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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 9 FEBRUARY 2023 VOL 49 NO 20
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 9th February, 2023
Parliament met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
PUNCTUALITY DURING SITTINGS
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. The two Hon. Members on my right side at the door there, I have said order! This is your House, your august House for that matter. Next time we expect all Hon. Members to be in the House by 2 o’clock p.m. If you come after prayers, you will be locked outside. Even if you have been around the premises, you will not get any allowance, even the coupons – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Yes, you have to be serious – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – Hon. Chikwinya you were saying something.
HON. CHIKWINYA: I was saying, let us lock ourselves inside, including all of us. No one will leave the House. -[Laughter.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have a request for statements on matters of national interest, two minutes each. The first one is Hon. Madzimure.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Anything that happens in Harare affects the whole nation and many citizens will start doing the same. There is Cameroon Road that starts from town to Magaba, to Mbare Market. This road is used by many travellers. There is also Remembrance Drive, which is also mostly used when ferrying fallen Heroes. This road has been closed for almost five months.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: What happened to the road?
*HON. MADZIMURE: It has been closed - right now when you want to go to Magaba in Mbare, you find policemen at Stoddard. Also, just after fly-over when you proceed at the intersection between Cripps and Cameroon Roads, you will find police-men there. It is now five months after closure of Mupedzanhamo Market but this place is still manned by police. Teargas is thrown almost every day, serve for maybe two days a week that is Saturday and Sunday. This is not being done by council - it is the police. If you ask them who gave them authority to be there, there is no answer. There are a lot of people that stay at Magaba Hostels who are inhaling that teargas because of these activities and it is a danger to their health. This market creates informal employment for indigenous people, a lot of people have survived through selling at Mupedzanhamo. We are appealing that the Minister of Local Government would come and explain to the House why Mupedzanhamo Flea Market is guarded by police for five months now.
This is now a difficult place to reach because there will be teargas on a daily basis. So I wanted the Minister of Local Government to come and explain so that people around that place live freely, including those who sell bales. I thank you Hon. Speaker.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: The road was closed by the police right? Yesterday we had the Minister of Home Affairs in this august House, why is it that you did not ask him about this? You should have asked the Minister.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Hon. Speaker, I am appealing that the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs answers this question. Yesterday my name was on the list of speakers but I was not given the chance to ask. This matter is affecting a lot of people.
*THE HON. SPEAKER: If this matter is affecting a lot of people, you should have told your Chief Whip to put your name on the top – [AN HON. MEMBER: Vanowandirwa.] -
THE HON. SPEAKER: Dai paishandiswa unparliamentary language ndaiti ‘ibvai’.
HON. CHIKOMBO: On a matter of national importance Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your matter of national importance?
HON. CHIKOMBA: My matter of national importance is to do with the meeting that took place on 2nd February between the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and His Excellency the President pertaining to the submission of the final report. This is in line with Section 239 and Section 161 of the Constitution.
THE HON. SPEAKER: In line with what?
HON. CHIKOMBO: Section 239 which gives mandate to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on delimitation and Section 161. My issue is that post that meeting, we had varied statements that were uttered by Government functionaries which includes Mr. Mangwana and Mr. George Charamba claiming that the report that was given to the President is not final. Those statements that were uttered have caused a lot of polarization, disharmony and anxiety across the country. I would want the Justice Minister to come through to elaborate to the House what the correct position is pertaining to that.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much for what you said but musateerere nyaya yemuma newspaper kana social media. Dai makabvunza nezuro kuna Acting Leader of Government Business kuti muwane tsananguro yakanaka. Do not go by newspaper reports or social media reports.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of order Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: What is your point of order? Are you clarifying my ruling?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am seeking clarification on your ruling - on whether to rely on media, social media or something of that sort.
THE HON. SPEAKER: So you want to seek clarification on my ruling?
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Indeed, Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That is not allowed Hon. Member – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is challenging.] –
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am not challenging you Hon. Speaker, I just want to be...
