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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 7 FEBRUARY 2024 VOL 50 NO 26

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 7th February, 2024

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I have received the following list of members of the Executive apologising for their absence:  Hon. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr. C. G. D. N. Chiwenga, Vice President; Hon. S. G. Nyoni, Minister of Industry and Commerce; Hon. Dr. A. J. Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; Hon. D. Marapira, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development; Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion; Hon. Z. Soda, Minister of Mines and Mining Development; Hon. J. Muswere, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development; Hon. O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence; Hon. Brig.  Gen. Rtd. L. Mayihlome, Deputy Minister of Defence; Hon. F. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development; and Hon. Dr. D. T. Mombeshora, Minister of Health and Child Care.

          Hon. Government Chief Whip, this list is by far too long and I am not aware of any national event taking place that will call upon the services or presence of the Hon. Members. So, Hon. Chief Whip, in liaison with the Leader of Government Business, can you make sure that the list is truncated.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion. Since the announcement of the 2023-2024 National Budget, we have witnessed the rapid depreciation of the ZWL against the USD and other hard currencies and a general rise on the basic commodities. What policies is the Ministry putting in place to ensure that there is stability of the Zimbabwean dollar and the general prices?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The Hon. Deputy Minister is here. Now, I do not want to pre-empt your response, Deputy Minister. I thought yesterday during news time, His Excellency the President indicated that there will be a public announcement on the issue.  So, Hon. Deputy Minister, do you want to be pre-emptive or you will guide the House accordingly?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you Hon. Chiduwa for that question of national importance. I would not want to pre-empt a Monetary Policy Statement as well as fiscal policy announcements that will be coming, but would acknowledge that the increase in the exchange rates and inflation figures are something that we are fully aware of. There are actions that are being taken in as far as crafting something that can be a permanent solution.  So, I would like to leave it at this juncture without putting the cart before the horse Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. I think the House will wait for that statement and the question remains valid.

HON. MUKOMBERI: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, with regards to some players in the commodity market who are exclusively charging some commodities in USD thereby rejecting the ZWL as a medium of exchange. What is the Government’s policy in tandem with that?

          THE HON. DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker and Hon. Member for that question.  Government policy and the law in this multi-currency regime is that shops, retailers and industry can display the prices and the currencies of their choice, whether USD or ZWL, but the customer is then able to pay in the currency that they hold that is either the USD or ZWL.  So in that regard, if there is any rejection, it would be counted to the law, but you would find that this phenomenon is occurring probably in the informal sector.   In more formalised shops, you have both the USD and ZWL pricing, but Hon. Speaker, it then comes back to the initial affliction that we have which is the inflation and exchange rate disparities that are creating some of these issues.  So, again I would like to say that the cocktail of measures that will be coming out will address most, if not all, of these issues.  I thank you.

          *HON. J. SITHOLE: My question to the Deputy Minister is, we note that a lot of service stations only take USD.  They do not accept local currency.  We have several people who earn local currency like civil servants.  So, the question is, what is Government policy regarding fuel procurement using RTGS or local currency?  I thank you.

          *HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA: Let me repeat that the multi-currency regime draws us back to the fact that we need to compare our currency to other currencies and this is going to come out during the presentations that are going to be done soon in the Monetary Policy which is under the purview of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.  So, may you give us time so that the RBZ and the responsible authorities can draw up the Monetary Policy.  However, what I can tell you is that this is being sorted out I thank you.

          HON. MUTOKONYI: If they could also see on that Monetary Policy that they are going to come up with; we have seen that the retails are technically not accepting by making sure that the point of sale machines are not working.  I have been to three or four different retail businesses; they tell you that if you want to pay with a swipe the machine is not working.  So, technically they will not say they do not want.  So, as the Hon. Minister is going to look into that, may he ensure that these retailers are accounted for, particularly on coming up with that technical delay of not accepting the local funds.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you have made a statement.  What is your supplementary question?

          *HON. MUTOKONYI: What should the Government do to ensure that the retailers are not playing up by saying we do not have the point of sale machine or the point of sale machine is not working, yet it is there?  How should we get to know if it is not working or not? That is the question?  I thank you.

          HON. D. K. MNANNGAGWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker, what the Hon. Member is speaking to is a behavior that has been occurring in the market somewhat as a hedge against what was perceived or what was weakening the currency.  The raft of measures would deal with fundamental issues which is the preservation of value.  The reason why you would have disconnected the point of sales was probably the retailer did not want the local currency. This is something that is noted, acknowledged and that is within the spirit of trying to come up with a cocktail of measures that ensures the preservation of value in our currency and that it is desirable for us to have our currency measured against the USD.  I thank you.

          HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you very much.  My supplementary question to the Minister is that one of the fundamental features and characteristics of money is that it must be a medium of exchange as well as that it must be acceptable to the users.  As it stands, the ZWL is being rejected by the people of Zimbabwe, it is rejected by the business community and almost everyone. If you search all our Hon. Members here, no one has a 1,000 bond note in his pocket.  People prefer the USD.  May we not dollarise to remove all these distortions in the market?

          *HON. MUGWADI: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I think the Hon. Member who has posed the supplementary question is being dishonest and not of course associated with the truth on the ground.  It is completely erroneous to say the ZWL is being rejected by the people of Zimbabwe.  I am probably and certainly not aware of what the definition of the people of Zimbabwe is to the extent that Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member is not the people of Zimbabwe, he is just an Hon. Member.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: We seem to be looking at the same sides of the coin.  The questions asked so far as well as supplementary questions still debate the urgent need to have a statement that combines monetary and fiscal policies.  Hon. Deputy Minister, I think you have heard for yourself the statement is required as of yesterday.  I thank you.

          HON. M. NKOMO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  On the 22nd of January, 2024 ZIMSEC released the 2023 ‘O’ Level results.  I want to congratulate the Hon. Minister for releasing the results at the earliest time and the pass rate increased by 4.31%.  My question is, what is Government policy on schools that continue to score 0% every examination year?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Good afternoon Hon. Speaker.  I wish to thank Hon. Nkomo, firstly for the remarks that for the first time, we managed to release ‘O’ level results in January.  It is a reflection of the hard work that is happening in the Ministry of Education and also Hon. Speaker, that in 2023, we never had any leakages at ZIMSEC, that is also a reflection of hard work on our part. 

          Now turning to the question Hon. Speaker, what we are doing as a Ministry to look at those schools that continually have a zero percent pass rate.  We have a raft of measures Hon. Speaker; we want to carry out research studies to establish the causes of zero percent pass rates,  whether it is a culmination of shortages of teaching/learning materials in those schools.  We have seen Hon. Speaker, that zero percent pass rate is usually scored by schools in the rural areas as there is serious disparities between urban and rural schools.  Rural schools are disadvantaged very largely as compared to urban schools and we are going to pursue measures of embracing ICT in our schools for online learning to happen in the rural areas.  We are going to embrace a server which will be accessible even in rural areas without the use of internet or Wi-Fi.  That server will be deployed to the Administration block and any learner within the radius of 100 to 200 metres, will have access to that server where teachers can upload learning materials on the server and learners will have access to that server, even notes can be uploaded to that.  Assignments can also be uploaded to that server. 

          So, this is one of the ways of ensuring that we reduce the failure rate, especially in schools that are getting zero percent pass rate.  Basically Hon. Speaker, we want to ensure that we carry out a study to establish what could be the causes of zero percent pass rate. I thank you.

          *HON. TAFANANA ZHOU:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is, what is Government doing in regards to our satellite schools so that they can have centres to enable them to sit for exams?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: How does that relate to the zero-pass rate?

          *HON. TAFANANA ZHOU:  Some of the things that cause low pass rates in our schools is that our schools do not have their own centres and heavily rely on big schools for writing examinations. So, if they have their own centres to enable them to write exams, this will help in the pass rate of the school.

          * HON. T. MOYO:  I want to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  It is true that our satellite schools are some of the schools where there is zero percent pass rate. They write their examinations in other schools.  So, what the Government is doing for these schools to get registration certificates is that we have a list of 259 schools and we are looking forward that these schools are now close to being registered. We are giving out 5 000 USD and before the end of this term, we are expecting that these schools will get this money and complete the necessary infrastructure so that the examination rooms will be secure.  We must put in place doors that are secure and it is a condition before we give them registration certificates.  This will help students so that they do not have to travel long distances to go and write examinations.  This is what we are doing so that our schools can be registered.  We are looking forward that by April this year, those 259 schools will have been registered and not considered as satellite schools.

          *HON. MAJAYA: My supplementary question is that in rural areas, people are living below the poverty datum line.  So, my question to the Hon. Minister is that Hon. Minister, will you be able to buy the rural children cellphones so that they will be able to attend online lessons?

          * HON. T. MOYO:  We have organisations that we are working with which will be giving children in the rural areas some gadgets that they will be using and they are the ones that will supply us with the servers.  We are in the process of signing the Memorandum of Understanding so that immediately, we finish signing the MOUs, all those things will be bought by our development partners.

          HON. KANGAUSARU: My question is, what are the incentives that are given to teachers in the rural areas and that are working from remote areas, monetary and non-monetary, in order for us to increase the pass rate from zero to somewhere because the majority of these rural schools will have zero percent?

          HON. T. MOYO: I wish to thank Hon. Kangausaru for the question.  We have a number of incentives Hon. Speaker, to motivate teachers, not only based in the rural areas, but in both rural and urban areas.  As the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, with the support of the Public Service Commission under the leadership of our esteemed Minister Hon. J. G. Moyo, we are putting in place ways of creating urban land for residential resettlement of our teachers. It is something that we are planning to do.  I am sure my counterpart may also add because I thought that question falls under the purview of his Ministry, but we have a number of non-monetary incentives in the form of residential stands.  Those who teach in the rural areas may also be allocated stands at growth points.  Those who are teaching in urban areas will also be allocated land in towns so that they can construct their residential houses.

          We also have institutional accommodation.  It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education with the support of the Public Service Commission, to ensure that we provide institutional accommodation, accommodation that is conducive to fulfilment of their teachers’ mandate that they should be able to provide service, they should be able to be motivated through institutional accommodation.  Those are some of the ways that we have in place to ensure that we raise the moral of our teachers.

          Finally, Hon. Speaker, the issue of teachers’ professional council and standards, we are going to come up with a Bill where we want to establish a teachers’ professional council as a way of ensuring that we raise and boost the morale of our teachers.  I think that is a global trend that nurses, doctors, lawyers have their own council but teachers do not.  So as a way of boosting morale of our teachers, we are going to establish the teachers’ professional council and standards.  It is a Bill that we are going to put in Parliament this year.  Thank you, Hon. Speaker.

  1. HON. MEMBER: Supplementary question.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  We have had three supplementary questions already, so we have reached our maximum.

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is to the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion and in his absence, the Deputy Minister.

Mr. Speaker Sir, our debt is reaching a ceiling of US$18 billion.  In the view that both the United States and the European Union have all pulled out of the re-engagement talks on Zimbabwe’s debt, what is Government’s plan B on dealing with the debt question given that most of this debt is actually to the Bretton Woods institutions. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENT PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Just to clarify a few points for the Hon. Member; the EU has not pulled out of the platform.  We actually had the inaugural meeting for this year three weeks ago.  It is the US that has taken a pause as they wait for the interim assessment, but I would like to separate the discussion of debt clearance and the dialogue platform that is there.  The US$18 billion consists of debt to the Paris Club which I think is about US$3 billion.  We have got some internal debt with various other people.

So, when it comes to the EU and the US, I would say it is actually a smaller chunk of our debt.  To answer the Hon. Member, the plan with the debt is to eventually pay it back as we build capacity.  The structured dialogue platform is an all-encompassing process that is supposed to include a reform process, re-engagement and other new nuances but really, it does not reduce the debt in any way.  There will be no debt forgiveness, there will be no interest forgiveness.  This is a re-engagement process that we are currently engaging in.  So, the pulling out of the US or the perception that the EU might have pulled out does not change the course of action when it comes to our debt.  As a sovereign country, we will always make do on our arrears and on our debts and the plan is there.  Hon. Speaker, I will refer the Hon. Member of Parliament to our public debt prospectus which I will share with him.  Thank you, Hon. Speaker.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  Supplementary question.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.  I do not think I need to read the debt prospectus.  We need to look at the facts here Mr. Speaker Sir.

