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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 6 APRIL 2022 VOL 48 NO 36
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 6th April, 2022
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, before we begin our proceedings, I did indicate yesterday that we cannot wear attire that is indicative of our parliamentary affiliation. I suffered some yesterday because we were on a knife edge and wanted to swear in the Hon. Members. I respected that instead of dismissing them. We proceeded accordingly and at the end of the ceremony, I made an announcement and a few of the Members have decided not to abide by my ruling. So I am requesting the Hon. Members to go and change their ties – [Hon. Zwizwai and another Hon. Member having stood up on a point of order] – I have not recognised you, so can you sit down.
HON. ZWIZWAI: Why are you wearing red?
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down.
HON. ZWIZWAI: I will sit down but I am just asking – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please sit down.
HON. BITI: Hon. Speaker, on a point of privilege.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down! - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order! I had not finished. You can make your case soberly. You do not have to shout at the Chair - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! A few months ago, an Hon. Member brought in a scarf and I - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! Hon. Chibaya, can you allow the Chair to speak. Thank you. I said I had made a ruling concerning the scarf and it was being worn by Hon. Musabayana and I ruled that it must be removed from the House. So the yellow and that scarf – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
HON. BITI: On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, can you approach the Chair.
HON. BITI: Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Zwizwai, I am still speaking to Hon. Biti.
HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Speaker, on a point of privilege. The current Standing Orders of Parliament - the Ninth Edition have no section that deals...
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you be connected?
HON. BITI: I believe I am connected Hon. Speaker Sir. Mr. Chokuda, can I make my submission please Sir. Thank you very much.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Biti, if you can be brief please.
HON. BITI: Yes, I will be brief. On a point of privilege Hon. Speaker, Sir. The current Standing Orders of Parliament, the Ninth Edition, do not have a provision that was in the old Standing Orders that dealt with the decorum and presentation of a Member of Parliament as he or she appears in the Chamber or in a Committee, but we assume that old rule is carried over, consistent with parliamentary practice which as you know is still part of our law by virtue of Section 4 of the Privileges of Parliament Act. Therefore, a Member of Parliament must dress with dignity and with decorum.
The issue of a neck tie is one of the implicit requirements but there is no colour ascribed to a neck tie. So an ordinary Member has got a constitutional right to put on a neck tie of his or her own choice, which is why in this august House, as I speak to you, there are different neck ties. Some have got red, some have green, some blue and some yellow. It is their constitutional right. The only test Hon. Speaker Sir, of how a Member dresses is decorum. Is he dressed sufficiently such that he does not bring Parliament into disrepute? Those of us who have chosen to put on yellow neck ties are in fact enhancing the dignity of Parliament because we are smartly dressed. We are not putting on t-shirts, we are not putting on partly regalia. So I submit Mr. Speaker Sir, that you cannot make a ruling that determines the colour of what a Member owns. You do not have that power, with great respect Sir. I thank you very much.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order! You make your point from a position of sobriety and you lose nothing, alright. I have been checking here on the provisions of the Standing Rules and Orders and taking into account what Hon. Biti has raised. I shall rule as follows: That there be a combined meeting of representatives from the Government side led by the Leader of Government Business, the Chief Whip and one other. From this side, we get another three so that at the end of the session, we look closely at the Standing Orders and if we cannot come up with a resolution, I shall rely on the advice of that Committee on whether the matter should proceed to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders for final arbitration – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think this Parliament is made up of a number of political parties and an Independent. For many times, you seem to ignore the composition of this Parliament…
THE HON. SPEAKER: I get your point and you may not go further. You can join that group – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. T. MLISWA: Let me thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for going back to the Standing Orders. I was praying that I hope the Speaker …
Hon. Togarepi having stood up.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Chief Whip, if another Hon. Member is holding the floor, you take your seat.
HON. T. MLISWA: I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for going back to the Standing Orders of this august House, which determine how this House should be run. I am glad that we have a leader who is able to get us back to what gives us the direction through what was agreed by this august House. I want to thank you for the humility. I am hoping that the Standing Orders will guide us in whatever we are going to do all the time. Thank you very much for such leadership. It is very magnanimous of you to do that.
HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that we are going to have this Committee. We should be also guided by the Standing Rules that the ratios of that Committee should reflect that ZANU PF is the majority – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Order! I get your point – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible Interjection.] – Hon. Zwizwai, do not test my patients please. In terms of the composition of our Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, we will respect the principle of proportionality. It is there in our Standing Orders. The Chief Whip is correct – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, we can add another two.
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received non-adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill, [H.B. 5A, 2020] and the Child Justice Bill, [H.B.11, 2021].
CONNECTIVITY TO THE PARLIAMENT NETWORK AND VIRTUAL PLATFORM
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to advise all new Hon. Members to approach the ICT desk stationed at the Members Dining Hall for purposes of connectivity to the Parliament network and virtual plenary. In the same context, someone did indicate that we are new and we do not have tablets. No tablets were withdrawn from any Member who had been absent otherwise.
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received the following list of Members from the Executive who have applied for leave of absence:
Hon. C.D.G.N Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Welfare;
Hon. Prof. P. Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare;
Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services;
Hon. O.C.Z Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans;
Hon. D. Karoro, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development;
Hon. P. Kambamura, Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development;
Hon. V. Haritatos, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development;
Hon. Dr. F.M. Shava; Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;
Hon. W. Chitando, Minister of Mines and Mining Development;
Hon. Machingura, Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; and
Hon. Dr. S.Kanhutu-Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce.
The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs having given notice to present reports on various Commissions.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, the reports will be distributed in soft copy. Hon. Minister, I need to congratulate you, the Commissions are now up to date in terms of tendering their annual reports to Parliament.
ORAL ANWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Hon. Mathe having put on a scarf of the flag of Zimbabwe. - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! I have ruled already on that scarf.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare. Since he is not present today, his deputy is here. My question is, looking at the atmosphere, it is dry and people did not harvest anything. We want to hear from the Minister whether there are any measures in place to curb or avoid starvation and hunger since people did not harvest at all? People are now suffering the effects of the drought since they did not harvest at all.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Members must pay attention to proceedings. This question was asked and I think those who were in this House can confirm. She is the very same person who asked the question and we come back here and we talk about it. We must pay attention to these proceedings. It is important that you listen and have the capacity to comprehend information because it is really a waste of time to be told the same question all the time. Hon. Matuke answered this question and even referred to the Minister of Agriculture coming in with what was going to be produced. Hon. Matuke is very honest, he can confirm.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, can you refresh our memory, if this question was asked of your Ministry?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Hon. Speaker. The question is already on the written notices and we are going to respond as we proceed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much. So Hon. Mathe, the same question has been asked under written questions, so the Hon. Minister will answer accordingly.
+HON. M. NKOMO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development. Is the Minister aware of power lines that have fallen down all over the country? What measures are being taken to repair them?
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. We are aware that there are some power lines that have fallen down, especially as a result of the rains and the effects of the cyclones that we experienced. The policy of Government is to bring back those power lines. At the moment, we are seized with the procurement of the equipment to bring back the power lines. One of our challenges is on the procurement of wooden poles. Our suppliers prefer the external market which is paying them in foreign currency. We are in the process of negotiations with the suppliers so that we offset the bills for electricity which they are supposed to pay in foreign currency with the poles that we require to bring back most of the power lines that have been pulled down by the effects of cyclones and other disturbances. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
Hon. Members having risen on points of clarification, instead of supplementary questions.
THE HON. SPEAKER: This is not a Ministerial Statement. You have forgotten.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Unfortunately Mr. Speaker Sir, I am still to receive the gadget in order for me to get connected. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that he never gave us a timeframe. He just promised to say that they are currently seized with the situation in order for them to procure the poles. People are being affected and are dying. Can he give us a timeframe in order for this problem to be solved?
HON. SODA: Timelines would be difficult to give now, given that we are still assessing and scoping the work that has to be done and also determining the amount of the poles that would be required, including the other materials that would be required to put back the power lines. That would be operational. In terms of policy, it is Government’s policy to bring back those power lines. We are very much aware that the poles have to be put back and the supplies have to be restored. It is the intention of Government to give service to its people, including those that are in rural areas. We are very much aware and we intend to give back or restore the power supply to them. We know there are some clinics, hospitals and schools that require power supply.
If the Hon. Member would accept, I will bring a statement after consulting with the power utility as to when the power lines can be restored, but that would then require specific areas to be included in that statement.
THE HON SPEAKER: I cannot allow a supplementary question because the Hon Minister has promised a Ministerial Statement which would be very comprehensive and in that statement, he should be able to give the timelines accordingly – [AN HON MEMBER having stood up] – Sit down please! Can you sit down Hon. Member? Wait for the Ministerial Statement - you will be able to roast the Hon. Minister.
HON. HAMAUSWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. Is it now Government policy to roll out a nationally important programme without adequate resources? I am making reference to the second blitz on voter registration which has been rolled out before issuance of national identity cards and those teams that are giving out identity cards do not have adequate equipment. Therefore, the second blitz becomes a waste of resources if it is being rolled out before the issuance of national identity cards which should be the pre-requirements for one to register as a voter. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI): Yes that is a programme which has started but it does not mean that we can stop that programme because we have limited resources. We are busy and we have started. Once we get whatever we think is missing, we are going to do what is required. I thank you.
HON. ZWIZWAI: My question to the Deputy Minister is as follows: as you do the blitz for the national identity cards, what is the Ministry’s policy in respect of those people in Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces whose parents were killed during Gukurahundi time who do not have birth certificates and who do not have people who can testify that they were children, to access birth certificates and also to access food aid from Government because they are not registered as voters and citizens of this nation? What is your policy in respect of that Gukurahundi fiasco?
HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: We are not looking at Gukurahundi business but we are saying every citizen has the right to be given all the documents which are needed. When we talk of giving out the hand-outs, I do not think that we are looking at those who have not registered. This is why we have kraal heads and headmen, we have chiefs, so those are being catered for. When we talk of registration, we do I.Ds and ZEC does voter registration.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, Hon Chikwinya and Hon. Chibaya, the two of you, can you allow the Hon Minister to respond. If you have a supplementary question, then you can ask. That is the procedure.
HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: I just wanted to correct the Hon Member because when he was asking his question, he mentioned voter registration. I am not talking about voter registration but the I.Ds. Those are going to be given. We have already started but I do not have a timeline as to when it will be completely done.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. I think she is correct in terms of Home Affairs and I think that question should go to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs where ZEC is involved in terms of voter registration. I think it is in two parts, the I.Ds and voter registration. Voter registration is under ZEC, so it must be a two pronged question. If it is to do with I.Ds, then the question must be directed to her. The blitz was on voter registration which lies within the Ministry of Justice. Voter registration has nothing to do with Home Affairs. The Hon. Member can ask a different question pertaining to I.Ds.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa for separating the two issues. Can we ask supplementary questions based on I.Ds for Home Affairs?
HON. ZWIZWAI: Thank you very much. I will indulge myself to ask the question in Shona so that the Minister can understand me.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Members. Hon Zwizwai, you are imputing the ignorance of the Minister. You ask in English.
HON. ZWIZWAI: My question in respect to the national I.Ds is such that we have a shrinking voters’ roll in Matebeleland and a shrinking feeding basket because the people do not have I.Ds.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, please ask your question on I.Ds.
HON. ZWIZWAI: Yes, because for one to be registered as a beneficiary of food aid, they should have an I.D and in Matebeleland, they do not have them because of gukurahundi. What is the Minister doing about that Matebeleland gukurahundi fiasco so that people can access food and we do not have a delimitation which will be affected because of this I.Ds issue? The constituencies in Matebeleland will end up being moved to Mashonaland when we go through the delimitation process because of lack of I.Ds due to gukurahundi.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you clarify your supplementary question.
HON. ZWIZWAI: Mr Speaker Sir, the starting point of voter registration is I.Ds. Those are primary documents and people are being eaten by crocodiles crossing the Limpopo because they do not have primary documents because of gukurahundi. That is my primary question and you understand it better because you come from Matebeleland and you are also a victim of the gukurahundi order.
HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: I think I mentioned that we have started issuing out the documents. The mobile exercise was started on the first of April and as Ministry of Home Affairs, we have not had any problems at all concerning those documents. If we have any problems, we are going to address them as they come.
THE HON SPEAKER: Hon. Chibaya and the Hon there, you do not stand up when the Hon. Minister is still responding. Be patient. Hon. Minister, please wind up your response.
HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The job on the ground is being done perfectly. We are supervising whatever is happening and if there are any problems, we will face and address them as they come. Now on condition of those who are eaten by crocodiles, I do not know whether you are not supposed to be eaten because you have an I.D – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – Let us not mix issues here. If we are talking of I.Ds, we are in control right now. Thank you very much.
HON. P.D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, talking of birth, the process and procedures of taking birth certificates and national identity documents involves certain requirements and these include proof of parentage. Therefore, there is a certain specific population in this country whose parentage was affected by an event called Gukurahundi. What special measures has the Ministry put in place in this blitz to ensure that those people are catered for because their situation is different from the rest of other citizens? I thank you.
HON. MAVHUNGA-MABOYI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Everything has been put in place, there is a waiver for those who are staying in rural areas, we have the sabhukus, we have headmen, we have chiefs, they are going to write letters in order that these issues be addressed. In town, I cannot answer now as the matter has not yet been finalised but I will check. In rural areas, we have done that and this is working very well – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of Government business would like to answer.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. His Excellency went to Tsholotsho some time, he sent the Minister of Local Government to the Sun Community and they faced more or less the same problems. After that, a discussion was done in Cabinet and His Excellency directed that everyone without a national identity document must be given one. So there is no problem, everyone, you can take anyone to the Registrar-General’s Office and give them the surname Biti, Biti, Biti, it is now allowed, the President has allowed it [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you sit down please we have exhausted supplementary questions and if you have further information you may want, you may put the question in writing and then a detailed explanation will be given.
HON. D. P. SIBANDA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir? I am the one who asked the question.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order please, I have ruled already.
*(v) HON. KWARAMBA: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. I want to know how far we have gone with the Marriages Bill? I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker and I thank Hon. Kwaramba for her question. This Bill is under consideration to see if all what we have contributed has been effected. When they finish, the Bill will be sent to His Excellency the President for Presidential assent. What I have heard is that this process is about to be completed and we will be looking forward for this Bill to be sent to His Excellency the President for assent.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is, the COVID-19 regulations have been relaxed as a result of vaccination. In some schools, there are children who belong to the Apostolic Faith sect who are refusing to be vaccinated. What is Government going to do about that?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and I thank the Hon. Member for the question. The issue of vaccination is a health issue. However, as education, since the population that has been included in the vaccination exercise also concerns schools, we are having a blitz where we are encouraging parents to allow their children who are below the age of consent, the current age group that has been included to allow these children to be vaccinated. The question of the churches is also included in the advocacy that is going around educating people so that they will indicate to them the importance of vaccination. So, we may not per se force them to get vaccinated but we can only encourage them to do so and that is what is already happening. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: Hon. Speaker Sir, the Minister alluded to the fact that it is optional in a way, so what is the point of vaccinating everyone if you are giving people a right to say yes or no because of religion at the end of the day? Does that not endanger others?
HON. E. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Yes, it does and hence the advocacy that we are doing. I am not a lawyer, I might not know the implications of forcing people to get vaccinated. I think the country has been very clear to say let us all get vaccinated so that we can protect ourselves and protect others that are close to us. The question is that all of us should do the advocacy so that everyone gets vaccinated. Perhaps those who are in the area of law could advise whether we have the powers to force them to get vaccinated or not? I am not very sure on that one. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of clarity. Minister, we have got our children who were vaccinated who are going to school and there are those who belong to religions who refuse to be vaccinated. The question is, what are you doing about it as a policy in Government, because Government has said children must be vaccinated? It is different if the time has not gotten to them resources permitting, but resources are there. They are refusing to be vaccinated and yet they want to go into class. Our children are vaccinated. Are they not a danger? The question is, should they go to school or not? What is the policy under that because others are being affected? They are being exposed as we speak. What is your policy on children who refuse to be vaccinated because they belong to a certain religion?
THE HON. SPEAKER: The Leader of Government Business would like to assist.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker, when we started vaccination, we said people from 18 years and above were going to be vaccinated. We have now moved to say from 12 onwards, you can be vaccinated and this decision was done two or three weeks ago. We have not reviewed and made a decision to say what is the impact of those that may not be inclined to be vaccinated? This is so that we can take a policy position as regards what he is saying. It is still in its infancy. We are still to receive a report on the uptake in terms of our learners. I thank you.
HON. BITI: My question is to the Leader of Government Business in the House in the absence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development who you did not excuse when you read out a list of apologies.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the cost of living is rising exponentially. The cost of basic commodities like cooking oil, bread, milk and rentals is rising. Equally, the consumer basket has now gone up. For a family of six, it is now in excess of $120 000. Only yesterday the official exchange rate was 145, but in shops…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, couch that in a question.
HON. BITI: My question to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, through the leader of the House is that with the cost of living rising exponentially, with the exchange rate depreciating, the parallel market rate is now close to 300, what are you doing to the plight of civil servants, teachers, nurses, doctors, judges, magistrates, bus drivers, Speaker of Parliament, Clerk of Parliament, staff at Parliament, Members of Parliament who continue to have their salaries being eroded by the rambunctious inflation and the depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar? Why do you not just dollarise the salary of the Speaker, the Clerk, civil servants, teachers, doctors and nurses? I thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, there is no need to mention specific people. Just simply say the public, it is enough.
HON. BITI: But I was making a case for your salary too.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member. Mr. Speaker, it has become a perennial question asked by Hon. Biti every time he has been in this House. Having said that Mr. Speaker, we are not discontinuing the use of the Zimbabwean dollar. What we are alive to is that the fundamentals that have to support our dollar are there but because we have a situation in this country whereby we have sanctions and those sanctions directly attack our currency, we will continue with the policies that we are making to ensure that we strengthen our currency and review the salaries of our civil servants.
I am aware that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has been reviewing the salaries of our civil servants. He has given allowances in United States dollars to cushion but what we are doing is, we will continue with the use of our dollar. We will continue to soldier on despite the fact that those that are calling for the return of the United States dollar are the ones that made sure that we suffer so that they can scream on top of their voices. I thank you.
HON. BITI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The question to the Hon. Minister is, what effective measures are you taking to ensure that the civil servant is decently rewarded in view of the high cost – [HON. TOGAREPI: Ndiwe wakaisa masanctions acho.] – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – My question to the distinguished and esteemed Minister is, what measures are you taking to effectively cushion the worker, the civil servant against the falling exchange rate and the cost of living that is rising exponentially–[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can we allow the Hon. Minister to respond – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order! Hon. Biti, do you want your question to be answered? Withdraw!
HON. BITI: I withdraw Hon. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Hon. Speaker, the effect of sanctions is to ensure that the people suffer. If you take for instance any country and you compare it with Zimbabwe in terms of ease of transacting with the whole world, if you do a business transaction in Zimbabwe, for example you send money to China and somebody in Zambia sends to the same company, money from Zimbabwe will take a week or two and from Zambia it takes two days. The net effect of that is, our economy will be in slow mode because of the sanctions and the growth of our economy is different from any other country. Our ability to pay will now be retarded because of our failure to have a throughput that is fast. My call to him is, if you want us to pay decent salaries, let us have a level playing field whereby we can trade equally with anyone and our economy will be able to pay all our civil servants comparable to anyone in the world. Thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: I have a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, my point of order is, first of all, I think the Government Chief Whip must show maturity and behave appropriately in respect of his office. Kana murume mukuru akutema matombo, vana vadiki vanotanga kutemawo matombo. It requires him to be calm, composed and not to make the task very difficult. Secondly Mr. Speaker Sir, the President in the Second Republic said that Zimbabwe was open for business. I am sure the aspect of sanctions was factored in. We talk about a $12 billion economy in terms of the mining sector, withstanding sanctions. If we go back on sanctions, I do not think we will make progress at the end of the day. The truth of the matter is that, Notwithstanding sanctions, we have come up with a roadmap which should make sure that there is transformation.