THE HON. SPEAKER: No, let me help you.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Help me Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Section 161 is very clear in terms of the processes. The report is tabled here in the House in Parliament, we scrutinize it and make our observations. We then submit to the Head of State and Government in terms of Section 161. Within the specified 14 days, the Head of State must submit to ZEC, which was done. After that ZEC will start on whatever contributions or analysis that were done by the relevant stakeholders. They will look at them, make adjustment where it is possible and send those adjustments in a report to His Excellency. Within 14 days, the President must gazette. What ZEC has said and done in that report is final. So why do you want to listen to people who talk from the side shows – [AN HON. MEMBER: Including Justice.] – It does not matter, you must follow the Constitution.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for that explanation, however it did not extend to the issues that I sought your clarification. It is clear in terms of the processes that have to be done. However, the people that issued these statements are not ordinary citizens of this country. You are talking of a Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and the Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Communication.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Member, you are a learned friend, just follow the Constitution - that is all. Do now worry about people who speak outside the Constitution.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It is alright Hon. Speaker, I am sure the whole country is listening that they should not worry about these other commentators. What is happening Members on my right? No issue of national interest?
HON. WATSON: Thank you Hon. Speaker for this opportunity. With all due respect to yourself and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, the discussion yesterday was around Government’s school fees. I have raised in this House on several occasions…
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order. There is some muffling here in my computer, can you start again.
HON. WATSON: With all due respect to yourself and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, I have raised in this House on several occasions the issue of school development levy which is one of the additional costs to parents in terms of the cost of educating their children. The SI still dates back to 1998. I have asked twice when the Ministry will update that piece of legislation and the previous Minister showed me it was in hand, but nothing has happened as yet and in that SI, it clearly states school development levy may not be more than 50% of Government school fees. School development levies are now considerably more than that and are a huge burden on parents who are educating their children in Zimbabwe. So, whilst we may talk about free education, if we do not discuss the issue of school development levies and its cost to parents, we are not talking about real issues. I would like a statement from the Minister. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: This refers mainly to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
HON. WATSON: Yes, Hon. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: That seems to have been a very burning question. Why did you not raise this yesterday, the Minister was available here?
HON. WATSON: That is why in the beginning I said with all due respect to yourself, I tried. I wanted to raise it as a point of order but there was so much disorder, I was not given the opportunity. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: There was some disorder?
HON. WATSON: No, Hon. Speaker, I am not blaming you. I am actually blaming my colleagues.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Okay, I see. Tell you what Hon. Member, I also hear that there are some schools that are asking students or learners to pay some money towards the transport of teachers. The question is much broader than that. There are so many little payments that are being demanded and I suggest that perhaps you put this into a written question and see what the Hon. Minister will say about that.
HON. WHATSON: I stand guided Hon. Speaker. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Any matter of national interest on my right? There is nothing –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- You know why I get concerned, in our culture kana uine barika unofanira kuyenzanisa. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-
*HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The issue of national importance I want to raise pertains to our national army, particularly the chaplains who bury our heroes. My request is that our soldiers should be given houses so that they do not lodge because you will find them renting houses from people who abuse them verbally. It is my desire to see our chaplains living in decent accommodation.
The reason I mentioned chaplains is because they play a critical role in burying our service personnel especially in different provinces where they conduct so many burials on a daily basis coming back late at night sometimes leaving early which might not augur well with their landlords who might have set times for arriving home.
I believe that if they are given company houses, then they can discharge their duties with fortitude and without any hindrances. That is my request Mr. Speaker Sir which I believe should be addressed by the Government of Zimbabwe.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Chikukwa. We have heard what you have said.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: VaChamisa vachagadzirisa.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Sibanda, I do not expect that from a learned friend.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I apologise Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: We will take it up with the Minister of Defence and War Veterans so that they look into the issue.
HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. NYATHI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 4 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.
Question again proposed.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order this little corner here!
*HON. CHITURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to thank President E. D. Mnangagwa for the State of the Nation Address (SONA). I also appreciate the President’s initiatives of programmes like Pfumvudza, which saw farmers receiving their inputs early and they did a good job in farming. Even the Zunde raMambo Programme, this is also going to benefit many people. I also want to thank his initiatives because this is really benefiting people even in urban areas, from Bulawayo to Mutare, from Harare to Beitbridge, we have good roads now. This is a big job which he is doing. The building of schools, national security and food security in schools, also the BEAM Programme, many children are going to school now. The poor who cannot afford to pay school fees are now happy because their children are going to school.
