the days meant for the children it made it difficult for some children to be issued with IDs.  They are allowed to go during the week to be issued with IDs and no one is supposed to be chased away.  The problem is that people congest when there is such an exercise.  What is also to be noted is that we had stopped issuing IDs for some time for lack of materials.  Saturday and Sunday were meant for serving children but people attended in large numbers and made it impossible for us to serve only the children properly.  I thank you.

(v)+HON. L. SIBANDA:  I heard the Minister giving her response saying the children were being chased away.  What plans do you have regarding going to schools and issuing children with IDs so that we avoid the congestion?  I thank you.

+ HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI:  Thank you Hon. Sibanda for

the supplementary question.  We are not the ones that are chasing away the children.  They are being chased away at schools and schools belong to another Ministry.  The suggestion that we go to schools to issue children with IDs is impossible because we cannot ferry our machinery to every school.  These machines are old and they cannot cover the whole nation.  If it was possible that our Ministry had portable machines, we could try.  It is also our wish that everyone gets an ID and sit for their examinations.  I thank you.

 *HON. SEWERA:  Is it government policy that you only serve 30 people per day?

            HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: I want to thank Hon Sewera for

the question.  It is not government policy to serve 30 people per day.

We are limited by the machinery that we have, hence we only confine our service to 30 people per day.

+HON. TOFFA:  My supplementary question to the Hon Deputy

Minister is; we have noted that issuance of IDs and birth certificates is a challenge but it is a right to every individual born in Zimbabwe to have these documents.  As it is right now, children are suffering to get these documents so that they can be able to sit for their examinations.  What measures do you have in place during this COVID-19 era to assist the children to get their documents?

+ HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI:  Thank you Hon. Toffa for the

pertinent question.  It is true that it is the children’s right to have their IDs and birth certificates issued and it is also our wish that they be furnished with these documents.  As it is on the passport issues, if we get consumables and the other necessary equipment, we will also do night shifts but that cannot be done with the birth certificates and IDs because the individual has to be physically present.  We are aware that children are supposed to be provided with documents as their right as every other individual. On passports, we have a provision that we are going to conduct night shifts; but for the issuance of I.Ds and birth certificates, it is not possible because it requires the individual to be physically present. As for now - after the realisation of COVID, we have said the offices should be open up to 1800 hours, but due to COVID lockdown it is no longer possible. We will try to make sure that children are given access to the documents. We are also hurt about it because it is our responsibility. We are supposed to do our duty, but we are facing limitations due to COVID.

           HON. MARKHAM: My question is directed to the Minister of

Justice and in his absence to the Leader of the House. My question pertains, mainly because of the ongoing demolitions both in the city and Melfort for example. Would it not be pertinent now for Government as a policy to release the Justice Uchena Report or Commission which was handed to the President in December, 2019 as this earmarks and defines all the people involved in these lands issues. This would relieve a lot of pressure on all administration whether it is Government or council and it would identify where we have problems so that we can solve them.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY

EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA) on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY

AFFAIRS: I would like to thank Hon. Markham for requesting the release of Justice Uchena’s report. Hon. Speaker it is a request not a question and therefore I will forward it to the relevant Minister. I thank you.

HON. MARKHAM: I just want to point out that this is the eighth time I have brought up this issue in this House and twice in committees. My follow up question and we might want to hand it on to the Ministry of Local Government. Is the Ministry aware that as we speak right now, development licenses including EIAs and EMA reports are being given across the northern suburbs in wetlands and in vehicle access areas? Are they aware this is continuing? Are we not exacerbating the problem for the future while in the south we are doing a different thing where we are now trying to correct the wrongs of the past and demolish houses?

THE HON. SPEAKER: That is absolutely a new question that does not relate to the Uchena Report. Hon. Deputy Minister, do you want to assist.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMNET

AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): In regards to

demolitions, I think there are specific demolitions that are taking place right now using the Road Act and mostly, we are doing the demolitions along the road servitude. Those are the current demolitions that are taking place specifically. We have a policy on wetlands that we should not allocate any land on wetlands. If there is any allocation that is being done, we have to give out that land with mitigatory measures that should be stated in that offer, if it is wetland. Let us say we give you one hectare of land, we can say you can only do construction on 35% of the one hectare and do other mitigatory measures to make sure that you do not degrade the other 65% of that land. We try by all means to make sure that we do not offer land on wetlands.

HON. T. MLISWA: With due respect, Hon. Markham’s issue on

the Uchena Report is critical and I am glad the Vice President is here –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, I thought the Uchena Report is

going to be presented here and then at that stage you will debate.

HON. T. MLISWA: My supplementary question to the Hon.

Deputy –

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now being very slippery. You

know, you were addressing the issue of Justice Uchena’s Report. You cannot move across to another issue. So you end up with two supplementary –

HON. T. MLISWA: No, it was not. That one before I even asked it you actually shot it down. My question to do with the Uchena Report was not complete, you shot it down.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Yes, I have agreed on that and that is why I cannot ask it so my supplementary was really why do you –

THE HON. SPEAKER: You cannot have two bites Hon. Mliswa.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, I stand guided by you and I will take my seat.

HON. T. MOYO: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. What is Government policy regarding the provision of innovative infrastructure that leads to sustainable economic development with particular reference to geo-spatial and bio-technology?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY

EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): I wish to thank Hon.

  1. Moyo for the question on the provision of scientific and innovation infrastructure particularly to do with geo-spatial and space science as well as bio-technology. Government policy is a movement towards vision 2030 which is basically talking about Zimbabwe becoming an upper middle income economy. That becomes our national strategic intention and that has to have enablers. An enabler is a national capability which is the ability of the nation to drive its vision.  In the middle of it, is the science, technology and innovation system of that nation.  For the science, technology and innovation of that nation to work and deliver what is needed in the vision, we need to configure it properly.

In this configuration which I am now going to talk about is the need to have national strategic institutions that provide national capabilities that are critical.  One of them is the geo-spatial and space science capability of any nation because a nation, as you know, is a boundary.  It is a geographic entity and has to be understood together with its resources, people and infrastructure.  Therefore, the mapping of the nation and its resources, the understanding of the nation and its communication is very important.  To this end, the Government of Zimbabwe and His Excellency the President Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa on the 10th of July 2018 inaugurated the Zimbabwe National Geo-spatial and Space Agency whose main activity is to give this nation the necessary capability to be able to understand itself, resources and infrastructure.

To date, we have built the head offices of this institution and the institution has already begun to be active by making sure that we have relooked at our agricultural capabilities in this country by looking at the Zimbabwe natural regions or agro-ecological zones which was adopted by Cabinet this year.  Also, this country has started through the National Geo-spatial and Space Agency to map the wetland that one of the Hon. Members was talking about.  To this end, now Zimbabwe within two or three months has the capability to understand itself in any area that it wants to understand – whether it is wetlands, rivers or crops that we grow and the areas or whether it is the transport infrastructure.  We believe that the Zimbabwe National Geo-spatial and Space Agency is part of the configuration for giving the nation the capability that it needs to reach vision 2030.

When it comes to the issue of bio-technology, as you know Hon.

Speaker, this world is now based on what we call the cyclic economy.