The President, at no point has he even spoken about sanctions. He has continued to advocate for transformation through our resources that we have, resource mobilisation. The question here is pertinent in saying that Vision 2030 is also premised outside sanctions. So, I do not see the Vision 2030 where the President says with sanctions – no he leaves them out knowing very well they are a hindrance. The hindrance has not stopped us from breathing. Ministers must respond to simple questions and not take them to a different level because we sit here Mr. Speaker Sir and I think ZANU PF which is the ruling party is well-equipped to deal with this. No wonder why the President appointed a competent Minister of Finance. We see his competence at some point. People are suffering and that is true. If you bring in the aspect of sanctions, we are contradicting ourselves.
The Leader of Government Business said the civil servants were paid in Zimbabwe dollar and they were paid in US dollar and that is a contradiction. We are pushing for the Zimbabwe dollar but we are paying the US dollar. Is that not an admission that the US dollar is supreme? When we talk about pushing the Zimbabwe dollar agenda, why are we paying our civil servants in US dollars? Why can you not pay in Zimbabwe dollars consistently? Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: I thought the point of order raised by Hon. Mliswa did clear issues accordingly. Notwithstanding the sanctions, transformation is taking place. That is what he said. The Hon. Minister says there is light at the end of the tunnel.
HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Leader of Government Business is that just recently, a Monetary Statement was put out by the Hon. Minister for Finance. In that, he basically liberated almost every company to use the US dollar. If we are paying our civil servants and our pensioners in the Zimbabwean dollar, what is Government policy in terms of controlling the fiscus and the money that is going to be given to our civil servants? Basically, you are saying on one hand, all the other companies and entities can now charge their businesses in US dollars yet you continue to pay everyone else in Zimbabwean dollar. The pensioners who are the people struggling in this country are also being paid in Zimbabwean dollars. What is your policy in terms of alleviating and reviewing the terms of payment to our civil servants so that you can liberate to say the Government can now pay their salaries in US dollars? Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am sure when the Hon. Member receives his first pay slip, he will notice that there is a US dollar component there. So, it is not correct to say our civil servants are receiving their salaries only in Zimbabwe dollar. We are giving a component in US dollar and another one in Zimbabwe dollar. We are mindful that because of our situation, our currency is the easiest target, hence we decided deliberately as a policy to pay a certain component. I am aware that there are negotiations that are going on in terms of ensuring that we come up with an agreement on a salary structure that will be given. We have already acknowledged that because our currency is under attack, we are giving a certain component as US dollars. Thank you.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. The issue of cost of living affects both workers in the public sector and private sector. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is …
THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you be connected please.
HON. CHIBAYA: Hon. Speaker, the issue of cost of living is affecting employees in the public and private sectors. Why is it that the Government is not revisiting the issue of minimum wage in line with the poverty datum line. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of a policy shift where we no longer have a minimum wage. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! You were the fourth, Hon. Member to ask the question.
An Hon. Member having raised a point of order – [HON. MEMBERS: Point of order yei Speaker vachitaura.]
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Chibaya you will ask your question next time. – [Laughter]-
(v)+HON. E. NYATHI: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. What is the policy of Government when increasing university tuition fees?
+THE HON. SPEAKER: Yesterday we requested that the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education brings a statement before the House so that he can present on this question. So we are not going to dwell on that question.
HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Hon. July Moyo. It is nine years since the consummation of our Constitution but up to now, you have not enacted an enabling Act that enables to effect Provincial Councils, something that is espoused in Chapter 14 and Section 264 of the Constitution. Are you sure you are not in serious violation of the Constitution of the country?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking about the Provincial Councils and Administration Act, which is an enabling Act in terms of the Constitution. We are aware that we had submitted a Bill to this august House that Bill – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order please! Hon. Zwizwai.
HON. J. MOYO: I was explaining to the Hon. Member that Government has submitted a Bill on the implementation of the Constitutional provisions which are in Chapter 14, regarding the Provincial Councils and Administration Act. We then realised that there were necessary Constitutional amendments to be made. Those Constitutional amendments have now been passed, signed by the President and necessitate that we revise what we presented to this august House. We have now submitted those principles which have been accepted by Cabinet and they are now being drafted by the Attorney-General. It takes care of the deficiencies that were there in the amendment of the Constitution of 2013, especially regarding metropolitan councils which had excluded the election of the 10 members who are supposed to be proportional representatives, which was captured in the Provincial Councils Act but not captured in the Metropolitan Councils Act. Now, that has been corrected.
Furthermore, what we had submitted here which we are now amending because of the new Constitutional amendments were that all Members of Parliament were also members of provincial councils or members of metropolitan councils. That has been removed by Amendment Number two of last year 2021. So we have had to put an amendment which takes the new amendments that have been accepted, which are now part of our Constitution. There are consequential amendments that were occasioned by the amendment number two which we have now incorporated and I am sure we will be bringing this Bill to this House once all the drafting has been completed. I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Zwizwai, why are you behaving like that? Please, you have to behave honourably. No, I will send you out if you continue with that behaviour.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My supplementary question is how have you been appropriating and distributing public funds without an enabling piece of legislation? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! May the Hon. Minister be heard in silence.
HON. J. MOYO: Madam Speaker, the Constitution, regarding the devolution agenda that is captured in the Constitution of 2013 is in two Chapters. There is Chapter 14 of the Constitution which deals with all the political and administrative set up of the devolution institutions, both at provincial and local authority level. The financial provisions are in Chapter 17 and every time the Minister of Finance comes to this august House, he presents that this House adopts, which is debated and adopted and it is in that Chapter where he has been given the powers to finance devolution funds to provincial and local authorities.
The local authorities and provincial council are there, what has not been there is the metropolitan councils. The Provincial Councils and Administration Act is still not repealed and therefore it is still there. We can make amendments of that Act but it is an Act of Parliament which was passed here, which is called the Provincial Councils and Administration Act. We can amend it as we are doing to comply with the provisions of the Constitution and we are doing exactly that.
HON. T. MLISWA: The law does not work in anticipation because you are changing this law and you do not use it. You use the current law. The law requires you to talk about what is there before it is amended. The point here is, the provincial councils have been set up and Members of Parliament are members of the provincial council. Some are being paid. Why do you pay others and others you do not pay? You have not sworn anybody in. You are totally violating the Constitution. Hon Ziyambi will tell you that the law does not work in anticipation. The current law that we have which has not been changed is very clear that there must be an enabling Act which comes through.
You hate Members of Parliament with a passion and we understand that. It is the law that put them there. You cannot say these other members, you pay and other members you do not. When did you swear in those that you are paying Hon Minister? The question that you have got provincial councilors who are being paid were not sworn in. They are not sitting. You are creating the biggest violation of the Constitution ever.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, please, ask your question.
HON. T. MLISWA: My question is that he cannot continue to disburse money to pay other provincial members selectively without the Bill coming here. This is the very same section which got the late President Mugabe out of power – this devolution one. It is one of the reasons why he was removed from power because he was not constitutional. You are putting the President in trouble again. Being a lawyer, I hope he sees that. Hon Ziyambi, advise the President honestly. This is the biggest scam of looting funds. This Minister has been looting funds.
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. J. MOYO): I want to say and I want to repeat that Chapter 17 of the Constitution gives the Minister of Finance the right to finance those institutions which are there and the Minister of Finance in the Blue book which your Parliamentary Legal Committee has looked at, is giving provincial councils monies to local authorities. My job as Minister, once that allocation has been made, is to make sure that the monies are used properly. The law that we are using is the Provincial Councils Administration Act; the law we are using for the Rural District Councils is the Rural District Councils Act and the law we are using is the Urban Councils Act. That is what we are doing – [HON T. MLISWA: Arikuba mari mudhara uyu. Jeri rinorwadza wachembera.] - Madam Speaker, I need your protection – [HON MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon Members to my left side, please behave like Hon Members in Parliament. I will not allow you to continue that behaviour Hon. Members. Hon. Mliswa, you said this old man is stealing money, please withdraw that statement.
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I listen to you very much. There are so many old men in this House. Which old man?
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The one who was speaking.
HON. T. MLISWA: Does he not have a name? I know him as Sekuru July Moyo. Because I respect you, I withdraw what I said that the old man is stealing some funds.
HON. BITI: My supplementary question…
*HON. TOGAREPI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Hon. Biti is the one who caused sanctions here in Zimbabwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, order, Hon Members. Tell your Hon. Members to behave and listen.
HON BITI: My supplementary to the esteemed Minister of Local Government is that the distribution of devolution funds is done in terms of Chapter 17 and even in terms of Chapter 17, there must be an Act of Parliament which is regulated in Section 301. It says an Act of Parliament must provide for:
- the equitable allocation of capital grants between provincial and metropolitan councils and local authorities.
- Any other allocation in provinces and local authorities.
Therefore, two laws are required Madam Speaker. The first one is the law that regulates the budget distribution equitably amongst provinces. That law is not there. The second one is in Chapter 14. You are giving money to metropolitan councils which are created in Chapter 14 but there is no enabling Act creating and actualising them. How is this Minister allocating money to a board that has not been created, namely provincial and metropolitan councils? What formula do you use and most importantly, who is he giving the money to because provincial councils are not there? Where is the money going to?
HON. J. MOYO: Madam Speaker, I am very happy that the Hon. Member has cited Chapter 17. This Chapter 17 which the Minister of Finance brings to this august House ends up with an Act of Parliament passed by this House. It is within that Act of Parliament where I know for sure that there is a weighted equitable distribution of those funds. It is in the equitable distribution that the Ministry of Finance has provided, in consultation with me, is that poverty is given 50% weighting, infrastructure 40% and population is given 20% weighting. When he brings these in the Finance Act, that is what you should be asking and that is what Government is doing in order to make sure that we bring forward every person who is left behind, that we bring forward every place which is left behind. We give them a favourable response so that we can alleviate the poverty of people in those remote areas. No matter what shouting can be done, the Government is determined for the first time since this new dispensation, to give equitable distribution of monies to all parts of this country. If anybody has any information that they can prove, then they should bring it to the fore and not to shout about things which are done in order to alleviate the poverty of our people. I thank you.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister diligently articulated how he is going to bring the Bill here. So why are you bringing the Bill here when you are telling us what you are doing is right? I told you that you cannot bring a Bill here if you are doing the right thing. Minister, this august House must be known to have said no to the disbursement of devolution funds because certain things were not in place. The devolution money is being looted. Central Government is paying directly to companies instead of using a proper structure. Provincial councillors are responsible for monitoring and evaluating of that money. Who is monitoring those funds if the provincial councillors are not there? Minister, you are contradicting yourself. He is disbursing this money willy-nilly for him to benefit and he has been very inconsistent. The Minister must know that we are watching and he has been running away. Tsuro magen’a haaite totomubata chete tsuro wacho. Today we caught the hare. You are here today and until we conclude this issue, nothing is going to happen in this country. The President is being told corruption is there because it is being said we are not doing our oversight role. We are doing our oversight role and this Minister is failing to respond to issues of money which are of a corrupt nature. Jeri haridi makura kudai sekuru munevhudzi rewhite – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Hon. Zwizwai and Hon. Madzimure, order, please take your seats
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
ELECTRIFICATION OF HOUSES IN SPITZKOP NORTH
- HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when the electrification of the houses in Spitzkop North and some parts of Garikai in the town of Gwanda will be done, considering that these houses have gone without electricity power since 2004.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I give the response as follows: getting requisite materials has been the main challenge. Poles have been planted here and there, and we continue to source the other materials. This project and many others have also been included in phase (II) of the Gwanda Energy Group Corporation. So the issue is being attended to. I thank you.
