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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 8 MARCH 2023 VOL 49 NO 28
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 8th March, 2023
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER
APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have a list of apologies from Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers: Hon. Dr. C.D. G. N. Chiwenga, the Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care; Hon. O.C.Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs; Hon. Dr. E. Ndlovu, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education; Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, Minister of Finance and Economic Development; Hon. M. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Hon. K. Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage; Hon. Prof. A. Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development; Hon. D. Garwe, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities; Hon. Dr. F. M. Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; and Hon. K. Coventry, Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agricultural, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Dr. Masuka. What is Government policy in relation to land that is given to the Local Government, local authorities for urban expansion from the Ministry of Agriculture in so far as it concerns housing infrastructure development for the locals in those local authorities?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker, I thank Hon. Nduna for the question which relates to Government policy on transfer of agricultural land to urban land. The policy directive is very clear; we want to reserve as much land as possible for agricultural purposes. So we very reluctantly give land or convert land from agricultural land to urban land. However, in the circumstances that we do so, Government policy is that the land is handed over to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works where it becomes urban state land. Once it becomes urban state land, the current policy is that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works transfers that land immediately to the Agricultural Finance Corporation. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker. It does look as if this land, most of it has been abused according to the Auditor-General’s report, in particular one such report is the forensic audit for Gweru City Council that the land has not been used for the intended purpose to alleviate the plight of non-owners of housing infrastructure development. Does the Hon. Minister follow up or carry out an audit to such an occurrence and land which will have been passed down or passed on for urban expansion with a view of making sure there is a reduction of the housing backlog that the country currently has?
HON. DR. MASUKA: Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for the supplementary question. The question relates specifically to an aspect that is completely under the purview of the colleague Minister of Local Government and Public Works. However, this recent policy directive which falls under the handover of urban land to the Agricultural Finance Cooperation became operational last year. We are aware that there were many cooperatives and other entities that were given land for urban development prior to this. Government is seized with doing the regularisation and audit of the usage of such land and His Excellency the President has formed an inter-ministerial Committee to deal with these matters and a report will be provided in due course. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is from a policy perspective, what is the rationale for having the Agricultural Finance Corporation to take over that responsibility? My understanding is that the original was premised on the need for expansion of the urban development in terms of housing because of the big backlog. Also perhaps the Hon. Minister would be pleased to favour us with an indication or indicative guide as to when this report will be read. He just said in due course but I think that is too vague. We actually need to have something more specific so that we can have an indication as to when the nation, through this august House, has finished with the position after the audit.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Madam Speaker, I thank Hon. Gonese for the supplementary question. The question relates to something that relates to urban land. I think at this stage; it will be fair for me to defer to the Leader of Government business who also chairs an aspect of the Committee that has been put in place by the President to furnish you with the additional details of this Committee that is doing the regularisation for some of these settlements.
The rationale behind the directive is to allow the AFC at this stage, to have administration of urban state land that is transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture is twofold. The first is the Land Reform Programme has now settled over 99.99% of people who are on the land that we need to settle. One of the biggest inhibitions to agricultural production and productivity is the lack of appropriately tenured finance. So, the Government’s thinking is that the AFC will be able to partner with land developers and will be able to get resources to enable it to finance agricultural production and productivity.
The second aspect and perhaps futuristic is that may be the aspects of that financing could be used towards contributing to the global compensation deed and the financing mechanism for that. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
Hon. Gonese having asked a follow up question while his microphone was off.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, can you please ask your question again. The Hon. Minister did not hear what you were saying.
HON. GONESE: The second aspect of the question relates to the timeframe because the Hon. Minister, in his response indicated that an Inter-Ministerial Taskforce had been formed. My supplementary question relates to the timeframe when we expect that report to be produced and that is the aspect on which the Hon. Minister deferred to the Leader of Government Business, who, as I understand is the Chair of that Inter-Ministerial Taskforce. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I think to a greater extent, my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture has answered the question to indicate the direction that we are taking. As to the actual timeframes, we have so many competing issues to the extent that I want to refrain from giving timeframes that may not be correct in this august House. Suffice to indicate that, that is the direction we are taking and we are very much willing to ensure that we proceed that way. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker, good afternoon. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. The land outside Harare is being planned by City of Harare and the developers on prime agricultural land. Right now as we speak, there are people who are collecting the proceeds of Harare planning and yet they are paying rates to Goromonzi or Zvimba, for example.
My question to the Minister is: when are they going to do the regularisation of land allocation before it is taken? Hence this is the 22nd time I would like to remind this House of the Justice Uchena report that covers this and it must be released. So my question is; when is the Minister going to be pro-active rather than reactive on land that is being illegally settled? I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The first aspect of his question, he is indicating that there is illegal allocation of land. So, if it is a question of illegality, the relevant authorities must ensure that, that is stopped. Secondly, there is no prime agricultural land that is being used for urbanisation. The procedure is, if we have agricultural land and it is converted to urban land, it ceases to be agricultural land and it is now designated urban land for development.
So once you find a certain farm being developed and it has been converted, it ceases to be deemed to be agricultural land. In other words, if an application is made by the Minister of Local Government to the Minister of Lands to say that we want this farm for urban development, once it is handed over to him, the process is that – my colleague was talking of engaging the Agricultural Finance Corporation so that they administer those stands. I think it is clear that once you have people who are allocating land illegally, the law must take its course to ensure that does not proceed. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government as the supervising authority of all Rural District Councils (RDCs). Rural District Councils are responsible authorities of all the schools in the communal land. Most of our schools in rural areas are getting zero percent pass rate. What is the policy of the Ministry of Local Government in as far as supervising these schools so that they get a better percentage pass rate because local authorities are the responsible authorities? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I was struggling to get the actual question but I think I got it where Hon. Mudarikwa wants to find out what local authorities are doing to supervise schools against a background of zero percent pass rate. The responsibility in terms of educational standards still lies with the Ministry of Education, but the responsible authority in owning the schools are the RDCs. So, ownership and supervision to ensure quality education are two separate entities. The responsibility lies with schools inspectors - the Ministry of Education authorizes to ensure that the standard of education is the same across all our schools. I thank you.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: The issue here is the responsible authority according to the Education Act, gives authority that the RDCs come and supervise at the schools, like what churches are doing. Church related institutions are supervising. Is the Minister saying there is no policy to supervise the quality of education?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The local authority is responsible for the school but they are not responsible for the quality of the education that is being produced. The Ministry of Education has got inspectors, they have got their own hierarchy of ensuring that the standard of education is the same. You cannot expect a councillor to be responsible for supervising the quality of education that will come out of that school. The council is responsible for running. It is actually the owner of the school. Even church related schools, the church authorities do not determine the quality of education. The quality of education is determined by the curriculum and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will still supervise all the schools in the country to ensure that the same education is given. I thank you.
HON. P. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, in his absence, the Leader of Government Business. What is Government policy with regards to giving municipal police arresting powers so that they augment the national police service in dealing with the rampant crime in our country? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for such a good question. It is a very important question. The Minister of Local Government and Public Works is working towards ensuring that we realise that. We have realised that there are certain crimes that occur within the municipal area, like vending crimes and some of the traffic crimes. The municipal court should surely be dealing with that. So, we are working at ensuring that we get to that. It is work in progress between my Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question emanates from the fact that the question that has been raised is contained in the Devolution Bill. Since 2018, we have been asking when the Devolution Bill is going to be presented in Parliament. So, my question to the Hon. Minister is; when should we expect the Local Authorities Bill and the Provincial Councils Bill to be presented before Parliament? Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, this is not a new question and we have dealt with the question before. Hon. Chinyanganya is very impatient but like I have always said, this is now work in progress and very urgent. We are about to go to elections and some of the issues in that Bill pertains to provincial councillors and we cannot go for a third election without resolving it. So, we are working towards ensuring that Bill comes before the dissolution of this Parliament. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Could the Minister confirm that he has contacted, spoken and taken the advice of stakeholders in the Devolution Bill which includes Members of Parliament who were elected and councillors who were elected? I do not know anyone who has been contacted or tendered anything to do with the new devolution in the last 18 months. Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, the process is not complete. The Bill has not passed all the processes. Members of Parliament and members of the public, once the Parliamentary process starts, their views will be taken into consideration once the Bill is gazetted. So, the Hon. Member must hold his horse, he must wait a little bit and ensure that he organises all the stakeholders so that they can give us input into the Bill.