This means that everything depends on the understanding of biological material.  This biological material is recycled and moved from place to place and we call this bio-economy; the economy that depends on the understanding of life itself and genetics.  To this end, we have started the National Biotechnology Authority and in that authority, we are spearheading the issue of Zimbabwe’s bio-economy starting from simple issues such as beneficiation of our fruits as just a simple example.

We have started working on issues such as marula and producing marula juice and related things from our natural heritage, our biological heritage and we are doing much more research for example tissue culture trying to improve the yields of our potatoes, maize and so forth.  We are working on programmes which will enable this country to produce potatoes and raise the yield from the current 15 tonnes per hectare to what we anticipate to be 120 tonnes per hectare within the next year and so forth.

These two institutions, because we say for a nation to develop properly in the 21st century, it must pay attention to three aspects of science, geospatial technologies, bio-technologies and nano-technologies.  Within our movement towards vision 2030, the configuration of our scientific and innovation structure has to reflect this so that the national capability is attained so that we reach the national strategic intent. To this end, this august House just passed the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill which is awaiting accent by His Excellency the President just to give heed and reality to this future that we are constructing.  I thank you.

HON. T. MOYO:  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister concerns small scale gold producers (makorokoza).  To what extend are they going to benefit from geo-spatial mapping and how relevant is your Ministry in assisting those small scale gold producers to locate natural endowments found in Zimbabwe?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  One of the main focus areas of a National Geo-spatial and Space Agency is to understand the resource base of a country, is to be able to account for the resources of a country as if you are accounting for the money that is in your pocket.  To this end, using satellite technology as well as complimenting it with field work plus global satellite navigation systems – we are able to map our minerals and know where they are before we can go and exploit them.  With this method, it means we do not have to do feja-feja – we are actually going towards where the minerals are.

This is how critical it is and this is why certain countries will tell you I have come to invest on this mineral in Zimbabwe and you wonder what is going on.  It is because they have a geo-spatial and space agency and they are seeing us from afar.  We are joining that club and we are doing what we can do.

Zimbabwe has got a literacy rate of 97% - it is time after liberation that we liberate ourselves in that area.  This is the movement that we are saying and when it comes to whether it is small scale or large scale, we have to know where our minerals are.  The Cabinet gave the Zimbabwe National Geo-spatial and Space Agency the task to work with the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and we are working very well on the National Geo-spatial mining cadastral system.  We believe that with this system, this country will begin to join the list of literate and technologically advanced countries that will use their brain to understand themselves and their environment and be able to economically rise towards vision 2030.

           HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAHIYLOME: Thank you very

much Hon. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for that very enlightening response. My supplementary question Hon. Speaker Sir is, what is the Ministry doing to ensure that other tertiary institutions that are not under his purview like those under the Ministry of Agriculture and Vocational Training Centres (VTCs) as well as institutions like ZENT are brought on board so that they are not left behind?  We are talking of innovation but VTCs are still using very old methods of doing things.  The same applies to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What methods or strategies are there in place to make sure that everybody is brought on board?  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon.

Speaker Sir.  I wish to thank Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd.) Mayihlome for the question on VTCs and other related institutions that might not administratively be still under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary

Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.  Hon.

Speaker Sir, this House in December passed the amendment to the Manpower Planning and Development Act.  This Manpower Planning and Development Act, the amendment is actually talking by law to VTCs and any training centre post secondary to say, innovation and industrialisation should be the core aims of any training institution.

According to Section 75 (2) of the Constitution, if I am not mistaken Hon. Speaker Sir, it says, “any such institution that does not behave in such a way that it gives Zimbabweans good education, which leads to what Zimbabwe wants will be closed”.  However, that is not the aim.  The aim is, the Act is empowering all Manpower Development institutions to train properly.  It does not matter whether they are administratively under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation and Technology Development.  The Act dictates that this has to happen properly.  So for the first time, this Act is coordinating all those institutions including VTCs.

Hon. Speaker Sir, the new Bill which is yet to be signed by His

Excellency which we passed in this House, the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development Bill talks to all those centres to say when we are educating, we cannot be silos.  We are educating Zimbabweans for a movement towards prosperity.  I thank you.

(v)HON. MUCHIMWE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

supplementary question is; Zimbabwe has got so many doctors who are abroad and technocrats who know jobs, who can manufacture.  Are there any efforts put by Government to bring them back home so that they further develop our country?

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The development of Zimbabwe is primarily done by Zimbabweans and it does not say Zimbabweans outside or inside.  It means all Zimbabweans.  It therefore means that all Zimbabweans who want to employ their skill and knowledge to the development of the motherland wherever they are would be harnessed.  We will not force them to come but we will encourage them.  It will be interesting and very important that we can work together for the prosperity of our nation.  The Government policy is very simple.  We are saying all Zimbabweans, no matter where they are today, whether virtually or physically, can come and build our country together.  Our education is configured in such a way that it has to happen but us who are here believe that we can always work with our counterparts as long as we are working for the same aim, which is the development of Zimbabwe.  So the policy is clear.  We want them to work with people – Zimbabweans in the diaspora and here.  Everyone is welcome. Thank you.

(v)HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to

thank the Hon. Minister for enlightening responses.  I would like to get back to the issue of geospatial planning and I am sure they are involved.

I just want to be updated on the Government policy, particularly pertaining to title deeds, both urban and rural because that would unleash a block of the huge amount of land that can be used as collateral and even in the future move on to block chain financing.  I thank you.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I wish

to thank Hon. Markham for that very important question on survey for title and the use of geospatial technology.  One of the key programmes that was outlined by His Excellency, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa at the inauguration of ZINGSA was to task ZINGSA to look at the issue of the fast survey of land using geospatial technology.  We call this project Geo 99 and this project is in progress.  We believe that by employing these technologies, we are able to do things that used to be done in three months, maybe in two days.  So far, with this programme, we have employed it to the farming cadastre.  It is at more than 60% completion.  We had scanned all land diagrams in this country and we are in the movement of completing this programme.  We believe from that time onwards, there will be no one who is swimming in a pile of paper, trying to get a diagram.  It will be through the click of a button.  As we go on with time and soonest, we believe that this space will be filled with those good news.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary

is as it relates to the geospatial mapping or otherwise on the issue of the minerals, in particular gold that you touched on.  Is there a plan in your Ministry to produce technology that is going to beneficiate our gold and platinum so that we can produce catalytic converters from our platinum and produce gold coins?  It is my view that we have more gold in order that we produce gold coins that are more than the paper money that we have so that we can use those as our currency.

HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I wish

to thank Hon. Nduna for the question, which is about the use of science and innovation for purposes of beneficiating our minerals.  Indeed Hon. Speaker, this is one of the aims of having the national innovation hubs that His Excellency has started putting across all institutions of higher learning.  That is exactly the purpose of the two Bills that were passed by this august House - the Manpower Planning and Development Act is talking about innovation and the Centre for Education, Innovation, Research and Development is talking about the core of use of innovation for beneficiation and also for value adding basically for industrialising this country.  The policy is very clear when it comes to what we want to achieve.  A country that can think and make its own things nobody can stop that country, that is the direction that we are taking.

