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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 31 JULY 2019 45-75

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 31st July, 2019

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

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, I have received apologies from the following ministers: - Hon. O. Ncube, Minister of State for National Security; Hon. Dr. O. Moyo, Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. Prof. Mavima, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development.

PRESENTATION OF THE 2019 MID-TERM FISCAL POLICY AND

SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET STATEMENT

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that tomorrow, Thursday 1st August, 2019, the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development will present the 2019 Mid-Term Fiscal Policy and Supplementary Budget Statement.

SUBMISSION OF LISTS OF HEALTH CLINICS

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I also wish to inform the House that the Ministry of Health and Child Care is requesting all Hon. Members to urgently (within the next three weeks) submit lists of health clinics that they built individually or together with their constituency members or communities.  This will help inform plans for universal health coverage (UHC) and enable the Ministry of Health and Child Care to mobilise support and partnerships for these clinics.

HON. MAMOMBE: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I am rising on a point of privilege.  Hon. Speaker, during the COP 24, the ministers adopted the Ministerial Katowice Declaration on the Forests for Climate.  The Declaration that was signed highlighted the role of sustainable forest management in achieving climate neutrality.  Hon. Deputy

Minister Haritatos attended this COP 24 and also the Environmental

Law Organisations together with people such as the People and Earth Solidarity Network who have shown that Zimbabwe has already lost many trees due to tobacco farming and also the absence of electricity.

Hon. Speaker, I am rising on this Point of Privilege to say that our Government is now investing in the community stone-age bakeries that are potentially disastrous for climate change and this is going to affect us as a country.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, a Point of Privilege must be constructive and if an Hon. Member wants to debate an issue against

Government policy, please do so by way of a motion.  So, that Point of

Privilege is unsustainable. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. MACHINGURA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question was directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care who happens not to be in the House. In that case, I can direct it to the Leader of Government Business.

Hon. Chair, on one of our visits with the Health Committee, I noted at St Lukes Hospital which is acting as a provincial hospital for

Matabeleland North, there is a project being spearheaded by somebody

to produce intravenous device (drip).  So I just wanted to hear from the Minister how much support they are giving to that project so that we stop importing drips.  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, with all due respect that is a specific project.  You need a question that deals with national policy which encompasses the country, not a specific project.

HON. MUTAMBISI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.  What is your Ministry doing to alleviate water shortages arising from power outages?  Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC

WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for asking this very important question.  Yes, there has been water shortages because of electricity outages in pumping stations in most of our urban areas. Two weeks ago, we agreed with the Minister of Energy and Power

Development, and we were given all the pumping stations throughout

the country which include those run by ZINWA, some which are run by local authorities, that these pumping stations for water as well as for sewerage should not experience these power cuts because it is both a health hazard as well as a need for people to have water.  So, we hope that ZESA has been directed to ensure that power outages for pumping of water and for pumping of sewerage waste water treatment should not be taking place.  I thank you.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister there is erratic water supply because of electricity outages but we have so many places especially Gweru where water is non-existent,  the greatest challenge being that Gwenoro Dam, the main supplier is not able to supply.  As a Ministry, what are you doing to address the issue of water as you are aware that the shortages of water can lead to various diseases?

I thank you.

*HON. J. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The water challenge is beyond the fact that there are power outages especially in Gweru.  Specifically in Gweru, Gwenoro Dam is only left with a few months for it to be able to sustain the city, but there is a dam that is 74% full called Amapongokwe.  The challenge is that there are no pumps at Amapongokwe.  So we are working with Gweru City Council and the mayor, that this is an emergency and we have put in place measures to secure the pumps.  We need four pumps to supply Gweru with water before the end of the two months that Gwenoro Dam can sustain the city.  I want to assure the people of Gweru that we are going to get four pumps in order to alleviate the water challenge.  I thank you.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  A point of clarity Mr. Speaker Sir.  I thank the Hon. Minister for that convincing response.  I wanted to find out, considering the measures that you have, how long will it take for us to have pumps at Nyamapongokwe because the issue of water in Gweru is a big challenge?

*HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the point of clarification raised.  I said that Gwenoro Dam was only left with two months’ supply of water.  Council made a tender which was outrageous and required a lot of money, but we have now been able to get pumps that can pump more water than what was there.  Because of the pumps that we are going to acquire from South Africa that are genuine, we are hoping to have those before the two months for use at Nyamapongokwe so that we can address the water challenge.  I thank you. 

HON. CHINYANGANYA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

supplementary question is - the Hon. Minister said they engaged the Minister of Power and Energy Development over the issue but Mr.

Speaker Sir, up to now all the local authorities are still cut off.  What is being done to expedite the process because water is a critical component in the lives of people and ZESA is prioritising none essential services, cutting off critical services like water pumping?  I think something needs to be done as soon as possible.

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, while I can assure this august House that we have done everything in order to make sure that water pumping systems are not cut off from ZESA, we cannot then micromanage and know whether ZESA has cut off on this one or the other one.  There is another ongoing discussion which we are having with the Minister of Energy and Power Development about the indebtedness of most of our urban local authorities which is necessitating ZESA to cut them off and we are saying let us discuss this.  We are arranging a meeting so that we can discuss with all the urban local authorities, but for those who need to pump, we think that the arrangements that we have made should suffice for now.  I thank you.

HON. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  Can the Minister update this House on whether or not the Ministry has a figure of what exactly the nation has to avoid starvation in terms of grain stocks.

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Minister of Agriculture and Lands can best answer the question.