So, it is a process that is ongoing and there is nothing to hide really in terms of development of this Bill. We want to realise what is in the Constitution in terms of our devolution agenda and any feedback that can enrich that particular Bill is welcome. I thank you.
HON. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order relates to the fact that the Hon. Minister has not done justice to the supplementary question. The import of the supplementary question relates to the conception stage of the Bill and not the public consultation stage. What the Hon. Minister has indicated that stakeholders can then have their input in the fullness of time does not answer the question. What the question entails is a scenario where important stakeholders give their input even before the gazetting of the Bill.
We have got councillors, Members of Parliament and so on who are part and parcel of the structures in the current Constitution relating to devolution and I believe that the Hon. Minister should be forthright and indicate to us who are the people who have been consulted in terms of the conceptual stage relating to devolution.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Madam Speaker, my answer related to policy that the relevant stakeholders will be consulted. What Hon. Gonese wants is specific individuals or organisations that have been consulted and I would not be in a position to stand here and tell you Madam Speaker that I am able to say out all that from my head as that is not within my jurisdiction. There are others who do that – drafters, our senior civil servants but for me to stand here and say such and such was consulted is outside the policy framework of questioning that is allowed for this segment of question and answer time. I thank you.
*HON. CHIBAYA: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Hon. Mhona. Hon. Minister, what steps are being taken by the Government to repair our roads that were damaged by the heavy rains this year as well as the heavy trucks, especially Boterekwa Road for example that goes via Chachacha? You need four hours to get to Mandamabwe. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question. If you may allow me Madam President, I was asked by this honourable House to present a full report on the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme. If it pleases the Hon. Member, I will include that in the Ministerial Statement that I was asked to present in this august House. I thank you.
*HON. BITI: May the Minister of Transport, Hon. Mhona also include a very dilapidated road, Harare-Nyamapanda Road, there are no more shoulders on that road. It is worn out yet it is used by heavy trucks to Mozambique and Malawi. May the Hon. Minister explain what the plan is with regard to this road? I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, I hope the Hon. Minister heard that.
(v)HON. BRIG. GEN (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. There were farms that were wrongly gazetted belonging to indigenous farmers. These farms were supposed to be delisted and reallocated back to the original owners but this has taken close to 20 years to be done. What is holding back the reallocation or delisting of these farms.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Thank you Madam Speaker and I thank Hon. Mayihlome for the question. In 2020, Government put in place Statutory Instrument 62 which provided a legal basis for consideration for the return of such properties to affected farmers. The Ministry established a Committee to consider applications as per Statutory Instrument 62. We have received quite a number. I am not too sure what the Hon. Member wants us to do. We consider this based on applications that are received from farmers.
However, Madam Speaker, should there be specific names and areas that the Hon. Member has, he can submit those and we can look at those expeditiously in terms of the existing laws. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Madam Speaker. Could the Minister enlighten us on the progress with the much vaulted 99-Year Leases? Why is it that not one indigenous farmer has yet been given a 99-Year Lease coupled with the fact that he is not even included in any compensation deal for those 600, by his figures, who were evicted from their farms? Thank you.
HON. DR. MASUKA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank Hon. Markham for the question. Let me start by correcting the statement; it is not true that indigenous people have not been given 99-Year Leases. Let me put this into context and clarify a few issues. The process of the issuance of the 99-Year Lease originally was that a farmer would get an A2 offer letter, after five years on the property and of development, the farmer would opt to apply for a 99-Year Lease and pay an assessment fee. That assessment fee would enable the Department of Lands to go on to the property and do an assessment.
Madam Speaker, when the Land Commission Act was promulgated, that changed to say that a 99-Year Lease may not be issued by the Minister without reference to the Zimbabwe Land Commission which created a second level of verification. Madam Speaker, that assessment would then leave the Ministry’s Department of Lands and be submitted to the Zimbabwe Land Commission who would also do their own assessment of whether the farmer would get a 99-Year Lease or not. Then they would recommend to the Minister whether an issuance of the 99-Year Lease is appropriate or not.
Madam Speaker, through this cumbersome process, we have issued under 500 99-Year Leases of the 23 000 A2 farmers. Noting this very cumbersome process, Government last year changed the policy on the issuance of 99-Year Leases as follows:
First, the offer letter was merely a piece of paper, we then issued a securitised A2 permit. All new offers for the land are now securitised A2 permits which would allow farmers some security of tenure. All A2 farmers automatically qualify for 99-Year Leases now. No one needs to apply for a 99- Year Lease and this is the policy position of Government. We introduced what we call the production and productivity return form. It is an annual production and productivity form which A1 and A2 farmers should complete and an assessment team assesses the level of production and productivity on the farm and recommends for the automatic issuance of a 99-Year Lease. This process will start this year, 2023 and we have said farmers ought to complete the production and productivity returns by the 31st March, 2023. This enables them to be assessed for such. This is the correct position in relation to 99-Year Leases.
Futuristically, I hope this august House will find it fit to support the suggestions in the amendments to the Land Commission Act which will separate the administrative processes of land from the oversight role on land which will be the responsibility of the Zimbabwe Land Commission. Once that happens, we will be able to issue 99-Year Leases without reference to the Zimbabwe Land Commission because currently, they seem to be both a referee and a player in this regard. We will be able to expedite that if we get support from the august House. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. BITI: Madam Speaker Ma’am, the issuance by the Government through the esteemed Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Masuka of upgrading the offer letter into a security, to quote him, a securitised certificate of occupation by A2 farmers, is an acknowledgement of the insecurity associated with the offer letter. I submit Madam Speaker Ma’am that the certificate of occupation A2 which is not backed by a legal instrument, an Act of Parliament has no difference at all with the original letter. Why is it that the Minister and the Government are not complying with Chapter 16 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which says, among other things, that any farmer and farm owner and any beneficiary of the Land Reform Programme needs security of tenure and needs some form of title which can be hypothecated? I thank you.
HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank Hon. Biti for the supplementary question. The securitised offer letter is already recognisable in terms of the law and in terms of the Finance Act of 2023. So, it is already included in that in order to enhance production and productivity - so that has been recognised already.
However, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the AG, the Ministry of Finance and our Ministry, are currently seized with the Agrarian Reform laws which will take into consideration many aspects that have been raised by the Hon. Member including improving the tenure aspect and we can have some discussion at some stage on that. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: The last answer by the Hon. Minister speaks to security of tenure or protection and also the reform of the Agrarian Act. would it please the Minister to put a moratorium for people that are affected by the Mines and Minerals Act who are holding on to the Agrarian Reform Act who are being displaced because of the Mines Act which is archaic and superseding all other Acts.
HON. DR. MASUKA: The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill is already out for public hearings and will be coming to this august House. This process is ongoing. I hope that the Hon. Member will be able to sufficiently input into this Bill so that his views can be taken on board just like those of many farmers but as long as the legal environment remains what it is, it is the law of the land and that is what we utilise.
The Government, in coming up with this amendment, is of the view that there are many conflicts between miners and farmers which the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill will be able to address and I look forward to the contributions by the Members in order to ensure that there is rapport and peace in agricultural activities and also mining activities.
HON. H. MGUNI: What efforts has the Government taken to conserve water during this rainy season especially the drier regions of the country?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER AND RURAL RESETLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Madam Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for the question. I think that conservation of water is not just a Government responsibility; it is everyone’s responsibility starting with the household through to the national level.