+HON. M. KHUMALO:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What measures have been put in place in connection with education, in terms of e-learning and radio lessons, especially for those children who will not be going to school because of lockdown?  Closure of schools has been extended by a further two weeks.    In terms of e-learning, and radio lessons, pupils did not attend lessons last year and now the schools are closed again.  In the rural areas, last year some schools got zero percent pass rate. Now because there is lockdown, children in towns are going to use e-learning and radio lessons but in the rest of the rural areas, there will be disaster.

I am asking the Minister what they have done in conjunction with ITC

Ministry, the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Higher

Education to make sure those children benefit during lockdown.

+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO):  Thank you Mr.

Speaker.  I would also want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  We know that for children to learn, they need to have what we call elearning in English.  We are facing challenges because we do not have infrastructure that will permit us to access internet throughout the country.  Our Ministry of education is working hand in hand with the Ministry of ICT.  They are trying to reach as many children as they can throughout the country.  What is happening now is that there are radio lessons that are taking place.  We know that it is not all the children that are accessing radio lessons because of two reasons.

Firstly, there is no network in some parts of the country.  Secondly, some homes do not have radios but we have been working with our partners and we received about 6 000 radios that were donated to such schools that are not that developed.  When it comes to those schools that did not receive the radios and where children cannot go to school in order to access those radios we have a preloaded material and the radios have pots where flash disks with all the materials that the children will have access through the radio, it is played on to the radio and the children listen.  We have also written modules and these have been distributed throughout the country where people cannot access internet.  We know that two months ago we launched television lessons and those are still ongoing and we were working together with information and broadcasting services. Those are efforts that are being put in place, we know that that is not enough, with time we will be able to reach out to all those children so that they can also perform better in their education.

Thank you.

+HON. L. SIBANDA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Minister you

have just said that you distributed radios to schools so that children can go and listen to those radio lessons, are you aware that especially in rural areas like rural Nkayi we listen to Mozambique radio, if you go to Tsholotsho they listen to Botswana radio.  So how are these children going to learn, maybe I did not understand.

HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Let me respond in

English. Like I said earlier on, sometimes when you use vernacular there are instances where some phrases do not exist in our vernacular.  However, I did indicate that where there is no radio signal - those radios are fitted with ports where you can use preloaded materials on flashes so that it can reach those pupils without the signals.

HON. T. MLISWA:  My question to the Minister Primary and

Secondary Education, if the radios are 6 000, are they enough for everyone and for those who are not getting how do they then get educated.  If you give only 6 000 what about those who do not have.  Do those radios just work on fresh air or they need electricity, batteries and so forth?  What do you do to ensure that those radios are working in terms of the energy required for example electricity and batteries?

HON. E. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Using our education management information system we are able to determine which schools are in most need in the whole country.  So, that was the criteria that was used.  Secondly we are aware that those radios are not enough we have more than 9 000 schools in the country but then we are targeting those that are low on the index of poverty.  On energy, those radios are fitted with solar appliances for charging and they are also fitted with lights so that in the event - perhaps in the evening the lights are then used.  They are also fitted with a port for charging cellphones.

So those are some of the appliances to make them user friendly.

HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Health and Funeral Insurances are denying older persons from 65 years and above from joining these insurances. What is the Ministry doing to assist them because they are entitled to their rights? Now people in the informal sector make enough money to afford policies. What is the Ministry doing or what policy is in place to address this problem? Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon.

Speaker. I wish to thank Hon. Mguni for this very important question which talks about caring for our elderly. We think that this question should be put in writing so that there is a comprehensive response from the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. I think at that moment, it will really get the attention that it deserves and it is key for us and the public to understand this issue. Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mguni, will you proceed with

written question please?

HON. TSUURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question goes to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government policy in relation to the distribution of sanitary wear as provided by the budget of 2021 for the girl child during the ongoing lockdown?

           THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you very

much Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you for the question. The policy is that once funding has been given, like it has already been and procurements have been made like in most cases they have been, those implements are given to the learners. During this course of Covid lockdowns, what we envisaged is that schools will arrange that girls come in turns to pick up the sanitary wear. We are not expecting that they do not distribute that until the lockdown is over because we may not know when it is going to be over and yet, the need will be persistent. So, we expect that schools will arrange for the collection of such. Thank you.

HON. TSUURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What measures are

being taken by the Government to ensure that girls have access to these sanitary wear?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir. If I got it correct, it is like what policy or what measures are there to enhance access. I think schools advertise or they advise their students of the availability of sanitary wear and they arrange the logistics on how these are going to be accessed at school level. I know that in old provinces, these have been distributed and they are available in schools.

Thank you.

HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My

supplementary question to the Hon. Minister relates to the distribution of sanitary wear to the schools. As a member of the Steering Committee on the Parliamentary Caucus, we had an engagement with organisations which deal with children’s rights and it came to our attention that there is a challenge with some schools failing to collect the sanitary wear from the district offices as a result of having transport challenges. So, my question to the Hon. Minister is, what are they doing in terms of the implementation matrix to ensure that the sanitary wear which has been distributed to the district offices finds its way to the schools concerned because from our understanding, there is a serious challenge whereby schools have indicated that they do not have resources to go and collect the sanitary wear and take to the schools so that the children can have access? 

       HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I have not been made aware of those glitches in terms of movement of sanitary wear from the different schools. If there are instances where that has been happening and where I have been informed, there have been success stories. I think some of them have appeared in the newspapers where there are specific instances, and if we could be made aware of such so that we can arrange and assist those schools to collect for the students. Thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Do you ever notify Members of Parliament that you have done that so that they support that? The problem is that Government thinks it can do things itself. Members of Parliament are there to assist? Do you notify them to say we have got this parcel at the district office especially those on the lucky side like ZANU PF, they have got two vehicles each and those cars can be used to distribute that sanitary wear and that is a campaign strategy for any MP?

HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you for the supplementary question. I think that is possible but it can be done at local level where the problems are being experienced. At the Apex and National level, our policy is that these are delivered up to district level, but if schools have arrangements in the form of clusters where they can put their resources together and get transport to transport when usually they work alone, it becomes a big load to carry but we appreciate the suggestion and we would go back to the local level where those are being experienced so that assistance can be given. Thank you.

           (v)HON. DR. LABODE: My supplementary question to the

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is that, now that the President passed the Comprehensive Sexual Education Act which incorporates pregnant girls being in schools and with the current epidemic of teenage pregnancies, how far have we gone to ensuring that we have a midwife at every school to be able to render help to these small teenage girls who are pregnant with prenatal issues? I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND

SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON E. MOYO):  Circulars following

the signing of that amendment into law have been sent out to schools and already schools are accepting those young mothers back into schools. This policy of accepting young mothers back into school,  even before this law was put into place already existed as far back as 1996 where Circular P37 allowed girls who fell pregnant to take a bit of time out of school until they deliver and thereafter they be accepted back to school. What the law did was to legalise and operationalise that circular which already was in existence.

Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE HON SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 12 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number

13 has been disposed of.

HON TEKESHE: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

MATERNITY USER FEES AND MATERNITY MORTALITY

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH

AND CHILD CARE (HON. GEN. (RTD.) DR. CHIWENGA): I will

present a Ministerial Statement in response to the issue of maternity user fees policy and maternity mortality which was raised by Hon Dr. Khupe  in this august House on 3 June 2021.