HON. SHIRICHENA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  If the Minister of Social Welfare cannot answer that, can the Minister of Agriculture answer the question?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER,

CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We currently have enough stocks of maize to allow us to import more maize to meet the shortfall.  It is common knowledge that we had a drought during the last season.  We estimate that we will get a national yield of about 775 thousand tonnes this year and will have a shortfall of slightly over a million tonnes, which will have to be imported into the country.  We have buffer stocks and have started the importation programme.  No one is going to starve.

HON. BITI:  In view of the huge shortage of over a million...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Chibaya, I name you

for the second time.

HON. BITI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary to the Minister is: how much does the GMB have in its stocks at the present moment?  Connected to that, in view of this huge shortage of over a million metric tonnes of maize, why did the Minister enact Statutory 145 of 2019 and impose GMB monopoly when we do not have the maize anyway?  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  As to the exact quantities of grain being held by GMB, that is a specific question and I will need time to go and get the exact figures.  As to why we came up with a Statutory Instrument, the reason is that GMB ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Minister.  Please take a seat.  Hon. Biti, you asked a question.

HON. BITI:  I am listening Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, you cannot listen and talk at the same time, please.

HON. BITI:  I withdraw my talking Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  As to

why we can up with a Statutory Instrument Mr. Speaker Sir, we want to ensure that all the grain in the country is accounted for and is available for consumption at affordable prices.  If we allow everyone to access the maize, especially some of the companies, we end up with maize being not made readily available to the consumers and at times being made available at exorbitant prices.  A very good example is that of bread.  We are currently releasing wheat to the millers.  The bakers, instead of producing bread, they producing confectioneries because they get much more from selling confectioneries.  The little bread that is baked is availed to consumers through the black market at very exorbitant prices.  We will not allow a repeat of such a situation to happen in as far as the staple food is concerned.  Not in a million years Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. BITI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, with great respect, you cannot impose a monopoly when the product is in short supply.  What in fact you need to do is to liberalise and allow everyone to buy and everyone to sell.  Hon. Minister, can you do the right thing and withdraw SI 145 of 2019.

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I gave a live example relating to wheat.  There is no monopoly in terms of the supply of wheat or the procurement of wheat but look at what is happening on the market.  Some elements in the private sector have decided to deliberately ensure that the consumers do not get the product at affordable prices, hence we will not allow the same to happen in as far as the staple food, which is maize is concerned.

Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I want the Minister to clarify whether he understands that the imposition of SI 145 of 2019 is ultra vires the Competitions Act that allows any player to be involved in the business where anybody would be in competition.  In addition, there are some people who want to buy maize for themselves rather than to buy from GMB.  Why is he imposing the SI against the Competitions Act?

Does he understand and know the provisions of Competitions Act?

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  It is not that I have imposed a blanket ban on the procurement of maize.  We have allowed people to buy up to five bags, those who want to use for domestic consumption at home.  In as far as the issue of Anti-monopolies Act, as long as there is clear demonstration that there are some elements who are acting against the interests of the consumer, Government will always be there to protect the interest of the consumer.

HON. J. SITHOLE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for this rare opportunity.  My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare.  What is the Government policy position with regards to those people that are unemployed. You will notice that of late or in the recent past months, the Ministry of Government has been cushioning civil servants against...

       THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, that is more than a lower

opportunity. Ask your question please.

      HON. J. SITHOLE: Okay, thank you Mr. Speaker. What is

Government policy position with regards to cushioning of the meager incomes of those people that are not employed against the ever rising cost of basic commodities?

     THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, I do not understand the

question because...

An Hon. Member having stood up.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Just take a seat Hon. Member. If I understood you will Hon. Sithole, you are saying people who are unemployed should be cushioned? Is that what you are saying?

      

         HON. S. SITHOLE: Yes.

       THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, please be aware that we do not

have social welfare system like they have in Britain for example, where those who are unemployed get something from the State. So, I hesitate to call upon the Minister to answer that question. –[HON. SIKHALA:

Any plans to introduce that?]- That should be a separate question.

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

question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, in his absence the Leader of this House and in his absence, his proxy.

Some school inspectors...

            THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a moment. Do we have an Acting

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education? Sorry, the Leader of Government Business is not here as well. – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections]- Order, order. Proceed with your question.

       HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. It

appears Ministers are caucusing to try and establish who the Leader of the House is.

         THE HON. SPEAKER: Just go on.

        HON. TSUNGA: Some school inspectors are instructing some school heads not to accept school equipment from Members of Parliament; which equipment has been procured through CDF. What is the Ministry’s policy in regard to acceptance of such and other equipment from MPs in the various schools? Thank you.

        THE HON. SPEAKER: Order that sounds like a specific question from a constituency. Perhaps you could bring it under written questions.     HON. TSUNGA: It is an important question Mr. Speaker Sir.

   THE HON. SPEAKER: Just a moment, you must understand my

ruling. I said your question titivates towards what is happening in your constituency and not nationally. [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection]- Order, order1. In that case, please submit your question in writing. Thank you.

  +HON. S. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is

directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Hon. Nzenza. We want to know your policy regarding trucks that are carrying maize in GMB trucks in different districts and we want to know where they will be taking the maize to? I thank you.

      THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you understand the

import of the question?

        THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): I have

heard the question Mr. Speaker Sir, but I would like it to be more specific so that I fully understand the circumstances that she is referring to – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -Mr. Speaker Sir, the

policy...

        Hon. T. Mliswa having said something about NSSA

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mliswa, you asked a

question yesterday about the NSSA report and I ruled that it will be tabled tomorrow. So, I find it extremely disconcerting that people are starting to shout about the NSSA report that does not arise. Hon. Minister, the trend is movement of grain from the various areas of the country into GMB instead of that same maize being distributed for drought relief where this maize is being taken from. That is the import of the question.

        THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Mr.

Speaker Sir, the policy regarding grain distribution is that it should come from Aspindale to the GMB within the ten provinces. The policy is that we must distribute grain to the nearest district and where possible, to the ward level. However, if there is a situation where this policy is not being followed, it is my responsibility as the Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare to ensure that we investigate an anomaly and that will be rectified.

        HON. MATHE: As the Minister has already said if there is an anomaly, but my supplementary is that we cannot have more than ten lorries loading in one district. That means there is something that will be happening in that district and why is it the same trucks who would have delivered, we see the same trucks again loading the grain to another district?

        HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA: The Hon. Member is

suggesting that there is a specific incident and my request is that she gives me the specific incidences so that I will investigate and give the appropriate answer –[HON. P.D. SIBANDA: On a point of order!] -:

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, go back to your place, I have not recognised you.  You look for a mic once you have been recognised, that is the procedure.

HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order! Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.   In the interest of fairness in the manner in which we are treated here, I think there was a ruling that you made on an issue that was raised by Hon. Tsunga where he was talking about the process in which Members of Parliament can donate goods to public institutions.  I was thinking that was a national issue, then another question…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can you seat down.  Hon. Mathe, it would appear you are referring to some specific issue, can you bring that to the attention of the Minister directly and she will assist you. You - [HON. P.D SIBANDA: Inaudible interjections.] - There is no debate in terms of point of order.  I have ruled that Hon. Mathe should give details.

HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, why these other Members of Parliament seem to be disgruntled, is in terms of Section 3, of our Standing Rules and Orders that governs this august House.  They state that the procedures and processes of Parliament must promote transparence, must encourage the involvement of Members of all political parties in Parliament and must be fair and just.  Mr. Speaker Sir, why Hon. P.D. Sibanda and Hon. Hamauswa rose to try and persuade you Hon. Chair, is on the basis that they feel that the treatment of one of their Members is not in terms of Standing Rules and Orders of our own House which are provided for in this book. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: The fact that I recognise you to state what you have just said, Hon. Hamauswa, was recognised, he is from my left side, and I do not know what you are talking about.

HON. MAFUTA: My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.   Is it a Government policy that the monthly pension dues are paid in installments?

THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND

SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KUNHUTU-NZENZA): It is

Government policy that monthly pensions are paid monthly.  I thank you.

HON. MAGO: Does the Minister know that these pensioners are being paid in installments?  A pensioner who is supposed to get $90 a month is getting it in installments of $20 a week instead.

HON. DR. KUNHUTU-NZENZA: Thank you Member of

Parliament – [HON. SIKHALA: Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sikhala!

HON. DR. KUNHUTU-NZENZA: If there is a specific question where the monthly pension is not being paid monthly as the Hon. Member has said there is an incident where it is being paid in installments, then I would like to know more about that situation.

HON. GONESE: On a point of privilege! We have got the utmost respect for the Hon. Chair and Hon. Members of Parliament.  It is our considered view that when we are in this august House, like the adage which says justice must not only be done but it must also be seen to be done.  I raise this point; it is not the substance on the ruling, when Hon. Sikhala raised a point of order, it resonated very well with Hon.

Members on your left.  The point Mr. Speaker is not so much about the Chair being entitled to make rulings but rather it is on the manner in which some of those rulings are made.  For instance, when Hon.

Hamauswa rose on his point of order…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!

HON. GONESE: I beg your indulgence, this is the reason…

THE HON. SPEAKER: I said I have heard your complaint.  This is question time, do not waste time.

HON. GONESE: I agree Mr. Speaker but it also affects the whole question time because Hon. Members will continue raising issues and we feel that the manner in which they are being responded to is in violation of the preamble which Hon. Sikhala referred to.  The preamble is quite clear…

HON. SPEAKER: I understand the preamble very well.

HON. GONESE: This is the reason why we are just begging you to appreciate where we are coming from, to understand that our position is that if it is a matter of a ruling being made, it is the manner in which it is being delivered. That is why I said justice must not only be done but it must be seen to be done.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: I heard you Hon. Gonese and I also beg you to understand.  I cannot accept an Hon. Member rising from that corner there, coming over here before that Hon. Member is recognised – that is unprocedural.   Hon. Sibanda should have stood there, recognised and then he comes to the microphone – that is perfectly procedural. I shall not be schooled on that matter.

        On the question of Hon. Hamauswa, yes he raised the issue about Hon. Tsunga and I accepted that.  This is why I told Hon. Mathe to adhere to what the Hon. Minister indicated that she must bring her question in writing because it titivated towards a specific situation.  I could not be more just than that. – [HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, can I come in so that I can pacify the situation as an Independent!] -

You want to pacify the situation.  No, you will do so after Hon.

Nyamudeza.

               *HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker, my question is

directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What measures does the Government have in conserving the water that we only get once a year?  I thank you.

  *THE HON. SPEAKER:  Excuse me Hon. Member, where is the

water coming from?  You mean rainfall?  That is fine.

        *THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SEN. RTD.

AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  The Government is trying by all means to ensure that we conserve water through the construction of dams and weirs in order to harness rainfall water for use.  Government is also encouraging people not to farm close to river banks which will cause siltation.  Once siltation occurs, it means water cannot be retained in the dams or rivers.

Where there are dams that had already dried up due to siltation, we are engaged in a process of de-silting the dams in order to make them viable again.  In short, that is what we are doing as Government.  I thank you.