When the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion took over in 2018, our national debt was 7.8 billion.  Now it is reaching 18 billion.  How long are we going to keep on talking about re-engagement and plans that your Ministry has when the debts of this country have actually doubled?

In 2018, you introduced the TSP which was an austerity measure to curtail the debt, but the debt has actually doubled.  Can you give us pure timelines on what you are doing to cut off the debt because the debt is the one that is making sure that we do not get any money into this country via any other institution? Thank you.

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  It is not the debt that precludes us from getting money from institutions, it is sanctions.  If you look at Zimbabwe’s debt profile, we are nowhere near distress.  Our debt is manageable. You will find that while there has been an increase, Treasury also sealed the debt by the Reserve Bank which was in excess of three billion which would have grown on the national balance sheet, but I will say the plan for the debt is to pay it back.  I am not sure which other measures the Hon. Member wants the country to deal with the debt apart from paying it back.  As the nation grows, as we borrow, we assume more debt and we continue to pay back.  We are making good on our loans.  The re-engagement process is a very deliberate move by the nation of Zimbabwe to join the other nations in the global village but we are paying back our debt, it is there in the budget Hon. Speaker.  I thank you.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  Supplementary question.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The question at hand Hon. Deputy Minister is, what is it that you are doing now to extinguish the high debt burden that this country is suffering from?  The question has not been answered because if you are paid, the end game of every debt is to pay, why is the debt still going up and up again?  If there is any payment, I would like to believe that when there are principle payments and interest payments, we should see our debt at least being reduced to surmountable levels.  To say that Zimbabwe is not in distress, I think it is an understatement.  The level of debt distress is compared to the size of the economy.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Supplementary question please.

HON. MADZIVANYIKA:  The supplementary question is, what is that which has been paid if the debt is still increasing?  Thank you.

HON. D. K. MNANGAGWA:  Thank you Hon. Minister.  I will get the specific figures of what is being paid back but as to why the debt is increasing, as we pay back, we keep borrowing.  That is how a country does. 

I would like to clarify, Hon. Speaker, that we are not a static nation.  We are a growing nation.  As we pay back some of the loans that we have taken, we take on more loans and pay those back.  We are growing. I will provide the actual specific figures.

          An Hon. Member having asked for a supplementary question after the Speaker had called for order in the House.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  I think we should not be over excited about this issue.  If you follow the American financial situation, there are times when the American Government had failed to pay and had to approach congress for money to pay its workers and they had to be allowed to borrow.  This is public knowledge which the Hon. Members must know so that you contextualise your questions accordingly – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

          HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank you for bringing out that the American Government actually is the one which is highly indebted in the world, with a debt of USD34 trillion.  My supplementary question is, I know you have been making payments for the past four or five years.  I wanted to find out in the 2024 budget, do you have provision for token payments – the token payments are small payments that they make towards the extinction of the national debt.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: That is what the Hon. Minister has explained, if I understood him very well.  Hon. Minister is it not what you have been explaining before?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INVESTMENTS PROMOTION (HON. D. K. MNANGANGWA) : It is, Hon. Speaker, we have been servicing our debts, even token payments, including having made provisions for internal debt by way of Treasury Bills that will be maturing this year, as well as the token of payment for Paris Club.  So, we are making payments, they make a certain percentage of our monthly pay-outs. I will get those exact figures Hon. Speaker.  Thank you.

          HON. JAMES: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question to the Deputy Minister of Finance is that, the declared debt that you have mentioned, does it include the full and fair compensation for former commercial title deed holders? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! When the Chair is speaking, the Standing Orders say, you must rest your case.  Hon. Member, I think that could be a separate question and you may have the pleasure of putting it in writing because it requires some details and have it responded to next week as a written question. Thank you.

          HON. MUWOMBI: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of ICT.  I want to understand  Government’s policy or strategies towards promoting internet access in rural communities and digital literacy so as to bridge the digital divide between the rural and urban dwellers?  Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (HON. DR. MAVETERA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Let me thank the Hon. Member for that question.  He mentioned the issue of digital literacy and also accessibility, especially in the rural population.  Indeed, we are very much overwhelmed as a Ministry in coming up with programmes that would make sure to enhance digital literacy.  What we have done is we have realised that when it comes to digital literacy, you will realise that it was a bit confined to certain areas since we were doing it through our ICT laboratories that we were also instituting in schools. At the same time, you will realise that at ZIMPOST as well, we have got ICT laboratories that were also put in place there.

          What we are going to do is that we are going to be doing a mobile digital literacy, where you are going to see us going on to the last person making sure that we communicate and at the same time, we are able to also teach every other person, in terms of digital literacy.  What we have also done is that we are going to be having what we call digital ambassadors.  It is a programme that we are starting, which will be launched beginning of March, where you are going to see us as Ministry of ICT together with our partners. We are also going to every other person to also teach digital skills.

          Then on us speaking about the rural population for internet connectivity, it is true that we are also working towards making sure that we have an audit to also look at the base stations that we have currently.  You will realise that with our current base stations, we even communicate with our telecoms operators updating us on which base stations are operating and which are not so that at least we can then be able to see how many are being able to access connectivity.  In that line, we have also tried to make sure that we have got a plan this year for us to be constructing 300 base stations across the country at the same time, especially for rural population, at schools.  We are using LISAT technology which is a satellite that we are also instituting.  However, it is something that we are also working towards so that at least, we can bridge the digital divide, and that at least every other person can also be able to access it.  It is something that we are working towards with the requisite budget, which I believe that as Parliament and together with us as a Ministry, we are going to have adequate budget to also make sure that we work towards making sure that everyone can access the internet.  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, you must address the Chair.

          HON. KAPOIKILU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  ZARNET, used to wire most of the remote schools, but it got incapacitated because the Ministry was owing about USD850 000.  Is the Ministry doing anything about it?

          HON. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would also like to thank the Hon. Member for that pertinent question. What we have managed to do is to be able to make sure that we settle this through our USA funds, since POTRAZ has got a contract as well together with YAHCLICK, which was the service provider, which is owed….

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, address the Chair, otherwise you will start fighting here.

          HON. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I was saying that we have done something towards that debt and we are hoping that before the end of March, we would have managed to settle that debt and at the same time, besides that debt as well, we are also hoping that we have got a plan to make sure that at least we are going to connect more than 3 000 schools in this coming year together with that same company which is YAHCLICK. Indeed, we are settling on that. Thank you.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Hon. Minister, you mentioned that you are going to build base stations. Please clarify if the Ministry is the one that is going to build the base stations, operate them and maintain them or it is the commercial companies that are going to do it?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, in terms if procedure, please address the Chair. You say Hon. Speaker, would the Minister do this and that, et cetera.

          HON. KAPOIKILU: Thank you Hon. Speaker, may the Minister confirm if the building of the substations, the maintenance and operation would either be done by the Ministry or through the cellphone operators or the ICT operators?

          HON. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. Let me thank the Hon. Member for that follow-up question. What I wanted to say is that we have got what we call a shared infrastructure policy that we have put in place in the Ministry, where you will see that when we are constructing our base station, which is his question, we then come up with all the telecommunication operators being housed in the same base station, who then is in charge of also building this. As a Ministry, it is within our policy to make sure that we are also assisting in us making sure that we have got the requisite infrastructure when it comes to us capacitating especially the telecommunication industry.

          However, when we do not have the resources, that is when we also call for all the telecommunication operators and also all the industry players to assist us in the pursuit. Currently, most of the companies that were assisting us are the telecommunication operators together with POTRAZ, which is the regulator in the telecommunication industry through the Universal Services Fund. It is also there to make sure that at least, they are also building these base stations. It is POTRAZ which is also building this together with the telecommunication operators which are also in charge of building this.

          As a Ministry, where we come in is more on the policy to find out what is it that we can do. For example, we are saying that we cannot reinvent the wheel where you will see TELONE building a base station and NETONE, ECONET or any other of the telecommunication operators. What we have said is that they are gong to build one base station and all of them will come with their receivers and that will assist us so much that at least that resource that they would have, would be able to go on and invest into another base station.

          Our thrust is to make sure that we do not leave any one behind and at the same time, it will also push towards us connecting Zimbabwe. We have a policy that we are working towards whereby we are saying we need to digitalise Zimbabwe by 2030, and we are also working flat out so that as a Ministry, we are also going to make sure that we create a conducive environment which will make sure that we connect everyone in Zimbabwe. I thank you.  

          *HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to pose my question. I wanted to ask whether the Minister is aware that in urban areas, there is a big challenge, particularly regarding information centres which fall under the Post Office. The internet connectivity there does not have enough bandwidth for our children to use. There is need for the Hon. Minister to look at urban areas.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you did not ask your supplementary question. May you please ask your question?

          HON. HAMAUSWA: My question is that she is focusing in rural areas as if everything is okay in urban areas, but there is a challenge. The information centres do not have enough bandwidth and speed…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are going on and on and that is enough. The Minister is going to respond.

          *HON. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to thank the Hon. Hamauswa for that pertinent question. Indeed, that is a challenge that we have noted and we see it. So, we need clarity of policy and I want to promise the Hon. Member that we are working with different companies, the service providers like ECONET, TELONE, NETONE and others which provide such services. We are going to engage them. What I can say is that we are carrying out researches throughout the country so that we determine the areas without connectivity and then we will come up with a programme to address all the areas. We will keep on updating and engaging the public regarding the availability of internet so that everyone gets connected. Indeed, I am going to promise the Hon. Member that in the next month or two, if there is no change, please come back to this august House and ask me. Thank you.

          *HON. SAMAMBWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to direct my question to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. If the Minister is not there, I will ask the Leader of the House. What is Government doing regarding the mutilation of people and the killings which are associated with rituals?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I want to ask the Government Chief Whip as to who is the Acting Leader of the House?

          HON. TOGAREPI: It is Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. July Moyo.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MAZUNGUNYE): I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. My response is that this question should be directed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, but because we have laws which govern the different crimes and we are aware that if someone is arrested, that person is taken through the court system and they will be prosecuted according to the laws of the land. I thank you.

          *HON. SAMAMBWA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for that response. However, for ritualists, you find that some might not be caught. For example, where I come from, we have a teacher who was killed in the past two weeks and that teacher had his parts mutilated. There is another boy who was mutilated and the perpetrators have not been caught.  People are now afraid to come to Zhombe because their fear is that people are killed…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member. You just explained a situation, but you did not pose any question. Do you want to ask a supplementary question Hon. Member? Maybe you should say that you are satisfied with the answer.

*HON. SAMAMBWA: Sorry Mr. Speaker, I was thinking and now I have thought of the question that I want to pose. I heard his explanation, but my question is, what steps are going to be taken and are there any timeframes where such culprits will be caught?

          *THE HON. SPEAKER: If you ask that way, then it is not a policy question regarding Government policy. In English, you need to ask the Executive on Government policy not instances. Instances can be asked in written questions so that the Hon. Minister concerned can then research and come back to the House and answer the written questions with more details.

          *HON. TSHUMA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question regarding the issue that was raised by Hon. Samambwa is, what steps is the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage taking in order to use modern technology that will be used in investigations of ritualist murders?  For example, the taking of fingerprints and the use of forensic science in investigations. I thank you.

*THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your question is digressing from the original one.  You are now posing a question to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.  The original question was, is there a law which can be applied to ritual murders?

Thank you, if you want to ask regarding fingerprints and the use of forensic science and investigations, may you please put it in writing.

          HON. DR. MUTODI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is, given the prevalence of the ritual murders, does the Ministry still support the removal of the death penalty?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you repeat your question, I am not following?

          HON. DR. MUTODI:  I am saying given the prevalence of ritual murders, does the Government or the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs still support the removal of the death penalty from the Constitution? Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I did not get your question?

          HON. DR. MUTODI:  I am saying given the prevalence of the ritual murders, does Government still support the removal of the death penalty from our Constitution?  Thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, I was going to say that is a contradiction of the worst order, but I am not saying it.  Government policy has stated its position on the issue of the death penalty. Why do you not await the proposed amendment of the Bill and then debate accordingly on those issues when the Bill is before the House? - [HON. DR. MUTODI: On a point of order!] –  Order, order!  Please sit down Hon. Member – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Mutodi, you need to withdraw.