Let me begin by giving a brief historical background of user fees in our public health care system. After Independence in 1980, Government announced that any person earning less than Z$150 per month was entitled to free health care in the majority of public health facilities with the exception of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and a small number of other high level referral hospitals. This exemption policy saw a threefold increase in clinic attendance. However, the slow growth of the economy from 1983 upwards coupled by an increasing population put pressure on the delivery of health services and gave birth to the need for user fees.

In the 1990s and as part of Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), user fees were introduced with increases being applied throughout the early 1990s. However in 1995, user fees were abolished in rural health centres and rural hospitals. Up to 1997, the fees collected were sent to the Ministry of Finance and this was seen as a disincentive to health facilities and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. In 1997, the Health Services Fund was established seeking to provide additional revenue to fund health service by collecting fees from users and retaining 40% at district level while the remaining 60% was surrendered to the Ministry of Health for use in rural health centres in the districts that the Health Services Fund was collected.

The Health Services Fund is still operational to date as shown by the following balances in some of our health institutions. Gwanda

Provincial Hospital, $538 089.  Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, $350 000, Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital, $76 200 and Chitungwiza Central Hospital, $100 000.

       The Ministry is also aware of Section 302, Constitutional provision that all fees, taxes, borrowings and revenue of Government must be  paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund, unless an Act of Parliament permits an authority that receive them to retain them in order to meet the authority’s expenses.  Discussions are in progress for Treasury to ring fence Health Services Fund within the Consolidated Revenue Fund, in compliance with the provision of the Constitution.

In 2001, Government abolished all maternal fees in public health institutions, except central hospitals.  Consultations and drug fees at primary care level, that is at rural hospitals, Government, Mission and Rural District Council clinics were also abolished.  The following users were to be exempted from paying user fees at all levels of care as part of social protection: children under five years old, pregnant women, except at central hospitals, over 65 year old, mental patients and cases of communicable diseases. Patients who disregarded the referral system were to be charged fees for consultation, diagnostic procedures, treatment, drugs and admission where applicable.  In 2009, the

Government reintroduced user fees.  This time in foreign currency, at Government hospitals to generate funding for health services as service delivery for most of the health institutions had collapsed during years of hyperinflation.

Current Policy on maternal fees

       In 2011, fees for pregnant mothers were removed, after there was an advocacy for the abolition of user fees for maternity services and subsequent treatment of infants after delivery.  Funds to support the fee removal were channeled to health facilities through the Result Based Financing (RBF) initiative supported by the World Bank (WB) in 18 districts from 2011 and the Health Transition Fund (HTF), a multi-donor pooled fund managed by UNICEF in 42 districts.  The Health Transition Fund later evolved to the Health Development Fund, running from 2016 to 2020.  The World Bank supported Result Based Financing

Programme was handed over to the Government in 2018, with the Government through the Ministry of Finance, now being responsible for funding disbursements to health facilities in the 18 front runner districts.

From 2016, the Ministry of Health and Childcare with support from the World Bank, also embarked on a pilot voucher system in Harare and Bulawayo to subsidise maternity services in urban as the result based financing system does not cover the two urban provinces of Harare and Bulawayo.  This voucher system continues to be funded to some extent but have seen periods where no funding was available. As a consequence, City Health Authorities in both cities continue to charge fees for health services, including maternity services although in practice, many patients who are unable to pay do receive free treatment.

Although Government has adopted the policy of free maternity services in the public sector, the cost remain and have to be met somehow.  On that front, all public health institutions, including central hospitals are entitled to submit to Treasury claims for services rendered for free to pregnant women, under five year olds and over 65 years old patients.  This is the current operational position, though it needs to be constantly monitored and strengthened.

Non-Compliance with the user fee policy

       In an update to Cabinet in February, 2018, the then Minister of Health and Childcare indicated that while most primary facilities were not charging user fees, some council facilities were still charging fees.  In addition, while most hospitals were applying the user fee policy and complying with the exemptions provided, it was noted that there was a need for some sort of support to ensure the sustainability of the facilities, hence the Treasury claim position now in operation.

In addition, though the policy stipulates “no user fees” in rural clinics, some of form of user fees payable at the point of service are being charged, mostly by the Rural District Councils owned clinics, ranging from consultations and service fees, medicines or drug fees, card fees, security and development fees.

Unofficial non-monetary user fees

       Furthermore, programme monitoring visits such as the Joint Review Mission and Supportive Supervision visits have also noted that a number of health facilities including those at primary level are requesting patients, particularly pregnant women to provide some commodities required to access services.  There are some reports of health facilities, largely Mission Hospitals, requesting maize, grain, chicken, goats and work by relatives as a form of payment for services given.

A UNICEF U-Report poll administered in September 2019 on 10 119 users of health facilities revealed that 70% of pregnant women who responded had been requested to bring some items for delivery.  However, the responses also included commodity not related to the health services such as baby towels, nappies or pampers, sheets, food et cetera. The proportions all differed by geographical areas or provinces.

  1.   Antenatal Care (ANC)

As a result of Government policy of free maternity services, the following positive developments have been realised:

  • The proportion of pregnant women with at least four antenatal visits has been increasing since 2014. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) revealed an increase by about two percentage points from 70% in 2014 to 71.5% in 2019.
  • The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey also showed an increase in the number of pregnant women booking early to about 4 in every 10 pregnant women in 2019, up from 3 in every 10 in 2014.
  1. Labour and Delivery

Deliveries in health facilities have consistently remained high

(above 80%) since 2014 and this has been corroborated by findings from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey in 2014 (80%) and 2019 (86%).

Pursuantly, skilled attendance at birth has also remained high over the years with 8 in 10 deliveries being done by either a nurse or a doctor since 2014.  However, as with antenatal, poor quality of delivery care remains the main obstacle to better delivery outcomes. As such human factors including lack of expertise, poor attitude and human error account for 80% of all maternal deaths that occur in health facilities.

  1. Post Natal Care (PNC)

Post Natal Care coverage for the mother increased from 77% in 2014 to 82% in 2019 (MICS). Postnatal care coverage for the new-born baby also increased from 85% in 2014 to 91% in 2019 (MICS).

  1. Maternal Mortality

       Mr. Speaker Sir, maternal mortality ration (MMR) is commonly recognised as a general indicator of the overall health of a population, of the status of women in society, and of the functioning of the health system.  High maternal mortality ratios are thus markers of wider problems of health status, gender inequalities, and health services in a country.

Maternal Mortality Ration has been on a downward trend in

Zimbabwe since 2002.  Findings from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey show a decrease by 25% from 614 per 100 000 in 2014 to 462 per 100 000 live births in 2019.