What we have done specifically for Matabeleland South is that we have Thuli-Manyange Dam that we are constructing and we hope that we will be able to impound sufficient water to be able to irrigate upwards of 3000 hectares. We are also accelerating, under our newly expanded agricultural engineering mechanisation and soil conservation directorate, construction of earth dams and we are complimenting the efforts of the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency formally DDF. However, it takes everyone to be able to conserve water from using rooftops, to ensure that we build sufficient storage and we are also accelerating the Presidential Rural Development Programme through the drilling of boreholes.
So, all that water is really not lost, it goes to recharge the underground water system and this accelerated borehole system will be able to tap into that. Yes, every drop that goes into our rivers and eventually to the Indian Ocean is some water lost and we are accelerating dam construction including the smaller dams throughout the country. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I am alive to some boreholes that have been cited and that have been drilled. Would the Hon. Minister care to share with this House when the capacitation or the activation of those boreholes that had been drilled and sunk be done so that they can be usable? In particular, from where I come from, there is a plethora of them that have been drilled in diverse number of places to augment and compliment the meagre water supply that currently exists.
HON. DR. MASUKA: I thank Hon. Nduna for the supplementary question which relates to equipping the boreholes that had been drilled. I think it is just the context that this is three phased. We have a borehole drilling brigade within ZINWA with 16 drilling rigs having arrived, of the 80 drilling rigs; to enable us to drill a borehole in each of the 35 000 villages in the country in the not too distant future. Those that have been drilled, we need to move quickly to be able to equip them so that the communities can utilise them.
The third thing is that in each of this drilled boreholes, we must construct a one hectare garden for nutrition for the village and for commerce so that we industrialise and develop the rural areas.
Treasury, unfortunately is behind in terms of the disbursements for equipping these boreholes and before moving onto the next stages, I am informed by the Acting Minister of Finance and Economic Development that some money was released yesterday. So I hope that it will go towards the equipping of these boreholes which will be accelerated.
Madam Speaker, may I add that it is the Ministry’s intention to drill five boreholes per constituency before mid year. We hope that you will be able to identify the areas where we can assist you – the driest in your constituencies. Thank you Madam Speaker.
+HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Firstly, I would want to congratulate all women in the country and the world at large as today is Women’s Day; if there were no women in this august House, then there would be no women in this Parliament. It shows the importance of women and women play a pivotal role in this country. Musha mukadzi, umuzi ngumama: kusina amai hakuyendwe! Happy Women’s Day!
My question Madam Speaker Ma’am is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. In his absence, I will direct it to the Leader of Government Business. The Minister of Health and Child Care promised the House that he will introduce a Bill that will protect young girls from early child motherhood. I would like to know when the Hon. Minister is going to table the Bill. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member is asking about the Medical Services Amendment Bill. Is that correct? Which Bill?
*HON. L. SIBANDA: The Hon. Minister promised another Bill that will cover young children who are falling pregnant.
HON. ZIYAMBI: I am correct. Madam Speaker, within this Bill, there are provisions that deal with that. What we need to do is, in the Children’s Amendment Bill, the same provisions are there but the penal provisions are different. So, we simply need to synchronize and ensure that there is uniformity - either we drop what is in the Medical Services Bill and leave it in the Children’s Amendment Bill. So your question is covered, the Bills are before Parliament and all we need is to ensure that the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health and Child Care speak to each other and ensure that the provisions are either in the Children’s Amendment Bill or in the Medical Services Bill. The Minister of Health and Child Care indeed took that into consideration and included it in the Bill. I thank you.
HON. BITI: My supplementary to the esteemed Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is that the Child Amendment Bill has not dealt with one area of alignment. We have dealt with proscription of child marriages but the issue of aligning the age of sexual consent to the Constitution; in line with the recent Constitutional Court judgment in Diana Eunice Kawenda versus Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs which now says the age of sexual consent must be 18 years has not been done. Can the esteemed Hon. Minister give us assurances that the age of sexual consent will be increased to 18 years in line with the Constitution so that we can protect our children? Madam Speaker Ma’am, our children are being ravished upon and we need to protect them. I thank you very much.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The assurance that I can give is that the Bills are before Parliament and we are going to debate and propose amendments here as a House. So the assurance is, at least the Bills are here and we are going to deal with them at the appropriate time. I thank you. – [HON. BITI: Mune vana vasikana here Hon. Minister? Mune vana vasikana? Mhandara dziri kudyiwa nema sugar daddy kunze uku! Madam Speaker, ayehwa!]-
*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is what you were answered Hon. Biti, you will have opportunity to debate on the Bill when it is tabled so that you protect young girls.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker for the opportunity. My question is addressed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works. Is it Government policy to not allow urban councils to apply directly to the auction for foreign currency? Thank you.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Hon. Speaker and thank you very much for that very pertinent question Hon. Watson. The local authorities are allowed to apply to the auction floors just like any entity. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Madam Speaker, I tend to disagree with the Hon. Minister. Could the Hon. Minister just rephrase and confirm local authorities might apply but had they been allocated the money because in the case of Harare and Bulawayo, they have not been allocated this year to my knowledge. Thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, I advise you to put your question in writing so that the Hon. Minister can research and bring the answer. – [HON. MARKHAM: Noted thank you.] –
HON. BITI: My supplementary Madam Speaker Ma’am has to be answered with respect by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Chiduwa. The auction is still being used but even the Reserve Bank itself in its …
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Biti, you cannot direct a supplementary question to the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
HON. BITI: It arises because we are talking about the auction.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, that is not procedural – [HON. BITI: Perhaps if you can just hear me out Madam Speaker Ma’am?] – You can ask a new question. I will note your name so that I give you the chance to pose a new question. – [HON. BITI: Oh thank you, thank you. God bless you Madam Speaker Ma’am, you are such a star.] - [AN HON. MEMBER: Bvunza Soda, bvunza Soda.] – [Laughter.] -
HON. CHASI: I have been directed by the House to ask the Hon. Minister of Energy. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development – [HON. MEMBERS: Yeeeeeeee!]- Madam Speaker, it is common cause that the power situation in South Africa (SA) is very critical and that ESKOM is basically on its knees. I would like to know from the Hon. Minister how much power we are importing from SA and what mitigatory measures Government is taking to ensure that the vagaries of power in SA do not affect us adversely.
Related to that, I would like to ask another critical question to the Hon. Minister relating to the integrated plant relating to power in the country. There is a plan that has been in the offing for a number of years and I will be very much honoured where we are with regards to the construction of that plant.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. SODA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question pertaining to the power supply situation that is obtaining in South Africa and whether that is not going to catch up with us given that we are getting our imports from SA as one of the countries that give us power.
We are getting a capacity of around 170 megawatts from SA and the contract still subsists despite the power supply situation that is in SA but we are still able to obtain power supply from SA.
As for the mitigation measures that the Government of Zimbabwe has put in place in the event that SA one day gets to a situation where they will not be able to give us power supply, Madam Speaker Maam, you might be aware that we embarked on the expansion of Hwange Power Station in 2018 with the intention of obtaining additional power supply of around 600 megawatts from Unit 7 and 8. Last week alone, in this House, I indicated the readiness of Unit 7 from which we will be getting 300 mega watts before end of this month and another unit will be following after a month to give us a total of 600 megawatts being fed into the grid.
We also have plans to rehabilitate the existing units at Hwange Power Station, that is, Units 1 to 6 to get the units back to the installed capacity of 920 mega watts. As we speak today, there is a generation of 387 mega watts which are coming from Hwange Power Station. The intention is to rehabilitate the power station to give us 920 megawatts among other initiatives including the participation of the private sector as independent power producers. Even if we are caught up with what is happening in SA may be in a month or two, we are hoping that the capacity will be replaced with our internally generated power which we will get from the expansion project in Hwange.