          HON. DR. MUTODI:  I withdraw Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you, because I was going to mete out some penalties.  Anyway, you were ahead of me and have withdrawn, you may sit down.

          HON. DR. MUTODI:  But on a point of privilege Hon. Speaker, I wanted the response from the responsible Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, why, because Cabinet has adopted a memorandum of a Private Member’s Bill to have the death penalty removed from the Constitution, yet we have court days on ritual murders taking place throughout the country.  So, I really needed a response from the responsible Minister to confirm whether his Ministry is in the affirmative to remove the death penalty from the Constitution. Your response Hon. Speaker, I accept but I took it as some kind of defensive statement of which there could be more proper review if we got it from the horse’s mouth. Thank you, Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you, sometimes the Chair has to defend the logic.  When I see that there is some element of illogical presentation, I have to say it.  In any case, the death penalty legislation is currently before Parliament. Once it is tabled, you will be given all the opportunity to bring that aspect that you had raised in detail. So, why do you not be patient until the material time then you can raise the issue accordingly?  Hon. Shumba, where are you?

HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, you have forgotten me!

THE HON. SPEAKER: Where are you?

HON. SHUMBA: I am here Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. ENG. MHANGWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. You had mentioned my name before Hon. Shumba.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, I had skipped him in terms of my list. You will follow him after that. So, point of correction, I agree with you, I said I made a mistake.

HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Noted.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. You note while standing my friend. - [Laughter] -

HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Noted Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: You see today you are lucky because I am in sort of a good mood, I will not tell you why.

*HON. SHUMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Mines and Mining Development. What is Government policy in terms of easier acquisition of legal mining documentation?  Initially, one gets a prospecting licence and registration certificate and the letter followed by site of works.  Each of these three processes takes a year and you would have borrowed money from the bank. What measures has Government put in place to ensure that this process becomes smooth within a reasonable time so that people can be able to repay their loans without any scuffles? I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA): I would also like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  The Government is busy going around all the provinces to look at the applications that have been outstanding for a long time to end this backlog that runs into years back.  At the moment, we are now at an advanced stage in clearing the backlog.

 In the same vein, I would also want to correct the Hon. Member by clarifying that a prospectors’ licence is given to enable one to prospect an area they believe is rich in minerals.  Once they have established that they have found this mineral, they can make an application to the Ministry of Mines, but because of the backlog that we had, the programme was taking much longer. The backlog had run into several years whilst we were also in the process of coming up with a cadastre system which makes our mining management system much easier for our miners and will enable them to apply for mining in line with modern technology. 

We would want to assure the Hon. Member that the Ministry is busy clearing backlogs that have been there for some time.  I thank you.

          *HON. ZHOU: The Government is in the process of devolution, but I have seen that they have taken the powers of licencing at the provincial level.  This is now being done nationally instead of being done at a provincial level.  This has become an impediment to mining functions that is detrimental to the economy.  May the Hon. Minister clarify this issue?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The question is not supplementary.  You have not properly asked your question; may you repeat your question?

          *HON. TAFANANA ZHOU: Provincial officers used to process mining ownership and it is now taking a long time because all the documentation is now being done in Harare and there will be a backlog.  What was the reason behind that change?

          *HON. KAMBAMURA: The Hon. Member did not come out clear.  What powers exactly have been removed from the provincial offices because we currently have provincial offices that are led by a provincial mining director?  They are the ones that are issuing licencing in such provinces.  There is a head office in Harare, we only want to know the number of licences that they have processed so that we are aware of what is happening in these provinces.  They still have their powers; it is the information that they would have processed that they will then have to give to the head office.  Some licencing processes start at the provincial level and they are later approved by the Minister and they end up in the hands of the President depending on the constitutional requirements. What we are doing is in line with the Mines and Mining Act.

          *HON. KARIMATSENGA-NYAMUPINGA: There are certain places where our youths are going and pegging and we are told that these are reserved areas. What measures is the Government going to put in place to allow these areas not to be reserved, but to be mined by the youth?  I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear].

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You may be applauding her, but this is not a supplementary question. It is not in line with the delay in processing.  This is a new question altogether.

          *HON. TSHUMA: My question is in line with the delays with the processing of mining licences.  Hon. Speaker, there are documents dating back to 2016 that have not been processed.  The problem that comes is that someone who had pegged later than yourself would have licences because of the delay in this processing.  For example, the area might be mined, all the gold will be mined and when you are granted the lawful use, all the gold would have run out.  What measures are they putting in place to ensure that they process these documents quickly?

In the Mines and Mineral Act, they should have processed this documentation in time…

THE HON. SPEAKER: You are now explaining instead of asking a question.  If you have such people who applied in 2016, but have not yet been licenced, write the question down next week, the responsible Minister will research and come up with a response.

HON. CHINANZVAVANA: On the same issue of the length of time people can wait for their licence. Is there a stipulated time frame such that one would know for how long they can wait before receiving their licence?  On top of that, say in case of an officer in their provincial offices has been arrested or been disfranchised in any way, is it the Ministry’s policy that we wait for the clearance of the case on the officer while our applications are on his or her table.  I thank you.

          HON. KAMBAMURA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, and I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Currently, there is no stipulated time in which applicants can wait before they can receive their certificates and we are going to consider that in the new Bill. 

On the second part of the question, I am not quite sure if that has happened before, but the Ministry’s policy is that if ever there are issues to do with the PMD or has been arrested or anything has happened to the PMD or he is sick, usually we second another PMD to that province or the Deputy Mining Director will act on behalf of that PMD.

          However, if ever there is any particular case which the Hon. Member is aware of, she is free to bring that forward so that we can investigate the matter.  I thank you.

          HON. ENG.  MHANGWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I am Engineer Mhangwa from Chinhoyi.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Local Government. If he is not here, then to the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy with respect to providing grants or infrastructure finance…?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, your nomenclature was given to me without Engineer, when you put Engineer, you are suggesting that I ignored your title.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: I suspected that.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: You must correct your Chief Whip and not the Chair, I thank you.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Noted Hon. Speaker Sir.  What is Government policy with respect to providing grants or infrastructure finance to local authorities to guarantee safe reliable adequate bulk treated water in light of the recurring Cholera pandemic?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. W. CHITANDO): Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.   I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of the blueprint which was launched on the 1st of November last year by His Excellency the President, all local authorities were requested to come up with the position as to the adequacy or otherwise of the provision of such facilities, being water and including sanitation.  We again, in terms of that blueprint that was launched, His Excellency directed that there should be a very thorough review of all budgets for local authorities.

          Since that time, there has been serious engagements with all local authorities with respect to their budget which include not only the running costs, but includes capital expenditure where there is inadequacy or where there is need to upgrade infrastructure which includes water, sewer and other infrastructure.  There are instances where local authorities indicate the need for the upgrading of sewer facilities or water facilities, engagements are taking place, that is why it has taken a little bit of delay in finalising the 2024 budget.  There are engagements which are taking place and we intend that in the next two or so weeks, such cases will be over and we will finalise the 2024 budget.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Mr.  Speaker Sir, I note what the Hon. Minister has said, but it does not address the funding issue.  Most if not all municipalities, the monies they get from the rate payers…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Eng. Mhangwa, you do not debate, you simply ask a question which will clarify what you need to be answered.

          HON. ENG. MHANGWA: Noted.  Considering that most of what they collect goes to operational expenditure, the hole that is there for capital expenditure, how is it funded according to Government policy?

          HON. CHITANDO: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.  The funding arrangements vary according to the nature and size of the local authority.  Admittedly, Hon. Speaker Sir, one of the problems where we have had a delay in the approval of the budget is that most of the local authorities are not up to date with audited financial statements.  Some have no audited financial statements for the last five or so years, so that becomes very difficult.  So, we are working with them to ensure the same multiplicity of measures, but Government will be involved to ensure that there is adequate water provision for all local water authorities.  One of the handicaps, you will find that a lot of the local authorities are not up to date with their financial statements.  Some of them do not have financial statements for the last 12 months.  Some have had financial statements last audited in 2018.  How do you get a grant, how do you get a loan in such circumstances?

          You have some of the local authorities whereby 70% of the revenue is going towards salaries.  This part of the implementation of the blueprint and once we finish this audit exercise, there will be an announcement which will be made on the result in view of the 2024 budget.  I thank you.

          HON. MATEWU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think the Hon. Minister is being a bit disingenuous here, the issue of…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, you do not comment on the Minister’s response. You ask a question that is rhetorical to correct what you think is wrong in the response by the Hon. Minister.  Ask your rhetorical question.

          HON. MATEWU: Mr. Speaker Sir, the question that was asked by the Hon. Member talks of infrastructure, most of the water purification plants in this country were built in the 1970s. I will give an example of Marondera…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your question?

          HON. MATEWU: When the Minister said two weeks…

          AN HON. MEMBER: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: The point of order is not accepted when one Member is still standing.

          AN HON. MEMBER: Noted.

          HON. MATEWU: My question is, is the Hon. Minister going to fund the expansion of the water works which are in most of our municipalities which have not been touched since the 1970s?  Is he going to fund them, is it the two weeks that the Hon. Minister is talking of that is going to address the issue of infrastructure?

          HON. CHITANDO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question, but probably he did not get me right.  What is said Hon. Speaker Sir, is that the 2024 budget, following the launch of the blueprint, had clear instructions for each local authority to put in a statement, whether they have adequacy of the provision of sewer water and other infrastructure.  In the event that they did not have adequacy of that, the budget should provide how much is required for that to be rectified, the budget also is not just about capital expenditure. It is also about the income and the expenses and compliance with a whole other loss of regulatory matters.

          Ordinarily, the budget should be approved by the beginning of January but because of the focus which was given in the blueprint, there is very detailed analysis, Madam Speaker, of each and every local authority and in two weeks, that is when the budgets will be finalised and a statement will be issued with some budgets approved and some budgets not approved.

          Madam Speaker, there are some local authorities and I would not want to mention some who have actually come up with provisions to say this is the solution we need for water and Government is working with them to ensure that the solution is provided.  So that is my response Madam Speaker.

          HON. PINDUKAI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  The effort by the Government of Zimbabwe towards combating Cholera is appreciated and yielding results, comparing Zimbabwe to other countries in the region.  Madam Speaker, this is witnessed by declining statistics of new Cholera cases as advised by the post Cabinet briefing and my question now is, what is the Government position and policy towards cascading the administration of oral Cholera vaccines to most rural communities which are still being affected by the same pandemic?  I submit.

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank the Hon. Member of Parliament for questioning on Cholera outbreak.  There is a Government position which requires a lot of inputs on vaccines and Government has received vaccines.  The epi-centre had moved from Buhera, Manicaland to Harare.  The vaccination has started in Harare but the Government’s position is that it must soon be cascaded to all the provinces and to hotspot districts. 

As we receive more vaccines, we want to cover the whole country in order to eliminate this scourge.  It is supplemented obviously by what happens with our water sewerage interventions as well as what the population itself is able to do in terms of using clean water and washing hands at all times.  So it is a multi-faceted programme that requires education of our people, that requires interventions with vaccines, but also that requires us, Members of Parliament, to go and mobilise our people to educate them on the dangers of Cholera which has devastated not just our county, but countries  in the region.  I thank you Madam Speaker.

*HON. GUYO:  Supplementary question Madam Speaker.  What measures are being put in place by Government to deal with patients that are in hospitals, especially in Buhera?

*HON. J. MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Yes, there are some interventions that are non-health interventions.  The issue of food is important.  As Government, we put a task force.  The Civil Protection and other task forces are also involved and food from the Social Welfare will be distributed and the hospitals will be assisting the patients, but we do not know where exactly food aid is required, but the Members of Parliament, the District Administrators, DDCs and Provincial Ministers will give such evidence so that the relevant ministries can assist.

*HON. MUGWADI:  Supplementary question.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.  We would like to express our gratitude.  When we had problems in Buhera because of Cholera, we were given drilling units by Government and boreholes were drilled because we were drinking dirty water.  The boreholes are yet to be fitted so that they become operational. 

I wanted to find out from the relevant Government Ministry what it is going to do to ensure that the boreholes become functional before they are destroyed. At the moment, we just have open wales and we are not receiving any water and some of these are actually being damaged because of the rain.

*HON. J. MOYO:  This one is not a question that requires any written form.  It is a question that cuts across the length and breadth of this country.  On this particular question, may I be allowed to ensure that the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development who is here answers on the part of the water only.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The question was very specific to Buhera but in our Ministry, we are prioritising hotspots around the country. 