Our President is even refurbishing airports so that there is smooth flow of traffic of airplanes from Victoria Falls to different cities. Even in Manicaland, we request for an airport in Mutare. This is going to benefit tourists who will be on their way to Victoria Falls. Our President is a patient person and he is a unifier. During COVID-19, he did a good job in urging people to get vaccinated and be protected against COVID-19. We also thank him for the good job that he is doing regarding peace in the domestic environment.
Furthermore, we also urge different parties to emulate President E. D. Mnangagwa so that they might migrate from other parties because our President is a good person. I appreciate the President for the good job that he is doing in urging people to unite. During his SONA presentation he spoke about love forgiveness. He does not keep grudges, even against those who denigrate him. So there is no one like our President. We say, let us continue with our good President and let us not look for another one. I thank you.
*HON. DZUMA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I stand here to support the motion on the President’s Speech on the State of the Nation Address that was raised by Hon. Togarepi, seconded by Hon. Kwaramba. I support the President of this country; our father, His Excellency, Cde. Mnangagwa. He is doing a very great job in all the 10 provinces of this country, be it in agriculture or other sectors. Nobody would have imagined that Pfumvudza would retain moisture and lead to a very good crop yield. This country has earned a lot of money, courtesy of the Pfumvudza Programme, which he launched. We want to appreciate the great work being championed by the President, which ensures that our professionals would not leave the country looking for greener pastures. So, at the end, we would get better grades in schools.
I believe that the world over, we do not have a beautifully built Parliament building like the one that we were shown at Mount Hampden yesterday. We also have a beautiful airport, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe airport. No other country has such a beautiful airport like the one that is being championed by His Excellency President Mnangagwa. Even the world over, there is no country with united Members of Parliament like we have here between the ruling party and the opposition. Most of us have agreed, even when it comes to the monies that we receive, we all benefit regardless of the party. Many people in the country are now longing to go for elections simply because His Excellency is doing a wonderful job, especially where I come from in Manicaland; we have fruits of the works of His Excellency. We now have Marovanyati Dam and we also have lithium that we are finding very important. This is all because of the leadership of the President. If there was chaos and war in this country, we would not be accessing all these beautiful minerals. So I really want to applaud the leadership of President Mnangagwa. I wish his age would be reduced to 18 or 19 years so that he would continue leading us to where he wishes to take us. I do not have much more words, except to appreciate the God given gift that we have in the form of His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa. With those few words, I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
+HON. NHOWEDZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Allow me to reiterate what the Hon. President has said before. The country is built by its owners. I come from Bulawayo, which is found in Matabeleland. For a long time, Matabeleland did not manage to have development. As at present, because of the New Dispensation and Second Republic, I would like to thank the President for what he has done for Matabeleland and Zimbabwe as a whole.
Hon. Speaker Sir, I would want to talk about the Gwayi Dam. Gwayi Dam has taken a long time to come to fruition. Right now we are happy because we can see the development that is there. The putting in place of this dam will help us a lot, particularly in Matabeleland. It will assist people in Tsholotsho, Lupane, Nyamandlovu, et cetera to be able to irrigate their land.
I would also want to look at Hwange Thermal Power Station and its expansion. It did not only bring electricity but generated employment for our people. We commend the President for that. Electricity is a backbone to our economy. Our industries will work well. I will reiterate to say, the President always says let us build our country brick by brick, stone upon stone. Let me commend the President for that. I am using his totem to commend him. I thank you.
HON. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir, for the opportunity you have given me to also speak about the State of the Nation address. I would like to thank His Excellency, Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa for coming through and concluding on the last session of this Parliament. Indeed, it is quite prudent and everyone knows that we had a lot of Bills and we have got others which are still outstanding.
Hon. Speaker Sir, let me speak about some of the Bills that His Excellency said were quite pending and there was need for us to conclude them. Some of the Bills include the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, which I think is new and is for this session. Hon. Speaker Sir, fishing has become a very good business in Zimbabwe. As I stand here, being the Chairperson of the Youth Caucus, we feel that there is great need for us to find a way that we can do so that at least we have more youths benefiting, especially from the fishery projects.