*HON. NYAMUDEZA:  Thank you Minister, may you give clarification as to how many dams you have targeted per year for water conservation?  What is the target in terms of dams per year and which parts of the country, for example in various provinces?  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir. Our aim is to construct as many dams as possible in line with the funding that we have – that includes de-siltation of dams.  It depends on the available funds.  We are doing this throughout the country and we are not preferring one province over the other.

Areas like Matabeleland South, Masvingo and southern

Manicaland are dry areas, so we try by all means to have more dams or weirs but on the issue of siltation – it is something that is all over.  The limiting factor is the available funds that are allocated on an annual basis.  What pleases me is the fact that Hon. Members can see the challenge that we are facing.  I am sure that in the next few months the budget will consider the issue of water especially considering the fact that this year is a drought year.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Minister, a year like this one is a unique year in terms of water shortages such that they have reached a critical level.  What is Government doing to ensure that the water situation is generally alleviated besides what we are seeing that we see borehole drilling machines going into areas where there are byelections?  Where there are no by-elections, what is Government doing to ensure that people access water?

 HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir, I was requested by this august House to present a Ministerial Statement on measures to address drought induced water problems throughout the country.  I am ready to make the presentation at your pleasure Mr. Speaker Sir and it should address all the issues of concern being raised.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Mr. Speaker, I then was hesitant to bring in a supplementary after he alluded to the fact that he was going to present a

Ministerial Statement…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, so you withdraw?

HON. NDUNA:  Unless you indulge me Mr. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, no, I thought that you were being very sensible – [HON. NDUNA:  Yes, I am Mr. Speaker Sir.] – Withdraw.

HON. NDUNA: Therefore I withdraw Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and in his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Hamuna, there is no Leader!] – Mr. Speaker Sir, do I proceed?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you for your indulgence, you can proceed with the question.  The Acting Leader of Government Business is Hon. Dr. Gumbo.

HON. MUNETSI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  We hear that Canada has availed educational funds for the girl child and women in this country.  My question is, when is that fund going to be accessible and which office should we approach if we want to access that fund?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL

AFFAIRS IN CHARGE OF IMPLEMENTATION AND

MONITORING (HON. DR. GUMBO): I want to thank the Hon.

Member for the question but it is really a question that needs a specific answer which I have to research and ask from the responsible Minister or Ministry.  So, it is not a policy question which I can answer.  I would ask the Hon. Member to put it in writing.  Thank you.

*HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My

question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement concerning land disputes.  In rural areas, people are engaged in land disputes especially pertaining to boundaries.  I do not know what can be done for that issue to be addressed.

*THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR

CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI):  The issue of land boundaries is that all properties have boundaries and the challenge is that there is no fence to show the demarcation.  These are just points that can be joined in order to explain the boundary that causes conflict between people who do not know where exactly the boundary is.  So those with the properties, we encourage them to demarcate and show where the boundaries are. Those who face challenges can engage the Land Commission which can contact the Surveyor General who will be able to clear the boundary disputes that are prevailing.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. NDUNA:  Hon. Minister, the other reasons why the boundaries are causing problems are the issues with the Land Commissioners.  What measures do you have to address the issues of conflict that is caused by the land officers so that these land disputes in terms of boundaries are brought to an end because this is clear to the people and to the farmers?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You have asked Hon. Member, why are you explaining?

HON. NDUNA:  Has it been heard, Mr. Speaker?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes, it has been heard.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  The challenge that I have is that no one has really brought up a challenge involving corruption by land officers. So, there is no evidence to that effect.  For us to be able to address those issues we need the individuals, but my request is that if there is corruption there is normally more than one person.  Those affected should bring the evidence and then we can go and make sure that the land officers are dealt with in line with the laws of the land.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I think we need to find traditional leaders to address these issues.

HON. SHUMBAMHINI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. J. Moyo.  Hon. Minister, where are we in the implementation of Command Housing Projects and also, are you going to take rural communities on board?  Thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Are you asking two questions at the same time?  You are allowed only one question. Okay, you are combining.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC

WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank

you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question on

Command Housing as well as what we are going to do in the rural areas.

Yes, we have started with a number of companies that are part of the

Command Housing structure. In the implementation stage, we said in the

Command Housing we need to mobilise all the stakeholders. We now have those who are mobilised architects who are involved with pension funds to try to get land so that they can do Command Housing but in specific terms, we said we want to start with regeneration and I am glad to say in Sakubva, we will be launching regeneration of Sakubva in the month of August.

This will be followed by several others where individuals, banks, pension funds as well as developers, proper developers who will be engaged in doing command housing, but we are not leaving out the rural

areas.

I have said this in this august House that what we desire is that your business centres, your rural service centres as well as your growth points become centres for building back better and we do this by accession of land, that is where there is a business centre where there is rural service centre so that people can have title deeds in those areas.  We are all aware that we cannot have title deeds in farming areas, communal or commercial, but we have made a policy as Government to say we need those who go and invest in the rural areas in certain specified areas to have title deeds and we can only do this by having accession and doing survey for title and proper planning.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I need to know from the Hon. Minister is in relation to the title deeds towards those houses that are going to be built, aware that there is quite a lot of houses both in the urban and peri urban set up that have not had their title deeds since 1916.  As it relates to this command housing, what is going to be happening in terms of title to those houses towards those occupants that are going to be owners of these houses?

HON. J. MOYO:  I want to thank the Hon. Member Mr. Speaker.  We inherited a housing stock at independence where there were block titles.  All your townships were under block titles and when Government declared that they wanted home ownership, the survey for title has taken too long even in those areas where Government desires that people have home ownership and have the title deeds.  So in your old townships, we still have those problems to deal with.