Through you Madam Speaker, may I be given time so that I can consult our department ZINWA as to how long it is going to take us to finish the boreholes in Buhera.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Yes, he may have made reference to Buhera, but this is a problem that is nationwide that boreholes were sunk but they are still incomplete and they are non-functional.  Hence that is why I allowed the question to be asked.

HON. MUROMBEDZI:  Madam Speaker, in light of the recent Cholera outbreak and knowing very well it is the responsibility of the Government to make sure that its citizens are safe from any disease, what is the Government doing with regards to the immediate steps in each province to raise awareness among the public about the prevention and management of Cholera at household level?  Thank you very much. 

          THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I just said, when you have a disaster like this one, it is the collective responsibility of Government, which includes all Government Ministries, including this august House Members to go and sensitise the population that we are faced with a disaster.  It is up to us as citizens of this country to take care in order to prevent Cholera.  So, I call upon this august House Members to go all out and say Government is coming up with vaccines.  Government is coming up with installation of boreholes and other programmes including food security for those who have been affected by Cholera.  It is us who must go and sensitise the population so that they respond to the Government’s interventions for knowledge that will have come from all of us.

          When we say the whole of Government approach, we mean society…

          HON. MADZIVANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The reason why we call upon Cabinet Minsters is for them to answer in their executive mandate.  So, I was of the opinion that the Minister must just answer the question right away with his academic mandate and to say it is the role of everyone like Parliament and so forth…

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister is answering, you are out of order.  Please take your seat.  Hon. Minister, may you proceed?

          HON. J. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  When we have a situation like that, there are responsibilities of Government and responsibilities that are cascaded to Government Ministries, whole of society and this society includes us here in Parliament and the structures that end at households.  In some cases, the village heads, the headsmen and the chiefs have better access than all of us in Central Government.  So, when we have a situation like this and this is what is happening, that is why a disaster is managed in the manner that we are talking about.  If we confine it only to Government interventions, we will not be able to eradicate this scourge of Cholera.  I thank you.

          *HON. TAZIKANI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I want to find out what Government is doing about the inadequacy of teaching staff in rural schools. A school with an enrolment of about 200 students has got a headmaster and a deputy only.  What measures have they put in place to ensure that schools are properly staffed?  Thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Government is aware that in schools, there is shortage of teachers.  At the moment, we recruited 2 000 teachers, but they are yet to be deployed.  The figure of 2 000 is the number of school teachers that were supposed to have been deployed during the third term.  This year we are going to recruit 5 000 teachers, which translates to 7 000 teachers recruited.  We believe that once we have done that recruitment exercise, schools with inadequate staffing will have the requisite numbers.

          I would like to inform Members of this august House that what we were talking about in 2023, that teachers are going to be employed from their districts and provinces is now being implemented, which means that His Excellency the President, Hon. Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa is spot on, in serving his people.  Teachers are now going to be employed in the provinces where they come from and they will not ask for transfers.  I thank you.

          *HON. MAPIKI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is, what is Government policy in terms of satellite schools being manned by headmasters that are not substantive?  When is this going to be remedied?

          *HON. T. MOYO: Hon. Speaker, this is a new question.  Be it, as it may, let me respond.  Government has plans to come up with a circular calling upon the Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare - because in all satellite schools, we have Acting Headmasters, so this has a tendency of lowering standards in these particular schools.  So, we are going to correct this one by writing a circular to the Public Service Commission to appoint substantive heads at these satellite schools.

          HON. BAJILA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education is that, is it continuing to be Government policy that Government is only taking transfers from outside urban areas to urban areas teachers, even for those scarce disciplines such as STEM and textile designs.  We have a lot of teachers that are qualified to do that, but Government seems to be saying we want to transfer rural teachers to urban area schools.  Is that Government policy going to continue to exist?

          HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker Ma’am, when teachers want to transfer, it does not matter whether the person is transferring from the rural area to an urban area or vice versa?  What we consider is the availability of a vacant post of that particular discipline.  Let me hasten to inform the House that for STEM subjects and technical subjects, we have a critical shortage of teachers.  I am wondering why those teachers with unique skills find difficulties in transferring because there are vacancies.

          *HON. KARENYI: Thank you Madam Speaker. What measures are they going to put in place to come up with a survey as to how many trained teachers are still unemployed because a lot of teachers require to be employed and you are saying there are no teachers in schools? Why should there be this problem? Can nothing not be done and are there no issues of corruption as regards recruitment and employment or there are some other issues? Thank you.

          *HON. T. MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Karenyi for such a pertinent question. May I ask her to put the question in writing so that next week we will give her a detailed response? Off head, I cannot tell how many trained teachers are there and how many require to be employed. I am also unable to tackle the issue of corrupt activities because we have centralised provinces and districts. May she also put that in writing if there are such reports so that we can report them to the police? Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. It is true that when quantities, facts and figures are now required, you would require to carry out an investigation so that you can come up with a substantive answer. I urge Hon. Karenyi to write down her question.

          *HON. MASHONGANYIKA: What measures is the Government taking in looking into the issue of extra lessons when they say the new curriculum is very difficult? Parents are having difficulties because teachers are asking for USD20-30 per child. Parents are now struggling because their reason for such demands is that the curriculum is difficult. Has the Government looked into such issues as regards the issue of extra lessons?

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mashonganyika, but this is now a different question. I do not see the relevance with that question. May you ask that one as a separate question?

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Hon. Speaker, may I give a response to her.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. Very well, but ordinarily we do not allow you to request to answer the question.

          HON. DR. MUTODI: The ruling of the Chair is final. Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mutodi. You have said the truth. Hon. Minister, she will ask you the question and you will respond the question at another time. Thank you.

          *HON. MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. What measures has the Government taken as regards to the youth that are being arrested all over Zimbabwe? Some were resettled in 2008 in communal lands when the village head would allocate pieces of land. A lot of youths are appearing before the courts. What is Government doing to assist such land occupiers who have been there for 20 years or more? It is difficult to just be displaced without sufficient warning.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. You did not properly ask your question. Why are these youths being arrested? Are they illegally settled there or what?

          *HON. MAKUMBE: They were allocated legally, but there is no documentation. They are being arrested and they are being given seven days in which to vacate that place. There are a lot of such places countrywide. Thank you.

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Member for the question. What the Hon. Member is talking about is difficult to deal with. As Government, we implement the law and we want our people to follow the law. If I were to stand before you and say that they should be there, it would mean that I am not following the law. If one is occupying a place where one has no offer letter, they should vacate the land. If there are individual cases that may have spent 20 years, they are not members of the youth. If you have spent 20 years at a place, such cases can be considered and it should be dealt with on a case by case basis. So, my plea is that let us utilise the structures that we have, the district and lands to handle such matters so that they are dealt with at that level, but not to the headquarters. 

          Lastly, if we are talking about the youth and lands, we have a Youth Quota which is entitled to 20%. It means that once the 20% of the youths are given offer letters, they get the offer letters from our Ministry. If they are on the schedule, we will look at the schedule and also consider the Youth Quota. I urge the youth to apply and not lose heart and that they should not buckle to pressure because they want land. We do not want land barons. Land barons are detrimental to the development of our country. They are not abiding by the laws. I thank you.

          *HON NYABANI: A person might have left that piece of land 10 years ago and the village head might have resettled someone. You find that with the Ministry of Local Government, they regularise such issues. Can you not go to the ground and see that those with 10 years or older, you regularise the occupation of that land like other ministries?  I thank you.

*HON. HARITATOS: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. We deal with these matters on a case by case basis. If there are such cases where one has been in occupation for 10 or 20 years, there will be reasonable cause. I am aware that people were resettled at a place for 23 years and it will be unreasonable to remove them from such land. That is why I am saying let us utilise our structures in the Ministry so that we can intervene in the best manner possible. We cannot help those that were in occupation last year.  We want our people to live peacefully. We do not want people waking up every day thinking that they might be evicted. We want regularisation but this can be done on a case by case basis depending on the severity and merit of the case.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

REGULARISATION OF SETTLEMENTS UNDER COOPERATIVES BY THE CITY OF HARARE

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House the measures being implemented to ensure that the City of Harare regularises settlements under cooperatives.

THE MINISTER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHITANDO): I would like to inform the august House that the City of Harare is in the process of regularising settlements. It is of importance to note that the City of Harare passed a resolution to regularise all settlements in Harare that meet town planning standards. It should be noted that City of Harare is not regularising illegal invasions on council schools, clinic sites and recreational sites

The City of Harare established a Regularisation Steering Committee and Task Force to assess suitability of settlements for regularisation and to undertake the regularisation process.

The city developed a standard checklist to consider for regularisation as well as developed regularisation of Standard Operating Procedure.

The city has a target to regularise a total 16 900 units by the end of the first quarter of 2024. The Ministry is working closely with the City of Harare in approving all the layout plans submitted to the Ministry by City of Harare for approval.

STRATEGIES TO RESOLVE LAND CONFLICT AT CORNER

HIGH GLEN ROAD AND HEANY ROAD

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA: asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House whether the Ministry has any strategies to resolve the perennial conflict over the land at the corner of High Glen Road and Heany Road?

      THE MINISTER LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHITANDO): Let me inform the House that invasion of land is criminal conduct covered under the Criminal Code under Section 136. The definition of fraud under 135 covers the crime of land invasion. We have laws on disputes resolution and illegal invasion of land will be dealt with and culprits will be brought before the law. The High Glen and Heany Road land issue is as a result of land invasion. However, the matter is before the courts and involves various cooperatives that invaded council land which had already been duly allocated to other people. The matter is before the courts. I submit.

      *HON. HAMAUSWA: My supplementary question is that as we look into the problem of land invasion, what measures is Government going to put in place to safeguard public spaces so that the land barons cannot continue invading the land to avoid problems that will lead to regularisation? Can Government not come up with other measures to deter such land invasions once they occur?

      THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Hon Minister said the issue is sub judice. So, if the matter is before the courts, it cannot be entertained in this august House.

      *HON. HAMAUSWA: He had given an introduction that land invasions are illegal. I was not referring to a specific case but that is a tip of the iceberg as it involves village heads as what The Herald is reporting. We do not want the courts to be inundated with such cases. What measures are they going to put in place as Government to ensure that parks, schools and such other areas are safeguarded? I thank you.

      HON. CHITANDO: A few weeks ago, the Minister of Lands issued a statement that was in newspapers talking about people that are illegally settled. He further stated that Government will be taking measures to deal with those that are illegally resettled and that they would be arrested in line with what the Minister of Lands has said. This is what Government is going to do? I thank you.

TITLE DEEDS FOR WARREN PARK RESIDENTS

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Local Government and Public Works to inform the House: (a) when the residents of Warren Park Constituency would receive their title deeds as was promised in 1981; and (b) on the challenges being faced by the Ministry in issuing the title deeds.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHITANDO): Government has accelerated and expanded programme of issuance of title deeds under the Presidential Title Deeds Programme to include existing houses in established suburbs without title deeds such as Warren Park, Glen Norah and others in Harare.

          A phased approach has been adopted.  Government is rolling out the programme in four pilot areas and the City of Harare is amongst the first four Local Authorities that are under such a programme.  To this extent, to specifically answer the question, the City of Harare has identified 25 settlements which include Warren Park, that are ready for the issuance of title deeds under this programme.  The settlements have about 40 000 properties to be issued with title deeds.  I submit Madam Speaker.

          *HON. HAMAUSWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Minister for your response.  My supplementary question is, when they are doing their work going to different areas where they want to offer title deeds, are they working with the Residents Committees? Residents Committees and Residents Associations are supposed to notify the people of the areas so that they fulfil the mantra of saying, leaving no one behind.

          *HON. CHITANDO: Thank you. Madam Speaker for the pertinent question asked.  We do have different Government departments that are doing the work of offering title deeds in each and every area they will be working in. They work with councils and different leadership for that certain area when they are carrying out their duty. Thank you.

          HON. C. MOYO: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am and good afternoon.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Good afternoon.

HON. C.  MOYO: For the last five years here in the 9th Parliament Madam Speaker, I was raising the issue of title deeds for the Mabutweni residents and the whole five years, it was only theory.  I want to find out from the Hon. Minister whether there is any plan in the pipeline pertaining to title deeds for the Mabutweni residents? Thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Title deeds for who?