With regards to the national integrated energy resource plant, it is a plan in progress. The purpose of coming up with such a plan is to align between expansion in demand which should be married with expansion in supply which we are currently working on with the projects that I have already outlined, but this plan is continuous and we will focus on the growth that is obtaining; the growth of the economy in agriculture, mining and housing which should be facilitated by provision of electricity. This plan entails that for every expansion in demand, we will be looking at the most appropriate source of generation. We have quite a number of sources of generation in this country. We have hydro and mini hydro from our small inland dams, including rivers where we can tap into for electricity generation. We also have solar and wind. The plan entails the most appropriate source of generation which we should be moving into to deal with the growth that will be happening as we go forward up to 2030 where we envisage that we will be achieving universal access to energy for everyone in the country, leaving no-one and no place behind.
HON. CHASI: Can the Minister precisely tell us when this House or country can have a document that speaks to Government’s plan regarding energy in the country given what we are experiencing already and what we are experiencing in the region generally.
HON. SODA: As I have already indicated that we are already working on the national integrated energy resource plan, we can always avail the document to Parliament when it is ready but let me try and see how we can expedite it so that it will be presented to this House.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I have a supplementary question for the Hon. Minister. Minister, may you please avail details to the House as to why Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) no longer give timetables with regards to load shedding? It just happens just like that – if we had timetables, companies, families or people would plan according to the load shedding schedule.
HON. SODA: At the moment, it is very difficult to come up with a schedule for load shedding in as much as in power curtailment which happens from time to time mainly occasioned by the performance of Hwange Power Station. Hwange Power Station because of its age, you cannot plan well based on the capacity that will be coming from Hwange Power Station. We have unplanned outages that are occurring from Hwange Power Station. You would be surprised like I have already indicated that from Hwange today in the morning, we were obtaining a capacity of 387 megawatts but you would be surprised to hear that by the end of the day, we would be down to 100 megawatts. The four units that are currently on service, some would have gone out of service. So, the power station is not reliable at the moment because of the age. We will soon be availing load shedding schedule after the coming in of Unit 7 and 8.
If there is going to be any deficit after the two units would have been brought into service, then obviously ZESA will have to give a load shedding schedule. As we speak, it is very difficult to come up with one because of the performance of Hwange Power Station. However, I want to promise this House that soon after Unit 7 and 8 are through, then for whatever capacity deficit that we will obtain, a schedule will be provided. I thank you.
*HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. The reason why people pay in advance is to make it easier for ZESA to procure electricity but I am surprised when there is a breakdown to do with electricity, people are still asked to pay for fuel and hiring of transport for repairs. Is that the new Government policy that consumers have to pay for the repairs?
*HON. SODA: Thank you Madam Speaker. That is not Government policy where people are now expected to buy fuel and donate their cars for ZESA technicians to use for repairs or any work related to electricity. This is witnessed especially from farmers. The farmers kindly ask for technicians to come and assist them by sending transport so that they immediately attend to their problem because sometimes they are told that technicians would have gone out to attend to other faults. What is happening now is that for any technician, who volunteers to do such job, they are supposed to sign a document that they are volunteering to offer those services as well as fuel to ZESA and this is for accountability purposes.
People are not forced to do that but they do it voluntarily. What is happening right now is, those who volunteer to assist ZESA are supposed to complete those documents and there should be supervision to ensure that work is properly done. Sometimes ZESA workers may also go to ZESA and claim that they used their own fuel after being given that fuel by the customer. I thank you.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Madam Speaker. The Minister is asking me to thank him for replacing the transformer that we got as a replacement after losing our transformer and he attended to the fault after three days of reporting. We want to thank him for that. There is an issue that I wanted to allude to with regards to workers but I will not do that in public.
I would like to ask the Hon. Minister that when fuel is being donated to ZESA workers, it must be noted that ZESA is using hired transport and it is paying USD150 for that hire. If you look at how much money is being spent on hiring those vehicles, ZESA could easily procure its own vehicles. I hereby request the Hon. Minister to make a ministerial statement explaining how much money is being spent on hiring vehicles and how many trucks are being used so that we compare if it could be easier for ZESA to procure vehicles.
*HON. SODA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think he is giving us advice on how we should operate as ZESA which is what we are going to do. What I know for now is that ZESA is procuring a lot of vehicles and they have since placed an order with ISUZU although it is taking long for the vehicles to be delivered. The vehicles are coming in small batches yet people want service and they are calling for service in numbers. Whilst we are waiting for the procured vehicles to be delivered, the Hon. Member might think that it was unprocedural for the hiring of those vehicles but we will look into that. Indeed, there is nothing amiss with regards to the hiring of those vehicles. In short, the vehicles have been purchased and we are only awaiting delivery. I thank you.
*HON. TSUURA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development. What is Government policy with regards to increasing air transport fleet?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I also would like to thank Hon. Tsuura for that important question. Indeed in this august House, we hear mostly about roads and we seldom hear about air transport. I am glad to explain that Government has got a very good policy with regards to air transport. Government has plans to procure aeroplanes to resuscitate Air Zimbabwe. I am sure by the end of this month, we will be receiving an aeroplane ERJ 141which is a 50 seater. It will be very helpful for the short routes, especially in the region. We would also like to resuscitate our London route because we very much want to revive our western routes in line with our re-engagement policy. The London route is a gateway to many other western countries. That also makes me to attend to the question that we have been banned from flying to London. It was an issue of some payment arrears to IATA, which the Government has since cleared. So we are now connected to the international communication systems and we are now able to fly to international destinations. With the limited resources that we have, it is key to resuscitate our routes to the international world.
*HON. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to find out from the Minister if there are any plans to have partnerships with other flights plying the London route. Some airlines have partnerships for instance the Ethiopian airlines. Maybe whilst we await our own airline, we can benefit from having partnerships with other airlines such as those going to Addis Ababa and other airlines with more aeroplanes. I thank you.
*HON. MHONA: I would like to thank Hon. Mpariwa for that pertinent question. When we fly, there is what we call code sharing. The good thing about this country is that we have the shortest flight time because unlike other flights, they have to land in the country where the flight originates and that takes longer. So we have the advantage over those other flights because we are strategically positioned as a country and we will see more people coming to board our plane from the newly spruced up Robert Mugabe airport. We have the shortest flying time as they fly directly to London without any stops. We are open to have partnerships with other airlines. Through IATA, we are able to see other airlines and we will be able to work together with other airlines. I thank you.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. The overflights that are occurring in any country, including Zimbabwe, means there is supposed to be some funds remitted to the local airspace supervision department, in this case the Minister of Transport through the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. What plans are there for the Minister to install radar systems in the middle and higher spaces so that we are able to see which flights are overflying our airspace which are supposed to remit funds for both Air Zimbabwe and usage in Zimbabwe.
HON. MHONA: I would like to thank Hon Nduna for his question. Indeed, Civil Aviation is mandated to collect service fees for flying past the country or flying within. To also put it on record, we have the capacity to superintend all flights that ply our airspace and I am happy that as we are also rehabilitating the R. G. M International Airport, we have got the high doppler scan machines which will also detect planes from far away. There is not a single aeroplane that can fly into our airspace without us noticing. I want to assure the august House that even before a commercial plane flies, they send their manifesto and their schedule flight plan so that they communicate with our air traffic controllers. I am happy this is in place and not a single commercial flight can just fly without attending to the necessary paperwork that I have alluded to. I am happy to say in terms of revenue leakages, there is none because the moment they give a flight plan and schedule, we then collect the necessary charges. However, to those who might think that we may not see you when you ply our airspace, try it and you will see that you will not succeed. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
*HON. MADZIVA: My question is directed to the Minister of Transport. I would like to know what is Government policy pertaining to those people who are digging roads and leaving open holes thereby causing potholes in roads.