In the recent past, it is common knowledge that a lot of people were building houses on land that was originally commercial farming area and had been handed over to Government. They started building houses without surveys for title being undertaken and the likes of Caledonia or Harare South, the buildings took place before cardinal surveys were undertaken and we have to regularise as if we are dealing with the townships of before independence.  We have a big task in order for our people to have title but it is preferable and it is Government policy that a person who has title to their piece of land to their house is a more secure person than those who do not have.  Government’s desire is that we do it and we must do it.  In order to do it, the resources must be put in place and I am sure that at an opportune time, the Minister of Finance whom we have been discussing with will announce what has to be done so that we can achieve our objective.  I want to thank you Mr.

Speaker.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, in the 1980s, a similar project was done although by a different name.  I think it was called national housing scheme or something of that sort.  Now, it is called command housing.  What I recall about that 1980’s scheme is that houses were built only in Zvimba and in Gutu, those were the two places and the houses are still there.  It is not by coincident, the then President came from Zvimba and the then Vice President came from Gutu.  What assurance do we have that this time around, the houses will not be built in Mapanzure and Chiweshe?

  HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, the Hon. Member’s

recollection of history, if it needs to be corrected, I can only confirm that we declared growth points, not in Zvimba and Gutu only.  We declared growth points throughout the country and all district headquarters in this country were declared as growth points as opposed to the 13 declared townships that were there during colonial time.  It is in those areas, your Gokwes, your Bingas which were declared growth points that you started seeing planned housing.

Those houses are a testimony whether you go to Buhera, Kezi or to any place, you will see houses that came because we had declared growth points.  Growth points meant there is proper physical planning and proper housing development in declared areas.  It cannot be said, even though he alludes because of the former President or the former

Vice President that it happened only in those places, it is not true.

Thank you.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is, whilst the Hon. Minister has explained a very noble project with regard to the command housing, I need him to explain clearly to this House, what the capacity of the Government currently, bearing in mind the cocktail of challenges that we have as a country to sustain that desire to have command housing with all what we are going through?  We think of building a new suburb under these circumstances.

Is that practical or it is a politicking process?

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, if you look at the Skyline here in Harare, that Skyline was not built by public funds, it was built by your pension funds, by your insurances, by banking investing in those properties and we are no better today.  The private sector, including our pension funds, our insurance schemes are ready to build and they are the ones who are assisting in command housing.  Properties, whether it is residential, commercial or industrial, in most countries and we are no exception, are not built directly by public funds.  Yesterday, when we were accessing international financing, you could get a loan from one multinational institution or bilateral institution but that was only supplementary to the resources that were mobilised through your insurance which is your first savings and your pension funds which is also your first saving.  We still want to access that.  When I last interacted with the pension schemes in this country in Victoria Falls, they indicated to me that they are sitting on investable funds and they are looking for permanent solutions in terms of buildings.  If you have a pension scheme, it is better to put it in brick and motor than to put in money markets.  This is what we are urging our pension funds.  We have to mobilise these funds so that we can build for our people, both residential, commercial and industrial.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

+HON. MAHLANGU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker for the opportunity that I have been given to add my voice.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health but since he is not around, the Leader of the House will respond.  I want to know the Government policy regarding maternity fees.  I thank you.

+THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Mahlangu, may you please

explain further on what exactly you are saying concerning maternity fees?

+HON. MAHLANGU:  I want to know what is the Government policy concerning maternity fees.  Are the patients supposed to pay any fees when they go to hospitals, especially those who are pregnant?

THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL

AFFAIRS IN CHARGE OF IMPLEMENTATION AND

MONITORING (HON. DR. GUMBO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Mr.

Speaker Sir, I will attempt to answer the question from the knowledge that I have.  For maternity fees, I think the Government policy is that people do not pay but at private hospitals, people do pay for maternity fees.

+HON. MALANGU:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  I asked this question because I want to know whether the expecting mothers are supposed to pay for the maternity registration fee or not.  If they are supposed to pay, I want to know when was this policy put into practice.  I have realised that when you go to different hospitals, one of the officers will tell you the policy was enacted in 2011 and the other one would tell you that in 2008.  As I speak, in different communities there are letters that members of the community received backdating as far as 2008 that they owe the hospital.

        HON. DR. GUMBO: I think with all due respect to the question by the Hon. Member - that is really a very specific question which requires detail. She is mentioning of some years and that will also need some research in order for somebody to be able to give a satisfactory answer to say when the policy might have started to be implemented.

        So, with all due respect, I think it is a pertinent question which I think must be put in writing so that the people can know when that policy started to be implemented since you are talking of 2008 and also after 2008 so that the nation can know when the policy is available. As I put it across, it is Government policy that at Government Hospitals you do not pay but at private hospitals you pay and that is the policy.

   HON. MBONDIAH: My supplementary question goes to the fact

that in public hospitals or Government hospitals, expecting mothers are asked to bring syringes, needles, gloves and buckets of water when they go to deliver. Is that Government policy that they do that in Government hospitals?

         THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL

AFFAIRS IN CHARGE OF IMPLEMENTATION AND

MONITORING (HON. DR. J. GUMBO) on behalf of THE

MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O.

MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. With all due respect, that question would require the Hon. Minister responsible for the Ministry.

        HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. Ministers must be able to respect both the House and the Chair. When the first supplementary question was asked to the Hon. Minister, he tried to say that that question is specific whilst the Chair is the one who should make the determination whether that question is specific or not. We do not want these Hon. Ministers to come and hijack both the powers of our Chair and the powers of the House. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] - So, I am protecting the sacrosanctity of the Chair and of this House that when the Chair has already made a ruling, they must answer the question because you would have already made a determination. These Ministers want to overthrow you Mr. Speaker.

        THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. What I can only say is that as they say in Shona, ndichiripanyanga. On a more serious note, when the Hon. Minister is acting, you must appreciate that he is acting and in that case, you need to exercise some measure of empathy so that those questions where it is not clear, I want to believe that the Hon. Acting Leader of Government Business has noted the issues and the details about what Hon. Mahlangu and Hon. Mbondiah has raised. We will bring this to the attention of the Hon. Minister of Health so that next week the Hon. Minister of Health can clarify some of those issues.

  HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I really want to

read this question because I drafted it and I do not want it to be offside for fear of the Minister trying to run away from answering. Could the

Minister explain why the due process was not followed when the former

Ambassador of Great Britain to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing adopted a Zimbabwean child in 2017? It is my understanding that substantial money was illegally paid to your predecessor Hon. Prisca Mupfumira to facilitate this and that the matter is now the subject of criminal investigation. As a result of the child inure who has now been taken out of Zimbabwe by Ms. Laing not to the choice of her family, can you assure us that this matter will be investigated fully and that the efforts will be made to return the child to her family if it is established that the offences took place?

        THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Mr.

Speaker Sir, I just want to begin by reassuring Hon. Mliswa that I never left the country and if he might have heard that, we must not dwell on social media fake news. Now that I have put that matter to rest, the matter of –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Mr. Speaker Sir, I am not aware of the matter that the Hon. Member of Parliament refers to. I will however seek more information and more clarity from him, perhaps in writing, that will help me so much. Thank you.

            HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, when one of your Members

of Parliament has asked a real question, I expect that you protect me. The end of that question was simple. Can you assure us that this matter will be investigated fully and efforts will be made to return the child to the family if it is established that it truly happened? That is how meticulous I was in putting this question together.

        THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. DR. KANHUTU-NZENZA): Mr.

Speaker Sir, it is my Ministry’s responsibility to ensure that policies are followed regarding the adopting of children as stipulated in Children’s

Act. The matter that has been brought in this House’s attention will be looked at. Thank you. 

      HON. NDUNA: My question goes to the Minister of Home

Affairs, seeing that the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is not here.  It is in relationship to debt collectors that are engaged by various Ministries, Ministry of Health, hospitals and councils, that are now conducting their business in a way that is inclined to some criminal conduct; which is why I have directed the question to the Minister of Home Affairs.

        Therefore my question is, is it Government policy that the debt collectors that are engaged willy-nilly without an Act of Parliament will always put a 10% on top of the figure that is owed if that money has not been paid on the date of collection.  If so, what is it that he is able to do to stop that wanton disregard of law?

      THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON.

MADIRO): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  First of all, anything that is done illegally, the laws are there to follow criminals but the question that the Hon. Member has asked really deals with the Ministry of Justice.

   HON. SIKHALA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the question asked by the

Hon. Member was once asked in this House and the Minister of Local Government, National Housing and Public Works, Hon. July Moyo brought a Ministerial  statement here.  There is also a running high court judgment that has prohibited the operations of debt collectors, either by councils or to be hired by any institution of the State as this is ultra vires the Constitution of our country. If these debt collectors are still existing in our local authorities and also in our hospitals masquerading as legal practitioners, what enforcement mechanisms have you put in place since the High Court has already made a ruling and Minister Moyo has already given us a statement here so that these debt collectors will not be seen anywhere near service delivery?  We want protection mechanisms which you as the Government have put in place to protect the consumers.

   HON. MADIRO: Indeed once a law has been broken, the law will

take its course.  Like I have said earlier on, I have taken note of the question from the Hon. Member.  We will look into it and follow things up and see what is taking place.

        HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise to have this House record that on Monday, I received a message from Adam Shent, who sent me a message and said, “Can you please call, regards” and   I did not and I said, “who are you sir?” He said, “I am Sekesai Nzenza’s husband who you have been defaming”. He then went on to say that,

“you are such a blow hard.  Sure, Sekesai is my wife but I support her 100%. The fact that you even mentioned bedroom issues shows what a cheap sexist dog you are, who feels mortally threatened by a strong independent good looking woman.

        I am saying this so that it is recorded that I am under threat by her husband and I have this on WhatsApp.  He called me a sexist dog and I have it here as evidence.  I want to know what action Parliament will take because we are discharging our duties as Members of Parliament and we are being threatened – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-  I want to know the course of action Parliament will take.

   THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa. I

have noted your point of privilege, it will be looked into – [HON.

MLISWA: Inaudible interjections.] -

        HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question goes to the Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.   Your Ministry has sent circulars to local authorities, instructing local authorities to delegate their powers of allocating land, procurement powers to management of councils under the guise that it is going to speed up the ease of doing business.  Is that circular not equivalent to usurping the powers that are vested in elected councillors by both the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act?

     THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC

WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  The question that he has stated is very critical to corporate governance, both in the Procurement Act better known as PRAZ and in the Finance Management Act, that is what is captured where Government is trying to separate at national level what we as ministers ought to do and what the officials, headed by the Permanent Secretaries ought to do.  When that was cascaded to local authorities, one has to separate what the elected councillors have to do and what their appointed permanent staff has to do, headed by the Town Clerk.  In the rural district council areas, that will be headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the RDC.

