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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 8 JUNE 2022 VOL 48 NO 50

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 8th June, 2022

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

          ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have received the following apologies from Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers: Hon. Rtd. Gen. C. D. G. N. Chiwenga, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs; Hon. Sen. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Hon. J. G. Moyo, Minister of Local Government and Public Works; Hon. Prof. P. Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister for National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Chiduwa, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development; Hon. R. M. Maboyi, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. Hon. M. Chombo will be joining us at around three o’clock p.m.

          HON. BITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, there is a ruling which was made by the Hon. Speaker that there will be no points of order on Wednesdays.

HON. BITI: It is a point of procedure Madam Speaker. It arises from the absence of Ministers in the House. Madam Speaker, we are all aware that the country is burning with so many issues. Inflation in May was 132%, the cost of bread is now about ZWL900, the cost of cooking fat is US$7, school fees have gone up – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- Hospital fees have gone up. So we would like Ministers to be here so that we exercise our right to ask them questions. The country is burning so we need members of the executive to be sitting on your right so that we can ask questions. Today is Members’ day and it is pointless if the esteemed Ministers are not here in the august House. We would like a ruling on that important issue. I thank you.

 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Biti. – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Defer question time to tomorrow.] – Order Hon. Zwizwai. Some of the Hon. Ministers have sent their apologies and I am sure some will be joining us as we go. Thank you.  

HON. CHINGOSHO: My question Madam Speaker Ma’am is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. What is the Ministry’s policy on pegging approved stands with special reference to stands for schools?

    THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVLOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. I want to thank Hon. Chingosho for that question on what Government policy is on the pegging and allocation of stands for schools. Education is a priority for the Government of Zimbabwe as stated in our Constitution. Therefore, there are procedures that are there which I do not know what kind of detail the Hon. Member may want to know but the policy is that for every settlement, there is land that is reserved for education. I thank you. 

(v)HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. I want to know the policy with regards to the pricing of grain, especially maize. Whilst we appreciate the Government’s move in offering an incentive of $90 per tonne which was effected two days ago, is it not prudent and better and would be supportive to our farmers to pay the price that we are paying to import maize and pay it to our local farmers so that the local farmer does not side-market their grain and in addition, the local farmer will have funds to go back to the field and plough for the next year. As I speak, I come from a constituency where there is maize… 

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are now debating, go straight to your question.

(v)HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is on the policy, why we are not offering the same price in buying local maize as compared to the price that we are paid on imported maize.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA):  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  It is much appreciated and gives me an opportunity to further clarify the Government pricing policy on grains. 

The maize pricing policy is based on an agreed cost plus model which takes into account the fact that Zimbabwe is high production cost based compared to other countries in the region, although we desire to eventually lower the cost of production.  We import fertilizers, especially which are costly in the cost production model, constituting 32% of the total cost.  We therefore think at this stage the cost plus model is more reflective of Zimbabwe’s specific circumstances.

Now let me come to the import parity pricing model.  The import parity pricing model presupposes that the cost of production in Zimbabwe and incurred by Zimbabwean farmers is similar to the jurisdictions, for example from which we import maize, Brazil, Mexico, Zambia and Malawi.  Import parity pricing currently gives US$280 per metric tonne.  The cost plus model that was approved by Cabinet yesterday gives us the equivalent of US$333 per tonne.  The $75 000 per metric tonne at the official exchange rate of 380 and the US$90 incentive for the early delivery by farmers announced from when we opened the selling season on 1st April through the 31st July.  That we think is a more appropriate approach especially in the current macro-economic environment.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(v)HON. NDIWENI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question was - it would be prudent and transparent if instead of coming up with incentives and the like, if what the Minister says that they are now offering more than the import price, why do they not peg it to the import price because we have many people there and it would mean a lot if they just said the price that we are buying grain is exactly the same as the import price.  You would find so much grain would be delivered to GMB as of next week.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, again I thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question which is a suggestion about what would happen should certain things be done without the proof that indeed that will happen, first the suggestion that if we paid then the deliveries would be accelerated.  The cost incurred by farmers on the farm are in Zimbabwean dollars and in United States dollars and we think that the model that we have proffered is the best under the circumstances although we are prepared to consider any other suggestions which will incentivise and motivate farmers to deliver the grain as the policy is intended to do.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. BITI:  Hon. Speaker Sir, the price offered by the Government yesterday is now effectively US$239.  If you divide the $75 000 with the official exchange rate and you add US$90, you get to $239 per tonne when externally FOB is $289.  The Minister says the target is US$300 but quite clearly, from the figures I have just given it is US$239.  So the critical question to the Minister is, why simply not abolish the Zimbabwean dollar component and just pay all the amounts in United States dollars so that the farmer is adequately remunerated?  What is going to happen Mr. Speaker Sir, is that we are going to have a drought because farmers are not going to deliver to the GMB.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Biti, you have asked the question.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank the Hon. Member again for a suggestion.   The numbers that he has proffered, we are talking about $75 000 per metric tonne which even if you use the exchange rate that he has suggested and then add the US$90, we will certainly be above US$300.  So they can revise their arithmetic in that regard.

The import parity Mr. Speaker Sir, is not the price that the farmers in those jurisdictions are paid.  It is the price of landing maize.  Let us clarify this aspect.  The price of landing maize in Zimbabwe is not the cost that farmers are paid.  So you need to subtract that and if you do so, you will find that Zambia is at US$180 and Malawi is at US$225.  So Zimbabwean farmers are actually getting more than the other farmers in the region because of the cost plus pricing model which takes into account exactly what the Member has said that the micro economic environment is different and therefore our farmers need to be rewarded differently.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(v)HON. DUTIRO:  My question is a supplementary question to the Minister.  I would like to know if the Minister is aware of the retailer’s exchange rate which is being used by these retailers as and when these farmers go and buy some fertilizers and also the issue of the interbank exchange rate.  In spotting the auction rate, the interbank exchange rate which is used by CBZ as and when the farmers borrow, is the Minister aware of those two different exchange rates, the retailers exchange rate and the interbank exchange rate where these farmers borrow and where these farmers buy their fertilizers and inputs from retailers?  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  Mr. Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for highlighting the multiple exchange rates at which farmers access inputs and the likely impact this will have on farmer’s viability.  In arriving at the cost plus and the suggested price that we have given, we have had input from a lot of stakeholders inclusive of farmers unions and therefore we have taken this into consideration.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. MARKHAM:  Hon. Speaker, due to lack of confidence in GMB and the Zimbabwean dollar component of the payment to farmers, what is the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement doing to give confidence to the farmers that they will be paid the real money on time?  I cannot understand why the Ministry does not just offer a straight United States dollar price.  I thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  The GMB has certainly improved quite a lot in its operations over the years but it is not where we want it to be as stakeholders.  Let me just put things into context in terms of the payment modalities.  The GMB has established 1 800 collection points.  We have endeavoured to pay farmers within 72 hours of delivery.  In some instances, last year we could not meet this – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  If you make interjections, can you do so with decorum Hon. Biti?  There is no Mthuli, there is Prof. Mthuli Ncube.  Thank you.

HON. DR. MASUKA:  The GMB has a very wide network.  We establish seasonal collection points amounting to 1 800 throughout the country, first to improve farmer convenience so that they are paid timeously.  This year we now even have a system where farmers will be paid at the collection point unlike in the past and this is for the first time in the history of the country.  We used to get the grain sent to the depot, the reconciliations done and then farmer payments.  So that results in the delay of payments, but this time around we are paying at the collection point. 

In terms of the resources for paying farmers, these are availed by Treasury.  The resources are availed by Treasury on a weekly basis.  As of yesterday, grain amounting to ZW$850 million had been delivered and of this, ZW$560 million had been paid.  We are slightly behind but none of these payments are more than 72 hours and we will endeavour to do our best under the circumstances.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order, Hon. Chinotimba, I know you are a farmer but Hon. Nyabani is the last one to ask a supplementary question.   We have to go by our Standing Orders please.  Thank you.

(v)*HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question is on late payment of cotton farmers.  Currently, the payment being given to people for maize has been inflated and cannot buy anything.  What plans do you have in place to incentivise people to continue farming because it looks like people are just farming and giving the crops freely to GMB?  The farmer is not benefitting anything from what he is farming and farming as a business is currently not sustaining the farmer.

*HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Hon. Nyabani for your important question.  He spoke about cotton and maize.  So let me start with cotton.  Starting this year, we look forward to seeing cotton companies paying for cotton in the same manner that tobacco is being paid for because cotton is also sold outside the country.  So it is also an export crop and 75% of the amount will be paid in US dollars and the other 25% will be paid in RTGs.  We are working so that this starts next Monday when selling of cotton starts so that the farmers can benefit from their crop.  It is Government policy that every farmer benefits from farming because it affects most people in the rural areas. 