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): I would like to thank Hon. Madziva for raising that pertinent question. Indeed, we have unscrupulous people digging on the roads as well as on railway lines leading to accidents. If it is local authorities who may be installing pipes or electricity lines, all those road authorities must ensure that the roads are repaired to their original state before they started working on it. We emphasise that they ensure that they repair the roads to the state that they found them in before they worked on them because those unattended pits lead to accidents. I thank you.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response. My supplementary question - is there any form of supervision that is being undertaken by the responsible authority to make sure that there is quality on the roads that will have been patched because if you look at it closely, most of the patched portions will disintegrate within a month or two months after being patched?
HON. MHONA: It is true and I do concur that indeed, we now experience shoddy works after such, maybe it will be just someone doing it for the sake of just covering. At times the shoddy work that is done soon after rehabilitating that road is not desirable and I want to ensure and continue, especially from road authorities, we do have engineers to monitor such anomalies; if we can work together, even as the august House, where you see such anomalies so that they are addressed with speed.
HON. NDUNA: Due to the humongous dilapidation and disuse of the road infrastructure, there are private players out there who are able to rehabilitate, maintain and reconstruct some of these areas, both in the mining and urban areas. Would the Minister care to share with this House if there is some policy which can make sure that if they rehabilitate, reconstruct and maintain and indeed rejuvenate these areas that are dilapidated, deplorable and disused there will be payment in the future if the private players go into these areas immediately and expeditiously rehabilitate these areas?
HON. MHONA: The question, yes, it is supplementary but it is also a new question but I will address it. The policy when you are actually donating to Government, you just approach the relevant road authority so that you write - as you know that all donations must be accounted as it is mandated through the Public Finance Management Act that we also need to account for such donations. I am happy that if there are private players, we would also thank such private players who can partake and partner Government so that as we have such work that needs urgent attention, we can work together. I humbly appeal to such private players that we are willing as the Ministry to engage and work closely with them.
*HON. TEKESHE: The Ministry has concurred that indeed there are some people or contractors who do shoddy work, so I want to know what the Government policy says pertaining to such kind of people, for example that bridge that was washed away. Is somebody left to go scot-free after they have been paid or they should return the money to Government or even be sentenced?
HON. MHONA: I would like to thank Hon. Tekeshe for that important question. We do not allow such people to just walk away with Government money after doing shoddy jobs. Right now, Government is not paying such people until they finish their work. I can assure you that anyone who does shoddy work on a road section will not be paid until they finish their work. We encourage people to complete their job and do it properly, and after completing your work, Government will pay you. I believe that any person who is responsible for awarding tenders within Government should do their work diligently.
(v)HON. MBONDIAH: My supplementary question to the Minister: what is Government’s policy in getting donations towards road construction strictly as cash or from private players who can donate by way of using their own resources or even giving cash directly with Government only playing the monitoring and supervisory role as the private player constructs or rehabilitates the road?
HON. MHONA: In terms of donations, mostly these are donations in kind. What we are saying basically is, if you want to then assist, whether it is a road construction, you put it in writing and make sure that the donation goes straight to the intended authority - be it a section that is going to be rehabilitated. We are not anticipating receiving cash as a Ministry and we are saying we would be grateful if you could then come and work together with the Ministry and we do offer the supervision. In terms of provision of resources and materials, that will be under the purview of those donating. I humbly appeal that if it is cash, there is no policy for us to request for cash. If you see anyone asking for cash, please refer to the Ministry.
(v)*HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. A point of order I want to raise to Minister Mhona is that when he comes with the Ministerial Statement, he should also explain to us what the plans of the Ministry are in relation to the road at the fly-over at the Green Market.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would also like to thank my fellow Hon. Mhofu, Brig. (Rtd.) Mayihlome that he has raised a very important question but when it comes to disbursement of ZINARA funds, we do not look at a particular section to say the funds are coming from this particular area. Funds are distributed and disbursed to road authorities and we have got four road authorities in this country. We have the Department of Roads, RIDA which was DDF, we also have local authorities and Rural District Councils (RDCs). So, it is not like we actually forget rural constituencies and mostly roads under the RDCs are those that we find in our constituencies that also fall under RIDA.
So, in terms of disbursements, it is also very important to work closely with your RDCs, local authorities and your RIDA so that you take them to account to whatever they receive from ZINARA so that they appraise the citizenry on how they are actually using those funds. I thank you.
*HON. MUTSEYAMI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I have a plea to the Hon. Minister Mhona, when he comes with the Ministerial Statement, if he can also as well afford space to give us explanation as to what the Ministry is doing to administer the problem we have with regards to Hebert Chitepo Road as we move out of Mutare between Fly-over and Green Market. There is a serious challenge of traffic because of the one way traffic that is used at those positions. So, if the Hon. Minister can please explain to the House as well as to the country. Thank you.
(v)HON. P. ZHOU: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to ask my question. I would also like to say happy women’s day to all the female Hon. Members of Parliament, all the ladies present and all the women in Zimbabwe.
My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education. I want to seek clarification; what does the law say on a matter such as the one I am going to present, where other students are already enrolled for Lower Sixth form while others have not even received their results? Some schools did not receive Ordinary Level results on different subjects, including Combined Science. These are withheld by ZIMSEC. What does the law say because Heads and parents do not know the exact reason as to why the results for these subjects were withheld? Heads were told that the investigations will be carried out but up to now no update - parents, learners and teachers want to know.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIRARY EDUCATION, INNOVATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (HON. MACHINGURA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. If I got her question right, she is asking a question on results that have been withheld. These students have written their ‘A’ Levels and their results have been withheld by ZIMSEC for one reason or the other. Now she is asking about them moving on to universities and tertiary institutions. I think that is the question. If a problem is within their ‘A’ Level activities, then ZIMSEC and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education would be in a better position to give an answer on that one. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. P. ZHOU: Mr. Speaker Sir, that was not the question I asked. I said Ordinary Level results. It is not a supplementary, I am clarifying to the Minister that he did not answer my question. My question was on Ordinary Level results. The other students are already enrolled for Lower Sixth form whilst others are still waiting for the results.
HON. MACHINGURA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I was right to refer the question to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. I thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Zhou, we do not have the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in the House, may be you could come up next week to ask, unless if you would want to ask the Leader of the House?
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture. The Minister issued a Statutory Instrument 62:2020, which deals with BIPPA and also deals with indigenous farmers. My question is linking into the 99 year leases which have been issued, how many indigenous farmers whose land was expropriated have had a 99 year lease given to them to go back onto the farm? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. DR. MASUKA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank Hon. Markham for the question. This is very specific, asking about statistics and not about general policy of Government. My request therefore is that this question be put in writing so that we can avail the details. I thank you.
Hon. Markham having wanted to raise a supplementary question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Markham, a supplementary question does not arise because he is actually suggesting to you that you have to put that one in writing.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to rephrase the question into a policy question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Unless of course you would like to use another name not supplementary question. It should not arise at all. Maybe you would want a point of clarification on that, I do not know.
HON. MARKHAM: Okay can I have a point of clarification.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Okay please.
HON. MARKHAM: Why is the Minister evading the question so often? Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Overruled. I am sorry about that.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Most of the roads that are being rehabilitated are not lasting very long and I understand the Government has got a programme to rehabilitate most of our major roads. So, what is the Government going to do to make sure that the works that are being undertaken are of a quality nature so that after five years, we are not going to redo those roads? A good example is the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road. Most of the sections are now gone but the road was resurfaced recently. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let me thank Hon. Chinyanganya for that very important question which is also a major concern, Mr. Speaker Sir, to the citizenry that indeed if we partake and if we tap into the fiscus, we must be accountable to the people of Zimbabwe and he has cited one of the major trunk roads. Indeed, what is needed, Mr. Speaker Sir, soon after reconstructing and rehabilitating roads is maintenance. I am happy there is a policy now to resuscitate maintenance units along our major roads so that we start looking after our roads and maintain them regularly which is something that was not happening before. I want to assure the august House that now, soon after rehabilitating, we are also making sure that we maintain our roads.