  1. Effects of Non-Compliance to the User Fees Policy

       The Ministry is aware of the effects of health facilities continuing to charge user fees in contravention of the exemption policy from user fees:

  • There is decreased use of services by those members of the community that are not able to afford the user or related fees.
  • There is overburdening of nearby facilities that might offer the services for free as people move from the charging facilities and this has been the case especially in Harare.
  • Patients delay seeking treatment until it is too late to assist them resulting in loss of lives sometimes both the mother and the baby.
  • Patients bypass health facilities to seek treatment from alternative sources.
  • There is generally non-compliance to treatment.
  • Patients are tempted to share drugs with other patients and engage in self-medication.
  • There is risk of patients purchasing unregistered, spurious, falsely labeled, falsified and counterfeit medicines from black markets.
  • Patients engage in corrupt activities in connivance with health workers to access health care services.
  1. Policy Implementation

Mr. Speaker Sir, in conclusion and to ensure implementation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) 1 on health and wellbeing;

  • The Ministry of Health and Child Care is in the process of absorbing into the mainstream, all local authority healthcare delivery platforms which include clinics, polyclinics, rural hospitals and infectious disease hospitals. In this regard, the Ministry is in the process of filling the gap of provincial medical directors for Harare and Bulawayo Metropolitan Provinces who will be reporting directly to the Ministry.  This will standardize health service delivery, among other things, addressing both the welfare of health workers and Government user fee policy positions.
  • Provincial medical directors are the focal persons working directly with the Provincial Ministers of State and Devolution as part of the implementation process of the devolution policy in the provision of all public health services in the provinces.
  • In addition, the Ministry has just crafted the National Health Strategy (2021 to 2026) which includes significant reduction of institutional maternal mortality as a key deliverable.
  • The National Health Strategy has a monitoring framework to ensure implementation and equitable access to health services across the country. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Members, because the

Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care is going to give us another Ministerial Statement, I will allow very few clarifications relating to the speech.

           *HON. PETER MOYO: Thank you Hon Speaker.  I would like

to thank our Vice President and the Minister of Health and Child Care for a very clear explanation in his report.  There is not much that I would want because his presentation is straight forward.  I just wanted to point out today that there are certain things that he is not aware of that are in line with the report that he has read out today.

My constituency is here in Harare in Rugare, very close to the

Parliament.  There is a medical facility or clinic that belongs to the National Railways of Zimbabwe.  It is not serving any purpose.  For the past ten years it has been closed.  They have locked up the doors to that facility.  They do not allow people to use it. The Government workers have turned the local market place into their own surgeries.  There are a lot of women that are giving birth in my motor vehicle because we do not have medical facilities because if you drive to Kambuzuma the area is closed.

There are a lot of children called chamadhegudhegu in my constituency.  I now bring it to your attention that in Zimbabwe there are some people with the G40 mentality.  They want to bring the Government down because if the Government takes two steps forward, they take 10 steps backwards.  You will never know them until we show them to you.  So it is my plea to our Vice President; I know him as an action only person, so that we can go and we can show you this area.  Women are giving birth in my car as if it is a hospital.  Why did the NRZ close the clinic?  We had found people who wanted to renovate that clinic so that it becomes world standard.  We have approached them many times but they have refused.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Moyo, I think you have

been heard.

*HON. PETER MOYO:  Hon. Speaker Sir, my plea to the Vice President is that he and his security guards, who will also guard me, travel to this place so that he can see for himself what is happening. (v)HON. DR. KHUPE:  Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.

First of all, I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for his Ministerial Statement on this matter which was very urgent.  When women are giving birth they will be performing a national duty and therefore they should not be punished for performing that national duty.

I would also like to applaud Zimbabwe for the reduction of maternal rate from 650 to 440 for every 100 000 live births, but we want it to reduce further.  It can only be reduced if every woman gives birth from a health institution.  The deterrent right now for women not giving birth in health institutions is user fees.  I would like to urge the Hon. Minister to constantly monitor this policy so that women are not made to pay user fees when they go to give birth.

In some instances, women are asked for the user fees indirectly.  They are asked to bring spirit, cotton and other materials required when a woman is giving birth. This must come to a stop and I would like the Minister to monitor and make sure that women are not punished for performing this national duty.  I thank you.

(v)HON. DR. LABODE:  Thank you very much to the Hon. Vice President for a very elaborate report.  Hon. Vice President, I just want to reiterate the fact that Zimbabwe is a signatory to the 2030 goal of reducing…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I called upon

Hon. Lucia Chitura.

(v)HON. TOFFA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to first of all thank the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care for his presentation.  Hon. Speaker Sir, my point of clarification is on the user fees and all the equipment women are made to pay as user fees.  Mr. Speaker Sir, what connection does the user fees or the paying of user fees have to do with the issuance of a birth record of a child?  This is one of the biggest challenges the women are facing and because of this, it adds to the maternal mortality rate because women are afraid to go to the hospital where they are being subjected to abuse due to the non-payment of user fees.

I would like the Minister to clearly state because hospitals such as

Mpilo Hospital will tell you that as much as they respect the

Constitution and that user fees are free according to the Constitution…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Toffa.

HON. T. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes, what is your point of

order?

HON. T. MLISWA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order really is that we cannot hear anything.  We cannot hear anything absolutely.  I do not know if the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child care is hearing.  We are struggling and it is quite disturbing.  I do now know how best you can deal with this situation.  All the time we are here, we are always having these problems and if we are not careful, our ears will be affected and Parliament has no money to compensate.  Can we just make sure that we have proper speakers for this Parliament?  Where is the Minister of Finance and Economic Development?  I was going to ask him to give us some money so that at least things are better because this is a waste of time, to be honest with you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. KHUMALO):  Thank

you Hon. Mliswa.  May I allow the Hon. Minister to respond to those few questions?  Hon. Minister, you may proceed.

       THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. GEN. (RTD.) DR. CHIWENGA): 

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, if I might start with Hon. Moyo for the problems that he is facing in Rugare relating to the clinic/hospital which belongs to the National Railways of Zimbabwe that was closed down.

National Railways of Zimbabwe belongs to the Government of Zimbabwe so with the whole Government approach, we shall be making consultations with the minister responsible for that parastatal and have that clinic/hospital opened. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

The comment, I do not think that it was a question Mr. Speaker Sir, from Hon. Khupe on the national duty done by women of Zimbabwe, not only women of Zimbabwe but women across the globe.  We take that issue seriously and will try together and not leaving it to the

Ministry of Health and Child Care, but all of us.  I think it is our responsibility wherever we are as Hon. Members of Parliament, if notice something that will not going well in your constituencies, please let us know immediately … – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

We are restructuring the Ministry of Health and Child Care so that we can put systems that are self-accounting and can be easily monitored.  We will increase the monitoring and what we are actually doing in this restructuring exercise is to make sure that if something wayward happens at any of our health facilities, it is quickly reported and we take corrective measures.  So we shall monitor very closely.  When somebody goes to deliver, you cannot expect a person who is in pain to bring her own methylated spirit, gloves and so forth.  I think that asking for too much.  We will look into that matter and would also want Hon. Members to help us by reporting of such incidents as they occur, if they occur, let them be reported and we take corrective action.

Hon. Toffa, there is no connection between the user fee and the issuance of birth records, if that has been happening, that must stop.

There are ways of one getting the monies if at all that individual has to pay the fees but we have already said that for those people who cannot afford, there is a way of claiming that money from Government through Treasury.  Our provincial and Chief Executive Officers are being directed to make those claims on behalf of those who cannot pay but you cannot say that somebody has delivered and you say, no you cannot get your birth record until you pay us – there is no connection there.  I think we need to get those reports for us to be able to take corrective measures.