HON. C.  MOYO: Mabutweni residents.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is a specific question. The Hon. Minister will need to go and make some investigations so that he brings the answer. Please may you put that question in writing?

HON. C.  MOYO: I will do that, thank you for your guidance, Madam Speaker Maám, though it was about title deeds. Thank you.

*HON. BONDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to ask on the issue of assistance that is being offered to those who are issued with title deeds. What form of assistance are they offering?  Are you providing legal advice and financial assistance for the people to get the legal assistance? I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Madam Speaker. The assistance that is being offered by different Government departments working with councils of that specific area is, they go and identify properties without title deeds and help the owners of these properties to get their title deeds without them moving from one office to another. You just go to one place and apply your title deeds. Thank you.

SUPPLY OF POTABLE WATER TO MTAWATAWA GROWTH POINT

  1. HON. KARUMAZONDO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Development to inform the House when ZINWA will constantly supply potable water to Mtawatawa Growth Point to avert Cholera outbreak.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you. Hon. Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, FISHERIES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very good question. Hon. Member you may wish to know that Mutawatawa Growth Point is supplied from Chikono Dam and the situation is that the water levels have since improved and reached various status at the end of November of last year.

Hon. Speaker Ma’am, our national storage levels are now at 84.8%, inflows were received in the dam which could last for five months for supply, and the centre is currently being supplied from the dam. Augmentation plan of the two boreholes which were drilled to alleviate water shortages at the Mtawatawa Growth point is still in place and ZINWA is working on electrifying these boreholes and equipping them to improve water suppliers. These boreholes will remain as augmentation for dam water supply from the Chikono dam. Thank you.

*HON. KARUMAZONDO:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Minister for the response he has given to this august House. My supplementary question is, I wanted to notify the Hon.  Minister that Chikono Dam no longer has the capacity to supply water to Mtawatawa because Mtawatawa is now too big.  The boreholes which have been mentioned are urgently needed. Sometimes the residents of Mtawatawa spend two to three weeks without water and currently, there is a Cholera outbreak.

In 2022, I asked a question concerning this issue and was given the response that they are going to look for an alternative to supply water from Mazowe River to Mtawatawa - to date, nothing has been done. In October, we held a meeting with ZINWA Officials from Mtawatawa and they promised us that in January, water will be available, but as I have already alluded, there is no water for the past two weeks. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

*HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I also want to thank the Hon. Member for raising this pertinent supplementary question.  Madam Speaker Ma’am, I will personally look into the issue so that we find a long-lasting solution.  Two boreholes were drilled, but if the Hon. Member is saying the water is not enough, then let us …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, may you please use one language?

*HON. HARITATOS: Thank you, my apologies Hon. Madam Speaker Ma’am. I did not learn Shona at school.  I only learnt the language through socialising with other people, hence I speak Shongrish.

The Hon. Member raised pertinent points. I will speak to the ZINWA officials and also invite the Hon. Member to my office to further discuss the issue and find a lasting solution.

          *HON. KARUMAZONDO: I would like to thank the Minister for his explanation.  We have heard of the capacity of the dam and the use that the water is going to be put to.  The said dam has been outstanding for a long time.  When is this Nyatana Dam going to be completed?

          We have talked of funding, in 2018 there were tenders for this particular dam together with other dams, but other dams were given preference instead of this one.  It was our plea Hon. Minister that the Government also prioritises the same dam to ensure that UMP district which is region four and five suffers from scarcity of rain.  So, I urge you to come up with funding to ensure that UMP has irrigation.  I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you, Madam Speaker.  In 2018, we had 19 dams that were supposed to be constructed.  I would want Hon. Speaker to know that even in my constituency, there is Kudu Dam which was among those dams to be constructed, but because of a shortage of funding, we reduced the numbers from 19 to three.  As long as the dam is on the original list, we are going to ensure that in the upcoming years, we are going to be given funding for these activities.  Parliament decides our budgets for the ministries, it is my plea that we look at such projects and prioritise them as Members of Parliament and we lobby the Treasury to ensure that funding is provided for such dams to be constructed.  I thank you.

HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you, Madam Speaker.  There is also a dam, Runde-Tende as well as the one that you have spoken about which requires a lot of funding.  What other means do you have for private partnership so that we can be able to construct such dams?  I thank you.

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you, Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  What the Hon. Member is suggesting is Public-Private-PartnershipGovernment, through our agent ZINWA, we want private players to come on board to build such dams and will accept this, but we will have to measure and see if this is plausible.  I thank you.

*HON. NYABANI: As regards Nyatana Dam, it covers three provinces, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Harare.  So, it is like killing three birds with one stone.  What do you prioritise when you give funding?  This one has a lot of hectarage under irrigation…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You are now explaining. Ask the question.

*HON. NYABANI: What is the criterion that you use for funding among the top three that you prioritise?  Nyatana from your explanation could have been the first one, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, and Harare have water shortages. 

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you, Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Hon.  Speaker Ma’am, there is quite a big criterion when looking at dams; there is the aspect of affordability, the impact that it makes on society.  When we look at a dam like Nyatana, it is 100 000 hectares which is massive, and it is probably the biggest in this country.  So, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be a priority project, but I also believe that there is no doubt in my mind that it will also be the largest and most expensive dam since independence, so there is a lot of give and take. 

Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, what dictates is the finances. So whilst we put all the finances towards one dam, it may be a challenge to convince the Treasury to allow us to put all that substantial amount of resources in one dam that possibly could surpass even one full year of allocation of our budget.

The criterion we look is quite extensive, but I reassure the Member of Parliament as well as other Members including ourselves because every one of us lives in Harare currently.  So, we will benefit from this and I assure you that when we say that it is being put in the books, we will prioritise so that it is done.  I will go back to what I said previously that as Members of Parliament, if we can help our Ministry prioritise this project, that 100 000 hectares, you can imagine the impact it will do on our country because we will probably mimic what we are doing in Gwayi-Shangani.  In Gwayi-Shangani, we are drawing water 278 km and we are making the entire pipeline a green belt.  So, with this project, even bigger than that, there is no doubt in my mind that we will uplift the livelihoods of thousands of people and we will guarantee that every one of us has water running in our taps which is a basic human right to have access to water.

HON. BONDA: There are some new projects that you have just brought up, there is the Zambezi Water Project that is supposed to draw water as you are saying from the Zambezi into Gwayi-Shangani.  When are you going to complete one project and start speaking about one project before you talk about another one?  As we speak, Gwayi-Shangani Dam's work stopped almost a year ago coming through to the dam project.  So, I want to know as you have touched it, what percentage has gone with the dam? When is the dam going to be completed so that it can supply at least the dry area of Bulawayo City?

HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon Speaker Ma’am.  This was exactly the challenge in 2018.  We had 19 dams on our books and in English we say, it was like a short gun effect where instead of refurbishing one or two dams and moving to the next, we were trying to focus too large and resources have already been finite.  We are touching on a little bit on each dam, so when we talk of Gwayi-Shangani, specifically we are currently at 78% completion of Gwayi-Shangani.  I can assure you that there has been a significant amount of work in Gwayi-Shangani.  We stopped work because of the rains, the companies that won the tender to build the Gwayi-Shangani went off-site in December and they will come back soon so that they can continue with the dam.  I visited the dam several times Hon. Speaker, it is a massive project and it is going to have a massive impact on the population, not only nearby, but in the entire Greenbelt.  It will ensure that we have 10 000 hectares of irrigation along the pipeline and it also comes with a 10 mega-watt supply of energy which is hydropower.  So many benefits will come.

Moving on to the specific question with regards to the Zambezi project, this is what I am saying that we need to complete the current dams so that we can continue to prioritise.  At the same time, we cannot sit here and only dream about the three dams that we are currently building.  We need to have a master plan and that is what we currently have. We have a master plan so that we know exactly how we will ensure that every city in Zimbabwe has sufficient raw water for the councils to purify and be able to supply individual households with water. 

We also know through our irrigation development, how many hectares we want to utilise and currently, we have 350 000-hectare boreholes.  We cannot do that unless we have a substantial amount or resource of water within our dams.  So, the building of dams has to work concurrently with irrigation and development.  So, these are our priorities so that we ensure that our country is food, fibre, and oil self-sufficient going forward and for years to come.  I thank you.

          *HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I am happy with what the Hon. Minister has said that he wants Parliament to increase the Ministry’s budget.  We are pained as Members of Parliament that we do our parliamentary business in such a State of the Art building but there are very important projects like water that we have not finished doing.  Like what the Hon. Minister alluded to, people who are coming to partner with us in building dams, when will this take place so that we can give feedback to our constituencies?

          *HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker. As I speak right now, ZINWA has got the prospectus that shows all the projects; those that are currently being built and those that are yet to be completed.  I think instead of taking this as a question, I am taking this as a suggestion, we will talk to ZINWA so that they will not keep the prospectus because the prospectus is of 2018 where we went to tender.  Some of the tenders were won.  We are under Ministry of Finance’s purview because when a person comes, he will say I want to build a dam in such a place but he will have his expectations.  He will say I want a Government guarantee or a sovereign guarantee or something depending on the investor. We must not keep the prospectus, we will put the prospectus in public so that we attract people in Zimbabwe that are wiling to help us to build dams. 

CRITERION ON DISTRIBUTION OF PFUMVUDZA INPUTS

  1. HON. S. ZIYAMBI asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to explain the criteria used to ensure equitable distribution of Pfumvudza inputs taking into account the boundaries that were drawn up during the 2022 delimitation exercise

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker and I thank the Hon. Member for the question regarding Pfumvudza inputs using the 2022 delimitation exercise.  The Ministry is using the newly established boundaries that were drawn up during the 2022 delimitation exercise.  Furthermore, when inputs are distributed to provinces, they are distributed according to the number of households in that province.

          The inputs then are distributed to the various GMB depots within the respective provinces.  Once delivered, GMB then notifies the District Input Committee through Agritex.  The Committee then determines the distribution channel of inputs to the intended beneficiaries.

RURAL BOREHOLE SCHEME FOR GOKWE- MAPFUNGAUTSI CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON. KARIKOGA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to inform the House when Gokwe-Mapfungautsi Constituency will benefit from the Rural Borehole Scheme.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS):  Thank you Hon. Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for a very good question regarding rural borehole schemes in the Gokwe Constituency. Hon. Member in Midlands Province, the Ministry through ZINWA, has drilled a total of 304 boreholes to date and there are two rigs in the province working in the City of Gweru attending to Cholera hotspots and the other one in Gokwe South, Zhombe Clinic and Chitekete.  Furthermore, Government has drilled 100 boreholes in Gokwe constituencies broken down as follows:- 

          Firstly, Sengwa 15 boreholes, Nembudziya 60 boreholes, Kabuyuni 10 boreholes, Chireya 15 boreholes.  ZINWA is targeting region 4 and 5 villages in Gokwe and it expects to be drilling in Gokwe, Mapfungautsi early this year. I thank you Hon. Speaker.

          *HON. CHIDUWA: I thank you Hon. Speaker.  I have a problem Hon. Speaker, of all these boreholes that you have alluded to, most of them are just incomplete boreholes which are not fully installed.  What is Government policy now to see that these boreholes are completed so that the people will start to benefit?

          *HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I thank you for the question.  When drilling boreholes, we must install the necessary mechanisms so that the borehole will start to function.  I know that we drilled a lot of boreholes but we are yet to finish them.  Our challenge is on finances because our funding comes from the Ministry of Finance.  The money is disbursed but it comes in batches.  We cannot finish all the boreholes at the same time but in our Ministry, we have agreed that we want to prioritise the boreholes that have already been sunken so that people will start to access clean water.

          HON. SITHOLE:  My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that where I come from, region 5 in Matabeleland, all boreholes that are sunk are just sunk boreholes which have no water because they are going up to 40 metres, but the water is around 100 metres going down.  So, my advice to the Minister for him to know that Matabeleland South…

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Ask your question Honourable.

          HON. SITHOLE:  My question is, what are we going to do as you know that in all those 40 metre boreholes, there is no water.  What action are we going to take?

          HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  We bought 40 borehole rigs that have come and been given to ZINWA and we have more that we anticipate to buy.  Some of these rigs are what we call super rigs.  The original rigs that came were not super rigs, so these are standard rigs.  Probably they can drill up to 90 metres if not 100 metres, but nothing deeper than that. 