I want to also say to the august House that in terms of guarantees, we actually request guarantees to be in place for any contractor to participate in road rehabilitation so that we then fall into the guarantee if you fail to construct a road that would last for some time. There was a proposal in this august House to say since we are the law makers, if we can be very punitive in terms of the timeframe that we can give to the contractors so that if they do not fall within that timeframe, they must be accountable. I also want to agree with the Hon. Member that yes, indeed some of the roads are falling short because of the shoddy works and we continue to supervise and monitor such works. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. CHINYANGANYA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his response and really acknowledging that we have a challenge. He spoke of the need to have a guarantee on the issue of contractors. Is that also going to extend to those contractors who are given roads in local authorities because we are also facing the same challenges across the country in all urban local authorities? I thank you.
HON. MHONA: Hon. Chinyanganya is very right in terms of road authorities that what he has been talking about is prevalent in local authorities and we expect also local authorities to have engineers in place so that they supervise and monitor their works. I am happy that he has cited local authorities which also are one of the road authorities and I agree that this is going to be applicable to all road authorities in terms of maintaining our roads and also the guarantee element. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD) MAYIHLOME: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is, are we not missing the point? What are the causes of rapid degradation of these roads? When are we going to chuck off the heavy laden trucks on our main highways? If you look at the Harare-Nyamapanda Road, the Harare-Beitbridge Road, the Harare-Chirundu Road or the Victoria-Falls-Beitbridge Road, it is the same story.
All major routes are being dilapidated, degraded by heavy laden trucks and cargo that is supposed to be on rail. When are we going to put restrictive or prohibitive reins on these truckers to move off all the roads and use rail for heavy laden traffic? Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
HON. MHONA: Let me thank Hon. Mayihlome for the question. He has answered part of the question to say the load that is going through our roads is supposed to be on rail. I agree that precisely is the order where we would not then burden our roads, but I want to assure the Hon. Member that now we have started with Harare-Beitbridge, we are moving to Harare-Chirundu and at the same time we are also pursuing vigorously to rehabilitate Harare-Nyamapanda Road so that our major trunk roads will be trafficable. In the meantime, we are also busy trying to resuscitate, trying to remove cautions on our rail and you will see that as we then procure new locomotives and wagons, we will then transfer the burden from the roads to the rail. I agree this is the long and sustainable measure so that we do not continue degrading our roads. Thank you.
HON. WATSON: Hon. Minister, given that Government policy is that Zimbabwe is open for business, when are you going to consider the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo Road? People are having accidents and losing tyres. It is a premier resort town and getting there is now extremely difficult. Thank you.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, let me also thank Hon. Watson for that very important question which I am going to cover again in the Ministerial Statement, but I will hasten to respond to say yes, it is one of our tourist attractive centres when it comes to Victoria Falls and in terms of the road connectivity that is Bulawayo-Victoria Falls, we have seriously damaged sections along the road. As we speak, my team is seized with the procurement and they are done with the procurement processes so that we rehabilitate sections mainly from Hwange and Lupane areas where the road is no longer trafficable and this is what we are going to be doing in the short term, but the entire stretch which covers close to 760km from Beitbridge is going to be rehabilitated in the same manner that we are rehabilitating Harare-Beitbridge Road. Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 68.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
ESTABLISHMENT PROCESS OF KUVIMBA MINING HOUSE
- MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain the following to the House:
- the establishment process and date of creation of Kuvimba Mining House;
- The legal instrument for its establishment, given that Government is the majority shareholder;
- Who the shareholders are, the percentage of their shares and what the contributions are in the company;
- Where the company is registered and what its sister or sub companies are;
- who are the other shareholders directors with interests in the company and to further clarify whether the directors of the company since its inception have changed;
- What the current asset value of Kuvimba Mining House is - including definable resources; and to further confirm whether a tender was issued for any disposal or acquisitions of State assets and/or enterprises.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, in response to the questions asked by the Hon. Member regarding Kuvimba Mining House. Kuvimba Mining House Private Limited is a private company incorporated in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe. It was registered in September, 2020. The legal instrument, Kuvimba Mining House is a company registered in accordance with the Companies and Other Business Entities Act. Government and other special interest groups acquired ordinary shares in the company resulting in the company becoming a shareholder along with other shareholders. The shareholders are as follows:
- Government of Zimbabwe with a shareholding of 21.5%,
- Datvest Nominees which is on behalf of farmers’ compensation with 12.5%,
- National Venture Fund Private Limited with 7.5%,
- Public Service Pension Management Fund with 7%,
- Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe with 6.5%,
- Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) with 5%,
- Deposit Protection Corporation with 5% and
- Other private sector investors with 35%.
On where the company is registered and what its sister or sub companies are, the company is registered in Zimbabwe. The company’s sister companies are as follows:
- Zimbabwe Alloys Limited;
- Freda Rebecca Gold Mine;
- Shamva Mining Company (Pvt) Ltd;
- Bindura Nickel Corporation;
- Great Dyke Investments (Pvt) Ltd;
- Jena Mines Mineral (Pvt) Ltd and
- Mineral Development (Pvt) Ltd
- Sandawana Mines.
Mr. Speaker, the other shareholders are as explained earlier on and the directors of the company have not changed save for two resignations in 2021 and 2022. On the current asset value, I presume the Hon. Member is seeking to ascertain the company’s net value. The company is in the process of finalising its audited accounts which will inform its current asset value. To further confirm whether a tender was issued, ZMDC went into a joint venture arrangement relating to some of its distressed non-performing assets which were reeling under severe debt.
Mr. Speaker Sir, employees in the affected companies faced job losses as the companies were unable to pay salaries to its own workers. ZMDC took the action in order to provide an opportunity to resuscitate operations and enable the companies to contribute to the economy by bringing them back to production. The procurement and consummation of the transaction was done in terms of the Joint Ventures Act (22:22) which is the predecessor to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agents Act. That is the procurement method which was accepted under the applicable legal regime at the time. I submit for now Hon. Speaker.
HON. MARKHAM: My supplementary question is that in a court case in South Africa, the directors were listed as David Brown, Joseph Clifford Bare, Christian Alexander Weber, John Finlson and Ronald Sinclare.....
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: With all due respect Hon. Markham, is that court case in South Africa still on or not.
HON. MARKHAM: It is finished. The companies listed in a court case are seven South African companies, my point is these companies do not and are not reflected here in Zimbabwe. What are South Africans doing running Kuvimba which is supposed to be our assets? Do we not have someone good enough in this country to represent our assets?
In the said court case, the affidavit was signed by one Kuda Tagwirei and his report has nothing to do with that. It is actually, obviously a different company. So, could the Minister explain how we got from that situation to the current situation with registered people that he is talking about in Zimbabwe? I thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. What is guiding us is what is lodged and registered with the Registrar of Companies. We are not here to discuss court cases and anything that is outside, that I think is beyond me. For me, what I used is what is with the deeds. This is what I responded to and any other information, I think the Hon. Member is privy to provide us with that information. What is critical is the legal information which is with the deeds and that is what I did.
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of order! My reference to the court case is to prove the source documents for who owns and is responsible for Kuvimba Mining House. If it has changed, how did it change? I used the court case only as the source document as to what I have. It appears the Hon. Minister is not happy to explain what is happening in South Africa pertaining to Kuvimba.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Unfortunately Hon. Markham, in this House, we do not debate things that are under the courts, whether it is here or outside Zimbabwe.
HON. MARKHAM: I fully understand. The court case is finished, it has been ruled on, and it has been adjudicated, hence the two resignations he is talking of - [HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections.] – You are not the Minister who is supposed to answer the question.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Markham!