Going on to the maize crop, Government policy is to ensure that farmers view farming as a lucrative business.  We always say people should not look too far for jobs because jobs are just under their feet, but in soil where they can do agriculture.  So when we are putting laws in place, the intention is to ensure farmers are given adequate payments for their crops.  Yesterday we sat in Cabinet and the resolutions we came up with, we believe, will make farmers feel incentivised to want to take their grain to the GMB.  In April this year, Government already planned for the next planting season.  All the other years we were planning in August but this year we did that much earlier because of what is happening in the world, which will result in us not getting adequate inputs.  So we look forward to assisting our farmers starting with productive social investment also called the Presidential Input Scheme.  We look forward to assisting about three million households with those inputs.  We also look forward to CBZ and AFC assisting with the national enhanced agricultural productivity scheme (command agriculture).  Government will assist with Government guarantee to ensure farmers continue farming.  Then we have other companies such as millers and stock feeders who can source their own funds from banks.  I assure all of them that Government is doing its best to ensure that all payments for all farming produce are paid for timeously.  We continue to ensure that farmers are assisted to go back and do their farming.  I thank you.

+ HON. L. SIBANDA: Good afternoon Hon Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment.  What is Government policy pertaining to the buying and selling of wild animals?

+ THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON. M. NDLOVU):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for seeking clarity regarding the sales of elephants.  Government policy is that wildlife belongs to the Government.  In that regard, there is no permission to trade in wildlife but what happens is that if you have a place where you can look after wildlife, then Government determines whether you have the right place to do that. There are some people who have wildlife in their farms.  They can trade if someone is interested but I have not heard a case of anyone who has bought elephants in rural areas.  I thank you.

+HON. L. SIBANDA:  My supplementary question is that since there are elephants in rural areas, what does Government policy say? Does it say only councillors can charge the sale of elephants without consulting the community, traditional leaders and other stakeholders?  I will give the example of Tsholotsho where there are people who were buying elephants or they were charged for a particular elephant.  However, someone expressed interest and the money that was indicated in that tender was lower than the charge that was expected by the traditional leaders and community.  They were informed that the lower price was determined by COVID-19.  I would like to know if that is allowed that an individual can determine the price of an elephant without consulting?  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Is that CAMPFIRE?

+HON. M. NDLOVU: I believe that it is now clear because the question was referring to the sale of wildlife, it was generalised but now it is very clear.  The Hon. Member’s question is with regards to hunting of wildlife. I will clarify again what Government policy is with regards to that and also state the plans that are there in uplifting different communities where people live together with animals. 

Councils are given a particular quota which can be hunted during the hunting season per year.  Such a hunting quota is then put to competitive bidding so that hunters can put their bids to the council indicating the money that they are going to pay.  We are looking forward to those who will be offering higher bids, their bids will be taken up by councils.  However, this case is specific to Tsholotsho which is unique but I know that some of these issues might need further investigations so that we understand what transpired.

CAMPFIRE laws say that when the money has been received, that money should be shared with the community and traditional leaders.  What determines the cost is the bids that come.  Right now, we have noted that there is a lot of competition.  There is human wildlife conflict.  As Government, we have noted that it is important to reward the people who live in such communities.  There is a statutory instrument that we are drafting which is going to be enacted soon which says that revenue that is generated from hunting quotas should be given to the communities because such communities are affected by the human wildlife conflict especially their fields and their livelihoods.  I thank you.

HON. BITI:  My question is directed to the esteemed Acting Leader of Government business, Hon. Professor Murwira.  The Constitution of Zimbabwe is clear that local authorities are run by those that are elected by citizens.  Is there a change of policy and is there any explicit change of the Constitution because we now see serious interference with local authorities in particular the City of Harare with regards to the recently concluded and controversial Harare-Pomona dump site agreement in respect of which the City of Harare is being levied the sum of US$22 000 per day for receiving or not receiving its own trash to its own dumpsite over a contract in which the majority of councillors ...

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you summarise your question?

HON. BITI:  The question therefore is, why is the Government not allowing the local authority to make its own decisions?  Why is the Minister of Local Government giving guarantees on a contract on devolution funds in the absence of a devolution framework and law?

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): It is Government policy that local authorities function within the confines of the Constitution and the law.  If there is anything to the contrary, then it has to be treated appropriately. 

Coming to the issue of Harare, we know that Harare has had problems over the years in terms of the operations of its facilities.  It is known that Harare last supplied enough water to its residents many years ago. They are producing about 300-400 mega litres per day out of a requirement of 1200 mega litres.  There has been a lot of gap in terms of service provision within the City of Harare. 

The roads have also been in a very bad appalling condition for so many years, then comes the issue of Pomona which falls right within the same framework. The Pomona Dumpsite has been causing problems, burning every year while the local authority is there. The local authority is headed by a Ministry - it is not an independent body but it is within the law because they have approvals that come from the Ministry. As I said, if there are specific complains then they have to be treated in that specific manner but Government overally exercises responsibility over the local authorities.

          To this end, we are aware of a ZIDA approved, a Cabinet approved and Council approved deal for waste recycling which is happening at Pomona Dump site. The issue is that if there are specific issues that can be raised they can always be raised but in terms of the Pomona Deal, it has gone through all the public processes that are known in terms of its approvals. If we are intervening with the city council through its processes – ZIDA also went on to approve this deal, we believe this can clean up this city. This city is dirty and we really have to work on it in national interest and make sure that we have cleaned up this city in a very sincere manner and not to take it as a piece meal. Harare is dirty and it is a fact. We must do something about it.

          If there are any processes that have to be challenged, that is a separate issue but let us focus on the strategic national issue of making this city livable.  The most important thing that has been asked by Hon. Biti is so that this issue is discussed.  I think this is very important. We take that with the greatest humility that we can but we have to answer that question in terms of whether the process was followed or not. We believe the process was followed. Are there people who are sulking, maybe there are people who are sulking but they have to use appropriate channels to actually put their points forward but Harare is dirty and it has to be cleaned.

          HON. BITI: The Pomona Agreement has not been agreed by the local authority. The local authority has suspended the same.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, you are debating. Ask your supplementary question.

HON. BITI: The Constitution is clear that local authorities are run by those that are duly elected. On what basis is Cabinet coming in to justify an agreement that is costing ratepayers US$22 000 a day? On what legal basis are you operating and interfering?

          HON. PROF. MURWIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker and again I wish to thank Hon. Biti for seeking further clarification on the issue of Pomona and he is talking about a sum that is being talked about in terms of what the ratepayers are paying. The Pomona Agreement was done using a certain process that is legal. It is a fact. If there are people or citizens or residents who are challenging that deal, it is appropriate that they do so. However, it is very clear to Government that all processes to the best of our knowledge were followed.

          We are not very clear why people can defend a dirty city, defend potholes, and defend things that are meant to clean up our city. It is very important that we keep focused on the national interest and make sure that we are focusing on the issue of national interest because we are all staying in this country and in this city.

          Mr. Speaker Sir, the importance of this question is so important that we are able to talk about it right now. It is very important we are not talking about people running an authority,  running it and running it down are two different things. I thank you –[HON. BITI: Musa defender mbavha inonzi July Moyo].

          HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The question from Hon. Biti is very clear…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There is a point of order – [HON. HWENDE: Haaaaaah]

          THE HON SPEAKER: Hon. Hwende, a point of order is permissible to be raised. There is no need for you to rant about it – [HON HWENDE: He is insulting me]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Leave that to me.

HON. TOGAREPI: Mr. Speaker, I think our Ministers need protection from the Members on your left. They are insulting especially Hon. Biti – [HON. ZWIZWAI: Ndosaka uchida kubvisa Speaker. Aiwa mudhara ndozviziva zvavari kuda kuita]-

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order! Order! Hon. Zwizwai, you are out of order. I am not mudhara.

HON. HWENDE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. The question from Hon. Biti was very clear. He asked in terms of what law is central Government interfering and ordering the Harare Municipality over the Pomona deal.  He even went further threatening the arrest of the Mayor.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Supplementary question.

HON. HWENDE:  In terms of what law are you interfering? -[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Hon. Biti, you raised a question, so can you listen.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  On a point of order.  The Minister is now here.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  No, let the Leader of Government Business take over.

THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  Hon. Speaker, the question that is being asked is a very important question and it is very important that we focus on the main issue of trying to solve problems in Harare legally.  What we have said is that this issue of Pomona, if there are specific issues – [HON. MEMBERS: It is according to what law?]- It is according to the laws of the Republic of Zimbabwe - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please can you sit down!

HON. PROF. MURWIRA:  Hon. Speaker, I wish for your protection - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]- 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! The question is very specific and it requires some research, so Hon. Minister, I am sure you can come up with a statement to indicate the legal framework perhaps next week.  Thank you.

HON. MURAI:  Supplementary question.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you sit down Hon. Murai.  Order Hon. Hwende, you asked a question on the basis of which law and I have ruled that this is a specific question which requires the Minister to refer to the law and then come back and give you that legal framework.  Thank you - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]-

HON. ZWIZWAI:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir

THE HON. SPEAKER: Are you contesting my ruling?

HON. ZWIZWAI:  I am not.  You are a very generous gentleman Mr. Speaker Sir.  All I am simply saying and what I want to say is that in terms of your deportment as the Speaker of Parliament, if a point of order is raised, you are very quick to refer to the Standing Rules and Orders.  Why do our Ministers not refer to the law if they are learned people who have been appointed to duty and that deportment?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, I get you.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  You are going to correct me in each and every turn as you always do here.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Please, can you sit down.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  And you cannot correct the Ministers to say that they need to go and research.  Why?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  But Hon. Speaker this issue…

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Can you recognise me Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you sit down, I did not recognise you.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  May you recognise me Hon. Speaker.  I am an MP for Harare.  May you recognise me so that I tell you one thing that is coming from the citizens I represent?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Can you sit down?  Hon. Hamauswa, you only stand up to be recognised.  Do not ask the Chair to recognise you.  Sorry you are out of order and I am not giving you the floor.