We also believe that there is a lot of opportunity which is there considering that right now as a country, it is not a secret that drugs have become a scare. You will realise that there is a lot of drug abuse. You will see “vana vachiputa dombo, guka nekunwa mutoriro ne kambwa.” These are different names that are given to these drugs. Hon. Speaker Sir, what I really want to say is there is an opportunity. We have got a Bill that is coming through, which has got to do with fisheries and aquaculture. There is need for us to find a way that will make youths be able to occupy their minds with, doing self-help projects. The problem that we are having right now is that when they become idle, they probably think, “kuputa mutoriro ndokunobuda.” Hon. Speaker Sir, I am looking forward to this Bill to say we need to conclude it in this session so that at least we find a way that will also be able to incorporate young people and women.
Hon. Speaker Sir, there is also the issue of the Youth Bill. We have talked about it a lot of times. Now, when we ask the Hon. Minister Kirsty Coventry, she said we are now on the Youth Bill. My humble submission would be for us to conclude on the Youth Bill. It is not a secret that right now we have no legislation which is pro young people. We just have something which is not enforceable. What we need is something which is enforceable, which will be able to make sure that each and every Ministry will be able to look at the youth agenda.
Hon. Speaker Sir, let me congratulate ourselves as a Parliament that for the first time since 1980, we now have got a Youth Caucus in this Parliament. It will also be able to enhance youth participation and also be able to make sure that we have got more issues concerning the young people also coming on board. If we look at all the people who are here, they have got a certain daughter or son who is a youth, especially in this House. It is very surprising because you realise that a lot of these people do not even speak about the youths in this august House. It seems like nyaya dzema youths muno dzinototyisa kutaura. Ngaandiudze mumwechete akataura nezvema youths asimuke ataure. – [HON. BITI: Inaudible interjection.] – Mr. Speaker Sir, we are not talking about children, we are talking about youths. To be honest with you, the issue of the youths in this august House – I do not know. Maybe one day, you need to whip some of these Hon. Members so that they speak about youth issues in this august House. All of them have children that they are supposed to make sure they represent when they come here. Hon. Speaker Sir, I believe one of our major roles as Parliament is to represent. It is very surprising that you realise that youth issues are not spoken about, especially in this august House.
Hon. Speaker Sir, the other Bill which was talked about was the Witness Protection Bill. The reason why you see we are going back and forth when it comes to issues of corruption is because witnesses are not being protected. Today we have got an issue which is there. When the witness goes into court, they will send a lot of people there and threatening them. This is why you find that nyaya hakusisina kana kuti nyaya iya pakashaikwa evidence. The evidence will be there but the problem is that people are not being protected. When you want to go to the courts, no-one will protect you. You leave your family just because you want to report someone who will have stolen and you end up coming across so many things.
So I am very happy that His Excellency, President Mnangagwa is very clear about corruption. He says no to corruption and because of that, we also need for us as legislators to make sure that we have legislation which is there to make sure that we curb corruption. I am also part of the anti-APNAC which is another movement within this Parliament that makes sure that it talks about anti-corruption. The issue of witness protection is very important. We had a conversation with Justice Matanda-Moyo whereby she was saying that it is quite important that we conclude on this. If we are not going to be talking about us protecting witnesses, then there is no way we can speak of us saying that there is something we are doing towards corruption but in that way, at least it can go a long way.
His Excellency talked about us concluding before the end of his year making sure that we have got Hwange Unit 7 which is going to be also commissioned. On the issue of ZESA, I was at a meeting this past weekend. I am also a farmer and I realised that a lot of farmers are saying that now the inconsistent power cuts which are coming through makes them not be able to plan and because of that they sometimes run generators. At that meeting that I had, it was a meeting for Mr. Gwanzura who is a very prominent farmer but the challenge that he was saying in Seke that he thought was supposed to happen was for us to at least know the times that this electricity goes. There is need for some way that should happen so that we can plan and we do not have a lot of these power cuts especially now when we are reaping tobacco.
We are saying that we are happy that the President mentioned about this and we are happy that there are efforts which are being made to make sure that something is going to be done in terms of electricity. I still continue saying we are calling upon the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hon. Soda to continue finding ways. I also need to be grateful and say I heard that there are a lot of transformers which came last week. We want to thank the Government because at least they are seeing that there is need for us to get more transformers so that people can also be able to access this electricity. That way it can also go a long way.