ZESA’S STATE OF PREPAREDNESS TO ATTEND TO RAIN INDUCED FAULTS
- HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House on the state of preparedness of the power utility personnel to attend to rain induced faults which have seen most parts of Warren Park Constituency going for days without electricity.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. The utility is not fully prepared to handle rain induced and other faults due to the following reasons. Pole suppliers are failing to satisfy our orders and they prioritise external customers that pay in foreign currency. We are engaging the suppliers with a view to net off their ZESA foreign denominated bill with the foreign currency equivalent cost of the poles. The operatives do not have adequate vehicles to attend to the problems that at times depots where we have artisans will be having two vehicles only. We have gone to tender for supply of operational vehicles. We hope the winning bidders will be able to supply and that ZESA will make payments for delivery of the vehicles so that all these faults will be attended to. I thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is that I gave a specific question to Warren Park Constituency - from the response by the Minister, I did not hear the Minister speaking specifically about Warren Park Constituency where we are having residents going for even two weeks being affected by faults - I did not hear the Minister speaking specifically about the area that I have asked and also what the plans are to capacitate the utility to deal with those faults. May the Minister kindly explain how the Ministry intends to capacity the utility? Can the Minister also address the issues that are specific to Warren Park Constituency as is requested in the question?
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I think the response I gave is in respect to Warren Park specifically because the question is about Warren Park, I did not mention Warren Park in my response because I just started by responding to the question per se. The response covers Warren Park. I do not know what else he wants me to add here. The problems have been stated that the utility, they are having challenges, they do not have vehicles and there is a challenge of poles that they cannot pay for the poles at the moment because suppliers need foreign currency, so for Warren Park and any other places affected, the issue is about foreign currency to get the poles. I stated that we are coming up with arrangements where the suppliers said we will pay them with electricity in exchange for the poles so that the problems will be attended to. The other issue is on shortage of vehicles to attend to faults. I thank you.
HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker, the Minister referred to the issue of payment in foreign currency. If you go to Wayne Street right now, you will see people waiting outside waiving bundles of RTGS asking for those who would want to pay for electricity to come and buy the RTGS or to have their Ecocash credited with the equivalent. What is the Ministry doing to ensure that because it buys electricity in foreign currency, why can it not receive money in foreign currency?
Secondly Madam Speaker, it is known that we will always have rains in Zimbabwe and the Minister says the utility’s equipment or infrastructure is heavily affected by rains. Why can the Ministry not come up with a solution to a perennial problem? It knows we will always have rains in Zimbabwe, why can we not have the equipment that is capable of withstanding those effects of moisture?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): I will start by responding to the last part of the question. As for the perennial problems, I think we are on record that as ZESA Holdings, we are working flat out to come up with permanent solutions to all those problems. We have had problems in the past, we know the problems that recur come every rainy season and we are looking at ways to solve those problems permanently. Maybe by next year we will not continue to experience the same problems during the rainy season.
Coming to the first part of the Hon. Member’s question about the issue of foreign currency, yes ZESA has got a facility where those who want to pay in foreign currency can pay their bills in foreign currency. I do not know what is happening from what he is saying. I think that is happening outside the premises of ZESA where our security or our loss control officers are not observing that, but I would like to thank the Hon. Member for bringing that to our attention. We will, I think take action to rectify that. I thank you.
ZESA FAILING TO ATTEND TO FAULTS DUE TO SHORTAGE OF VEHICLES
- HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House whether there are any compelling reasons for ZESA not to attend to faults, considering that the issue of lack of availability of transport which had been an issue in the past has since been addressed through the provisions of vehicles by the President.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): On the contrary, the issue of transport is not yet fully addressed. Yes, the President has added his weight, making for the provision of vehicles but the utility is not yet fully resourced in terms of transport. We are still working hard to have more vehicles. I think I explained in the preceding question that we are working hard to purchase more vehicles for operations. I thank you.
(v)HON. M. M. MPOFU: Supplementary question Madam Speaker. I hear the Minister say that there is a shortage of vehicles but those vehicles that were supplied by the President are not being used by the operational staff. Those people in operations are asking for transport from customers to help them to attend to faults when the managers are using those cars. Why is it happening?
HON. MUDYIWA: I think those are administrative operational issues which we will have to go down to verify but once vehicles are purchased being specifically for operations, we make sure that they are distributed to operations and are given to those who do the operations. Whereas at every station there are managers, I do not know what really happens. If that is what is happening, I think we will get down to it and find out exactly what is happening.
HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, if I hear correctly what the Minister is saying, it appears she is saying they do not have problems with the spares, they do not have problems with the transformers but what they have a problem with is transport. So does the Minister infer that we can actually provide transport to ZESA and it can attend to the faults and also where a consumer buys for example cables, does the department provide for the compensation of the money that the consumers would have used to have their cables replaced?
HON. MUDYIWA: The issue of transport is high on our list. The vandalism of transformers and the theft of cables is also an issue. So these are all the problems that we have. I think it was an omission on my part by failing to mention that we do not have enough transformers but efforts are under way, we are receiving a number of transformers so that we attend to the faults and replace the transformers timeously, but the issue of transport is really affecting our operations. It is high on our priority list.
HON. MADZIMURE: The Minister did not attend to the last part of my question where I said, is there a policy where the consumers would have purchased a cable where it would have been stolen. Does the department provide for compensating the consumers because the cable will still remain part of ZESA equipment and in its books, it will reflect that it has those cables but in actual fact the consumer would have replaced that part? So how do you compensate the consumer who would have bought a cable that then belongs to ZESA?
HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Yes, there are cases where the consumer goes on to buy even transformers and cables to replace the ZESA cable that would have been vandalised. The policy is that the consumer will be compensated but the compensation is not in terms of cash as such since the item that has been replaced will become property of ZESA. ZESA will only compensate in terms of electricity units which are equivalent to the amount of the purchase of the item that has been replaced. There is no cash compensation per se because of the difficulties that the utility is going through in terms of their finances. The consumer is compensated but with electricity units. Thank you.
HON. HAMAUSWA: I have a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order Hon. Member?
HON. HAMAUSWA: I am a bit worried Madam Speaker Ma’am that when we ask specific questions, we expect that the Ministry would have done a thorough job in investigating what is actually happening on the ground. I want to refer you to the question that I have asked. It is painful that I am asking on behalf of the people of Warren Park. It is an important constituency to this country in the sense that we have the National Sports Stadium, the Heroes Acre and the Museum of African Liberators that is being set up. All those institutions are being affected by continuous faults. The response from the Minister did not adequately answer the specific programmes or responses that the Ministry is going to put in place to ensure that such an important area is adequately powered and there are no interruptions of power. There is an area which they call Ace of Spades, which always affects Cold Comfort, Warren Park D, Warren Park 1 and some parts of Belvedere. However, the Minister never explained about those situations. So it is really worrisome that I gave this question last year maybe before December and the Ministry did not come up with the answer. I am talking about the constituency carrying those important institutions l have mentioned, yet the Hon. Minister comes here and the questions are not adequately answered.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Hamauswa, on your question, it is written Warren Park and you did not mention those places that you are mentioning now. You should have mentioned the specific places.
HON. HAMAUSWA: Madam Speaker Ma’am, my constituency is called Warren Park.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Warren Park is big. I think you should have mentioned the places that are affected so that the technical team would have done some investigations. You can also talk to the Minister and she has noted that down.
EXPLANATION ON ZESA’S PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO MINERS
- HON. M. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to explain to the House the emerging trend where some miners who have money resort to paying for services rendered by fully employed ZESA employees, a situation that has led to them getting preference at the expense of essential Government institutions such as clinics, which are not getting due attention.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The policy is that ZESA employees must not directly benefit whenever they offer a service. All payments for services are expected to be receipted by ZESA. We however take note that due to the constraints faced by the utility, reaction to faults can be slow. In such cases, some clients do offer their own transport so that ZESA attends to their problem immediately. That does not mean that Government departments are sidelined. As soon as the station that attends to the area gets transport, they prioritise institutions like hospitals, clinics, schools, et cetera. The practice is whereby priority is given to those who pay ZESA employees is not the policy of the utility and the Ministry at large. Thank you.
TRANSFER OF THE WATER PLANT FROM ZINWA TO GWANDA MUNICIPALITY
HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House what is delaying the transfer of water plant from ZINWA to Gwanda Municipality despite promises in 2021 that this will be expeditiously done.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member may wish to know that discussions between ZINWA and Gwanda are ongoing and are at a very advanced stage in terms of the hand-over. The Minister of Local Government and Public Works and myself, two weeks ago met to review progress in the hand-over of this water plant. I am expecting that once the outstanding issues have been resolved, the water plant will be handed over to the municipality. For the benefit of the Hon. Member and my other colleagues, I have tabled the guidelines for hand-over of water and sanitation services infrastructure from ZINWA to local authorities so that they go through and they can share with the local authority and assist them to expedite the process because it is in the interest of the local authority to run the affairs. Thank you Madam Speaker.