HON. ZWIZWAI:  What about my point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have ruled already.  The statement will be given next week.

HON. MURAI:  My supplementary question to the Minister is that from the deal, it seems the Netherlands based company will be pocketing something like $22 000 everyday which amounts to almost $1 million a month.  What benefit are we getting as citizens of Harare from the deal if you can run us through even in terms of monetary benefits?  Thank you.

HON. MATEWU:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  You cannot raise a point of order, I have recognised the Hon. Minister to answer a question.

HON. MATEWU:  The Minister is here Hon. Speaker.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have ruled that the Leader of Government Business should do it.

HON. MATEWU:  But he is struggling.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Can you sit down.

PROF. MURWIRA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  It is very important to realise that there are legal processes that were followed.  The objective is to clean up the city and also it is to generate energy.  Those are the strategic points that were raised by the City Council when this agreement was being proposed.  In actual fact, it is the City Council that wrote to ZIDA according to the ZIDA Act and consummation was done and final approvals according to the ZIDA Act are done by Cabinet and all these things were done, but it was originating from the City Council.

The benefits were clearly stated and Hon. Speaker, with all the respect we can have, it is these answers if people go to the City Council - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Hon. Zwizwai, you cannot be upstanding if another Hon. Member is holding the floor.  Can you sit down please? - [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!

          HON. PROF MURWIRA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The benefits of this programme are well stated in public because after that deal was approved coming from city council through ZIDA, the benefits were made public and it is public knowledge.  It is therefore important that if there are any things that are contrary and any problems that a member can have, they are allowed to challenge those things and then they will be answered appropriately.  I thank you. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] -

  THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you sit down and can you withdraw the statement.

  HON. CHIBAYA:  Yes.

   (v)*HON. NYABANI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government.  Most people in urban areas paid council for stands since 2008 to date but council has not given anyone the stands.  What plans does Government have in place to ensure that those who paid their monies for stands get their stands?

  *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Hon. Nyabani for your question.  The issue of stands is a major issue because he is saying the stands were sold by council but we are not sure whether those stands were sold to them by council or by land barons or whether these stands are in areas that we call dysfunctional settlements which we are trying to rectify.  I view the question as specific so I ask the Hon. Member to put his question in writing or if he is able to come to our offices, he can do so and we will talk over the issue.  I thank you.

  *HON. NYABANI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My supplementary question is to find out from the Minister if she is saying Government is not aware that councils sold stands and some of the people who bought those stands are now deceased and others were asked to top up with US dollars in areas like Chitungwiza?

  THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Nyabani, can you please put your question in writing so that the Hon. Minister can give you a more comprehensive response.

  HON. A. NDEBELE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  The economy is self dollarising.  As of yesterday, we learnt that teachers’ monthly salary can only buy 30 loaves of bread.  Government itself is charging for services in US dollars while the people of Zimbabwe are getting increasingly tired of the rigmarole issuing from Treasury that eventually things will level out.  The question coming from the people who sleep on hungry stomachs is when.  What is the monetary policy that Government is adopting towards to arrest hyperinflation immediately, because the quality of life of our people has gone down shockingly.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (HON. PROF. MURWIRA):  As far as we know, the economy is production.  It is not exchange in policy.  During an interview yesterday, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Prof. M. Ncube highlighted to us on the press that there is no term called dollarisation – not in any dictionary of economics.  I leave it for research.  The most important issue which is there is that the Government is working to make sure that production and productivity in the economy is enhanced and that everyone puts their hands on deck.

          However, this question warrants a very robust answer and with your indulgence, I would kindly ask if this can be a Ministerial Statement that can be brought by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to fully explain the measures that are being taken by Government to make sure that he arrests inflation but also promote stability within the financial sector. 

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Ndebele, I think to be fair to the question which requires a detailed statement, I suggest that you put it in writing so that the Minister can reply in detail.

          HON. NDEBELE:  Hon. Speaker, the gentleman has already been kind to offer that they are going to bring a Ministerial Statement but as a people’s representative – out there where I come from, the people are getting tired of all these flowery statements.  We are looking at practical things that will transform the quality of our lives immediately.  I thank you.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  You are in agreement?

          HON. NDEBELE:  Yes, I am in agreement that a statement comes to this House as well as that practical and waterproof steps must be taken to arrest the economic malaise bedevilling our people. 

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I am sure that the Hon. Leader of Government business has taken note of that.

          I have been advised by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government that there is a statement that had been prepared on the issue of Pomona.  With your indulgence Hon. Members, can that be done first thing tomorrow? Agreed? – [HON. MEMBERS: Yes!] – Thank you very much.

          HON. MURAI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  It seems Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is in deep crisis as far as power supply is concerned.  We are experiencing a lot of problems ranging from cables, single phasing and load shedding.  The citizens are enduring a lot of problems because of that.  What plan do you have so that we can have a permanent solution to the issue of power supply?  

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON.  SODA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his observation that he has packaged to a question as to what the Government is doing with regards to the issue of short power supply. 

          There are a lot of interventions that the Government has embarked on.  We are very much aware that our internal power generation capacity is constrained.  We have Hwange Power Station with an installed capacity of around 920 megawatts that is from time to time failing to produce adequately as would have been expected from that power station. The most that Hwange Power Station can do these days is around 350 megawatts but the Government has already taken an initiative to rehabilitate that power station.  We got a loan facility from the Indian EXIM bank of around 310 million which will be used to upgrade and rehabilitate the power station back to its installed capacity of 920 megawatts. This will affect Units 1 to 6. Apart from the rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station, you are all aware that Government took an initiative in the past three years to upgrade Kariba Power Station to increase generation. An additional 300MW were added and it is now at a capacity of 1050MW upgraded from 750MW. Apart from that, Hwange Power Station is being expanded by way of two more supply units, which is Units 7 and 8. We are expecting Unit 7 to come through by November this year, with the other unit coming through next year in the first quarter of 2023.  Those are the initiatives that Government is making by itself.

          This House maybe aware that there was deregulation of policy to allow for participation of private sector in power generation. We now have the private sector participating through power stations on solar and also on thermal power supply. Already we have ZZEE which is in Hwange whose plant came through in November last year and they are feeding to the greed 50MW every day. These are the initiatives that the Government has embarked on to ensure that we increase the supply of electricity to the citizens of Zimbabwe.

          HON. MURAI: In terms of load shedding Hon. Minister, is it not possible to come up with a clear plan so that it is not done in a haphazard manner? I am seeking clarification whether it is possible for the Ministry or ZESA to come up with a clear plan such that the residents may plan because we have some residents who are asthmatic and diabetic who need machines which use electricity. Citizens need a clear timetable to say on a certain date, we are going to do load shedding for eight hours so that they can plan accordingly.

          HON. SODA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Let me put into context that load shedding is not getting up to eight hours that the Hon. Member has just spoken about. There could be some other issues affecting power supply maybe in a particular area. We are having challenges with power outages occasioned by theft of cables, transformers that are being destroyed and vandalised by some people. At times these power outages that citizens are experiencing are as a result of vandalism of infrastructure that is available for power supply.

          As for the request that the Hon Member has just made, that is very possible. It is also important for purposes of planning but we can still request ZETDC to give an update and times where people may expect to be load-shedded. That is very possible.

          HON. HWENDE: My supplementary question is - what is the total amount of energy that we are importing? Secondly, why are we still giving NAMPOWER electricity ten years later, after the deal when we are clearly struggling here in Zimbabwe?

          HON. SODA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Imports range between 200 to 350MW a day that we are taking from either South Africa EDM or Mozambique HCB. Imports are dependent on availability. There are times when we are also failing to access imports from these countries. Usually that is what causes us to get into precarious situations which results in load shedding.

In response to why Zimbabwe continues to supply Namibia about 80MW, that was a condition precedent for the loan that was procured for the expansion of Kariba Power Station. We will continue to supply them so that the money is utilised for repayment of the loan that was procured for expansion of Kariba Power Station.

HON. CHIBAYA: Why can Government not consider removing duty on solar and other power generating entities?

HON. SODA: Let me thank the Hon. Member for that suggestion. The suggestion has already been taken care of. As we speak, our Renewable Energy Policy, we are offering the suggestion as one of our incentives to allow for development of power stations in Zimbabwe. Duties have been scrapped when importing equipment especially for renewable energy. So, I would say that has already been taken care of.

HON. BITI: Can the Hon Minister clarify that duty has been provided to households particularly for solar panels, invertors and batteries because it is at household level where the greatest power cuts are.  I thank you.

          HON. SODA: Thank you Madam Speaker, let me also thank Hon. Biti for the question.  Yes, this offer is available to everyone including importers at household level.  Thank you.

          HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker. As a point of correction, I would just like to point out to the Minister these new capacities he is talking about. It is actually fixing what was there before.  Our generation capacity is 500 megawatts below what it used to be.  So, all what we are doing is restoring what we installed before.  Having said that, by admission of his own officers, they have 300 000 households awaiting connection and we have a massive steel work going on in Mvuma.  I cannot see what policy Government has to increase the generation, could the Minister help me?

          HON. SODA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. May the Hon. Member repeat the question; I did not get that one clearly.

          HON. MARKHAM: Given that there are 300 000 households awaiting connection plus a new billion-dollar project in steel at Mvuma, where is the new generation coming from?  Could the Minister help me? I do not know any policy for generation of power.  I thank you.

          HON. SODA: I thought this is what I articulated from the first question where I spoke of rehabilitation of Hwange Power Station with the intention of bringing it back to its installed capacity of 900 mega watts moving from the current generation of 350.  Also the expansion of Hwange Power Station through units 7 and 8 which will bring an additional 600 megawatts.  Apart from that, we are also considering partnering with Zambia to develop the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme which will give a new capacity of 2400 megawatts which will be shared between the two contracting States, that is Zimbabwe and Zambia; 1200 megawatts each.

          In the long run, we are also considering partnering with Mozambique.  Again, with Zambia to develop 10 more additional gorges that are along the Zambezi River which will give us an estimated capacity of around 15 000 megawatts.  So, that is what we are also considering apart from the participation from the independent fire producers. 

Already, the licence, the capacity or the licences that have been issued by ZERA amount to 94 with a total capacity of 7 megawatts.  So, those are the initiatives that the Government is mapping to ensure that even the 300 000 houses that you mentioned, there is a lot of work that the Government is doing to ensure that that capacity will be provided at a time when those houses will be connected.

          The Government, through a partnership that is between ZESA and Rwanda Energy Group, there is some funding which will be used to construct the backbone infrastructure that is required to connect the 305 000 houses that are awaiting to be connected. I thank you.

          *HON. KARUMAZONDO: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. Is there a Government policy with regards to the rental charges?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Rent board is not under the purview of Local Government and Public Works, it is under the scope of National Housing and Social Amenities.  I thank you.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister.  I call upon the Leader of Government Business to assist in answering the question.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would want to thank the Hon. Member for the question that he wants to find out if there is a law that deals with issues of rents.  Hon. Speaker, this question, I am not certain that I can provide a full answer on this one.  I suggest that the Hon. Member puts the question in writing so that there is clarity in terms of the position.  Thank you. 

           (v)*HON. SEWERA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  What is the Government policy as regards…

          Hon. Chombo having conversing with another Hon. Member.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Sewera.  Hon. Minister Chombo, may you please listen to the question.  Go ahead and ask the question Hon. Sewera. 

          (v)*HON. SEWERA:  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government.  In the communal lands, we do not have village heads. They are now being considered as a person without any position.  What measures does the Ministry have in mind to ensure that there will be someone who will be acting as a village head?  Thank you. 

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am grateful for the question that was posed by Hon. Sewera who wants to find out about the welfare of village heads.  As a Ministry, with our department of traditional leadership, we have measures in place that ensure that we assist traditional leaders.  However, I would want to point out that the type of assistance that we give we mainly target the chiefs.  Village heads are being given allowances and these allowances as of now do not include funeral assistance.  We envisage that very soon we should be in a position to assist as regards funeral and medical assistance.  Some of our village heads cannot access medical facilities because they do not have the resources.  Thank you. 

          *HON. KWARAMBA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is, some village heads are being given allowances.  In the resettlement areas where we live, our village heads are not receiving anything.  May they be treated equally the same with their counterparts elsewhere – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Of course, they are referred to as chairpersons but we refer to them as village heads because they are performing functions of village heads.  They are village heads in other words.  Even if they are chairpersons, they are not receiving anything.  It is my plea that they should be treated in the same manner as chiefs.  Thank you.   

          * HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank Hon. Kwaramba for the supplementary question. I understand what she was saying that there are some village heads in certain areas where chieftainships had not been resuscitated at the end of the liberation struggle.  We are still waiting for legislation to come through Parliament so that such chieftainships are revived.  There are certain disputes as regards boundaries.  As a result, some chiefs are illegally installing village heads that are not in the Ministry’s data base so that we are able to pay them.  We are busy trying to ensure that these boundaries are resolved, that legitimate village heads are properly installed in terms of the law and they are in our records.  This is a priority issue.  Mashonaland West as a province, we will be dealing with it next month.  I thank you. 

          (v)*HON. MASHONGANYIKA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  My question pertains to the same issue of village heads which has been responded to by Hon. Chombo. The headmen and village heads, are their conditions of service the same or they are different?  This is because the two have distinct badges - one for the village head and the other for the headman.  Are these two the same?  Thank you.

          *HON. CHOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank Hon. Mashonganyika for the supplementary question on the issue of village heads.  There was a bit that I did not clearly understand but be that as it may, I am going to proffer an explanation to the question.  We have three tiers.  We have the chief who is selected by the community and is appointed by the President.  The headman is appointed by the chief and the name is submitted to the Permanent Secretary who does the vetting.  Then the village head is appointed in most of the cases by the headman or the chief and we will just be given the names but we are not the ones who install these village heads.  The headman and the village head earn different salaries.  The three of them, the chief, the headman and village head earn different salaries.  We are trying at the moment that the village heads also get good pecks as the headman and the chief.  I thank you.

          (v) HON. M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  May he clarify the policy position where known murderers, most dangerous criminals are released on bail every time they commit crimes.  They would have served not more than three years. During that bail era, they commit similar offences and go to neighbouring countries to hide.  The saddest part about this situation is that the community where they would have committed those heinous crimes would live in fear if they hear of them being out on bail.  It is of paramount importance to know how the Ministry intends to make people have confidence in our judiciary system?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMEMENT (HON. PROF. MURWIRA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am. The Hon. Member raised a very pertinent question.  These are issues of the judiciary.  Government is towards the delivery of justice, with the best standard possible.  Where it comes to specific cases, maybe those specific cases can be written down and be investigated accordingly.  The Government policy is very clear when it comes to the upholding of peace and security as well as justice for the people.

          Government has also signed extra addition treaties with our neighbouring countries such as Botswana for example and these actually help in making sure that we can apprehend people even if they are extra territorial to Zimbabwe.  I thank you.

          HON. MARKAHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  My question pertains to the consistent increase in fuel prices.  In the case of diesel, we are at US$1.68 compared regionally, Zambia is at US$1.22, Malawi which the Minister of Finance passes the buck saying is more expensive than us is only at US$1.44.  My question is, what is the Government policy, particularly pertaining to taxes because taxes are 45 cents of that in a littre?  Taxes are 27% of the title cost. My concern with Government policy is that nothing is happening, it is redundant particularly where it involves every single service in this country like agriculture, mining, transport, manufacturing, everything.  I need Government to pay more attention in addressing the price disparity with our neighbours so that we can be competitive.  What is Government proposing to help us with these exorbitant prices, particularly the tax?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am.  Let me also thank the Hon. Member for the question that he has raised.  Madam Speaker, Zimbabwe is the second highest in the region and it is not true that fuel is cheaper in Malawi than it is in Zimbabwe.  That is not true.  We are a net importer of our petroleum products.  The intervention that the Government has made to ensure security of supply of fuel and also to try to contain prices currently is through blending where we are blending our petrol with unleaded, which we are importing.  Given our situation, every time when there is an increase on the global market, we have to bear the brunt because we are importing and the increases that we are currently enduring are occasioned by the firming of oil prices on the international market.

          I would be glad if Parliament can look into the issue that the Hon. Member has just alluded to, that is the issue of taxes.  My understanding is, it is this Parliament which passes the taxation levels that are implemented by the Ministry of Energy in coming up with the price for our fuel.  So if this Parliament now sees it fit to review what they passed through the Finance Act, which is the charging Act, I think they are the ones that are supposed to review the Act which they passed which we are just implementing.  Thank you Madam Speaker.  

Questions without Notice interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms if Standing Order No. 68.

HON. MARKHAM:  Can I not ask my supplementary, seeing I asked the question?

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Time has expired Hon. Markham.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  I rise to move for an extension of 10 minutes.

HON. MATEWU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

HON. MARKHAM:  Madam Speaker, may I ask the Minister if he could bring to this House a statement purely on the taxes that are paid that bring it up to 27% of the price.  Could the Minister bring to this House what taxes are charged on fuel so that we are furnished with what is happening?  I thank you.

HON. SODA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member is still querying the issue of the taxes that are being charged on fuels and I indicated that the taxes are passed by Parliament.  Of course it might appear like the fuel prices are being affected or influenced by the taxation levels, but I will still repeat that if Parliament feels that the taxation levels are burdensome, it is Parliament which must review what they passed through the Act which is the Finance Act. All the Ministry of Energy and Power Development does after obtaining the movements on the global market through the FOB determination is just to implement the Act which this House has passed.

So whether that is burdensome, I think it is  this House which is supposed to be looking into the issue of taxes.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. MARKHAM:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  I asked if the Minister could bring to us the taxes that are currently being charged, line by line, so we can make an informed decision.  I will wait for your ruling Madam Speaker.

HON. SODA:  I think it has been made very clear Madam Speaker.  I will certainly furnish this House with the levels of taxes that are being charged.