The other issue which was raised was the issue of Chimurenga Chepfungwa which was competence based curriculum which the President mentioned about. We are happy with this move. I continue saying Chimurenga Chepfungwa chakanaka. We are thankful and happy about it. Where I come from in Seke and Chikomba, we are just hoping that we will be able to at least have books coming through. We need to come and have a budget because you realise that when it comes to that examination for ZIMSEC, the examination is the same. It is not because you come from the rural areas or in urban centres but it is the same. *Hon. Speaker Sir, let me now speak in Shona so that I do not keep changing the language. With regards to ideas, we need to address all our children as one but we have to agree that our views may differ. So what it means is, the availability of resources differs but we need to look for funds through the budget in this august House to support the competence based curriculum that was alluded to by the President in the State of the Nation Address so that books can be secured and delivered to learners in the rural areas to enable them to learn and be able to be at the same level with other children.
Right now Hon. Muswere is talking about computers and the G7 pupils are sitting for examinations on ICT yet some of them may not have come across a computer. My request is; this education revolution should ensure that computers and books are availed, particularly in the rural areas. The President also spoke about lithium with regards to mining and he also referred to RADO as some of the most productive gold producers at the moment. With regards to lithium the President is saying ‘leaving no one and no place behind’, which means everyone should get access to lithium. Recently a law was passed to ban the export of unprocessed lithium but my request is, the machinery to process lithium is very expensive yet for some of us as the youth, it had come as a very good opportunity for us to get financial benefits.
So in this regard, I wish the laws and regulations would consider the women and youth so that they are able to benefit. Laws have always been amended and they should not be prohibitive. Women and youth should be able to benefit from this lithium. I also would like to applaud the efforts being done by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. I understand they are training youth so that they can give them those permits and access to land through the mantra ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’ which means everyone has a role to play in the country.
I would like to applaud the President at this moment for availing tractors to us from Belarus as well as irrigation equipment. I know there are some forums where you sit together. Please send our appreciation for the agricultural equipment. Everyone has access to that equipment including you Hon. Biti. So let us all support President Mnangagwa. I thank you.
*HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May I take this opportunity to add my voice to this motion debating on the Address by His Excellency the President a few days ago. There is not much in-depth in the State of the Nation Address (SONA). I am saying this particularly looking at the erratic water supply in Zimbabwe especially in our big cities.
In an issue that was addressed by His Excellency, there was no clear solution on how water challenges were going to be solved especially in Harare. When you consider the Morton Jeffrey Water Works that was built in 1952, the residents of the city in 1952 were around two to three hundred thousand but over the years, there has been rural to urban migration that has resulted in the city growing from three hundred thousand to three million and the water source remains the same. This has resulted in water borne diseases like cholera but Government continues to announce that they have a solution to eradicate water challenges.
Currently, the challenge is that you find diseases like typhoid and cholera. In Glen Norah, Glenview and Budiriro in 2007/08, a lot of people were affected by these diseases. However, in the explanation that was given by His Excellency the President, there was no clear solution regarding the water shortages. I will be very happy if His Excellency appreciated the importance of the Kunzvi Dam and other dams like Mtshabezi so that they will be able to supply enough water to people.
The second issue pertains to roads. Our road infrastructure is not good enough, but the explanation that must be understood is that our roads are in a bad state and this is affecting even motorists. His Excellency the President has not addressed the issue on how ZINARA should act regarding the collection of money that should be collected by local authorities so that they fix urban roads. Some local authorities are allocated a lot of money, where are those huge amounts coming from.
For example, in the City of Harare; you will find that they do not receive much money from ZINARA. Harare has a lot of cars and it is important to look at the volume of traffic in Harare, Chinhoyi and other cities so that our roads are in a good state. It causes a lot of problems when roads are in a bad state including would-be investors who assess the state of roads. We need to assess the type and condition of roads. For example, when you want to open a business you need to consider the time that you are going to take accessing the Central Business District (CBD), going to the airport and to other different areas. This will affect our industry if it is not solved. So, the issue of roads should be looked into. This also was not addressed in the State of the Nation Address.