These guidelines shall be used solely for the purpose of handover/takeover of water supply and sanitation infrastructure and operations and maintenance thereof, from ZINWA to Local Authorities, presided over by the ministries responsible for water and local Government.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) was established through an Act of Parliament [Chapter 20:25], of 2000, by the amalgamation of the then Department of Water Development (DWD) and the Regional Water Authority (RWA). ZINWA’s main role is to manage and develop water resources on a sound commercial basis. This development was underpinned by the commercialisation of functions of DWD and RWA, coupled with the transfer of assets and personnel to the new entity. Hitherto, the provision of water to the nation was the sole responsibility of the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ), through the DWD, while the RWA was a small entity which managed water use in the sugar estates of the Lowveld. The Government, over the years, has injected capital, through PSIP, for development of water supply infrastructure and the assets are now under ZINWA.
ZINWA is also mandated to provide potable water supply services to Local Authorities and Government Institutions that are not yet in a position to take on this responsibility. This is in line with one of ZINWA’s functions which stipulate that “the Authority shall encourage and assist local authorities in the discharge of their functions under the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] with regard to the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction and in particular, the provision of potable water and the disposal of wastewater.”
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement has a policy to handover water supply and sanitation services to local authorities when it is satisfied that the requesting local authority has the capacity to run and maintain the services.
APPLICATION FOR HANDOVER
The local authority wishing to take over the management of potable water supply services from ZINWA shall apply in writing to the Ministry responsible for water through the Ministry responsible for local government;
The Ministry responsible for water, if it finds merit in the application, shall direct ZINWA to initiate the process for assessment and provide recommendations through an assessment report for the Ministry to make a determination on the application. The determination shall be communicated by the Ministry responsible for water to all the affected parties.
GUIDELINES FOR ZINWA
ZINWA shall carry out an assessment, in consultation with the local authority and another approved stakeholder, on the preparedness of the local authority to take over the water supply operations. A report of the assessment shall be presented to the Ministry responsible for water for approval;
The infrastructure to be handed over specified;
Drawings of the specified infrastructure will be handed over;
ZINWA shall consult its stakeholders and regard their views about the handover process;
ZINWA will provide Operation and Maintenance Manuals;
ZINWA will transfer all staff working under the transferred undertakings;
ZINWA will agree with the local authority on transitional period;
ZINWA, as the water authority mandated by the Government of Zimbabwe to manage water resources, shall continue to provide, at an agreed fee, all forms of assistance, including technical assistance, personnel, advisory and training, information and other services to the Local Authority taking over the specified infrastructure.
GUIDELINES FOR THE LOCAL AUTHORITY
The local authority will need a staff complement specified in Annex A;
The local authority shall have a workshop with equipment specified in Annex B;
To meet logistical requirements, the local authority shall own or have access to vehicles specified in Annex C;
The local authority shall produce latest audited accounts showing a sound financial position prior to taking over (as per Public Accounts Management Act);
The local authority shall ring-fence the water account;
The local authority should demonstrate capacity to finance operations for three months;
The local authority shall have a licenced and operational billing system;
The local authority shall consult its stakeholders and regard their views about the takeover;
The local authority shall settle outstanding debts to ZINWA before handover.
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
A Memorandum of Agreement shall be signed between the respective parties detailing, amongst other items;
- Assets to be transferred;
- Acknowledgement of debts or deed of settlement;
- Water tariffs;
- Transfer of personnel.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority will continue to monitor the technical capacity of Local Authorities after handing over infrastructure in line with Part II, Section 5 (e) of the ZINWA Act [Chapter 20:25), which states one of the ZINWA’s functions as, “to encourage and assist local authorities in the discharge of their functions under the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] and the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15] with regard to the development and management of water resources in areas under their jurisdiction and in particular, the provision of potable water and the disposal of waste water.”
Local authority means a municipal council, town council or a town board declared to be a local authority;
ZINWA means the Zimbabwe National Water Authority established through the Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act [Chapter 20:25)
KEY RELEVANT DOCUMENTS
- Constitution of Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe National Water Authority Act [Chapter 20:254]
- Water Act [Chapter 20:24
- Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15]
- Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13]
- National Water Policy 2013
- Public Finance Management Act
Relevant Bachelor’s degree
5 years’ experience in water supply operations covering water treatment and distribution. Must be a member of the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe
Civil Engineering Technician
3 years’ experience in water supply operations covering water treatment and distribution. Must be a Member of the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe.
Quality Assurance Technician
3 years’ experience in water supply operations
5 years’ experience in installation and maintenance of pumps and ancillaries
5 years’ experience in installation and maintenance of motors and starters
Degree in Accounts or equivalent
At least 3 years relevant experience
Diploma in Accounts or equivalent
At least 1 year relevant experience
- Lathe machine;
- Pedestal Drill;
- Drying oven;
- At least 2 by 48 inch Stillson wrenches;
- At least 4 by 36 Inch Stillson wrenches;
- At least 2 by toolboxes complete;
- At least 2 by working benches with vices/clamps; and
- At least 2 tone and 5 tone chain blocks.
HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is Hon. Minister, may you kindly inform this House on the timelines as regards to the hand-over of the plant. This has been the talk for a very long time. We have been hearing that the plant will be handed over without anything happening. Thank you.
HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. I cannot give a timeline because it is dependent on Gwanda Municipality and the question ought to be re-directed to Gwanda to say how quickly can they deal with the outstanding issues. Madam Speaker, this is why I have taken the liberty to attach a copy of the issues that need to be attended to. Thank you Madam Speaker.
DRILLING OF NEW BOREHOLES IN WARREN PARK CONSTITUENCY
- HON. HAMAUSWA: asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to inform the House why no new boreholes were drilled in Warren Park Constituency despite the promises made in 2019 that three boreholes will be drilled in the area, a situation which has led to residents resorting to using contaminated water.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker. My Ministry prioritises borehole drilling in rural areas, as water provision in local authorities is largely the responsibility of the local authority. As you might be aware, the 2019 and 2020 boreholes were centred on drought prone areas in the rural areas which had no sources of water. More recently, however, we note that a borehole drilling project aimed at drilling 200 boreholes has been started.
RESETTLING OFFSPRING OF NEWLY SETTLED FARMERS
- HON. MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development to inform the House regarding Government policy on resettling offspring of newly settled farmers in the various resettlement areas.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question and the question is pertinent. I have taken the liberty not to say ‘newly resettled’ but resettled farmers because newly resettled would mean the resettlement programming has been going on for decades. The Land Commission Act, Chapter 29, Section 17 states that the Minister, that is the Minister responsible for lands, with the approval of the President, may lease, sell or otherwise dispose of State land and land that may be leased or alienated to a single individual or a single corporate body; a single household or two or more persons jointly, therefore the offspring of people who are resettled are specifically not covered in terms of the law. However, anyone above 21years is free to apply for land.
May I, at this juncture, try and highlight the thrust of Government in giving land, especially the Second Republic. That land is an economic enabler. Land is not necessarily just for building a homestead. So this land enables people to do a business. When you undertake a business, our expectation as Government is that you will be able to employ your offspring in the business for continuity and succession. Thank you Madam Speaker.
PAYMENT OF ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD BY MARKING TEACHERS
- HON. MASANGO-CHINHAMO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House: (a) why teachers are paying for accommodation and food during the period when they are marking public examinations;
(b) How long it takes for a non-teaching staff to be upgraded as a teacher after training and the requisite qualifications.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. E. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker. ZIMSEC markers normally conduct their marking duties close to their areas of residence. They are paid allowance under the unproved option. However, for those who travel to marking centres, away from home. They are given the option to choose either the unproved or full boarding option where ZIMSEC pays the service provider. In almost all cases, markers choose to be paid allowances so that they pay their own accommodation and services.
(b) There is no specific period. Upon attaining the requisite qualification, the non-teaching staff members are obliged to register the same way unemployed college leavers do and wait for their turn. Critical subjects like sciences can, however, give them leverage. I thank you.
ALLOCATION OF FUNDS BY ZINARA FOR REHABILITATION OF ROADS IN DZIVARESEKWA
- HON MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House:a) how much money has been allocated by ZINARA to Dzivarasekwa Constituency under City of Harare in 2018, 2019 and 2020 for rehabilitation of roads in Dzivarasekwa;
b) what measures the Ministry is taking to reduce cases of road accidents along Bulawayo road at a place called Whitehouse in Snake Park;
c) when is the Ministry going to rehabilitate the road from Bulawayo road turning at Glaudina suburb (commonly known as Pamuzinda) passing through Dzivarasekwa Extension and Dzivarasekwa Presidential Guard connecting with Mount Hampden where the new Parliament is being built;
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADIRO): For the period 2018 to 2020, City of Harare was doing mainly routine maintenance on Dzivarasekwa roads and the relevant authorities are in the process of compiling the figures for such maintenance. In 2021, Dzivarasekwa Way was allocated ZW$83,664,000 million for rehabilitation and Robert Mugabe Street ZW$8,019,000 million for reseal. Furthermore, mobilisation for Dzivarasekwa Street has begun.
The Ministry is reviewing the junction and looking at ways to reduce speed on that road, thus reducing accidents. Furthermore, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe has been raising awareness for the public to exercise caution and reduce speed while on that road. In the long term, new designs have been done which will be reviewed and constructed once funding is availed.
For the year 2022, the Ministry of Transport has taken over from City of Harare Kuwadzana Extension Road which is 3.8 kilometres. Tenders have been flighted and a contractor will be appointed in due course.
The road in question is not a gazetted road. The developer has not handed over the road to the City of Harare, hence still classified as private roads. However, the Ministry is in the process of engaging the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works on how best we can move in and take over such roads so that the ordinary citizens can benefit from the ERRP2 programme.
HON. MUSHORIWA: I want to thank the Deputy Minister for his detailed answers. I just want to raise a supplementary question pertaining to the last part of his answer. On the road that links Dzivarasekwa and Dzivarasekwa Extension, there is no private player involved. It is actually the Ministry of Local Government which is involved where the road has to pass through. There is no private player but it is a local government residential area and I just want the Hon Minister to take what they can do to ensure that there is a road between these two places.
HON. MADIRO: With due respect to the Hon Member, we take note of that miss from my officials. I will make sure that my Ministry liaises with the Ministry of Local Government to ensure that concern is taken care of.