        So essentially, what they are saying is that the policy setting by the collective wisdom of the council of elected councillors will be taken on board.  When you operationalise and now are allocating, that will be done by the people who are professionally hired by the councillors.  So we cannot be usurping power from the council.  We only want to make corporate governance work better and that is the intention of the

Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) Act as well as the Public Finance and Management Act.  The circular is just to make sure that it takes place in all the councils throughout the country.  I thank you.

        HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, in terms of both the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Council Act, powers to allocate land and allocate procurement of services is vested into elected councillors because they are the people who have the direct mandate of the citizens to run the resources of the citizens within that local authority.

        My question that I had initially asked is, how do you take away those powers that are vested by an Act of Parliament to technocrats?  Is that not as good as violating a law that was set by Parliament?

        HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, sequentially, the Rural District Councils Act and the Urban Councils Act came before the PRAZ Act as well as the Public Finance and Management Acts and when Parliament passes a later version of an Act which is in contradiction with an earlier Act – the last one takes precedence.  I think that you can understand that and that is what has happened.  We have not amended it but if you have a later Act that contradicts an earlier Act passed by this Parliament, that which was there before is superseded.  That is what has happened.   We have just made a point of ensuring that we explain it so that there is no ambiguity – he can tell you.

             HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  I have a request to make Hon. Speaker

because this is a very important matter.  As citizens, we elect people into offices, we do not appoint the management of councils but we elect councillors and vest our trust that they will run our resources in them and because we have a direct control as citizens over those councillors to an extent that if they do not act in the manner that we want - we take away our mandate that we would given them.

I do not want to agree with the Hon. Minister when he says, ‘If we pass a new law then it automatically supersedes’, unless if that law states so specifically.  So, it is my view Hon. Speaker, that this matter is an important matter.  I want to request that the Hon. Minister comes to present a Ministerial Statement because what we are seeing is a scenario where the Executive wants to take away the powers of the citizens in terms of management of their resources and put them into managers who are actually appointed by the Executive.  They are not appointed by councillors – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – They are appointed by the Executive.

Now, the Hon. Minister wants to promote a scenario where his direct appointees are the ones who are going to allocate land and tenders for any procurement that is taking place in local authorities.  So I believe Hon. Speaker that we need to deliberate on this issue at length and therefore, I request that the Hon. Minister informs this House as to when he is going to present a Ministerial Statement so that we can engage over that issue.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I am only stating what is in law and I cannot come and make a Ministerial Statement on what is in law.  The fact of the matter is, we have not taken away the powers of the council.  I said that council is made up of elected people and those who they appoint and are not appointed by me.  I have never appointed a Chief Executive Officer of a council or a Town Clerk – the processes required to appoint them are very clear and captured in law.

Oversight just like us as ministers, I do not sit on allocation of land neither do I sit in terms of procurement but the question is, I still have  oversight.  Councillors have oversight over everything that is done by their own officers and that remains the law.  The law was not made by me.  I can only implement it.  So I cannot be presenting a statement on an issue that I know is in law.  I thank you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Point of clarification Hon. Speaker!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Order,

order, but that is the last one Hon. Sibanda.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Yes, this is the last one.  Hon. Speaker, can I give you the background that brings me to ask this question?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I thought you said that you

wanted a point of clarification?

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Yes, it is a point of clarification Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Speaker, I want to give you a situation that happened in one local authority.

An investor came into a local authority area and wanted to set up something there.  The Chief Executive Officer, acting in terms of that circular said that, ‘I cannot wait for a full council to approve the project.  I am going to approve it for purposes of ease of doing business,’ but without any approval from councillors.  Then he says, ‘No, I will only get condonation from councillors after the project had been approved’.  Meanwhile, citizens in that local authority area were complaining that they did not want that project and the only person that they can take their complaints to is a councillor.

So I strongly believe that it is important that the Hon. Minister, even if he wants to argue that it is a provision of law; let him come before this House and we will also bring the necessary statutes and enquire into whether that conduct which the Hon. Minister has done is proper or not.  So the Hon. Minister cannot say that ‘I do not want to come and present a Ministerial Statement’, because he thinks that is what the law says, but that is not what we are saying and that is not how we view it.  We are saying that the only way that we can settle that Hon.

Speaker is for the Hon. Minister to come before Parliament and submit a

Ministerial Statement.  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear]

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, for fear of repeating myself,   the law is very clear. – [HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Which law?  Which Section?] -  The PRAZ Act, the Public Finance Management but why should I go down into sections now?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order Hon. Sibanda,

you wanted a point of clarification.  Can you give the Hon. Minister the opportunity to answer?

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, the Act is very clear.  Secondly, if he has specific issues that he feels are not done procedurally then he should be giving me facts and say, this is what I believe was not done procedurally.  Then I can answer.

When we come here, we answer policy issues and the number one policy of any Government is captured in law – that is what we have to follow.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order Hon. Speaker!

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Sibanda,

with all due respect.  The Hon. Minister said that if you have got a specific question - [HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  It is not a specific question

Hon. Speaker but a general question!] –

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, that circular was issued …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No Hon. Sibanda, with all due

respect you need to understand what the Minister said.  The Minister said, if you have got a specific concern then you need to write to him so much that he can answer you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  It is not a specific question Hon. Speaker, it is a general question.  There is a circular which his Ministry sent to all local authorities and I am saying if the Hon. Minister does not want to come and give us a Ministerial Statement, at least he should have the courtesy to give us the section – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – You know he should have the courtesy to give us the sections of those laws that he is citing.  You cannot simply say the Public Finance Management Act.  That is why we wanted you to come and give us a Ministerial Statement whilst you are holding the Act.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sibanda, you need to

address the Chair and not the Minister.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Hon. Speaker, what I am simply saying is this…

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I have understood and I

believe the Minister has actually understood you very well.  Hon.