HON. MARKHAM: I want an answer to the questions. These are national assets, they are gone.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I am not protecting the Minister but you heard the Minister saying that if you have got relevant information, you are supposed to avail that to the Minister so that he can make some investigations.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Mr. Speaker. However, my question has been sitting on this Order Paper for three months. Secondly, if you look at the Order Paper, all the questions are mine and they are not answering my questions. I have also stated to this House, we are waiting for four Ministerial Statements from Ministers that I have asked and they have not answered.
The Chair always protects the Ministers and they do not answer and when they do not answer, you still protect them. So, where is the error?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: That is a serious accusation Hon. Markham. I think I told you what the Minister has said, maybe you did not understand him. He told you that if there is any relevant information that you have got, please make it available to the Minister so much that he can give you appropriate answers to the questions. There is no need for you to argue with me, my decision is final.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Having listened to the Hon. Minister explaining the directorship of Kuvimba Mining House, I think it is only fair that if the Minister’s answer is legitimate, we request that the Hon. Minister be compelled by this august House to bring copies that he claims he lodged with the Deeds Office pertaining to the directorship of Kuvimba Mining House.
Hon. Speaker, we believe the Minister is actually walking on a thin line of misleading this august House because the directorship of Kuvimba is not as mentioned by the Hon. Minister. So we compel the Hon. Minister to submit copies into this august House.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order!
HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order! The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs cannot try to be a super Minister and try to overpower the Minister of Finance and Economic Development – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order! Your supplementary question has been understood that you are requesting copies of all the directors.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think the Hon. Member knows that the Deeds Office is a public office. I will bring back exactly what I have brought now. So should you query what is here, we are saying the Deeds Office is a public office and you are free to go and check – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mushoriwa. I think his answer is very clear, if you have got some issues that you would want some clarifications from the Minister, he has actually directed you where you are supposed to get the directors of this company – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –My decision is final.
SUBMISSION OF REPORTS, STRATEGIC PLANS AND RESULTS OF KUVIMBA MINING HOUSE
2. HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, as manager of State assets and funds, to explain to the House why the Ministry has not submitted reports, strategic plans, and results of Kuvimba Mining House for consecutive years since its inception in accordance with the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act [Chapter 10: 31].
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, as I explained earlier, Government of Zimbabwe owns 21, 5% shareholding in Kuvimba Mining House. As such, the Ministry receives information on the company that a shareholder is entitled under the Companies and Other Businesses Entities Act. To that extent, as I have explained earlier, the company will be submitting its audited financial statements to its shareholders once they are finalised. This will be tabled at the company’s AGM.
HON. MARKHAM: I would like clarity from the Minister as to when we expect this year’s documents.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. As I have already mentioned, the tabling of the financial statements will be done at the AGM of Kuvimba Mining House, not here in Parliament. We are only a shareholder of Kuvimba, so we will only get the documents as a shareholder because it is a private company.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is to ask that in-asmuch as the financial statements are tabled at the AGM, Government being a shareholder of more than 20% of the entity and this Parliament being the oversight board that oversees the Executive. Could the Hon. Minister bring copies of the last financial year and the current year to this august House, bearing in mind that we really want to understand because apparently, if you then check Kuvimba, it is also paying farmers and we want to see the link and performance of the company, purely Mr. Speaker Sir, on that 20% shareholding that is owned by the people of this country.
HON. CHIDUWA: Hon. Speaker, I think I may need to be guided on that because what we are dealing with here is not a listed company. For a listed company, yes, it is a requirement that all these documents can be made public but for us as Government of Zimbabwe, I think what we can only do is, if Kuvimba declares dividends then there is that component that comes to us which is the 21 point something percent – this is what we can declare. As I have said, I may need to be guided but I do not think that it is going to be proper for us to bring the statements of a private company and table them in Parliament. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] –
HON. MARKHAM: On a point of clarity Hon. Speaker Sir!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Mushoriwa, may you resume your seat? Hon. Markham, what is your point of clarification?
HON. MARKHAM: Point of clarity! Mr. Speaker, if we go back to Question Number One…
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Not Question One, we are now on Question Number Two …- [HON. MARKHAM: I know but Mr. Speaker sorry…] – We cannot go back to Question Number One … - [HON. MARKHAM: I am not going back. My point of clarity– is on Question Number Two. …] - Hon. Mushoriwa, Hon. Mushoriwa! Order please!
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Minister has just told us that it is a private company – which is fine, I
I have no problem with that. The company’s assets came from the Government and if you look at 1 (g), it says there - confirm whether a tender was issued for the disposal or acquisition of State assets, hence my reference to Question Number One. Did this private company and what did it pay? Was there a tender for the disposal of massive company assets? I thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I think I was very clear to say the disposal or any such acquisition was not done in terms of the Public Disposal but was done in terms of the Ventures Act following the provisions of ZIDA. So, I am not sure if there is any confliction there.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, I do not care how you sugarcoat it. Any disposal of State assets must come to this House and it has not. You can sugarcoat or call it what you like, it is not legal.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, I had given you the floor to pose Question Number Three. I thought the response from the Hon. Minister was so clear and I have given you the opportunity – [HON. MARKHAM: Thank you!] – to pose your Question Number Three.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, on a point of clarity, you are personally comfortable with his answer that the State assets were disposed of legally. I just need clarity on that, are you comfortable Mr. Speaker that State assets for the money and resources in Zimbabwe were disposed of legally? – [HON. CHIDUWA: They were not disposed, they were acquired.] – They were acquired legally? – [HON. ZIYAMBI: What was the question Hon. Markham?] – Mr. Speaker, I cannot say it often enough and if people listened instead of talking they would understand. It is a very simple question. Are the assets of this country, a whole list of mines, was it disposed of or acquired by this company legally, that is all? Could the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs actually answer that question seeing he wants to? I thank you. – [HON. ZIYAMBI: It is a supplementary, I cannot.] -
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I do not know if I am going to present something that is different. I have already stated that the acquisition of assets by Kuvimba was done legally using the Ventures Act. Again, the Ventures Act is a legal Act. So, I am not sure if there is any difference on that.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Supplementary Mr. Speaker Sir!
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Mushoriwa, I think we have had quite a number of supplementary questions on this one – [HON. MUSHORIWA: It was not on this question Hon. Speaker!] – I gave you opportunity I think twice. I gave you opportunity about five times, so no more supplementary questions on this one. – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – No more supplementary questions and my decision is final; no more - [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – My decision is final, I am sorry – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But you never asked me for this ZIDA because what the Hon. Minister has done is actually misleading the House!] – Now if you are saying he is misleading – [HON. MUSHORIWA: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Mushoriwa! Hon. Mushoriwa! Can you withdraw that statement that you said! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But Mr. Speaker Sir…] – May you withdraw! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: He is talking of an Act that was repealed.] – Order, order Hon. Mushoriwa! I am saying order, may you resume your seat? – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But you need to also guide the Minister!] – I cannot accept the fact that you are saying that the Hon. Minister is misleading the House. I wonder why you are asking questions if you already have appropriate answers. Please sit down! – [HON. MUSHORIWA: But Mr. Speaker Sir…] – No, I cannot entertain any further questions regarding … - [HON. MUSHORIWA: But the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is here, he knows that the Ventures Act was repealed!] – No, the question is not directed and you are not here to debate with me, my decision is final.
SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION RELATED TO ZAMCO DEBT BENEFICIARIES
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain why the Ministry has not submitted the following, in relation to the ZAMCO debt acquisition beneficiaries, to Parliament—
- list all the individuals and companies whose debt was acquired;
- list of financial institutions that were owed before acquisition;
- how the debt was acquired and approved by Parliament without any list or explanation as to who the end beneficiaries were; and
- how the beneficiaries were identified, and to avail to Parliament the minutes of the meetings that were held to identify the beneficiaries.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me take this opportunity to inform the House that ZAMCO has seized operations and is in the final stages of winding up in accordance with Section 57 of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act.