Knowing the area he is talking about, I have been there and it is a very dry area, it surprises me and alarmingly so why there are only 40 metre borehole depths.  I will take it personally to the CEO of ZINWA to explain himself because we know those regions’ minimum, we should be drilling to full capacity of that borehole.

Having said that, we have some that are super rigs and these rigs can drill as deep as 500 metres down and those are the reasons why we procured these specific borehole rigs so that we can ensure that we get even to the deepest depth to ensure that these are not dry holes and that they are wet so that they can obviously perform well.

Madam Speaker, traditionally our mechanism is bush pumps.  When we go and we surpass about 60 metres depth, it now becomes quite a large task on the bush pump itself.  The mechanism is not designed to go deeper than 60 metres so that at that stage, we as the Ministry, also takes it upon ourselves to fully mechanise.  So mechanisation can come in the form of an electric borehole pump or it can be a solar pump.

So, it is just for us as Hon. Members of Parliament to understand that for you to expect that the design of that bush pump can take deeper than 60 metres, it is outside of its design spec.  Also, if we look at our elderly it becomes a major task, even our young kids will try to use these bush pumps.  At those depths, it becomes very painful on the arms.  So, we do not want that.  We want our people to access water easily.  We do not want them to be sitting 10 minutes or 20 minutes trying to fill a bucket.  The idea is we want this to happen.

Madam Speaker, I am sure you know very well we have a problem to drill 50 000 boreholes in 35 000 villages in our country and we also want to drill 10 000 additional boreholes in the 10 000 schools that exist in our country.  So, there is no place in Zimbabwe that we are not going to touch. Some places will be your standard 40 metres, some places can go up to 100 metres and some places will have to be deeper.  If I can ask the Hon. Member through you Madam Speaker, to give me specifically those boreholes so that I can summon the CEO to my office to truly understand what happened because this should not have happened.

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, we also have reticulation exercises.  In some places, I will give you an example of my constituency, we have places very close to the river where you would think are full and have abundant water.  You drill and you will not get any water.  What we are doing is we are actually piping water from these dams, but we also have a system of purification.  So even if a borehole cannot be sunk Madam Speaker, where there is a will there is a way.  We will find water so that we ensure that every village in Zimbabwe has adequate water supply for its population.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.

*HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I have heard that there are two rigs in the Midlands.  When is a rig going to be provided for a borehole drilling in Harare? Thank you.

*HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  That is a pertinent question Hon. Member.  In Gweru, we have two rigs.  In Harare we have more than three rigs, Harare is a hot spot.  It has more rigs than Gweru.  I am not sure of the number, but the drilling programme in Harare is causing delays in the other provinces including Mashonaland West where I come from.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.

*HON. P. ZHOU:  I thank the Minister for the response.  The borehole drilling exercise is good for our villages.  He said he is going to add more and that he is going to be moving around the country.  Are there any plans to deal with those that are in small scale farming areas and not villages so that at a central point, these small-scale farmers can also draw clean water?  The majority of them are drinking  water from the river or the stream.  The wales are not adequate.  Could there be boreholes drilled in the areas so that they can also be involved in horticulture or irrigation in line with the mantra leave no one behind?

*HON. HARITATOS:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker in the districts we have district WASH committees.  They are the ones that look into the quality of the water and whether the water is potable.  These committees are the ones that look into such places.  We do not want our people to draw or to drink water from the running streams.  They should be able to access potable clean water.

We are looking at bringing on board 35 village gardens for the 35 villages throughout the country and we will have additions for small holders, it is not budgeted for.  We may have challenges, but we have programmes that are related to irrigation development.  We have Maka 2000 which deals with A1farmers, Maka 8 000 deals with A2s and Pet Stores.  They also deal with those irrigation developments.

I think it is better if there are specifics that we urge Hon. Members to go to Maka or to Pet Store or to even come to our department of water.  We are not saying you must come to Harare, we have decentralised.  You can go to your provinces or your districts.  So, deal with those that are in the irrigation department and give them ideas that you believe are meaningful and helpful to those that are residents in A1 farms as the Hon. Member has alluded to, but at the moment, we do not have drilling programmes targeting specifically A1 farmers.  Thank you.

          *HON. P. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is in line with what the Hon. Minister has said that the majority of the boreholes were sunk, but they are not producing water.  What measures does he have in place since they do not have adequate funding at the moment to ensure that those boreholes can produce water?  What measures has he put in place to ensure that those opening holes that are not producing water can now produce water? 

          HON. HARITATOS: Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  When we do our budgets, for funds to drill a borehole, we budget the funds for physical drilling.  We budget funds for the mechanisation which enables the water to be drawn, but if we have inadequate funds, we only use the inadequate funds for the few boreholes that we have and that depends on the release of the funding.  Our top priority is to complete those boreholes that have been drilled so that they become functional.  The majority of them have now been mechanised.  I do not have the figures, but need be, I will bring the figures so that the House may be enlightened.  All is dictated by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion in terms of releasing of funds.  If there is adequate funding, there is nothing that stops us from completing these ones.  I thank you.

CONSTRUCTION OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS AT MARAMBA BUSINESS CENTRE

  1. HON. KARUMAZONDO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House when Government will construct primary and secondary schools at Maramba Business Centre to decongest the large numbers at existing schools.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would like to thank Hon. Karumazondo for such an important question which addresses the critical aspect of access to education.  The Government has already acknowledged the huge deficit that exists in the country in as far as the provision of schools is concerned.  As a Ministry, we are constructing schools in some areas and this is a continuous programme.  We are also working with the partners to ensure schools are constructed in needy areas.  We are urging citizens who might have funds to establish schools to do so and we are working to ensure the registration process will be expedited.  It is my wish that these programmes will also cover your constituency to alleviate the problem.

          HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question to the Hon. Minister is, as you have explained, Mutawatawa Growth Point, there was an approved application for a school to be built in that area.  Can Maramba-Pfungwe Constituency have a Government school so that our pass rate improves?  Thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Karumazondo, I think your question requires time so that the Minister can go and find facts with regard to that particular application.

          HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My response is the application that was made, I am unaware of it.  I need time to research.  Thank you.

 ACCESS TO EDUCATION FOR HURUNGWE CONSTITUENCIES

 

  1. HON. KANGAUSARU asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to inform the House the Ministry’s plans to improve access to education in Hurungwe constituencies and to improve the overall education system in the country.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. T. MOYO): Thank you Hon. Kangausaru for such an important question.  Our mandate is to ensure access to education for all children in the country whereby every child accesses education. There is a huge deficit in schools and we have several programmes in place to alleviate the problem.  Through budgetary support from Treasury, we are constructing some schools.  We are also working with partners to construct new schools.  Our registration process for new schools has been enhanced to ensure citizens wishing to establish schools find it easier.  Our education system is one of the best in the region with neighbouring countries working to replace our curriculum and assessment models in their jurisdictions.  We are however, always working to improve in areas we feel we may be lagging behind.  I thank you.

COMPLETION OF MREWA-MADICHECHE ROAD

 

  1. HON. KARUMAZONDO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when Government will complete the construction of Murewa–Madicheche Road in Mashonaland East Province.

            THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Allow me to respond to the question raised by Hon. Karumazondo.  As you may be aware, under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2, which is being implemented through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and whose mandate is to restore the navigability of roads; works are under way on the Murewa-Madicheche Road and progress is as follows;

        Installation of one-barrel shelvet and backfilling has been completed.  The priming of 600 metres approaches has also been completed and is ready for surfacing.  The contractor has mobilised surfacing equipment and surfacing is scheduled to be done in the near future.  The installation of four barrel-shelvet is now complete and backfilling is at 36%.  I would like to also say that the scope of construction for this road is 55.8 km long.  Thus, it is classified as a capital-intensive project and our construction plans will be done in phases.  The projection is to complete the outstanding scope in the long run, doing it phase by phase.  Thank you.

COMPLETION OF MUREWA-MADICHECHE ROAD

  1. HON. KARUMAZONDO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when Government will complete the construction of Murewa–Madicheche Road in Mashonaland East Province.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCUTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO): Madam Speaker Ma’am, allow me to respond to the question by Hon. Karumazondo. Under Emergency Roads Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 (ERRP), being implemented through my Ministry and whose mandate is to restore the navigability of roads, works are underway on the Murewa-Madacheche Road and progress is as follows:

  • Installation of one-barrel shelvert and backfilling has been completed.
  • Priming of 600m approaches has also been completed and is ready for surfacing. The contractors mobilised servicing equipment and servicing is scheduled to be done in the near future.
  • Installation of four-barrel shelverts is now complete and backfilling is at 36%.

- The scope of construction of this road is 55.8 km, thus classified as a capital-intensive project. Our construction plans will be done in phases and projections are to complete the outstanding scope in the long run doing it phase by phase. I submit.

          *HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for his explanation to the august House. My question to the Hon. Minister is, since 2018 to present, the Madicheche Road contractors have been given tenders but as I explained that it is 55 km to date, not even 500 km has been tarred. Several contractors are coming on site and leaving the works. Can you assure this House as to when this road is going to be completed because for years, no meaningful work is being done on this road? Can you allay our fears that the road is going to reach completion in terms of construction? About 1.2 kms is still under construction and so is 8.8kms that were awarded to other contractors are no longer on site. Are they going to come back on site because there is CMED on 12 kms and 8.8 kms, there is no one who is dealing with that?

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER, in terms of Standing Order No. 68.

          HON. TSITSI ZHOU: Madam Speaker Ma’am, I move that time for Questions with Notice be extended with 15 minutes.

          HON. KARUMAZONDO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: We have extended Questions with Notices by 15 minutes. Can the Hon. Deputy Minister respond to Hon. Karumazondo’s question?

          HON. SACCO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank Hon. Karumazondo for his supplementary question. I understand the frustration that he has as the Hon. Member of Parliament due to late or the time being taken to repair the road in question. I would like to give him assurance that as the Ministry of Transport, we are also currently working on improving our monitoring and evaluation capacity to make sure that as the Government, we receive value for money and that contractors who are given work, do the work as prescribed in their contracts and they give the required value for money. I would like to give commitment that as the Ministry of Transport, we will be dealing with this road as a matter of urgency just like as we all know His Excellency the President is very clear that no one and no place shall be left be behind. So, whilst we are working on funding from the fiscus, as soon as we receive funds, we will resume our net road because it is a road of importance. I submit.

REHABILITATION OF ROADS IN ZAKA NORTH

 

15 HON. MURAMBIWA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House what plans the Ministry has to rehabilitate roads such as Jerera-Govo, Ndanga-Jichidza, Jichidza-Veza, Gumbo-Bvukururu and Chipinda-Padare in Zaka North.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO): Allow me to respond to the question raised by Hon. Murambiwa as follows: The above-mentioned roads are all gravel roads which require re-gravelling and on some sections, just grading. The said roads like within Zaka District fall under Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA). The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development will engage RIDA to make sure that they are included on the maintenance programme for 2024.

IMPROVEMENT OF ROADS IN HURUNGWE CONSTITUENCIES

17 HON. KANGAUSARU asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House what plans the Ministry has to improve the road infrastructure within the Hurungwe constituencies which is currently in a bad state thereby adversely affecting transportation of vital agricultural produce such as tobacco and maize.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO): Thank you Madam Speaker. The road being referred to by Hon. Kangausaru, I agree that a good road network is a key economic driver, thus ease of transportation of agricultural produce is of paramount importance. As you are aware, ERRP 2 is ongoing and is meant to address issues of trafficability on all public roads. Accordingly, my Ministry will ensure that problematic roads in the Hurungwe constituencies as highlighted will be attended to. I submit.

HON. KANGAUSARU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question to the Hon. Minister is that since we have seen that there is a highway that has been constructed Harare/Chirundu Road, is it not prudent that during this time when you have contracted five contractors to do the road construction that we also simultaneously also appoint or take some few graders that concurrently while you are constructing the highway, we can be able to do those feeder roads immediately because the roads are in a dire state? that is my question. Thank you.