Minister, could you approach the Chair please.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  We want specific sections.  If he cannot come for a Ministerial Statement, let him give us specific sections.  He is simply hiding behind the law – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible

interjections.] –

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker, I will be able to come and furnish the Hon. Sibanda.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  No, the House – [HON. MEMBERS:

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, the Minister is

addressing me and not you.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  It is not about me, it is about the House.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Yes, it is understood, that is okay.

HON. J. MOYO:  I will be able to furnish the House and Hon.

Sibanda with the sections that are captured in the Public Finance and Management Act as well as the PRAZ Act very clearly which state exactly what I have said.

HON. MUSANHI:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  Hon. Minister, there are rumours going around – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – There are allegations going around that your Command Agriculture has swindled over $3 billion.  Can you please clarify on that issue so that this House can understand what is happening?

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR

CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Allow me to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  There is no $3 billion which was swindled or missing.  It is unfortunate that when the matter was raised by the appropriate Parliamentary Committee, my staff failed to avail correct responses or factual responses around – [HON.

MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – I am here to respond.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Give the Minister a chance to

answer the question.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  The money in

question was correctly spent by Government.  These are monies which were used to buy grain from the farmers.  Whenever farmers sell grain to GMB such as maize, wheat, soya or whatever it might be, they are paid by GMB and GMB gets money from Treasury for the procurement of the grain.  Some of the money is money which was used to pay for the Presidential Input Scheme.  Some of the money was used to pay for utilities such as electricity and others.  When all these monies are added together, they add up to the $3 billion.

According to the proper financial treatment, whenever such expenditure has been incurred it has to reflect on the budgets of the Ministry and the Ministry was advised of such expenditure well after the end of the financial year.  So the end of the financial year, the expenditure did not reflect on the Ministry’s budget because the Procurement Authority was not resident in the Ministry.  The papers have since been availed to the Ministry and this is expenditure which was incurred by GMB and by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe. For the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, it was for the Cotton Input Scheme hence, there is no money which cannot be accounted for, Mr. Speaker

Sir.  Thank you.

HON. MAMOMBE:  My supplementary question to the Hon.

Minister is, you have talked about the huge investment that the

Government has done in Command Agriculture.  Hon. Speaker, the crisis that we are facing today of shortage of bread is because of the wheat wheat they invested in.  So, we would want to understand from the Minister where is that money, where is the Command Wheat that they were investing in?  The Hon. Minster should explain to this House why we are experiencing this shortage of bread which is leading to the stone age bakeries we are having.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Through Command Agriculture, we did not say we were going to address the shortages in terms of grain overnight.  This is a process and it involves capacity building.  It is well known we have got quite a number of water bodies in the country, but our challenge lies in the absence of – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hence, all land which can potentially be irrigated is not currently being irrigated due to unavailability of irrigation equipment.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, can you lower

your voices please.

*HON. DINAR: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are some Hon. Members who are uttering bad words in this House.  These are elderly people who we are supposed to be looking up to here.  They are using defamatory language.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  I did not hear.  There is

nothing I can do on that one, it is overruled.  I did not hear anything, so there is nothing for me to rule on – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Minister, can you resume your debate.

HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you Mr.

Speaker Sir.  Production of wheat is a matter of availability of land, water and inputs.  Whilst we have the land, and inputs can easily be made available but we are still lagging behind in terms of irrigation facilities.  We are busy developing the water conveyancing system so that we can irrigate all the potentially irrigable land, hence we only produce quantities of wheat which are commensurate with the land which can be irrigated at one point in time.  As we increase the under irrigation, obviously we will be able to increase the yields or the amount of wheat we produce in any given year.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  With all due respect, I am pleading with your office so that the Hon. Minister would come to this House and give a full ministerial statement explaining clearly with regard to how this issue of the $3 billion came to everything so that he will not just present as he has just done.  With all facts and details to the House, we interrogate with questions freshly and openly with all the grace.  I am very sure the Hon. Minister has no one to protect in all circumstances.

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank

you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I am not protecting anyone.  I am stating facts as they are.  I seem not to appreciate the need to come and issue a ministerial statement given that I am able to give the required facts here.  I have highlighted that the money in question was used for the cotton input scheme, for the Presidential Input Scheme and for the importation of grain – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Members having stood up.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No more points of order.  May you resume your seats Hon. Members. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –  -[HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:

Ndakumbovatuka mbijana.]-

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Mr.

Speaker Sir, I am not addressing baboons and monkeys.  I am addressing people who are supposed to listen when I am responding.  If they want me to respond and they want an answer, they have to give me a chance to respond.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: 

Inaudible interjections.] –

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No more points of order.  Hon. Members, may you resume your seats. – [HON. MEMBERS:  No, no.] – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. MAMOMBE:  Mr. Speaker, I am the one who asked the question.  The Hon. Minister cannot refer to us as baboons and monkeys.  We need sufficient answers Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, you need to protect us Sir. – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –  [HON. MEMBERS:  Mr. Speaker, there are no monkeys] -We are not going to allow that kind of language in this House.  He has to withdraw.  

MDC Hon. Members sang a song – Intho oyenzayo siyayizonda, whilst ZANU PF Hon. Members chanted – E. D. pfeee, E. D. pfeee.

MDC Hon. Members shouted - Chamisa, Chamisa and sang a song

Ndezve change, Nero, ndezve change Nero.

Hon. Members having continuously behaved disorderly, the Temporary Speaker abruptly adjourned the House at Twenty-Six

Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

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