BENEFICIARIES OF STANDS IN DZIVARESEKWA
- HON MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities to inform the House;a) list of owners of the stands in both Phase 1 and 2 in Dzivarasekwa Extension stating the address and the name of the legal owner;b) measures being taken to settle disputes of double allocation; c) what measures the Ministry is taking to ensure that the roads and sewer system in Phase 1 Dzivarasekwa Extension do comply to City of Harare standards;d) what measures are being taken into consideration to ensure that Dzivarasekwa Phase 2 has sewer and water reticulation;
e) explain when the Ministry will construct water and sewer system in building additional three floor flats in Dzivarasekwa Extension at a place where we have existing floor flats which have no water and sewer system. Could the Ministry explain when the water and sewage system will be operational?
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Madam Speaker. On the copies of the list of owners for Phase 1 and Phase 2 in Dzivarasekwa, I have a comprehensive list which I will submit.
On part b, the Dzivarasekwa Extension housing project began as a ‘Pay for your House Scheme’ in the mid-1990s. It was a beneficiary funded project where members’ contributions were matched by Government’s contribution on a dollar for dollar basis. The pooled resources would then be used to service and build houses on specific projects throughout the country. Dzivarasekwa Extension was divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2 and in the two phases, all the stands in terms of the master plan were allocated to beneficiaries in 1998.
In Phase 1, construction of water, sewer and electricity reticulation as well as a ring road were carried out by Government. At the turn of the millennium, Government withdrew its contributions towards the project citing funding challenges. This left contributions by beneficiaries as the only source of funding, thus posing projects sustainability challenges. The project stalled in the early 2000 due to the above stated challenges which included the impact of sanctions on the economy and effects of hyperinflation on the local currency. City of Harare could not issue beneficiaries with the certificates of compliance which would have enabled them to build the houses. It is important to note that in terms of the by-laws, a certificate of compliance is only issued in circumstances where onsite infrastructure is provided before construction of houses. The majority of the residents, out of desperation moved on site and erected super structures prior to the provision of roads, water and sewer reticulation and this was in total violation of the by-laws.
Madam Speaker Ma’am, unscrupulous elements took advantage of the withdrawal of funding by Government, forged Ministry document, I am referring to membership forms, offer letters and receipts. They sold stands to unsuspecting home seekers. Those who bought these stands were instructed by the land barons to immediately take occupation, with the bulk of them building full houses. The houses were built without approved plans, without water, sewer and electricity. The same stands unfortunately belonged to original beneficiaries who were waiting for the provisions of onsite infrastructure, issuance of a certificate of compliance and subsequent permission to build from the local authority. The illegal selling of stands by land barons, the double allocations, which is the problem on site right now, the Ministry’s records were never amended, and it contained the names of those allocated in 1998. The matter was reported to police, and culprits were arrested on several occasions and brought before the courts. Unfortunately, the people who illegally bought stands from land barons were reluctant to come to court to testify as witnesses before the courts and as a result, the land barons were acquitted.
Madam Speaker, in 2010, Government decided to service Phase 2 with water, sewer, storm water drains and roads on a cost recovery basis. In order to ensure that the costs were recovered from bona-fide beneficiaries, a verification exercise was conducted on a door to door basis to ascertain the extent of the stands invasions for both Phase 1 and Phase 2. Armed with that data, Government applied for eviction of the illegal settlers and court judgments were handed down in Government’s favour. Unfortunately, that judgment is yet to be operationalised. Ministers responsible then (Mr. Chombo, Mr. Kasukuwere and Hon. July Moyo) had varying opinions on how to implement the court decisions and they were never implemented. To date, Hon. Minister July Moyo is ceased with the matter. We are also part of the decision process Madam Speaker Ma’am. The most obvious decision that we are going to take is to identify alternative land to address the issue, which land is very difficult to come-by even now.
Subsequent to the above stated developments, adverts were floated in the print media with a schedule of names of all beneficiaries instructing them to confirm the authenticity and bring proof to the Ministry. Physical meetings attended by Government officials and beneficiaries were also held on-site to discuss issues concerning allocation of stands, verification and the way forward. This verification exercise started on the beginning of 2010 and ended in 2011. Vacant stands of those who failed to report to confirm ownership of stands were repossessed and reallocated to civil servants in 2012/2013. It is important to point out that there were no reallocations in Phase 1, so the 1998 allocations still remain. However and unfortunately, the land barons did not stop their misdemeanors. They continued to sell even the reallocated stands as long as they were vacant to such an extent that even some of the civil servants had their stands invaded as well. In the majority of cases, beneficiaries who got stands from land barons expeditiously built houses as a way of avoiding further reallocations by the same barons, for instance;
Government in 2012/2013 was allocating stands in Whitecliffe and members who were affected with double allocations were given an option to go to Whitecliffe before the legal battle with Mr. Pfugari. About 100 beneficiaries opted to relocate to Whitecliffe while others refused.
The other option that Government offered beneficiaries was to offer compensation. About 200 original beneficiaries were compensated by illegal settlers and Government effected cessations and updated its records accordingly. However, some invaders rejected that option and they remain defiant up to this date.
The Ministry is not looking for suitable land for housing to allocate to the remaining beneficiaries who are still affected by double allocations.
In the meantime Madam Speaker, a team from my Ministry will be on the ground for yet another door-to-door verification to determine the quantum of the current invasions. The statistics collected will assist in making informed decisions going forward.
On the other sub question, you may wish to know that sewer system in Phase 1 Dzivarasekwa is compliant to the standards of City of Harare. The road systems are still outstanding but there is a ring road in Phase 1. The Ministry is considering lobbying for resources from Treasury to complete the servicing of the roads.
Madam Speaker, Phase 2 which includes the flats was serviced with sewer, tarred roads and storm water drains; these are functional. The pipe work for water reticulation was completed, the only outstanding work is the connection to the main line which was constructed by Nehanda Housing Cooperative and they want compensation from Government before connection is done. Negotiations between the cooperative and the Ministry are still work in progress. Compensation fees and negotiations are ongoing while Government is also trying to mobilise resources for the same. Once the compensation framework is agreed, then the connection is done and the area is compliant. The rationale was to dispense with Phase II which was lagging behind, then move to do the outstanding roads in Phase 1. We are fully cognisant of the fact that all the houses built either by legal or illegal beneficiaries were not approved by City of Harare and they remain illegal. City of Harare will be expected to deal with the issue of compliance of the superstructures once we hand over the project to them on a case by case basis. I thank you.
Questions with Notice were interrupted by the HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
(v) HON. MUSHORIWA: Madam Speaker I would like to ask for an extension of time with 15 minutes.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The time was extended with 15 minutes.
(v) HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for answering the question that I posed. I wanted to find out whether the Minister has got a timeframe in terms of the agreement between Government and Nehanda Cooperative in respect to the connection of water, bearing in mind that in Phase 2, they have got 200 square metre stands and on that 200 square metre stand, that is where they have got their wells where they fetch water from. They also have pit latrines and there is a chance of a health disaster. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL HOUSING AND SOCIAL AMENITIES (HON. GARWE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. In terms of timeframe, it is not possible to give the timeframe right now. The whole exercise involves other institutions and ministries and we need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a comprehensive programme which we can give the timeframes. The other issue that the Hon. Member has raised also involves consultations with other ministries like Ministry of Local Government. There are other institutions that are lobbying for the residence which need to be consulted as well including the residents.
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
FUNDS PAID FOR HIRING ZUPCO BUSES
- HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to explain to the House: -
- How much money has been paid for hiring ZUPCO buses and omnibuses for the period ending 31st December, 2021?
- What is the daily rate being paid per bus or vehicle?
- How many litres of fuel are allocated to each hired bus per day.
- How many ZUPCO buses are allocated to commute between Central Business District and Dzivaresekwa segregated into the available routes namely; Dzivaresekwa Mainland; Dzivaresekwa Extension; Glaudina and other surrounding areas?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):
- A total of ZW$5 550 000 000 was paid for ZUPCO buses and omnibuses for the year ending 31st December, 2021.
- The daily rate being paid is ZW$34 000 per bus and ZW$10 000 per omnibus.
- The allocation of fuel for hired buses and omnibuses is 75 and 95 litres per bus per day (depending on the route) and 30 litres per omnibus per day.
- ZUPCO buses are allocated to Dzivaresekwa as follows:-
-Dzivaresekwa Mainland – 7 buses and 11 omnibuses;
-Dzivaresekwa Extension 10 buses and 14 omnibuses;
Glaudina and other surrounding areas – Currently serviced by Dzivaresekwa Extension fleet.
LAND ALLOCATED TO YAMURAI PRIMARY SCHOOL
HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to
explain to the House: -
1. What size of land did the Ministry originally allocated to Yamurayi Government Primary School in Dzivaresekwa Extension?
2. Explain how and why Yamurayi Primary School land has over the years been reduced and is settled by individual and companies?
3. Whether those who occupied the land are illegal or legal settlers and if so, to explain what action is the Government doing to remove them?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):
- Yamurayi Primary School was originally allocated 3.6 hectares which is the standard size for a primary school.
- The size of Yamurayi Primary School was not reduced over the years but it is surrounded by residential, churches and crèche stands which are being developed.
- These stands are legal and they on an approved layout plan.
NUMBER OF SITES FOR PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN DZIVARESEKWA
- HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House, the number of sites of public primary schools which are available in each of the following residential areas in Dzivaresekwa Extension;
- Phase 1
- Phase 2
- Vision Park and new Settlement and Glaudina area.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): In Dzivaresekwa Extension, there are 11 Public Primary School stands and the breakdown is as follows:-
- Phase 1 1
- Phase 2 -0
- Nehanda -7
- Federation -0
- Vision Park and new Settlement -1
- Glaudina -2
NUMBER OF SITES FOR PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN DZIVARESEKWA
- HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to explain to the House the number of sites of public secondary school which are available in each of the following residential areas in Dzivaresekwa Extension?
- Phase 1
- Phase 2
- Vision Park and new Settlement
- Glaudina area.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): In Dzivaresekwa Extension, there are 4 public secondary school stands and the breakdown is as follows:-
- Phase 1 0
- Phase 2 0
- Nehanda 3
- Federation 0
- Vision Park and new Settlement 1
- Glaudina 0
NUMBER OF SITES FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN DZIVARESEKWA
- HON. MUSHORIWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to Inform the House ff private school sites in Dzivaresekwa Extension which have been given to private players in the following areas: -
- Beneficiaries who were given the land and for what period?