          HON. SACCO: Hon. Kangausaru, you are raising a very important point. I would just like to say that funding for the Harare – Chirundu highway is ring-fenced in a particular manner because that project is costly on its own as a major national development. However, I would like to support your proposal that graders are availed to work on the other roads in Hurungwe. What we are doing as Ministry of Transport is that we have engaged ZINARA to fund what we call periodic maintenance, whereby our local councils will have fuel availed to them so that the graders and tippers that are available in the districts can be fuelled for gravelling so that we capacitate each and every district level, the maintenance of roads through ZINARA periodic maintenance.

We are also working as a Ministry to recapacitate the maintenance units that we had in all the districts of the country. This will allow us as the Ministry to have the capacity to do pothole filling, verge clearance, gravelling and grading across the country in all our districts.

The support from this House will go a long way as we lobby for funding to buy trucks and graders as well for the maintenance units in our districts. I do take the contribution very seriously that we should look at ways of capacitating graders in the districts to work on the roads in Hurungwe as the Harare-Chirundu highway is under construction.

*HON. MURAMBIWA: Madam Speaker, as I sit here, I am worried because when I posed the question to the Minister which has been responded to, he said those roads are not under the Ministry of Transport. So, according to my understanding, I thought roads could be separated, but all the roads still remain under the Ministry of Transport. If they are not under the Ministry of Transport, the roads which fall under RIDA will be under OPC. So, who is the Minister who is supposed to come and respond to questions pertaining to these roads? Right now, we are facing a lot of problems because of these roads. I want to refer to a mission called Chitsa in Masvingo Province and that mission once it rains –

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: You were clear and had asked your question properly, but now you are being specific.

*HON. MURAMBIWA: I was trying to explain so that the Minister can respond properly.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let him respond to the first part of your question.

*HON. SACCO: I want to thank the Hon. Member for this pertinent question. It is true that RIDA which was called DDF falls under OPC and that is where they report to and they have their own budget which does not fall under the Ministry of Transport. What we do as a Ministry is to request and highlight to them, the roads which need rehabilitation, and when they are rehabilitating the roads, we provide technical assistance to make sure that everything is done properly. If this House says RIDA must fall under Ministry of Transport, this is a proposal which can come from the House and we will be happy to supervise them, but for now, we can only ask for their assistance to do road maintenance on certain roads and provide technical support.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

PAYMENT TO CHIPINGE FARMERS FOR DELIVERY OF MAIZE TO GMB

  1. HON. C. HLATSHWAYO asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to inform the House when Government will facilitate payment to farmers in Chipinge South who delivered maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) dating way back as 2019 but are yet to be paid, and to confirm the payment will take into consideration the inflation variances.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. HARITATOS): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  According to GMB records, I can confirm that there is no outstanding payment for maize deliveries for 2019 intake or intakes other than the current outstanding payments.  For now, I humbly request Hon. Hlatywayo to share such detail of alleged non-payment for the previous years

REHABILITATION OF CHINYAMUKWAKA ROAD

  1. HON. HLATSHWAYO asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to inform the House when the Ministry will rehabilitate Chinyamukwaka Road which stretches from the Mozambican Border with Zimbabwe to Chiredzi South, given the importance of the road as it is the only route to health and education facilities in the area.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. SACCO):  Hon. Speaker, allow me to respond to the question raised by Hon. Hlatshwayo as follows: The road being referred to by Hon. Hlatshwayo is called Chisumbanje-Garahwa Road and is 35 km long. It is a gravel road that is currently characterised by corrugations, and some sections are difficult to pass during the rainy season. The Ministry is aware that drainage structures need to be improved urgently and in general, the road requires gravelling and grading. This specific road falls under the purview of the Rural Development Agency (RIDA) and we have engaged them to include the road in their period maintenance plans for 2024 under the ERRP 2 Programme.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

HON. TSITSI ZHOU: I move that we stand over Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 8 until Order of the Day, Number 9 has been disposed of.

HON. MLOTSHWA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

GBV AWARENESS PROGRAMMES TO PROMOTE POSITIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURALCHANGE

Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the 2023 commemorations to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign.

Question again proposed.

          HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this very important topic.  It is my humble request that I debate whilst sitting down.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  You can go ahead Hon. Zhou.

HON. P. ZHOU:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker Ma’am. GBV is a topical issue and I want to call it a pandemic as well.  It is very proper that we are discussing it here in this august House.  A lot has been said on GBV.  Previous speakers have defined GBV, the different forms of GBV, statistics on GBV and the impacts of GBV.  I will try to discuss what I feel has not been said already to avoid repetition as this topic has been thoroughly debated.

I will base my presentation on the information I got from reading GBV reports published by Musasa Project and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) on the 16 days of activism. Musasa Project is a non-governmental organisation that was set up in 1988 to deal with issues of violence against women and girls.  ZGC’s specific mandate is to monitor issues concerning gender equality and to ensure gender equality as provided for in the Constitution as derived from Section 246.

Sixteen days of activism was started by Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991.  In 2023, the campaign theme was, ‘Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.  These 16 days of global activism against GBV is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November to 10 December every year.  It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. 

ZGC is very concerned that despite the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act and despite having Sections 51, 52 and 53 of the Constitution – providing for the right to dignity, personal security and freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment; cases of GBV continue to escalate, they are on the rise.  It says GBV remains prevalent and widely under reported as many survivors decide to suffer in silence.  We have men who say they are shy – they do not want to report abuse by their wives, hence they suffer in silence rather than suffer the stigmatisation or it is due to lack of punitive or deterrent sentences.  For example, we see a lot of child marriages, but the perpetrators are there.  They are not in jail and it goes on and on.  It becomes infectious in the villages, farms and even in urban areas.  You see 14 -16-year olds with children, but you do not know who married them and no one is arrested. 

Musasa Project provides shelter to the survivors.  It also provides legal and counselling services to the women and girls.  It also creates awareness about domestic violence and its effects on the social and economic development of Zimbabwe.  If you notice, a lot of activities were done by these two groups.  Even Women’s Affairs joined in doing activities to create awareness so that people know the impact of GBV and what it is all about.  So, the 16 days of GBV are there to really show how bad GBV is to everyone. 

These two suggest that there is need for a multi-sectorial approach if we have to reduce GBV in Zimbabwe.  The stakeholders include Ministry of Women Affairs, NGOs in Zimbabwe, civil society, traditional leaders and others towards increasing availability and visibility in the struggle to reduce or end GBV. 

ZGC calls for some actions to be done in an effort to reduce GBV in Zimbabwe.  Some of the efforts are; survivors and the community at large have to report all cases; the judiciary should give more punitive and deterrent jail sentences to perpetrators of all forms of GBV; training of teachers in child rights and psychological support so that the teachers can respond to GBV related issues in schools and be able to identify the indicators of GBV at home because sometimes a child by other actions or certain words will tell you that at home there is GBV.  They should set up interventions at grassroot levels to address the root causes of GBV – even some harmful cultural practices.  We have somethings that have to be abandoned in our culture.  We do not have to do those things like kuzvarira vana.  Traditional leaders have got to move on with the law which is there. 

There is also need to avail programmes to empower women and girls, both economically and socially plus education.  Education is the best empowerment so that they can be able to stand alone; put in place a strong referral support system and shelters for victims whom we call survivors.  They also identified strategies or approaches which Members of Parliament can assist with in their constituencies to make their people aware of what GBV is. Just like the way we campaign when we want to go for elections, they say we should campaign door to door, we should campaign at church or almost everywhere.  There should be organised campaigns which should involve almost everybody in the community, media should also be used. 

Women groups need to find effective ways of using the media and provide information to everybody in the community.  This can be done on television, radios, through drama, fliers and so forth just to make sure that people know and are informed about the impacts of GBV and what GBV is.  Some people commit GBV without knowing that they are actually on the wrong.

Another strategy is community mobilisation.  This seeks to engage and mobilise the local community to challenge violence against women and girls.  There should also be local activism.  This is one strong approach to build the whole community which is responsible for protecting its women and girls.  Just yesterday, there was a video that was trending, whereby a certain young woman fell in love with a husband of a certain young woman as well.  She was thoroughly beaten by four or five women.  According to the WhatsApp video clip, she collapsed and died.  We do not know the true facts, but just using that one, she was almost saved by the men – they are the ones who tried to rescue her from the crowd of women.  This shows us that we have to work with men to understand our problems. 

HeForShe programmes – when men join, understand and accept women leadership, then there is need for advocacy; that is convincing the Government and other stakeholders of the need for sustained prevention efforts against violence on women and girls across all sectors. 

We also need training and capacity building directed at survivors so that they can stand alone.  Training should also be given to the civil society to enhance their capacity to prevent violence against women and girls.

In conclusion, there is need for long term commitment to prevent violence against women and girls.  It is a huge challenge, but can be done.  Already in Zimbabwe, we have the legal framework – the Domestic Violence Act and those sections in the Constitutions.  What is needed is the implementation and oversight to it.  I would like to thank our First Lady, Dr. A. Mnangagwa for being in the front fighting GBV throughout Zimbabwe.  May God bless her with more energy and resources so that she can help the women and girls of Zimbabwe to survive.  I so submit Hon. Speaker Ma’am.

          HON. MUNEMO:  Thank you Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to add my voice on GBV.  Let me start by giving the definition of GBV as defined by the European Commission.  It includes domestic violence against women, men or children living in the same domestic unit. I also want to define violence before I get too much into it.  Violence is also a behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage or kill someone or something.  I am much saddened by the word ‘someone’.  It is not even pointing at any of the genders.  In gender we have men and women but if you see most of the intervention groups, civic society groups are all much into defending the girl child and discriminating the boy child. 

Let me give a quote by Peter Ferdinand Drucker in his book “Managing in turbulent times”.  He defined management as doing things right and leadership as doing the right thing.  So, to curb the gender violence, I think as leaders, we need to do things right. 

I will now turn to the causes of violence so that we can analyse and see if they are aligned to the feminine or masculine or whether they affect both genders.  On the causes, we have alcoholism, child abuse, delinquent peers, fear and inferiority complex, mental illness, anger, jealous, personality disorder, education, history of violent victimisation, etcetera.  We have so many causes of gender violence.

Then coming onto the gender roles, we have gender roles that are mostly stereotyped in a society.  Women are expected to dress in a feminine manner and then be polite, accommodating and nurturing.  On the other hand, the men are expected to be generally strong, aggressive and bold.  But these beliefs or ideology in the society is not accurate.  I say so because besides the girl child, the boy child is being neglected.  Let me comment on civic organisations.  They are mostly prioritising the girl child at the expense of the boy child when drafting intervention strategies.  Most intervention strategies tend to exclude the boy child and place much focus on the girl child. 

Forms of abuse include sexual, physical, emotional neglect, etcetera and this has increased male vulnerability.  Whilst the girl child has been vulnerable over the years, the boy child has been totally excluded such that they have become equally vulnerable if not more.  There has been a lot of emphasis on issues affecting girls and women at the expense of boys and men.  Yes, it is true that for many years, women were disadvantaged but there is need to come up with interventions that address issues faced by boys.  We totally understand the background and context of how the girl child used to be disadvantaged.  But if we become extremely biased, we start creating another problem in the society. 

Boys have become vulnerable and even when they are abused, they are not given as much attention as that given to  girls who is a victim of GBV.  Equity is now being abused as girls are now getting more at the expense of the boy child.  Personally, I would prefer equality and equity.  Let us start afresh and distribute opportunities equally between both genders.  Abused boys, just like girls, tend to suffer from psychological, emotional instability, post trauma, traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, having suicidal thoughts, sexual disfunction and substance abuse, among others.  They often end up hurting or harming others later in life.  According to world statistics, 5% to 10% of boys worldwide are abused every year and one in six boys is sexually abused during childhood.  However, there might be more cases that go unreported because of several barriers.  You will find that in terms of intervention strategies, when it comes to girls and women engagement, we are very clear about what we want to achieve but when it comes to boys and men our strategies tend to be very weak Madam Speaker. Being one-sided will create problems for us. Ten years down the line, we will start realising the gap, then we will spend another decade undoing the damage that could have been avoided. I urge the civil society organisations to have balance between the boy and the girl child. Child abuse and maltreatment has a bearing on it in the child’s life as an adult. They may end up perpetrating the same behaviour.

The issue of sexual abuse against boys is rarely talked about in the news or other platforms. It is more common that we may think stories of boys who become victims of sexual abuse go unsaid and undiscussed. Protecting the boy child is often seen as unnecessary because of patriarchy which glorifies masculinity that breeds stereotype such as, boys are tough, sexually dominant and they must not cry or show any emotions. However, just like girls, boys can be forced into sexual act where they do not willingly consent, maybe because of underage or other factors.