The election and democracy issue is a contentious issue in Zimbabwe. At times, you will find that there are contentions after elections. We know that elections are competitions where there should be a clear winner. The loser should concede defeat and congratulate the winner. You will find that what was presented by His Excellency during SONA did not address how future elections are going to deal with such issues. Remember Hon. Speaker, when we were deliberating on issues, we also deliberated on the role of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) through Sections 39 and 61 of the Constitution.
Looking at the issue, you will find that there are some who interfere with the operations of ZEC. What should be done? If we do not address this, then we will not have free and fair elections. What is His Excellency doing regarding this issue? At the moment, you will find that people do not know whether elections will be free and fair. So, it is important to note that His Excellency the President explains that elections are not war or antagonism – they should unite people.
The last issue is that of corruption. Corruption is now rife in the country. Those who are caught are the small fish, matemba and the big fish, the breams are never arrested because they are under protection of the courts. So, what should be done? His Excellency the President did not explain what he is going to do and the steps that are going to be taken so that those who commit crimes of corruption are prosecuted. You will find that those who will have committed petty crimes are detained and sometimes prosecuted, and those with major issues are not prosecuted. Then what kind of a country will it be when law is applied selectively? The law should not be applied selectively. I thank you.
(v)*HON. GOZHO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this debate. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to first address the issue of the Harare to Beitbridge Road that was recently refurbished. Mr. Speaker Sir, I think His Excellency the President was supposed to indicate when and how roads that link the rural areas to towns are going to be fixed. I believe that since independence, the opposition has never been in power but the roads are in a bad state and this is affecting motorists in rural areas.
I also want to talk about farming or agriculture which was raised by His Excellency, the President. Mr. Speaker Sir, the country has no industries; where we farm is where we get our sustenance. This is where we get money for lobola and money for taking our children to school. So, I was thinking that when people farm on their land and sell their crops, they are supposed to be paid immediately. His Excellency was supposed to clarify how farmers are going to be paid after selling their produce. This is an issue which affects us as farmers.
I want to touch on health issues. His Excellency did not really address the cancer disease which is affecting a lot of people and which has taken a lot of lives world over. He did not mention how women and other people are going to be helped in that regard. I thank you.
(v)HON. MIRANZI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to talk about a number of issues which were addressed by His Excellency regarding Pfumvudza. Pfumvudza is a programme which is very good and it is the President’s initiative meant to help a lot of Zimbabweans in different communities. However, it is painful to note that in the rural areas, even when they till their land, whatever they are farming is not compensated. They farm but their produce is not being paid for in time. So, my plea is that His Excellency should ensure that our farmers are given inputs in time and whatever they plant should be paid for when they sell. Right now, farmers have not yet been paid for their produce and we are facing a new season. Our farmers are really concerned but what I know is that a lot of our people survive from crops like cotton and other crops, so you would find some of them are no longer producing the same produce that they used to do because of poor payments.
We have a number of good roads which were rehabilitated but we have roads in our towns that are in bad shape; those in the rural areas are in a better state. You would find that they are a lot of contracts which are given to companies to fix roads in towns. However, after six or so months, the conditions of the road will be worse despite that there was funding for such roads to be rehabilitated. The contractors who are given these jobs are not doing a good job; some of them are misusing these funds. I thank you.
(v)HON. ZEMURA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir. I want to appreciate the State of the Nation Address. We appreciate the explanations that were given particularly what was said throughout the State of the Nation Address is what is happening in our nation.
When coming to Zimbabwe by road, the roads are now good especially when driving at night, there are now reflectors along the road. Such good road infrastructure markets our country. Plumtree-Mutare to the border post, the road was done very well. The Harare-Bulawayo, Hwange-Victoria Falls, of course there are potholes here and there but it is evident that the road is being resurfaced now and again.
I would also want to appreciate the road which links us to South Africa. The Harare-Beitbridge road used to be just a strip road but now it has become a very wide and good road catering for all types of vehicles. The road was excellently refurbished. A lot of roads are being rehabilitated at the moment and we applaud the Government for such good works.