- Stand number;
- Size of the land, and
- Consideration paid if any?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): The Ministry has 13 stands in Dzivaresekwa Extension comprising of 9 primary schools and 4 secondary school stands. The beneficiaries were allocated stands on a four –year lease period. Out of the 13 school stands in Dzivaresekwa Extension, the Ministry allocated the following organisations and individuals as follows:
Name of Beneficiary
Size of the land
4737 Primary School Stand
No payment, the stand is valued at US$126 216.00
J. S. Gumbochuma
139 primary school stand
Fully paid land intrinsic values of US487 626.00
6290 primary school stand
Awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Public Service Commission
Yamurai Learning centre
713 secondary school stand
5 225 ha
Paid US$6 $2 000.00 balance US$ 113 067.00
4408 secondary school stand
5 3138 ha
Paid US4 2 660.00 Balance $152 706.40
5233 Primary School stand
3 4320 ha
Paid $100 400.00 Balance $3 376.00
4410 primary school stand
3 284 ha
Paid US$20 169.20 Balance $80 650.00
WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
COMPLETION OF RWENYA BRIDGE IN NYANGA
- HON. SANYATWE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to inform the House when Government will complete the construction of Rwenya Bridge in Ward 1 in Fombe, Nyanga.
THE DEPUTY MIISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCRE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADIRO): In terms of the contract with the contractor, the project was supposed to be completed by 29th June 2022. However, works have since been suspended due to the current water levels. We anticipate to resume works end of April or early May and to complete the project speedily.
REHABILITATION OF BRIDGES IN AVILLA WARD
- HON SANYATWE asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development to inform the House when the Ministry will rehabilitate 3 bridges in Avilla ward that were destroyed by cyclones.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADIRO): We are informed that one bridge that was damaged by the recent cyclone, that being Gairezi Bridge. We have invited contractors for the rehabilitation works and bids have been submitted. Evaluation is ongoing and construction will commence after completion of internal processes.
PLANS TO ASSIST COMMUNITIES FACING HUNGER IN NYANGA
- HON. SANYATWE asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House what Government plans are in as far as assistance to communities facing acute hunger due to poor rains is concerned in the following areas of Nyanga: Fombe Ward 1, Kazozo Ward 3, Katerera ward 5, Ruwangwe Ward 4, Gotegote ward 7 and 9, Nyatsanga, Nyamahumba, Munemo, Avilla Renzva Wards 2 and 10, Nyadowa, Sabvure and Bariri Ward 11.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. May the House be informed that Government is responding to distress calls made across the country for food assistance and other social protection services like the Public Assistance and the Cash Transfers? This is however done at district level through Drought Relief Committees. The Committees assess the situation in their districts and submit a request for grain to the Ministry.
As you are aware, Nyanga was one of the districts which had a responsible crop over the last season with a prevalence of 15% cereal insecurity during the peak hunger period. This implies that there was a high prevalence of food security. However, this season seems to be bad across the country and we wait for Crop and Livestock second round assessment and the vulnerability assessments (ZimVac) to ascertain areas that are in need of assistance.
All provincial and district Drought Relief Committees have been directed to carry out rapid assessments of the food situation in their areas and submit requests to the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is mobilising transport funds to move grain to need areas. Plans are already under way to scale up the food deficit mitigation programme this year and uphold the call by His Excellency the President that no Zimbabwean should die of hunger. I thank you.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. TOGAREPI: Madam Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day Nos 1 to Order No. 7 be stood over until Order No. 8 has been disposed of.
HON. SHAMU: I second.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE ON THE PETITITON BY THE ZIMBABWE ANTI-SANCTIONS TRUST
HON. SHAMU: That this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on the Petition by the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust on enacting legislation that criminalises calling for imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by individuals/ Organisations.
HON. MAYIHLOME: I second.
HON. SHAMU: 1.0 INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Section 149 of the Constitution, the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade received a petition from the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust on passing legislation that criminalises calling for imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by individuals or organisations. The petitioners noted that, sanctions have caused an insidious ripple effect on the Zimbabwean economy and the enjoyment of fundamental human rights, including the right to health, food, safe drinking water and sanitation. Consequently, they called for Parliament to enact a law that ensures Zimbabweans desist from unpatriotic behaviour that supports imposition of illegal sanctions on their nation to the detriment of its development. Thus, the envisaged law will form a strong legal foundation to penalise unpatriotic behaviour as well as acting as a panacea to curb undesirable acts.
2.1 Zimbabwe has been under the European Union (EU), United
States of America (USA) and their allies’ imposed illegal sanctions for two decades. While the European Union lifted the economic sanctions under Article 96 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the remaining measures on the Zimbabwe Defence Industries and on some of our Service Chiefs continue to affect the image of the country. The USA vehemently continues to progressively tighten its sanctions regime. On 18 October 2021, the US Senate Committee on Appropriations issued a State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which maintains the continuation of US sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2022.
2.2 The US further instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to
advise all its Executive Directors of international financial institutions to vote against any loan, credit, grant, or guarantee for Zimbabwe, except to meet basic human needs or to promote democracy, unless the Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committee on Appropriations that the Government of Zimbabwe was making consistent progress in strengthening democratic institutions and protecting freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Thus, the merciless continuation of the illegal sanctions regime as well as judgment setting of utopian standards for Zimbabwe are callous, vindictive and should not be allowed to continue.
2.3 Zimbabwe, as many other countries, has not been spared
from the malaise of isolated citizens or groupings, co-operating or conniving with certain hostile foreign governments to inflict suffering on its citizens, government and generally its national interests. These self-appointed individuals are not shy to speak with indecent haste against their own country on issues of foreign relations without bothering to verify facts or engage domestic authorities. A substantial number willfully misinform foreign governments in order to gain self favour and discredit the Government.
2.4 Notable incidents such as when the then leader of the main
opposition party appealed to the South African Government to cut electricity supply to Zimbabwe, when some individuals within the opposition leadership, travelled to USA to encourage the American Government to renew sanction laws (ZIDERA) against Zimbabwe in the face of a regional anti-sanctions demonstration having been organised under the auspices of SADC and, planned and timed protests by Government opponents whenever a major international, continental or regional event is to commence. Given the foregoing, it is evident that such citizens would have been working for their self-interest whilst discrediting government efforts to promote and protect the national interests that include Zimbabwe’s foreign relations and policy agenda.
3.0 JUSTIFICATION FOR ENACTMENT OF THE LAW
3.1 The Zimbabwean law is devoid of specific provisions that
prescribe or criminalise the unauthorised communication or negotiation by private citizens with foreign sovereign governments that have a direct or indirect implication on Zimbabwe’s foreign relations and policy. No other law, whether statutory or common law provides for the regulating of this area of citizen endeavor. Our law therefore has a lacuna when it comes to private citizens meddling with foreign relation matters.
3.2 The individuals/groups that engage in unsanctioned self-
serving citizen or private diplomacy and negotiations with foreign sovereign governments not only offend the Constitution but also violate customary international law which forms part and parcel of our law by virtue of Section 326(1) of the Constitution.
3.3 Needless to say, such a gap can be detrimental to the official
position of governmental diplomacy and foreign policy and has the following potential effects: -
- undermining an elected Government;
- creating lack of confidence in the government of the day;
- undermining foreign policy thrust by civilians;
- altering foreign national expectations based on assumptions that are inconsistent with prevailing foreign policy set by the Government;
- alienating the country from the international community and allies; and
- affecting the interests of everyone for the benefit of a few.
Cognizant of the foregoing, the current situation cries out for
implementation of necessary reforms to the law aimed at regulating communications and negotiations with foreign sovereign governments by unauthorised private citizens.
The Committee held meetings with the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and analysed various literature on the effects of sanctions on Zimbabwe including, but not limited to, the report by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures of Enjoyment of Human Rights, Ms. Alena Douhan who visited Zimbabwe in 2021.
5.0 COMMITTEE FINDINGS
5.1 The Committee was informed by Ambassador Manzou, the
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade that, the envisaged law was not entirely new as other countries such as the US, Australia, Singapore and China already had laws that prohibit communicating messages intended to harm the country’s positive image and its integrity. Also, that, such regressive acts usually result in stiff penalties such as imprisonment.
The Permanent Secretary’s assertion was quantified and qualified further by Mrs P. Dokwani, Law Officer from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs who briefed the Committee that, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs was in a process of amending the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23] to incorporate Section 12 of the Constitution as a legal means to address the issues raised by the petitioners.
The Section reads as follows: -
(1) “The foreign policy of Zimbabwe must be based on the following principles; -
- the promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe;
- respect for international law;
- peaceful co-existence with other nations; and
- the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.”
- It was evident from the above, that the nation state was at the
epicenter of promotion and protection of its national interests. To qualify further, it is a trite principle of public international law that matters pertaining to foreign relations with other sovereign nations involve the exercise of the power of the State and are not matters to be dealt with by means of self-serving citizens or private diplomacy or negotiations. Therefore, the proposed Bill seeks to promote and protect the national interests of Zimbabwe and to implement the principle of public international law which provides that matters of foreign relations solely fall within the purview of the state as opposed to the prevailing situation.
- Furthermore, the Committee was briefed that, the proposed
law would include the following provisions which criminalize conduct that falls within the following broad categories; -
- Unauthorised private negotiations engaged in by citizens of Zimbabwe with a foreign government which directly or indirectly relates to the country’s foreign relations and policy with other sovereign nations. In this regard, the law should be restricted to private negotiations that impact on ‘the promotion and protection of the national interests of Zimbabwe’, as provided for in Section 12(1)(a) of the Constitution, including its foreign policy agenda but not negotiations by citizens on matters of purely private commercial interests. Also, that its formulation should be carried out in a manner that avoids taking away the rights of individual citizens seeking redress for harm suffered as a result of conduct by a foreign sovereign government, its agents or citizens.
- The making of false statements by any citizens of Zimbabwe with an intention of influencing any dispute or controversy between a foreign government and Zimbabwe.