I hope Mr. Speaker Sir that I have answered the questions that had been raised by Hon. Members.  The last question was inaudible but I hope that I addressed her question.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

MOTION

FIRST JOINT PETITION REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO

COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND CHILD CARE AND THEMATIC

COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON THE PETITION FROM THE

ADVOCACY CORE TEAM (ACT) ON THE AGE OF CONSENT TO ACCESSING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES BY

THE ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PERSONS IN ZIMBABWE

Thirteenth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the First

Joint Petition Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS.

Question again proposed.

HON. PETER MOYO:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir!

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I think in you earlier ruling you had recognised that the Vice President reads the second report but you allowed us to come in on the first report.  So you have made two rulings

Mr. Speaker Sir, because I thought that you were going to allow the Vice President to proceed to the second report before we came through.  I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, we must first

adjourn this debate, Order of the Day Number 13 so that we proceed to

Order of the Day Number 20.

           THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH

AND CHILD CARE (HON. GEN. (RTD.) DR. CHIWENGA):  Mr.

Speaker Sir, I present to you the position paper on the age of consent to access medical services related to sexual and reproductive health raised by the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care.

To proceed, we need to understand the following: - what are sexual and reproductive services?  Sexual and reproductive health services are medical services related to the reproductive system, they also provide antenatal care, contraception provision, both modern and emergency, HIV testing and counselling, HP vaccines and cervical cancer screening and treatment, post exposure prophylaxis and safe abortions and post abortion care, intrapartum and postnatal care.

Adolescence, according to the World Health Organsiation, are those people between 10 and 19 years of age.  The great majority of adolescence are therefore included in the age based definition of child as defined by the Constitution and also as adopted by the convention on the rights of the child as a person under the age of 18 years.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe legal framework on sexual and reproductive health services, the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment

(Number 20) Act 2013, the general access to health care provision in the

Constitution is Section 76 which provides as follows, “every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to have access to basic health care services including reproductive health care services”.  In terms of Section 81, a child is defined as every boy and girl under the age of 18 years.  Section 18 (1E) provides for children to be protected from sexual exploitation.  Section 20 defines youths as from 15 to 35 years; Section 20 (1E), states that youths must be protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.

Mr. Speaker Sir, Public Health Act Chapter 15:17, for health services for which age of consent is not specified, the Public Health Act guides service provision.  Section 35 of the Act provides for consent of user, it states that “informed consent”, means sent for the provision of a specified health service given by a person with legal capacity to do so and who has been informed.  This Section specifies the need for informed consent given by a person with illegal capacity to do so.  This infers that any one less than 18 years, has no legal capacity and cannot consent. This is in alignment with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23 - on age of consent to sexual activities; in Zimbabwe, sexual relations with a girl aged 12 years or below is rape as girls in this age bracket are not seen to have the capacity to consent to sexual relations.  As for ages 13 to 15, it gets more complicated as per the criminal law and Codification Act of 2004 Chapter 9:23, Section 63 and 70, sexual relations with a person of or above 13 but under 15 is presumed to be rape unless there is evidence to show that the person was capable of consenting and did so.

This assumption of lacking capacity to consent does not apply to those who are 15 years.  It is then up to the courts to decide if there was consent.  Another potential result of the way this registration is applied is that boys who are just one or two years older than their female partners gain a criminal record for engaging in consensual sexual activities if it goes to court even though they are not yet adults.

Section 63 of the Cord provides that a boy over the age of 12 years but below the age of 14 years shall be presumed incapable of performing sexual intercourse. The contrary is shown on a balance of probabilities.

Section 17 (3), “It shall be a defense to a charge under subsection 1 for the accused person to satisfy the court that he or she had reasonable cause to believe that the young person concerned was of or over the age of 16 years at the time of the arranged crime; provided that the apparent physical maturity of the young person concerned shall not, on its own, constitute reasonable cause for the purposes of the subsection”

Section 64 (1) states that a person accused of engaging in sexual intercourse, anal sexual intercourse or other sexual conduct with a young person of or under the age of 12 years shall be charged with rape, aggravated indecent assault as the case maybe and or which sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person or sodomy.

Coming to the age of consent to marry, Section 78 (1) of the

Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that only persons who have attained the age of 18 years have the right to found a family.  This was tested and confirmed in a landmark Constitutional Court case decision in 2016 to also mean entering a marriage.  In the court case, the court concluded that Section 78 (1) of the Constitution sets 18 years as the minimum age of marriage.  Any law or practice or custom authorising a person less than 18 years to marry is invalid with effect from 20 January, 2016.  The Marriages Bill of 2019 will align and set the age of marriage at 18 years for all marriages and for both genders.

On the Children’s Act Chapter 506, Section 76 (1) where the consent of a parent or guardian is necessary for the performance of any dental, medical, surgical or other treatment upon a minor and the consent of the parent or guardian is refused or cannot be obtained within a period which is reasonable in the circumstances.  Application may be made to a magistrate of the province where the minor is or is resident for authority to perform the treatment.  A magistrate, to whom an application in terms of subsection (1) is made, may:

  1. After due enquiry and after affording the parent or guardian consent, a reasonable opportunity of stating his/her reason for refusing to give the necessary consent or without affording such person such opportunity if his/her whereabouts are unknown or if in the circumstances it is not reasonably practicable to afford him such opportunity;
  2. If satisfied that any dental, medical, surgical or other treatment is necessary or desirable in the interests of the health of the minor by order in writing, authorise the performance at a hospital or other suitable place upon the minor concerned for such dental, medical, surgical or other treatment as maybe specified in the order; and
  3. Where authority for the performance of any treatment has been given in terms of subsection (2), the person legally liable to maintain the minor concerned shall be liable for the treatment.
  4. Age of Consent on access to Antenatal Care (ANC)

Section 76 of the Constitution contains a right to healthcare which can be interpreted to include the right of women to access maternal health care, regardless of age.  Thus, if a young person requires antenatal care they should be able to access it with their parents/guardians’ consent if under 16 years or with the magistrate’s consent in instances where parental consent is refused/unavailable.

  1. Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the right to have access to basic health care services including reproductive health care services.
  2. Every person living with a chronic illness has the right to have access to basic health care services for the illness.
  3. No person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any health care institution.

Mr. Speaker Sir, there are numerous challenges posed by these various statutory clauses as presented.

  1. The age of consent to sexual intercourse is set at 16 years for both males and females who are unmarried. The Criminal Law

Codification and Reform Act currently provides that the age of

consent to sexual activity for married couples is 12 years.  Section 70 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act,

Chapter 9:23 reveals that the offence of “sexual intercourse with young persons” will only attach where the perpetrator has “extra marital sexual intercourse” with a young person.  This poses challenges as it tries to link sexual activity with marriage.

  1. Access to contraception services and commodities: the country does not have legislation specifying the age limit below which parental consent is required to receive medical treatment.  However, the common practice is that parental consent is required to provide medical treatment to a child under 16 years.  In addition, since a child under the age of 16 years cannot consent to sexual intercourse in practice, it is presumed that a child under the age of 16 years does not need contraceptives.  Emergency contraceptives would be considered a form of medical treatment and therefore, individuals aged under 16 would require parental consent to access them in practice.

In addition, there is a Government initiative under which contraceptives are available without a prescription and without parental consent at Government hospitals to children aged between 16 and 18 years.  There are however, no age restrictions regarding access to contraceptives that are in the form of the barrier methods such as condoms that are readily available over the counter without parental consent being required.