This is often called sex, but in reality, it is sexual assault. It is also important to note that it is not only girls’ bodies that are sensitive, but boys’ as well. When a boy is touched inappropriately, we need to act as fast as we do when girls are in the same predicament. If we are ever going to achieve a society with gender equality, then we have to start believing that boys can feel pain just like girls. At the same time, acknowledging that the problem of violence against girls and women can be solved without addressing violence against men and boys, or else, we will continue to raise monsters disguised as strong men.

I urge all the Hon. Members here in present, to raise their voices to have a balance when coming up with intervention strategies to solve gender issues, whether on the left or on the right. Dr. Martin Luther once said, “we may have all come on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now”. I therefore lament to all Hon. Members that it is high time we should also seek a balance between the boys and the girls, not neglecting the boys. I so submit. Thank you.

HON. BAJILA: Thank you so much Madam Speaker and good afternoon. I would like to add my voice to this debate on Gender-Based Violence by just raising three points. Madam Speaker, two days ago, in Emakhandeni-Luveve Constituency, Nothabo Ncube, a pregnant young woman was murdered by her boyfriend, Obvious Velani Sibanda over a dispute around the responsibility of the pregnancy. We are hearing the story now as obvious, appears before police, Nothabo is no longer there to defend herself or to say whether the alleged reasons of her murder are true or false. This is a matter of Gender-Based Violence that lives in our communities as we see it every day.

Madam Speaker, I implore this House to think of women such as Nothabo who find themselves in such a predicament of being murdered by their lovers. When they are murdered by their lovers, the rest of us remain to hear the stories and they are nowhere to defend themselves. Madam Speaker, I call for justice for Nothabo at this point.

Furthermore, as we follow through social media, we are learning of a man called Mike Sikhulumo Mathe who has been changing his name now and again over a period of 15 years. He has been involved in trafficking of women from Zimbabwe to South Africa, promising them jobs. This man is a Zimbabwean. This man is trafficking, raping and infecting Zimbabwean women with sexually transmitted infections. Madam Speaker, over a period of 15 years, this is too long a time and the law must now take its course.

I am of the belief that the number of women who have come forth and spoke through social media around the abuse that they have gone through in the hands of Mike Sikhulumo Mathe could be underestimated. There might be some women out there, some who are still under his captivity who have not stood up to speak. Madam Speaker, some could also be dead by now. There are some people who are still looking for their relatives and they could have been killed by this man. I reiterate that this is a clear case of Gender-Based Violence because these people are targeted for abuse because they are women. We have not heard of any man who has been a victim of this Mike Sikhulumo Mathe. I implore this House to look into means by which the State can join the search for Mike Sikulumo Mathe. He must be found and he must have his day before the law.

If we do not do this, news is spreading. Other Mike Sikhulumo Mathes are learning and they might gain courage and might have more people abusing our young women and others in our society. The very fact that this has happened at least for a recorded period of 15 years and the State has been unable to get wind of it, calls upon us to look into means by which we can make systems by which reporting these kinds of abuses are simple and easy. We can make systems by which we can attend to our cultural and traditional challenges that make it difficult for people to report abuse.

This man has been abusing people for far too long. It took just one family to say, our daughter left this country with a man called Mike Sikhulumo Mathe. We have been unable to find her ever since she left. The people whom she said she is going to be with in South Africa are saying she never arrived, but this Mike Sikhulumo Mathe keeps giving us stories. Now we are going to social media to get help to find our daughter. Then we have a lot of people now coming and saying, we had our daughters going through this man, but the Government has not been able to sniff this matter over such a period. It could be because of the systems that exist and of the tradition and cultures that exist in terms of dictating these issues.

To close my contribution to this matter Madam Speaker, I implore this House to work with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services, in fact to push the Ministry to increase the presence of social workers in our communities. We need more social workers so that they can be able to detect and monitor issues of Gender-Based Violence and possibilities of abuse of women and girls in our communities. Madam Speaker, with this contribution. I rest my case.

          HON. MAUNGANIDZEI rise today to bring attention to a pressing issue that demands our collective action and unwavering commitment. As representatives of the people, it is our duty to address this issue that affects our society to its core.

Recent reports on Gender-Based Violence in our country are very concerning. By Gender-Based Violence, we are not only referring to violence of men against women. It can be women against men although the former is more common in our country. Or for that matter, violence against children. All forms of violence are bad because they represent a behaviour that is alien to our culture.

Unhu or ubuntu embodies our African culture which states that I am because you are. This value system places the human being at the centre of all creation. Gender-Based Violence detracts from our culture, in significant ways and is often founded on a wrong understanding of our customs. Take for example lobola. Many misguided people take the custom as a commercial trade in which the groom’s family buys a bride. This is a complete abuse of our honoured tradition in which roora/lobola was a cementing of the relationship between two families. It was never meant to be a transactional trade.

However, this noble custom of uniting two families has been bastardised by greedy people who see roora/lobola as nothing but a trade or an exchange of goods. Nowadays, it is common for the groom's family to be charged ridiculous prices like $10 000 or even $20 000 for roora. Very often this is justified by such false assumptions as, “We educated our daughter and she will now enrich your family”. Parents do not educate their girl children so that they can extract a huge price at lobola, it is the children’s right to education. This is one of the geneses of Gender-Based Violence because it gives the impression that a woman is a commodity to be exchanged just as you exchange any goods. Women are not goods. The abuse of roora has to be looked at as one of the things that leads to Gender-Based Violence. We need to go back to what the basic purpose lobola/roora was supposed to serve.

The other sad part of lobola is that it gives the impression that a woman is less equal to a man. This notion is of course complete nonsense. Women are different from men, but they are equal. We know that women can do almost anything that men can do. In addition, we cannot ignore the cultural and traditional norms that perpetuate Gender-Based Violence. It is imperative that we lead constructive dialogues within our communities and advocate for more sensitisation programmes that challenge harmful practices and promote gender equality. Only through collective cultural transformation can we address the root causes of this violence.

Another cause of Gender-Based Violence is that when boys grow up in a family where the father beats up the mother, the boys start believing that when they get married, they are also entitled to beat their wives. In short, they learn this horrible custom from their fathers. So, fathers please stop miseducating your children that women are sandbags to be hit every time you are angry. Kana una mangoromera, there are better ways of using such energy productively.

Beating up a woman or for that matter anybody, is very degrading for both the perpetrator of the practice as well as the victim. Let us be clear, a wife basher degrades themselves each time they beat their spouse. Therefore, every time a spouse beats their partner, they degrade themselves. Do wife beaters know that whenever they raise their hands, they are degrading themselves?

There is need for us to prioritise legal reform to strengthen the protection of survivors and hold perpetrators of Gender-Based Violence accountable. I advocate for the review and amendment of existing laws, as well as the introduction of new legislative measures that uphold the rights of survivors and provide them with the necessary legal protection.

Furthermore, we must ensure that support services are readily accessible to survivors of Gender-Based Violence. This includes the establishment of shelters, counselling services and the provision of holistic support to those in need. It is our duty to secure the necessary funding and infrastructure to fulfill this obligation.

Very often, men are the breadwinners, though these days women provide for the family too. The woman becomes the homemaker or home engineer. Just because the wife looks at the home does not mean that she is not contributing to family wealth. In many respects, she is contributing much more than her husband.

If you were to take a census and ask successful men whom they owe their success to, more than three-quarters will, without a thought, say their mother. Mothers play a crucial role in the family’s success. How can they be perceived as less equal to their husbands?

Even the good book, the Bible, says a woman shall leave her home and join that of her husband and the two shall be one. Where does the Bible say one will be more important than the other? Where does it say the man is allowed to beat his wife? It says honour your wife. How can you beat someone that you honour?

Part of the reason why wife bashers get away with murder is that the victim suffers in silence. If we are to abolish this horrible vice in our society, it is very important that every woman who gets beaten by her husband and vice versa must report this. We must get rid of the norm of reporting the matter within the family, but report the abuse to law authorities or police. We cannot prosper while this backward custom goes unchallenged.

          Education and awareness are foundational pillars in our battle against Gender-Based Violence. I urge the allocation of resources towards comprehensive educational programmes in schools and public awareness campaigns that foster a society that rejects violence and embraces respect and equality.

The bottom line is that men who beat their wives have a serious deficiency. They lack the ability to talk things over without having to enforce their position by using fists. These men are not strong, but weak men who resort to violence because they have little else to offer.

By using violence, men or women are degrading themselves just as much as they are degrading their victim.

          *HON. JARAVAZA:  Good evening Madam Speaker and compliments of the season. Many children are falling victims to the issue of gender violence.  It starts as rape but as you go on, it becomes consensual – this is according to my personal view. The elderly women, especially our maids with whom we live with, form the majority of rape perpetrators on minors.  It is very difficult for parents to know that their child has been sexually abused and only get to know after the child has contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

          Madam Speaker, some women are leaving their matrimonial homes because they are not being sexually satisfied. These women end up looking for Ben-10s.  Some elderly women are possessed by sex demons so much that when they are not sexually satisfied, they will not let you go.  I think it is Gender-Based Violence.  Some men are deserting their homes not because they want to be promiscuous but they want to rest their bodies.  Madam Speaker, sexual pleasure is not a crime, they should be concerned about their spouses well-being.

          Drugs are being prohibited by health officials but a lot of men have now resorted to using drugs as sexual enhancers.  The drugs will enable men to satisfy their women’s wild sexual desires – that is Gender-Based Violence. Women should have mercy on us and be content with our performances.  I cannot engage sexually more than three times a day and there is bound to be violence at home.  Women should remember that they have a larger percentage compared to men.  I think they should be supportive of polygamous unions so that we curb violence.

+HON. N. NDLOVU: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I think the Hon. Member is even abusing women by encouraging women to agree to polygamous unions.

+THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUSA): I think the Hon. Member is expressing his personal views in explaining what they face as men.  You will also get an opportunity to express yourself.  When women encourage men to keep going, they will actually be abusing them and GBV will not end if we continue doing that.  Remember, we need to come together and fight this.

*HON. JARAVAZA: Thank you, Madam Speaker for protecting me.  I am coming to an end, and going further, I want to support Hon. Mapiki’s submission in terms of how men function.  It is very true that in order for men to be healthy, they should be intimate more than 21 times a month and this helps them to curb prostate cancer. Hon. Mapiki also stated that women can afford to be intimate three times a month and still be healthy.  This clearly shows that polygamous marriages are the way to go.  The country’s national statistics shows that women should embrace polygamous unions so that they can all have husbands – if they disagree with the ratio of four to one, there will be violence in the country.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. My plea is that wayward people like those should be prosecuted and the law should take its course if there are people like these people to get stiff penalties and collect bribes from these murders. I think you should clap your hands for that.  Men were known for cheating and causing violence, but these days our women have surpassed men in terms of cheating, especially those married ones.  Women should have heart and as men, we have now gotten to a point of accepting that they are well ahead of us in terms of cheating when it comes to the issues of cheating.

          I encourage women that they should be hygienic all the time, most of them are being left out because of dirtiness.  This also contributes to Gender-Based Violence in the home, at times you can get into the house smelling…

          HON. MUROMBEDZI: On a point of order! The Hon. Member is now degrading women in our society in general, he must desist from degrading women and continue with a clean debate on Gender-Based Violence without degrading women.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member you can go ahead.  I think he heard you.

          *HON. JARAVAZA: Madam Speaker, I am looking at both sides, men should also learn to bath and clean their teeth before going to bed.  I feel pity because most women live with hard-hearted men, so, you find that women only stay in those marriages for the sake of children.  With these few words.  I thank you.

          HON. TSITSI ZHOU: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. P. MOYO: I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Thursday, 8th February, 2024.

          HON. TSITSI ZHOU: Madam Speaker, let me just make this correction so that people get to understand the way things are supposed to be done in this august House.  When we adjourn the debate and both parties are in the House, I move and the people on the left side second. So, people from the right side should wait until people from the left side second.  I thank you

          On the motion of HON. TSITSI ZHOU seconded by HON. N. NDLOVU, the House adjourned at Twenty-Seven Minutes to Seven o’clock p.m.

 

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