HON. MATEWU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  When the Hon. Minister was responding to the question, I counted three times that he said or he rebutted that we have actually the second most expensive fuel in Zimbabwe in SADC, rebutting the fact that it had been said to him that we are actually the most expensive.  What I just want to know is, is the Hon. Minister really proud to be the second most expensive country in terms of fuel?  Thank you.

HON. SODA:  Hon. Madam Speaker, we are not proud.  Thank you.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  When the Minister made the first response, he referred to the issue of blending.  May the Hon. Minister let Zimbabweans know the charges that we are paying to ethanol or the amount we are paying to ethanol per litre and in what form of currency is Zimbabwe paying to ethanol?  My supplementary is informed by the fact that there is no significant difference between the price of diesel and the price of blended petrol.  So may the Hon. Minister let us know why we should continue on the blending side and how much are we paying and in what form of currency.

HON. SODA:  Our ethanol costs US$1.10 per litre and when the FOB price is above 50c, the effect of blending is to reduce ultimately the price that will be offered on the market.  As we speak, the price of petrol has been reduced by 6c which was occasioned by the increase that we effected from the blending mandate of E10 to E15.  We managed to contain the price by 6c so that the benefit of blending and we still envisage to get up to 20% where we think we will be able to reduce ultimately the price of petrol by 8c.  I think I have responded to the question  on what price  we are buying the ethanol, which is US$1.10.

The other question is in which currency is this ethanol being paid for the DFI participants who will ultimately be selling the blended petrol in US dollars, they pay for their ethanol in US dollars.  For those that will be covered through the ZWL facilities and ultimately being mandated to sell their blended petrol in local currency, they are also paying for their ethanol in local currency.  I thank you.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

AWARDING OF MINING RIGHTS TO A CHINESE COMPANY

  1. HON. HAMAUSWA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House whether it is true that the Ministry awarded a Chinese company rights to mine in Warren Park and if so, the Minister to confirm;
  • whether the affected residents were engaged on this development;
  • what measures were put in place to ensure that the people of Warren Park would not be negatively affected by the mining activities considering that extraction of gravel poses devastating health hazards to the community.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has not awarded any mining rights to any Chinese Mining Company to mine in Warren Park.  The Ministry’s Provincial Office, that is Mashonaland West Provincial Office was however approached by the Harare City Council asking for a licence to start a brick laying company.  The provincial office notified the council that the Ministry does not offer brick laying licences.  The provincial office also notified the Gold Mobilisation Taskforce to this effect.  I thank you.

HON. HAMAUSWA:  I understand that within the Ministry they have monitoring mechanisms that are being invoked when they are arresting illegal miners in other areas such as Mazowe where there are makorokoza.  So, is the Ministry aware that there are ongoing mining activities that are taking place at Warren Park Mereki shops?  Also, is the Ministry aware that the mining of gravel by City of Harare has caused the death of two people now because there is no land reclamation that is taking place?  May I know the response from the Ministry regarding the deaths that have occurred in Warren Park as a result of the gullies that were left after the extraction of gravel and those mining activities that are taking place?  They are not being monitored and the Ministry said they have not awarded any licence.  What is the Ministry doing to investigate what is currently going on because it is something that is visible?

HON. KAMBAMURA:  Like I indicated in my first response, the Ministry is not the licencing authority of such kinds of extraction but that is done by the local authority which is the City of Harare.  Then on the issue of monitoring and surveillance, usually it is done by the Ministry of Environment together with the local authority that issued that licence.  On our part, like I have already alluded to, we requested the Gold Mobilisation Task Force Team to go and check if ever there was any mineral like gold being mined.  However, like the Member said, it is necessary that the licencing authority checks on all those extraction activities to see if they are being done according to the law and also to engage the Ministry of Environment to see that those people are compliant.  That is the same Ministry that issues the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports for that organisation to commence any activities.  So if ever there is a breach, the law should take its course.  I thank you.

HON. HAMAUSWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker Ma’am.  I think you remember the last time when I asked you to indulge me because of the deaths that occurred in Warren Park.  Maybe through you Madam Speaker, may you allow me to request the Minister of Environment to issue a ministerial statement over what has happened in Warren Park because we have engaged EMA to no avail despite having lost two precious lives?  We cannot be a people’s Parliament when people die and the government departments that are responsible fail to issue even a statement after being engaged.  There was no single statement from either the Harare City Council or from EMA to say to the people of Warren Park we are sorry about the deaths that happened.  There is no sign that such happenings are being investigated.  The happenings have not only caused deaths but they are a threat to the health of the people of Warren Park D because of the dust that is coming out from the extraction that is going on.  It is also important Madam Speaker for you to know that if you go to Warren Park it has now been declared a liberation city.  Indeed it cannot be a liberation city where there is mining that is causing health hazards and people are dying because of the gullies left by the miners.  In this regard, a ministerial statement will suffice and show the people of Warren Park that indeed we have a government with a listening ear which is concerned about the lives of its people.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Chief Whip, may you please convey the message to the Hon. Minister of Environment to bring a ministerial statement as requested by Hon. Hamauswa.

RENEWAL OF TRIBUTE AGREEMENTS BY MWANA AFRICA

  1. HON. M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House:
  • whether or not Mwana Africa is in a position to renew tribute agreements countrywide considering that the company has a stake in half of the country’s gold claims where economic livelihoods of rural communities are depended on;
  • what the Ministry considers as practicable and sustainable in as far as employment creation, with the 2030 Vision in mind is concerned.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (HON. KAMBAMURA):  In June 2015, Mwana Africa went through an internal corporate governance wrangle with shareholders China International Mining Group (CIMGC) which saw the majority shareholders kicking out Mwana Africa former Chairman Mr. Kalaa Mpinga at an extra-ordinary meeting in London.  Mr Mpinga was voted out as group chairman together with the Mwana Africa Board.  The company changed its name to Asa Resources Group.  In July 2019, Asa Resource Group and its associates entered into an agreement with Sotic International Limited in terms of which the seller disposed of its shareholding in Mwana Africa Limited, Asa Gold and Zimnick Limited.  In September 2021, the shares were in terms of the agreement transferred to Kuvimba Mining House (Pvt) Ltd.  In terms of this agreement, Kuvimba took over assets owned by Mwana Africa which included Shamva Gold Mine, Jena and Freda Rebecca and these assets are fully operational and employing local people in their communities.

On question b, the Second Republic has set its sights towards transforming Zimbabwe into a prosperous and empowered upper middle income society by 2030.  The mining sector is expected to play a leading role for us to realise that vision.  Currently, the mining sector directly employs over 50 000 people.  The employment is expected to increase underpinned by a number of upcoming mining projects which are at various levels of implementation.  These projects are in the areas of exploration, resuscitation of closed mines, opening of new mines, expansion of existing mining projects and mineral beneficiation and value addition.  The major investments include but not limited to Eureka Gold Mine, Caledonia Mining Corporation (Blanket Mine) Expansion, Shamva Gold Mine, Unki Mine Expansion, ZIMPLATS Expansion, RioZim Murowa Diamonds Expansion, ACDC Expansion, Tsingshan Iron and Steel Project, Muzarabani Oil and Gas Project, Dinson Colliery, Prospect Resources Arcadia Lithium and Bindura Nickel Corporation amongst others.

          (v)HON. M. M. MPOFU:  Since we have the policy of ‘use it or lose it’, some of the claims are not being worked on when people are still struggling and also some are being worked on illegally and they are causing a lot of challenges in terms of bringing in cash because they are not controlled.  Can we not do anything as a Ministry to help formalise some of these claims?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: In 2019, Government effected the ‘use it or lose it’ policy and since we started applying that policy, we have seen a lot of cases being challenged at the courts.   The issue to do with private claims solely rests with the owners of those mining claims whether they should issue to mining committees surrounding them or not but there is no policy actually which mandates them to tribute those claims. It would be under an arrangement between the miner and the communities to come into agreement with the support of Government to issue out mining tributes to the communities which they are working on.

          Mining companies will have mining plans, some which span to ten or so years but there are some claims which have been lying idle for 40 or so years.  Those claims are the ones which Government was targeting on the ‘use it or lose it’ policy.  Like I have said, some of these claims faced a lot of resistance and have gone to the level of High Court where the owners have tried to resist Government taking back the mining titles.

          (v)HON. MADZIMURE: For the principle of ‘use it or lose it’ to work, the Ministry must have a register of those claims and they should be able to inspect whether there is any work going on these claims. Is the Minister telling us that they have a register?

          HON. KAMBAMURA: The moment one registers a mining claim, it goes into our records and register which is kept at provincial mining office.

PRODUCTION OF PASSPORTS AT GWANDA PROVINCIAL PASSPORT OFFICE

          4 HON. MOKONE asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage – a. when the production of passports will resume at Gwanda Provincial Office.

  1. What measures are being taken to fight an increase of robberies in Gwanda Town?

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): The Civil Registry Department produces both machines readable and e-passports.  Currently, the department is experiencing challenges in the production of machine readable passports due to breakdown of machinery and efforts are underway to address the situation.  Production of machine readable passports will resume as soon as repairing of machines is complete.  However, following the launch of the e-passport by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Dr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Ministry has since embarked on a programme to roll out issuance of the e-passports to provinces and districts and in Gwanda, the project is expected to be completed by 30 August 2022.