  1. HIV testing and accessing results: Children under 16 may consent to HIV if they are married, pregnant or a parent, or they can demonstrate that they are mature enough to make a decision on their own. In addition, if a parent or care-giver cannot or will not give consent for a child under 16 years, the attending health worker can seek approval from hospital authorities or Minister to give treatment without parental consent if it is in the best interest of the child. The requirement to “demonstrate that they are mature enough to make the decision on their own” raises challenges as it is vague.
  2. Anti-Retroviral Therapy and treatment of HIV: The country provides for treatment of children but does not mention age of consent.  In practice, a child under the age of 16 will require parental or guardians’ consent as with any other medical treatment.
  3. Age of Consent to report HIV status directly to adolescents: Test results will be reported directly to the patient from the age of 16 years, or on assessment of maturity by the health service provider if the child is under the age of 16 years.
  4. Age of Consent and access to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). The guidelines for ART and treatment of HIV in Zimbabwe provide for treatment of children, but do not mention age of consent. In practice, a child under the age of 16 will still require parental or guardians’ consent as with any other medical treatment.  Prevention of mother-to-child transmission has also been well administered in Zimbabwe.
  5. Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Zimbabwe so far suggests that it will be aimed specifically at high-risk populations such as sex

workers and young women aged 15-24.  It is therefore difficult to determine at what age pre-exposure prophylaxis would be available without parental consent.

  1. Post-exposure prophylaxis: HIV-post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is highly controlled in Zimbabwe.  It is prohibited except in specific circumstances.  A person would only be able to access it if it was an issue of sexual assault or if a health professional has been exposed as part of their work.
  2. Increased numbers of illegal abortions and a threat to women’s health due to the criminalisation of abortion.

Mr. Speaker Sir, key current Ministry of Health and Child Care  responses to sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents:

The Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Strategy 2016-

The strategy provides guidelines on the provision of age appropriate adolescent sexual reproductive services. The underlying principle of the strategy is in providing services that are in the best interest of the child, given their present circumstances. The strategy aims to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with adolescent sexual reproductive services activity among adolescents and young people, through increasing safe sexual health and HIV practices, increasing uptake of quality youth friendly integrated adolescent sexual reproductive services and HIV services and strengthening the protective environment for adolescence and young people.

Some of the strategies include:

  • Provision of friendly sexual and reproductive health services as an entry point for expanding adolescent health;
  • Establishment and creation of community based spaces for parentchild communication on sexual and reproductive health;
  • Capacity building of the health workforce (both pre and in-service) to provide quality, friendly and age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services;
  • Life skills (Unhu/Ubuntu) oriented girls and boys empowerment and capacity building sessions for both in and out of school adolescents.
  • School health information and services for learners, for example human papillomavirus for cervical cancer.

National Health Strategy

Provides for antenatal care to young children who are pregnant.

Our maternal care programmes provide adequate cover for antenatal care in the country.

School Health Policy of 2018

       It provides for age-appropriate education and health service provision within the principles of Unhu-Ubuntu. Education and counselling is part of the services package in our advocacy and service delivery processes. As such, the Ministry of Health and Child Care provides age-appropriate information and services (legal, socio-cultural and technically).

National HIV Testing Services Guidelines

       It provides for age of consent for HIV testing services as 16 years.           National Medical Male Circumcision Guidelines

       It provides for age of consent for medical male circumcision as 18 years.

Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on Girls who fall pregnant

       The Ministry already allows second chance opportunities for the girl child who falls pregnant and can be allowed back into school. The ripple effect of this and levels of discrimination need to be addressed through age appropriate information dissemination to increase levels of knowledge and capacity for both duty bearers and rights holders.

Implications of access to Sexual Reproductive Health services by minors

Medical

  1. Anatomy of teenagers is not fully developed to be able to carry the pregnancy and its complications which include obstructed labour, obstetric fistulas, symphysis pubis diastasis and ultimately maternal death.
  2. Early sexual debut increases risk of these adolescents to cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections including HIV

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea which have adverse effects on future

fertility.

  1. Methods of contraception are not 100% effective therefore these adolescents remain at a higher risk of complications in case of unwanted pregnancies.

Social

  1. Entrap the girl-child in child bearing mode and create a vicious cycle of poverty.
  2. Reinforces child marriages; if age restriction for accessing reproductive healthcare services is removed, the interpretation is that, a person who can decide when to use contraceptives also has power as to decide when they can indulge in sexual activity and also as when they want to have a baby. This will be a time bomb for immorality against the diverse cultural and religious communities in Zimbabwe. A high potential of increased burden on Government’s Social Security Nets, where high numbers of children will be having children out of wedlock.
  3. Adolescents are mature enough to make independent choices about such high-risk issues as sexual behaviour, reproductive health, addiction and mental health.

Mr. Speaker, summary of the current legal framework;

Constitutional Provisions

Paragraph 9 of part 4 of the Sixth schedule of the Constitution states that all existing laws continue in force but may be construed in conformity with this Constitution.  It is a transitional provision which allows the interpretation of the existing laws to be aligned to the

Constitution.

Section 81 on Rights of Children defines a child as every boy or girl under the age of eighteen years and has the right:

Rights of Children 

81 (1) (e) to be protected from economical and sexual exploitation, from child labour and from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse.

Section 76 on the right to health care provide for:

(1)Every citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe has the  right to have access to basic health care services including reproductive health care services (no age limits)

       (3) No person may be refused emergency medical treatment in any health care institution (no age limits)

In terms of the Constitution, there is no age limit to accessing basic health care services or emergency medical treatment.

Other Legal Statutes

Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]

Section 70 (3) indirectly provides for the age of consent as sixteen (16) years of age as previously stated.  However, this is contrary to the constitutional provision that defines sixteen years as a child who should be protected against sexual exploitation and all forms of abuse.

RECOMMENDATION

We need to align Section 70 (3) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act with the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land and align all other different ages of consent in various legal statutes with the Constitution, especially Section 81 on Rights of Children in the best interest of the child.  I thank you.

HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, it was enlightening, educative and this exposed this Parliament which passes laws.  Some of these laws are dangerous and they have got to be revisited.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. M. KHUMALO):

Hon. Mliswa, may you please raise your voice.

HON. T. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I said it was enlightening and educative in a lot of ways.  It exposed us legislators that when we pass these laws, we do not read.  We are half asleep.  A lot needs to be done to align the laws to the Constitution.

I would like to talk about how 16 year olds consent to have sex but at 16 years of age, if you have to be treated medically, you need your parents to consent.  This is the same as having somebody allowed to drive at 16 but they cannot be in public office until they are 21.  Driving at 16 is more dangerous than being in public office. My remark is, Hon. Vice President, thank you for that expose. We need to really work in terms of aligning these laws.  These laws are dangerous for any generation and the girl child is totally exposed.  There is not much that can be done but for us, as Parliament to move in line with the trends and align the Constitution and change certain ways.

The criminal courts and the courts determine everything which is another pillar of the State which is independent and they go by the courts, they do not go by anything but by the law.    Thank you very much Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health for that enlightenment. For me, all I can say is that we have got a lot of work to do – to pass laws that are good for the governance of this country and generation and protect the girl child.