95% of ZAMCO staff has left the company following its closure and only a few staff remains to oversee the final and closing audit being undertaken by Ernst and Young. At the time of cessation of its operations, ZAMCO had fully repaid all Treasury Bills issued by Government for the acquisition of non-performing loans (NPLs).
On the disclosure of list and details of all the individuals and companies whose debts were acquired; when ZAMCO took over the non-performing loans from banks, it literally stood in the place and stead of the banks. There exists a fiduciary relationship between the banker and its customers that entails the bank to maintain confidentiality. It will be therefore a breach of that common law duty to disclose information requested. It is not in the public interest to disclose privileged information and neither is it relevant to the inquiry before Parliament. Parliament is more interested in public funds usage and not private matters of individuals. The request for information has been overtaken by events as in May 2021, ZAMCO repaid all the Treasury Bills issued by Government. In that regard, there is no longer any recourse to public funds.
On the list of all financial institutions that were owed before acquisitions; it must be noted that true beneficiaries of public funds are the banks from whom non-performing loans were purchased using Treasury Bills. The NPLs were acquired from the following banking institutions listed in the table below:
19. Capital Bank
On how the debt was acquired and approved by Parliament without any list and explanation as to who the end beneficiaries were; Parliament exercised its role by enacting the relevant legislation that provided for the acquisition of bad loans through amendments to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act [Section 57]. The actual process of acquiring debts from individual banks is purely an operational issue and does not need to be approved by Parliament. In any case, dealing with NPLs is a monetary policy issue which is the bank’s prerogative in terms of the laws of the country.
On how the beneficiaries were identified and to avail to Parliament the minutes of the meetings that were held to identify the beneficiaries; it was not the responsibility of ZAMCO to identify loans that were acquired. Each individual bank identified loans it wished to sell to ZAMCO depending on its loan book or NPL profile and taking into account its targeted NPL ratio. Once the banks identified loans to sell, they offered them to ZAMCO.
It must be noted that loans are assets that are owned by banks and it is their prerogative to decide which ones they should hive off their books. Further, NPLs are sold by banks without the knowledge or consent of the debtors. This is standard practice globally for debt sales.
It must be noted that non-performing loans are not acquired on the basis of who the underlying borrower is. ZAMCO’s statutory mandate is to acquire NPLs from the banking sector in Zimbabwe regardless of the identity of the underlying borrower.
HON. MUSHORIWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I just want to seek clarification on the fiduciary relationship that exists between ZAMCO, banks and debtors. I just want to bring to your attention that this matter came before your Public Accounts Committee and the Governor of the RBZ came before this House and an opinion was sought from both the Counsel to Parliament and the Attorney-General pertaining to the fiduciary relationship. It is on record that the opinion that came was that the moment the client or debtor failed to honour the debt at the bank and then the debt was acquired by ZAMCO, that was the end of the fiduciary relationship between a bank and a client. The Hon. Minister’s answer seems to contradict that position. Accordingly, I think on this particular issue – it is important that we request the Counsel and the Attorney-General to bring this issue which has been established in this Parliament when the Public Accounts Committee called the Governor of the Reserve Bank and the Governor had committed to bring the ZAMCO list. We cannot then hide under the answer that the Hon. Minister has put. This is my submission that his response on the fiduciary relationship is wrong because the opinion has been sought and given by the Counsel to Parliament and the Attorney-General who are the top lawyers of this country.
To that extent, we request that we get a proper legal opinion from the Attorney-General and the Counsel to Parliament on this matter.
HON. CHIDUWA: I think the submission by Hon. Mushoriwa is proper. He said an opinion was given but what we need now is the legal position. I think his submission is proper.
HON. MARKHAM: I will also ask a supplementary question and also add. I took the liberty of checking the documents and the Clerk of the Public Accounts Committee can confirm that I physically checked all documents that were submitted to the Public Accounts Committee and I have seen confirmation of the Reserve Bank delivering the said documents to this House. There are only two people who can stop that; that is the Clerk and the Speaker. Those documents and the confidentiality that we are talking about are actually irrelevant because the Reserve Bank delivered the requested documents. I insist that they are availed to the House. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Are you in concurrence Hon. Minister?
HON. CHIDUWA: Yes.
ANNUAL INCOME AND EXPENDITURE OF THE SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to inform the House on the following:
(a) Annual income and expenditure of the Sovereign Wealth Fund annually since its inception and the management modalities of the Fund;
(b) Who makes the operational decisions on expenditure and programmes of the Fund;
(c) Who comprises the current Board, and if Minister could provide proof that these were done in a transparent manner;
(d) To confirm if the Fund were ever audited;
(e) To submit before the House the annual board reports and the strategic plans;
(f) Who the appointed investment managers are and how they were appointed; and
(g) To confirm all accounts that the RBZ is custodian to, and if there are any other custodians.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Markham again for the pertinent questions which are of public interest. Mr. Speaker Sir, in response to the question asked by Hon. Markham regarding the Sovereign Wealth Fund, let me say that the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Board is established by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 22:20] which was gazetted in 2014 and became effective in 2015 through a Statutory Instrument 71 of 2015. Ever since its establishment, the Fund has been relatively dormant with no operational activities or ongoing investments in place. Further, the Fund had not benefitted nor procured any public funds as it has been non-operational. Going forward, Government will work with the Fund to strengthen its operations. Currently, Government is in the process of appointing the Board and Management to enable Operationalisation of the Fund. As you can see, because of the infancy of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, there is not much that we can say in relation to the questions as you raised from (a) to (g). I submit.
HON. MARHAM: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister for his honest answer and confirm that the much voted Sovereign Wealth Fund is actually dormant. Thank you.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Markham, because of our Standing Order Number 68 (7), which says an Hon. Member is only allowed to ask four questions, so the remaining two questions are not going to be answered. The Minister must submit them to the Hansard.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, considering that the Minister has all the answers at his fingertips, why do we not proceed? Can we put Hon. Mushoriwa instead of Markham? Kubvunza chete.
Again Mr. Speaker, Question Number 8 which the Minister of Justice tried to set aside – my question Number 8 is directed to the Minister of Justice and I know he is trying to push it onto Local Government. I would like to remind the Minister of Justice that he has answered this question himself before when it was put in writing two years ago. So he cannot push it aside. He must prepare for next week, we are waiting. Thank you.
MEASURES TO MITIGATE POVERTY PREVALENCE AMONG WOMEN
- HON. MARKHAM asked the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to explain to the House:
(a) Why the Justice Uchena Report has still not been brought before this House even though it was completed and handed to His Excellency, the President, in December 2019; and
(b) To further elaborate how much money was used by the Commission and to state when it was paid out.
THE MINISTEROF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Mr. Speaker Sir, can the Hon. Member redirect Question Number 8 to Local Government. I thank you.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, can the Minister answer why he answered the same question before without redirecting it to the Ministry of Local Government?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Mr. Speaker Sir, this is a written question requesting a specific performance of having a report here. I answered the other question as Leader of Government Business.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, point of clarity. The Minister is misleading us. He answered the question on the Justice Uchena Report which was delivered in December 2019 to the President. We use public funds for that. The issue is being raised even today of the peripheral areas of urban areas land being acquired illegally, are not being done or covered very well, particularly Harare province. It is a damning report and the Minister ari kuvhariketa ipapo. I cannot say that in English. He must answer and he must bring it to the House. Let us put this behind us before more people get houses built and bulldoze is done.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Like you said Hon. Markham, that you had already agreed that it can be deferred to next week and the Minister is saying that you have to refer that question to the Hon. Minister of Local Government.
HON. MARKHAM: Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us that he does not have the Justice Uchena Report because if he answers that he might get himself into trouble?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Markham, we want to move forward with business.
Oral Answers to Question with Notice were suspended by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 68.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House adjourned at Seven Minutes past Five o’clock p.m.