  1. As a Ministry, we are concerned by the incidence of crime especially robberies. You will agree with me that one robbery is a robbery too many. At this outset, I have deemed it appropriate to point out that Gwanda Town is surrounded by areas richly endowed with gold reserves where mining activities are flourishing.  As synonymous with most areas where gold mining takes place, criminals tend to behold the areas as favourable hunting grounds; resultantly they flock into such areas to prey on those who are involved in the mining itself and the buying of the precious mineral or other commercial activities. From January to date, a total of 30 robbery cases have been recorded in Gwanda Town of which 12 were plain robberies, 16 involved other weapons and two involved fire arms.

Having said that, according to the briefings availed to me by the Commissioner-General of Police, the police continues to intensify their operations to such areas throughout the country to fight robberies among other serious crimes. 

As previously alluded to in my response to a related question sometime in the same month last year, which I presume may still be in public memory, the Commissioner-General of Police has taken note of robbery reports, not only in Gwanda Town but throughout the country where there are numerous ongoing measures aimed at curbing robberies be it plain or armed.  Specifically in Gwanda Town, police have put in place various strategies and initiatives which include but not limited to the following:

-Intensifying foot, cycle and motorised patrols in crime-prone areas;

-Mounting of security roadblocks, intensifying stop and searches;

-Heightening awareness campaigns encouraging members of the public to desist from the habit of using paths that pass through secluded and unlit areas at night and strongly discouraging the keeping of large sums of money at home or business premises or even to move around with it;

-Promotion of public participation in policing. To this end, it is suffice to mention that previously when robberies were not yet rife, most of the town’s residents were reluctant to directly participate in the fight against crime and opted to stay aloof.  However, due to continuous engagement, I am reliably informed that they are now forthcoming and joining the popular Neighbourhood Watch Committees to patrol their respective neighbourhoods;

-Engagement of various stakeholders with a view to enhancing inter-agency cooperation in the fight against crime.  For instance, efforts have been made to engage Gwanda Town local authorities lobbying for the provision of street lighting as most areas are light-deficient and

-Lastly, at national level, the Police Command is engaging the judiciary urging them to impose stiffer penalties on perpetrators of violent crimes which include robberies.

Mr. Speaker Sir, I am pleased to mention that as a result of these sound policing strategies, 23 robbers have been arrested since January 2022.  Notably, a pistol and a motor vehicle were recovered in one of the arrests.   As a Ministry, we remain committed to maintaining peace and security across the country.  I thank you.

TWENTY FOUR HOUR SERVICE AT ESIGODINI HOSPITAL PHARMACY

  1. HON. BRG. GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House when Esigodini Hospital Pharmacy will offer 24-hour services, considering that patients seek medical attention throughout the day.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Esigodini Hospital is manned by 1 pharmacist, 2 pharmacy technicians and 1 dispensary. There are not enough personnel to be able to offer 24-hour service. However, there is a person on call when the pharmacy closes for the day. The person is there to provide emergency services.

UPGRADING OF MUSHUMBI CLINIC TO A DISTRICT HOSPITAL

  1. HON. CHIBHAGU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House

When will the Government upgrade Mushumbi Clinic to a district hospital?

When will the Ministry procure adequate beds, medical facilities, furniture among others at Angwa Clinic in Mbire.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO): Government will not upgrade Mushumbi Clinic to a district hospital, rather the Government will construct Mbire District Hospital opposite Mushumbi Secondary School. The preliminary works will commence in the year 2022 and construction works will be in 2023.

          The Ministry of Health and Child Care noted that we do not have adequate medical facilities in our health facilities in the country. In view of this we have plans to ensure all our health facilities are capacitated. We have two phases, so far phase 1 started with central hospitals, provincial hospitals, district and mission hospitals. The rural health centres will be benefiting from the phase 2 of the plans which we hope to implement before end of this year.

          Relatedly, beds can be procured by the Provincial Medical Directors’ (PMD) Office and in the event that they do not have funds, they can ask head office to pay for them and this procurement would be done through a tender process. It is important to note that PMDs have a budget, but if the funds are not adequate, they request head office to assist in payment.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MEASURES TO ENSURE CHITUNGWIZA GENERAL HOSPITAL HAS ADEQUATE MEDICATION

  1. HON G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to inform the House

a) What measures are in place to ensure that Chitungwiza General Hospital has adequate medication and working cancer treatment facilities?

b) What measures are put in place to ensure that Makoni Maternity Clinic is adequately capacitated with child delivery necessities.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MANGWIRO):

          Cancer treatment

          Currently cancer treatment facilities are at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals covering the northern region and Mpilo Central Hospital catering for the southern region. In this regard, cancer patients from Chitungwiza Central Hospital are referred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for radiotherapy.

          As at head office level, we do not address issues at institutional level but at a level of majority of the institutions.

          May you note that your institution has an open door policy which means that you can approach local managers on issues of the institution? The concern is being addressed through motivation for budget release by Treasury to enable these institutions to procure services from NatPharm.

Makoni Clinic

          In order to capacitate safe child deliveries, the following steps are being put in place by the Ministry of Health and Child Care Family Health Department:

  1. Assessment for adequacy and functionality of essential equipment and supplies.
  2. Assessment for human resources for health that is to see that there are adequate health workers in the maternity section and related sections.
  3. Recommendations from these two assessments will give the basis to guide in procurement of essential equipment.
  4. On the job training for healthcare workers to equip them with necessary knowledge and skills to prevent maternal and prenatal morbidity and mortality will be carried out.
  5. Quarterly support and supervision to the clinic to check on skills and supplies
  6. Continued quarterly Zimbabwe Assisted Pull System (ZAPS) to the clinic. This is supply of commodities to the clinic.

DRILLING OF BOREHOLES IN HURUNGWE NORTH CONSTITUENCY

  1. HON GANDAWA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development to inform the House on how many boreholes the Ministry intends to drill in Hurungwe North in the year 2022 and 2023 against a national target of 35000 boreholes.

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR MASUKA): Two boreholes shall be drilled per ward. There are 26 wards in the entire Hurungwe District which translates to 52 boreholes. Hurungwe North Constituency has four wards which are Ward 7, 8, 9 and 22. At the prescribed rate of two boreholes per ward, this constituency will get 8 boreholes during the 2022/2023 season.

Questions with notice were interrupted by THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of standing order number 68.  .

MINISTERIRAL STATEMENT

DEPLOYMENT AND REGARDING OF TEACHERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is mandated to provide relevant high quality education product to all its clients through both formal and non-formal routes. One of the key resources that enable the Ministry to fulfill its mandate is availability of the teaching force for primary and secondary education.

          The competence based curriculum introduced by the current Government - there are new learning areas and it demands more teachers because of that introduction of new learning areas. Since 2019, there has been a freeze on posts under which the Government announced the number of authorised new teaching posts to be filled. The other reason why there are vacant posts is because of the attrition that we experience in the teaching profession.

          The Public Service Commission authorised 10 000 posts initially and reduced that number to 5 000 posts for the year 2022 with Treasury concurrence. Of the 5 000 posts, 3 904 have been filled and the balance of 1 096 will be filled in September, 2022.  In addition to this, another

1 454 attrition posts have since been filled. In line with e-governance thrust, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Public Service Commission have introduced an e-recruitment platform which requires all newly qualified teachers to register on line.

          This register is used for the systematic deployment of teachers according to match between the vacant posts and the year of graduation from the Teacher Training College. Under this system, teachers within the critical skills area get deployed earlier than others with more readily available qualifications. The critical skills shortage areas are ECD, sciences, technical and vocational and indigenous languages and special needs areas. The teacher-pupil ratio is now as follows: ECD, 1: 25 pupils, junior school, 1:40, lower to secondary 1:33, O level 1:30 and A level, 1:20. These are the ideal numbers that we are expected to have in schools but we have more children in schools because of shortage of teachers and also because of the capacity of our classroom blocks.

          The resource unit, visually impaired, their ratio is 1:10, special class is 1:19, hearing impaired is 1-7, intellectual challenges is 1:7, physical disabilities is 1:15 but again you find that these figures are higher in this country because of the challenges that we have in terms of the teachers that we have. For technical subjects, it is 1:100 per learning area. These are carpentry and tailoring which we do in schools.

          Given the COVID-19 pandemic, our classes are supposed to be half of the total numbers that are in classes and this has also caused a challenge. At present the total number of schools is 10 100 with an enrollment of more than 4.6 million pupils and a total teaching establishment of 136 000. In terms of Section 75 (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, these learners are entitled to be in class and they are entitled to education.

          As indicated below, our greatest deficit is at the infant level which is ECD A to Grade 2. We have taken the necessary precautions to place the majority of teachers at infant level from the allocation that is funded through Treasury since January, 2022. The table below shows the number of teachers that were deployed.