HON. T. MOYO:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. NDUNA:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 1st July, 2021.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. T. MOYO:  I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 14 to 19 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 20 has been disposed

HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

SECOND REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON

HEALTH AND CHILD CARE ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND

PROMOTION OF TRADITIONAL AND COMPLEMENTARY

MEDICINES IN ZIMBABWE

Twentieth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Second

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care on the

Development and Promotion of Traditional and Complementary Medicines in Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF HEALTH

AND CHILD CARE (HON. GEN. (RTD.) DR. CHIWENGA): Mr.

Speaker Sir, the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care made an enquiry on the development and promotion of traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe on 9th March, 2021.  A motion was raised by Hon. Chinhamo-Masango on 6th May, 2021 and debate ensued thereafter.  A report was prepared and subsequently presented to the National Assembly in May, 2021.

Standing Order 26 (7) requires the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care to provide a comprehensive response on emerging issues from this enquiry.  I will present my response to issues raised by the Portfolio Committee on traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe with regards to the Government

position.

Mr. Speaker Sir, the Committee made the following observations;

  1. Traditional and Complementary Medical Practice in Zimbabwe is grossly underfunded; ii.No land is dedicated to the growing of herbs for medical use in

Zimbabwe; iii. The Traditional Medical Practice is often misunderstood due to lack of appropriate information to the generality of Zimbabweans

as well as the colonial lenses that are used when looking at this practice; iv.    Players in this sector are doing a lot of work on traditional medicines.  However, the efforts are uncoordinated and lack coherence to bring about the much-needed development on this practice;

  1. Uncordial work relations between the Traditional Medical Practice (TMPs) and Complementary Medical Practice (CMPs) cripple the development and promotion of the traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe; vi.Lack of access to laboratories and ability to read laboratory results, medical insurance as well as non-use of modern medical instruments such as BP machines, limit the effectiveness of the traditional medical practice; vii.Non-disclosure of medicinal properties impedes the development of traditional medical practice in Zimbabwe;

viii.    Political will is lacking in the development and promotion of traditional and complementary medicines as evidenced by the gross underfunding of this sector.

Mr. Speaker Sir, in response to the raised issues, most of the recommendations made by the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child

Care have been included in the National Health Strategy (2021 – 2025).  However, to strengthen national coordination on the development of traditional and complementary medicines, my Ministry will implement the following;

  1. Set up a Traditional and Complementary Medicine Inter-

Ministerial Committee; ii. Constitute a Traditional and Complementary Medicine National

Steering / Expert Committee; iii.         Establish relevant technical working groups that report to the Traditional and Complementary Medicine National Strategy /

Expert Committee.

Whilst terms of reference for the National Expert Committee are in place, those for the Inter-Ministerial Committee are being developed.  The National Expert Committee, though constituted has not been functional due to lack of funding.  Work is already in progress to develop a Traditional and Complementary Medicine Strategy aligned to the National Health Strategy (2021 – 2025).  This creates an opportunity to include all the recommendations made by the Portfolio Committee on

Health and Child Care in the Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Strategy (2021 – 2025).

If the resources are allocated in time, final stakeholder validation consultations on this strategy will be made during December, 2021 and the Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care will be engaged during this process.  In this regard, the Ministry of Health and Child Care will take the following specific actions to the recommendations made by the Committee;

Recommendation 1:  The Ministry of Finance and Economic

Development should consider timeous release of allocated funds to the Traditional and Complementary Medicines in the 2022 National Budget, to enable more research and development in the field.  The Ministry will engage the relevant Ministry to ensure the development of adequate funding for traditional and complementary medicines.  During 2021, my Ministry will request the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to release the allocated budget for 2021. In the current budget, the vote for traditional and complementary medicines has been allocated ZWL100 million but the challenge has been on disbursements which have been slow to date.

Recommendation 2:  The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement should consider allocating land for the cultivation of herbs for medicinal use in Zimbabwe by

December, 2021.  The Ministry of Health and Child Care, in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement will facilitate commercial production of identified priority herbs in line with the pharmaceutical strategy, industrialisation strategy and import substitution.  However, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) will be engaged to ensure that more cultivation and production of herbal material is done.

Recommendation 3:  The Ministry of Primary and Secondary

Education and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology should consider inclusion of the traditional medicines into the curricula at schools, colleges and universities, to demystify the practice, by December 2021.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care will engage the relevant Ministries to ensure integration of traditional and complementary medicines into the country’s education system.  Already, the Ministry has started processes to establish traditional and complementary medicines training programs at tertiary level.

Recommendation 4:  The Ministry of Health and Child Care

should cause collaboration of all relevant players in the sector to bring about coherence in the development of traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe, by December, 2021.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care will strengthen the institutional arrangements on traditional medicine, as well as improve coordination, through the interventions already mentioned, that is the setting up of national coordinating structures.

Recommendation 5: Cordial work relations between the Traditional Medicines Practices and Complementary Medical Practices are essential ingredients in boosting the development and promotion of the traditional and complementary medicines in Zimbabwe.  Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Child Care should always strive to put in place strategies that encourage good working relations between the two practices.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care will implement the traditional and conventional medicine coordination framework as well as implement strategies that decimate therapeutic communication barriers between the two systems of health. These include training practitioners from both systems.

Recommendation 6:  The Ministry of Health and Child Care should ensure that Traditional Medicine Practices have access to laboratories, are trained to read, have medical insurance and are able to use the modern medical instruments, such as BP machines, as their counterparts in the conventional medical field by August, 2022.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is developing a training programme for Traditional Medicine Practices on primary health care.

This is a basic training programme that will allow Traditional Medicine Practices to appreciate and strengthen their role in primary health care as well as in traditional medicine research.  The Ministry is also working on coming up with a National Traditional and Complementary Medicine profile, so that existing gaps can be identified and filled.

Recommendation 7: The Ministry of Health and Child Care should start training and educating Traditional Medicine Practitioners to move from individualism or non-disclosure, to nationalisation and protections of property rights if Zimbabwe is to bring about total development in the traditional and complementary medicine sector within the first quarter of 2022.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care together with the Medicine

Control Authority of Zimbabwe and the Medical Research Council of

Zimbabwe have started sensitization meetings with the Traditional Medicine Practitioners on guidelines for traditional medicine research and Intellectual Property Rights.  Further, the Ministry of Health and

Child Care in consultation with stakeholders, have developed a standard

Memorandum of Agreement document that can be used by Traditional

Medicine Practices and researchers to prevent misappropriation of Intellectual Property rights.  The standard Memorandum of Agreement document has been attached to this write-up.  I think I did not bring the document, we will get the document and give it to you.

Recommendation 8:  Political will is key to any development, hence the Ministers responsible for the above-mentioned Ministries should immediately take keen interest in ensuring that the recommendations that have been directed to their respective Ministries are auctioned within the stipulated timeframes.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care will engage the relevant Ministries bi-laterally as well as through the inter-ministerial committee as already mentioned.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON.

MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]

HON. T. MOYO:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. TEKESHE:  I second.

Motion put ad agreed to.

Debate to resume: Thursday, 1st July, 2021.

On the motion of HON. T. MOYO seconded by HON.

TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Six o’clock

 

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