5.4 International Legal Framework: -
At international law, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) only recognises states as legitimate players in foreign relations and negotiations. In this regard Article 2 provides that; –
“The establishment of diplomatic relations between States, and of permanent diplomatic missions, takes place by mutual consent”
Article 3(1) follows by spelling out that “the functions of a diplomatic mission consist, inter alia, in
“(a) Representing the sending State in the receiving State;
- Protecting in the receiving State, the interests of the sending State and of its nationals, within the limits permitted by international law;
- Negotiating with the Government of the receiving State;
- Ascertaining by all lawful means conditions and developments in the receiving State, and reporting thereon to the Government of the sending State;
- Promoting friendly relations between the sending State and the receiving State, and developing their economic, cultural and scientific relations.”
The above provisions further confirm that private players have no business in foreign relations and negotiations between countries.
5.5 The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for freedom of
expression as enshrined in Section 61, that every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes, freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information; freedom of artistic expression and scientific research and creativity. Every person is entitled to freedom of the media, which freedom includes protection of the confidentiality of journalists' sources of information. Broadcasting and other electronic media of communication have freedom of establishment, subject only to State licensing procedures. It is important to note that, these rights have been entrenched in the Constitution and the amendment of the Criminal Code will have no effect to the exercise and enjoyment of these rights.
6.0 Update on the Bill
The principles to the proposed Bill were approved by Cabinet and drafting instructions were then forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office for drafting. The Bill will become law as soon as all the stages of the law making process have been adhered to.
7.0 COMMITTEE RECOMENDATIONS
In light of the foregoing, the Committee recommends that the
Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should bring the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill to Parliament by 30 November 2022.
The Committee appreciates the proactive role played by the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust in unraveling the challenges bedeviling our nation as a result of the lacuna, inherent in our legal instruments in relation to criminalising calling for imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Stakeholders from all walks of life are encouraged to cooperate with Parliament in order to make vision 2030 a reality.
I thank you.
HON. BRG GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Madam Speaker. I rise to applaud and support the motion raised by Hon. Shamu on this very important issue of enacting legislation in this House, a motion which is very close to most of our hearts. As enunciate by Hon. Shamu in his report, issues of freedom of expression should not infringe on the rights of other members of society. Furthermore, I just want to emphasize that freedom of expression and association should not threaten national security.
I believe that those who call for sanctions against the nation and infringe on the national interests of this country and also threaten national security of this country, in what way Madam Speaker, by calling for sanctions are weakening the economy. By weakening the economy, you are causing economic upheavals and promoting civil disobedience that might need or threaten the stability of Government. In my view that is a security threat and whichever way one looks at it, calling for sanctions is actually a threat to national security. There has to be legislation to guard against the threat to national security.
Secondly, calling for sanctions infringes on the individual members of society that there are so many people who have been affected by the sanctions in this country and they deserve a right to be compensated for the suffering that they have endured over the years. Look at those who have left jobs, failed to get medical treatment, by right they have a right to seek legal remedy from the individuals that have called for sanction because they have suffered as a result of those sanctions. There is no country or law in the world that allows individuals to take over the responsibility of discussing international relations as alluded to by Hon. Shamu on behalf of the State, it is only left to Government. This is by custom, law and practice that all countries in the world leave international relations or negotiations to governments that are elected and who are authorized to do so. For individuals to go on to threaten his own fellow citizens in his own country, it is treasonous in our view and we really applaud the efforts to bring legislation that will criminalize and also allow for individuals to call for mass legal law suits against those individuals so that the damage that they have suffered is properly restituted. I would say in a nutshell, this Bill is long overdue and we hope that the Attorney General’s Office will bring it to this House without further delay so that this issue of sanctions and the Patriotism Bill is addressed once and for all. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MUNETSI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to air my views. I want to thank Hon. Shamu. It takes a brave man to stand up and write and come up with such a script about criminalising someone who calls for sanctions in this country. It takes a brave man and I want to thank you for bringing this important issue to this august House. I want to thank Hon. Mayihlome also for seconding the motion.
Definitely, if one calls for sanctions, that person must be arrested. I call for sanctions for someone, the equal responds is an arrest. I support that. I believe sanctions do a lot of harm to the common people. They infringe on the rights of people, their rights to health, shelter, good education and freedom. All that is tarnished by the implementation of sanctions. It also tarnishes the image of a country, relationships with other countries is tarnished and visits to other countries, trade, tourism and sports. All would be put under sanctions and the country is locked and has nowhere to go. So I wonder what kind of person you are who can stand up to lock your country. You do not want to visit, trade, tour and engage in sports. You want to stay in your country, you want regime change and you want to lead hungry people, you want to lead poor people, you want to lead people with poor education, poor standard of living and you want as Zimbabweans, to just watch you and go. A law must be made that criminalises such kind of people. We support that.
You cannot sit in those big meetings and castigate your country for nothing. That is unheard of. What kind of a father do you want to be? You want to lock your country inside. Now, unfortunately you were very unlucky because our President is a clever one. That is the reason why he introduced some re-engagement methods. He has introduced open for business policies, freedom to all. If you come across anyone in this country from any country, they walk freely. They are not harassed by anyone. It is because our President wants to show the world that even though you call for sanctions, Zimbabweans are hard working people, they will never die. We remain a sovereign State. We are Zimbabweans and we will not change. A law must be made. I thank you.
(v)HON. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to debate on this important report which came from Hon. Shamu, seconded by Hon. Mayihlome. I think it raises key issues that came out from the subscribers to the petition that was brought to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Madam Speaker, you would agree with me that those institutions and individuals who then tend to call for economic sanctions on the country of Zimbabwe, those that did in the past, those that are doing it in the present and those who are going to be doing it in the future, there is no level of witchcraft that can come from a normal Zimbabwean who calls for economic sanctions to be imposed on their own country.
No person in this country, I would want to believe in their normal senses, would choose to call for economic sanctions on their country especially when they think or they dream of one day becoming leaders of this particular country regardless of the level they would like to lead, be it at local level, national or you name it, but the idea of calling for illegal sanctions and to call for sanctions on your country, I would want to think people should be able to reflect on it and say what is the consequence for calling for these sanctions in the present and in the future. We have lost as a country in terms of economic growth; we have seen the freezing of our financial assets outside Zimbabwe, suspension of our technical and aid assistance from international partners. The trade controls that have been put across our economy and as a result of all these ills that we are seeing from the illegal sanctions, the country is now suffering as a result of those illegal sanctions, cancellation and reduction of credit facilities at market rates.
All these ills we are seeing everyday is a consequence of someone who went up to say let us call for illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe just for the purpose of trying to remove a Government in power. I think it is important for people to appreciate that a Government is put in place by people. It is people that vote for us into office. It is not sanctions that are going to remove a Government from power. So it is quite clearly important that what has been raised by the petitioners to say strict measures must be taken against individuals and institutions that call for the imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe, be it in the past or those that are calling for it in the moment, they must then be barred from taking any active participation in the governance of this country. What benefit do we get as a people of Zimbabwe to wake up tomorrow morning with a ruined State out of sanctions? What leadership do you want to provide to a country like Zimbabwe when you want this country to then be on its knees? Suppose one day you wake up and you are the Member of Parliament for my constituency for instance, what kind of constituency would you want to inherit - a constituency that does not have hospitals, a constituency that cannot maintain its own roads and a constituency that cannot provide basic services to its people because of economic sanctions.
I give thanks to our President for the efforts he has done and he has put so far to ensure that at least as Zimbabwe, we will wither the terrible effects of sanctions that were imposed on us by the western world. I am glad of the diplomatic steps and efforts that have been made with different countries like China, Indonesia and Malaysia. At least they are giving us some space to breathe. We are developing our own import substitution industry, we are diverting our Zimbabwe trade to other trading partners, those that support and see the vision of Zimbabwe. Together we will make a difference if we all come together as Zimbabweans and support our Vision 2030. Pasi nemasanctions! Thank you very much Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity. I submit.
(v)HON. MUSHORIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker for recognising me. I want to start by just stating that we need to define and say to ourselves who calls for sanctions, how do sanctions get imposed on a country? Can sanctions be imposed without a reason and if so, what could be the rationale?
Madam Speaker, I want to start by saying we have people in our midst that try by all means to play holier than thou, the causers and the people that have actually resulted in sanctions being imposed, the restrictive measures that we call sanctions. When you have got a people
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are not audible Hon. Mushoriwa.
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I wish to add my voice to a motion that has been introduced in this House by Hon. Shamu and seconded by Hon. Mayihlome. It is very important to note that we need to criminalise the actions of calling for sanctions on Zimbabwe. Whoever calls for sanctions, we have seen some of our people in this country calling for sanctions. I will call them enemies of the State and saboteurs who go to foreign lands and the US to call for sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe. That is a criminal act. We need to come up with a legal framework so that we come up with laws which will criminalise calling for sanctions and their impositions on Zimbabwe.
I will cite examples from other countries whereby people who sell out their country, are either jailed or sometimes can be killed. I will start with Code S700, the US code whereby simply desecrating the flag or failure to respect an ordinary flag will attract a lot of penalties. I will quote Madam Speaker, “Whoever knowingly defaces or mutilates the flag in the US will be fined for a million dollars or be imprisoned for a period of more than five years or both.”
I will regard these people who commit or sell out their country as having committed espionage. Espionage is a crime of secretly going to another country to say out a lot of falsehoods regarding your own country. I will say that the penalty for espionage to transfer such information if one is convicted of gathering and delivering defence information in order to aid a foreign Government, one could be sentenced to life imprisonment or face a death sentence. This can also be compared to economic espionage when one goes to foreign lands and call for economic sanctions which would hurt the ordinary people. That again, in the US attracts imprisonment of 15 years or a fine of up to US$5 million.
It is a noble idea to have a legal framework to bring a Bill to this House which will criminalise or end up having an Act of Parliament whereby whoever is going to participate or go out and criticize his or her own Government should be penalized through heavy fines or else should be tried and put in prison for the entire life or can be sentenced. In conclusion, this is a good motion whereby people need to be patriotic, nationalists and not to betray one’s motherland. It is important to ensure that such tendencies of people who go out to foreign lands and practice espionage should be sentenced. Thank you.
HON. SHAMU: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I rise to express my sincere appreciation to the Hon. Members who have contributed to this very important motion, a motion which came about as a result of a petition by the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust calling on Government to enact legislation criminalising imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by individuals or organisations. On that note Madam Speaker Ma’am, may I therefore move that this motion be adopted.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Three Minutes past Six o’clock p.m.