TEACHER DEPLOYMENT

 

LEVEL

 

NUMBER OF TEACHERS DEPLOYED

 

INFANT

 

2164

 

JUNIOR

 

1215

 

SECONDARY (FORMS 1-4)

 

431

 

ADVANCED (FORMS 5-6)

  

94

 

TOTAL

 

3904

 

          Our deployment pattern takes into account the available vacancies in each district. We have for instance, some districts in Harare and Bulawayo that have almost full complement of staff except for critical shortage areas while the majority of the districts in rural areas are experiencing an acute shortage of teachers, hence are prioritised. As noted above, we deployed fewer teachers to the secondary level because of the need to strengthen the foundation at primary school level.  Table 2 shows the required teachers post, the latest deployment shown in Table 1.

Teacher Requirement after Latest Recruitment

Level

TEACHERS NEEDED

INFANT

14 527

JUNIOR

6 527

SECONDARY (FORMS 1-4)

3 170

ADVANCED (FORMS 5-6)

1 107

TOTAL

25 331

 

REGRADING OF TEACHERS UPON HAVING TEACHING QUALIFICATIONS

          The Ministry is continuing with the opening exercise of regrading all teachers who previously did not have pedagogical qualifications in line with PSC regulations.  The Ministry is communicating the procedure of regrading through its structures.  We call upon teachers with pedagogical qualifications to approach the nearest district office for regrading.

UPDATE ON THE TEACHER CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

          The Teacher Capacity Development Programme was launched in 2014 in preparation for the demands of the competence-based curriculum.  This saw the two Ministries of Education working together towards the signing of MoUs between the MOPSE and State Universities.

          The majority of the teachers that are in the sector are now qualified.  The Ministry had made a deliberate move to ensure that all personnel that are involved in the teaching and learning get the pedagogical qualifications as required.

          Apart from teachers that have taken the initiative to upgrade themselves, the Ministry, in collaboration with local universities, has trained some semi-qualified teachers through the Teacher Capacity Development Programme.  Through this programme, selected teachers undergo some training during school holidays so that they become fully-fledged teachers.  The following universities have signed a memorandum of understanding to deal with semi-qualified teachers in the areas indicated:

Bindura University of Science Education

  •     Bachelor of Education in Physics
  •     Bachelor of Education in Chemistry
  •    Bachelor of Education in Mathematics
  •    Bachelor of Education in Biology

National University of Science and Technology

  •     Bachelor of Education in Physics
  •     Bachelor of Education in Chemistry
  •     Bachelor of Education in Mathematics
  •     Bachelor of Education in Biology

Great Zimbabwe University

  •     Bachelor of Education in Nambiya
  •     Bachelor of Education in Tonga
  •     Bachelor of Education in Shangani
  •     Bachelor of Education in Venda
  •     Bachelor of Education in Kalanga
  •     Bachelor of Education in Xhosa
  •     Bachelor of Education in Sesotho

University of Zimbabwe

  •     Bachelor of Education in Building Technology

Zimbabwe Open University

  •     Post Graduate Diploma

Midlands State University

  •     Bachelor of Education in Information Communication Technology (BED ICT)

Lupane State University

  •     Bachelor of Education in Agriculture Sciences

As soon as they get the requisite qualifications, these teachers are eligible for salary upgrade.

Continuous Assessment of the Competence Based Curriculum - One of the transformative initiatives under the competence based curriculum is the recognition of continuous assessment as a component of the final public examination results at Grade 7, 0 and A level.  Continuous assessment is something that teachers have always done as part of teaching and learning.  What has changed is the system of standardising and moderating the activities assigned to individual learners and the assessment thereof for recognition under the combined formative and summative final learning outcomes at G7, 0 and A levels.

          The curriculum framework takes a holistic approach to assessment.  This approach entails assessing learner competences on a continuum that includes knowledge, skills, abilities, values and traits.  The assessment learning activity (CALA), as enshrined in the competence based curriculum, requires all learners to perform, demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and proficiency. 

          Learners living with disabilities are not an exception.  They are also expected to demonstrate the above attributes like any other learners.  The CALA component takes into account learners living with disabilities since they are best assisted in various ways depending on the severity of their disability. For example:

  • Some learners are assisted by amanuensis to write their CALA.
  • A multi-disciplinary approach is employed. Therapists assist learners by designing gadgets like head pointers to help them work on their CALAs independently.  

I so present and at the same time, I had brought in a breakdown of  the summary of teacher staffing levels by province to make sure that everybody knows the numbers of teachers at infant level, junior and at secondary level for all the provinces in Bulawayo.

          (v)HON. I. NYONI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Minister mentioned that the teachers would have done science subjects at university and also need to get a diploma in Education when they go into the teaching profession.  Can the Minister also clarify what the Ministry has got in place for the training of headmasters?  I am sure headmasters also need some trainings of some sort.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. 

          HON. TOGAREPI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like the Minister to explain why we have people who have qualified longer than others still not employed?  We still have people who qualified in 2015 who have not yet been deployed.  What is the rationale?  Secondly, when is the deployment and employment of teachers going to be decentralised so that it is done at provincial and even at district level? 

          HON. TEKESHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Minister spoke about the ratio of teachers to children being so high.  Why do we have that ratio, yet we have got a lot of trained teachers who are roaming the streets?  Secondly, the Hon. Minister spoke about shortage of teachers in some subjects like Chemistry, Building and Carpentry. Is it not because of the poor remunerations you are offering these teachers?

          (v)HON. R. NYATHI:  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Minister for giving a very good citation of what is happening within her Ministry.  I realised that the exploitation of secondary school teachers and the prevailing number of teachers, there is a very big variance of almost 1.739.  My question to the Minister is that I do understand that all over Zimbabwe, those that have finished O’ levels and A’ levels, we have a lot of their results being held by schools because they have failed to pay for some reasons.  What is the Ministry doing to make sure that all the efforts of educating a child from ECD to A’ Level and all the investment that the Government has done bears fruits?  At the same time, that person is not able to access employment simply because he or she does not have an O’ Level or A’ Level certificate.  What is the Ministry doing to assist these children?  Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.

          (v)HON. MOKONE:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  I would want to thank the Minister for a well detailed Ministerial Statement.  The Hon. Minister mentioned the problem of high teacher to pupil ratio.  This is not the problem per se because the main issue here is the issue of remuneration of teachers.  Teachers are shunning the teaching profession because they are not well remunerated.  From her presentation as well, I would like to applaud the Ministry for signing an MOU with the universities.  I think there is a problem there because as soon as these finish in universities, they then look for greener pastures because of this low remuneration that you are giving them. 

          The last issue that I would like to know from the Minister is the issue of decentralising the deployment of teachers.  I think it is key to decentralise the deployment of teachers because as you know, ECD children prefer teachers who speak their mother language so that they grasp the concepts very well.  I would like to know from the Minister when they are resuming the process of decentralising recruitment of teachers? Thank you. 

          +HON. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, I did not get you properly in your Ministerial Statement when you were talking about CALA.  I think we still have a challenge, especially in the rural areas.  As we speak, we are now halfway through the year and looking at Grade 7s in the rural areas, where there is no electricity, I did not hear properly what you said in your Ministerial Statement, concerning these children because I think they are being left behind.  I think for CALA, electricity, laptops and computers are required. 

When I listened to the Ministerial Statement, I did not hear anything on how those pupils in the rural areas are going to be assisted.  Even the young ones, I do not think they really understand CALA because they are behind time.  Could you please assist us in your Ministerial Statement?  I thank you.     

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. DR. E. NDLOVU): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I would like to thank Hon. Members for their contributions and appreciation of the Ministerial Statement.  In terms of training, the first question was on headmasters, that they need to be capacitated.  The capacity building programme that we have as a Ministry involves all teachers.  It does not select.  So headmasters can also go for training in their respective areas of need, in terms of upgrading. 

          We have actually witnessed in the Ministry that some teachers decided not to use the facility which is there and decide to pay for themselves yet it is an expense and we are trying to reduce expenses.  Some decide to go for other qualifications.  Headmasters can also choose the relevant subjects to go for training, we will capacitate them.

          The second question is, teachers that have been qualified since 2015 are still roaming the streets.  This morning I had the opportunity to interview my Human Resources Director on this issue.  The answer I got is that in most instances we have got more primary school teachers than secondary school teachers.  You will find that those teachers will have specialised in areas that have got many people already trained in them.  So there is need for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to sit down before the end of each year to make sure that we train within those required skills, instead of just training people in the same skills and yet we have got enough teachers in that particular area.

          The other challenge is that when a teacher has qualified, he/she is expected to register with the Ministry.  Some teachers do not register with the Ministry so that they get to be on our register.  Our register is the one which is passed on to the Public Service Commission, who are the recruiting authority.  So, we are calling upon Members of Parliament to advise their constituency members to help us and when they qualify, they go on line or they come to our nearest district offices to register.

          Of course, low remuneration is a challenge.  I have tried since I joined the Ministry, to negotiate with Government to improve the salaries.  We have got a challenge, Government is trying, resources are limited but we are pushing for continual improvement of remuneration of our teachers.  Also, there are teachers who do not have Ordinary and Advanced level. We used to have a programme with ZOU, where a teacher who goes into training with ZOU without enough Ordinary Level subjects was given an opportunity to supplement the subjects so that by the time they complete their Diploma in Education they would now have their required number of Ordinary Level subjects. So, our challenge is the shortage of teachers in specific subjects.  When I am talking about shortage of teachers, I am talking about teachers in Mathematics, Science, technical subjects, vocational subjects - those are the subjects that we are critically in need of teachers.

          Decentralising of recruitment, it is in the agenda.  We are discussing with the Public Service Commission because we are not a recruiting authority.  The recruiting authority is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare under the Public Service Commission.

          Then Hon. Mahlangu, on CALA, yes you are correct that it was not very clear in the Ministerial Statement.  Today I was talking to the Minister of ICT; we are going to install computers in all schools.  We want all children in rural areas to have access to computers.  I am pushing very hard together with the Minister of ICT.  I think starting tomorrow we will be giving computers to schools.  We have a programme and if you look at the programme at ZITF, we had a programme which we are embarking on together with United Nations (UN).  We want to ask the private sector companies to be with us in the capacitation of children with computers, not only computers but we are saying to them that they can actually invest in solar energy in the respective rural areas where there is no electricity.  So we are embarking on that exercise.  Some of the private sector players who have come on board include Old Mutual, Econet and TelOne.  So those are the partners that we are now bringing on board and those individual investors who can take part like Hwange, where we have got solar power plant that is facilitating the locals.  If you go to Gwanda, again there is another solar plant that has facilitated our children to have access to electricity.

          At the present moment, we really have got problems with school children, but we record instructions which we give teachers on memory sticks, then the children will learn following up.  Again, we are going to introduce the UN system, which system has been very helpful.  I thank you.

          (v)HON. GANDAWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think there was a question which she skipped which was asked by Hon. Mokone in relation to deployment of teachers who teach subjects in a language which is specific to a particular area.  For instance, people who come from Binga prefer their children to be taught in Tonga.  People who come from Matabeleland prefer their ECD students to be taught in Ndebele.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA):  Sorry Honourable, could you give the Minister time to note the questions.

(v)HON. GANDAWA: Thank you, can I just repeat Mr. Speaker Sir?  There was a question that the Hon. Minister skipped to respond to.  Hon. Mokone asked a specific question to say when is deployment going to be done for teachers who teach specific courses or specific languages.  For instance, if you go to Binga, they prefer their ECD classes to be taught in Tonga. If you go to Matabeleland, they prefer their ECD classes to be taught in Ndebele which is not prevailing at the moment.  So the Minister has not responded clearly to me and other Hon. Members to say when do we get to see a Tonga speaking teacher teaching in Binga, when do we get to see a Ndebele speaking teacher who teaches ECD, teaching the young children?  That has not been responded to.

Lastly Mr. Speaker Sir, if you may indulge me; on 18th May, I asked a specific question to the Minister in relation to ICT schools which she has identified as Ministry to be given computers from the Ministry.  She has not responded to me.  She had given the House two weeks to respond.  I am not too sure if she is ready with that answer.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

(v)HON. JOSIAH SITHOLE:  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister for giving such a vibrant Ministerial Statement.  Now Mr. Speaker Sir, may I know from the Hon. Minister what the Ministry is doing to protect children and in this case with reference to children who are being funded by BEAM in our schools because we have observed as we were going around the country as a Committee on Primary and Secondary Education that children are being sent home while they are on BEAM and we are actually going to face a crisis.  So I am asking the Ministry what they are doing as the custodians of those children that are going to be drop-outs.  Thank you.

(v)HON. MUSHORIWA:  My question to the Hon. Minister relates to the continuous learning, the CALA.  Hon. Speaker there is a challenge in that firstly, there is no standardisation across the country in terms of the CALA even amongst the districts, even assuming that you cannot standardise urban and rural but at least for districts within the same province. 

Secondly, in response to the CALA, we now have a situation Hon. Minister and I want your clarification in terms of how the Ministry is going to deal with this issue where there is now a risk of downgrading our education system whereby some teachers are now doing CALA for the students and in return they are actually getting paid and getting money.  We know of stories where O’level students including even Grade 7 students have actually been asked to pay amounts to teachers for CALA.  In fact this CALA business has become very lucrative for teachers.

So my question to the Minister is, what mechanisms is the Ministry putting in place to avoid a situation where we end up downgrading our education system through unscrupulous means done by teachers in the provinces?  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

HON. DR. E. NDLOVU:  I want to apologise to those Members through you Mr. Speaker Sir, whose questions I had not responded to.  When is the deployment going to be done of those teachers in various schools?  I think I was asked to bring a list of teachers that we deployed, I do not know whether I am correct. 

On 18th May, I talked about the ICTs in schools and one of the Members requested that we give them a list of schools.  We have prepared that list.  Unfortunately, my phone has switched off but I have got a list of the schools that have got electricity in that particular constituency.  I think it is Mashonaland West.  I have got the list; I had brought it.  They sent it to me hoping that I was going to have the phone working, unfortunately it is not working, it has switched off but the Hon. Member, I assure him that next week or even tomorrow when I have charged my phone, I can give him the list of schools that have got electricity because we prioritise schools that have got electricity.

On the issue of languages, it has been proven that a child who is in ECD up to Grade 2 needs to be taught in their mother language.  We have tried to get teachers from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, different languages without success.  We have finished recruitment of those teachers except a few, I think this morning I was very hard on my people that were trained last year and graduated.  Unfortunately, after graduation, they did not register with the Ministry.  So we have since put them in the register.  I think those were trained under Minister Nyoni.  I do not know whether there are Tonga people there, but I think the majority of them are Ndebele.

So we are working very hard and what we are asking our Members of Parliament to do, I think I sent a circular to the Members of Parliament, is to say can you assist us to encourage your children in Suthu, Khalanga, Venda and these other languages to make sure that they join the teacher training colleges.  We do not have enough teachers within those language bases and as a result, our children are failing.  We cannot address the zero pass rate unless we have children starting school being taught using their mother language.

Then on protection of children, yes BEAM is there but it delays to pay.  It is the same with the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans.  Those children whose school fees are paid by the Ministry of Defence and War Veterans. We have tried and I have spoken to Hon. Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri and the Minister of Labour because he is in charge of that fund.  We are not directly in charge of that fund.  I have tried my level best since I came into office to try and talk to these Ministers to ensure that children are not thrown out of school.  It is a child’s right to be in school.  I have spoken to my headmasters that there is no need to chase children away from school but they have to deal with the parents as it is not the children’s problem.  It is the parent’s problem and in this instance, it is the Government of Zimbabwe which is the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, which the headmasters must deal with through our offices.  So I think that approach will assist us to keep the children in school. We will continue to advise our headmasters.

  Yes, continuous learning, there is no standardisation in provinces.  This continuous learning thing, the problem is that it is operationalised within the environment that is in existence.  So, the projects that these children are doing emanate from the environment and so we cannot standardise throughout the province because what is in Gokwe is not in Binga.  The environment is different for each province and even within one province.  Lupane has got different products that children can pick and decide to produce that product.  In Binga, it is different so standardisation is a problem. 

  We are trying by all means to help our students in various provinces.  There is the risk of down grading.  Yes, but I think we really need to engage the Anti-Corruption Commission.  I have said that even in Cabinet that as Zimbabweans, we should learn to respect ourselves.  The culture of wanting too much money every time and being greedy is a problem in our society. It is the same when you look at our cities.  I was in London last week and I felt ashamed of the dirt that is here in our city yet in London you cannot even pick a stick of matches on the streets.  So I think it is the cultural mindset change among our people that is needed to make sure that you do not cheat.  You are cheating the child and tomorrow that child will be a destitute because when he/she goes to university, he/she will fail.   I do not understand why a black woman or black teacher should sabotage a child by doing work for them.  I think it is high time the Anti-Corruption Commission should go into schools and identify – as well as parents who can tell us what is happening in these schools.  There are few of you guys and few of us who do that, except for one man here in Harare who has been coming to my office to inform me of what is happening and I sent my people there to stop it.  We really need information from the public.  I thank you.

  THE HON. TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister.

  (v)HON. S. NDLOVU: My question to the Minister is, when we talk of CALA, in the rural areas we have schools that do not have electricity and computers.  I believe that CALA has got 30% marks so for those writing exams this year, CALA has to be marked.  How are they doing the CALA without electricity and computers because they have to research and print?

   HON. DR. E. NDLOVUHon. Member, yes it is a challenge that in some of our schools, we do not have computers or electricity.  I thought I talked about that extensively that we are working on that.  I know it will be difficult now but I think the teachers will be innovative enough to make sure that children use whatever they have at their disposal to come up with projects that can give them marks under CALA.  I was in one school in Mashonaland East the day before yesterday - the children are so innovative that they produce beads from seeds found in the village.  That is why I was referring to the environment.  They were very innovative young children producing very nice beads.  They are assessed on that particular activity and they get their marks.  I think the teachers should be more innovative to assist the rural children who do not have electricity and other gadgets.  We are however working vigorously on the gadgets.  I think there is one country from the developing world that has done very well, which is Brazil.  All their children were given tablets and they set up satellites even in the Amazon.  That is what we were told last week in the UK that they have done very well.  We hope that one day we will also get there. Bit by bit, we will get there.  I thank you.

  THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Hon. Minister.  You have been so practical, articulate and eloquent.  Thank you very much. We really enjoyed your presentation and the way you have answered the questions from the floor.  Thank you very much.

  On the motion of HON. TOGAREPI, seconded by HON. TEKESHE, the House adjourned at Six Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

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