I also want to talk about dams. There are a lot of dams which have brought about irrigation schemes and development. In Lupane, the Gwayi-Shangani Dam shows that it is going to cover a lot of dry areas. There are other dams which are found in Mashonaland East which were constructed and this has resulted in a number of new irrigation schemes. Some people thought irrigation was only for commercial farms but now you find that even in communal areas, there are irrigation schemes. We appreciate even the chemicals which are used to treat water. We thank our President and we appreciate that there is food security. We appreciate that in rural areas, the Pfumvudza Programme is eliminating poverty because there is no one who begs for grain from others. No one asks for food from others except those who are lazy and do not want to work. The agronomists and extension workers are teaching communal farmers on how to farm and a lot of people are busy farming. We thank the President for having the vision to look at those who live in rural areas who were facing food challenges.
We are thankful for the good rains. God favoured us by giving us plenty of rains this season, coupled with fertilizers, inputs and seed that we received from the President. We also appreciate that there was wheat shortage in the past but this year we have enough wheat. We are going to get bread throughout the year. We thank the President who urged wheat farmers to work hard. As Zimbabweans, we must work hard so that we do not have to oppose each other and to oppose good initiatives. There is food in the country and if you are lazy, we are going to sell the excess food to you. These are the issues which were addressed in the State of the Nation Address by the President so that everyone is taken on board and not left behind.
With regards to Pfumvudza Programme and how people farm their land, we must not criticise this noble idea. The President spoke about the importance of farming. We have seen tractors, combine harvesters and other machines being imported into Zimbabwe. It is important that tractors farm properly and different machines are used in farms instead of being parked in Chitungwiza in the backyard. Tractors should go to the farms and combine harvesters should be used properly. Agriculture is quite crucial. A lot of people are farming tobacco and people are interested in working hard and generating their own income. Let us not just talk but let us work hard and produce crops such as tobacco, wheat, maize and others. I would like to thank His Excellency, the President for urging us to work hard. He should continue bringing other machines but you find some people just barking.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Order Hon. Speaker, the Hon Member said some people are just barking. Barking is done by dogs and the Hon. Member should respect the people of Zimbabwe. The Hon. Member is implying that human beings are barking.
*HON. ZEMURA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw my words. People are farming whilst some are busy talking yet some are farming different crops which are improving their livelihoods. I thank our President for urging people to farm. We lost a lot of cattle and I know that the President has noted that things are not in good order because there is January disease which has affected our cattle herd. His Excellency should look at places in rural and communal areas so that tractors are deployed in those areas in order to benefit farmers in these areas.
I want to thank the President for availing tick grease to communities because ticks are affecting our livestock. We need to protect the few cattle which are there. I would also request for artificial insemination for the few cattle that we have so that we are able to boost our herd.
Lastly, I would like to appreciate the President for coining the mantra that no one should be left behind. There were a lot of projects that were availed to the people of Zimbabwe. In my community, we were doing poultry projects which are meant to better the lives of the people. The President is concerned about our welfare and I want to appreciate that. I believe what I have said has been heard. I thank you.
*HON. CHIBAGU: Since 1980, we have been working and there was no production in Mbire District. People were saying that we are not productive. We appreciate that our President is doing a good job. What he has done for our community is amazing and even for the whole of Zimbabwe, things are in order. You will find that in Bakasa-Mbire area, the President sunk a lot of boreholes. We used to fetch water from the mountains but now I appreciate that our President is working very hard. He does not discriminate anyone. He does not want to leave anyone behind. Everyone is considered to be Zimbabwean.
As I am speaking, there are a lot of irrigation schemes in Mbire. If you go to Mbire, you will discover that we have a good crop this season. People were saying we are the Doma, Bushmen or Hottentots; people say a lot of things, the situation is kumatodyachipi kufa ndiMwari. My plea is that as this august House, we need to follow the President’s example. He is a loving President, he does not choose anyone. So, you would find people are just complaining but as I am speaking, my desire is that let us be development minded. Going to Mavuradonha, you will find that there are a lot of boreholes in Kanyemba, in Mozambique, in the border areas we have abundant water. Even people who are denigrated as the Bushmen, you discover that they are enjoying the benefit of the good initiatives.
Mr. Speaker, as I am speaking, if it was possible to carry an old person like a baby I would carry His Excellency President Mnanagwa on my back because he is doing a very good job, working very hard and supporting every Zimbabwean. So what would you want? You find young people taking mutoriro, they are destroying themselves but we need to work very hard, we need to farm our land. You hear people like Kanyemba-Bhonzo who broadcast at ZBC, he comes from our area Kanyemba and this is a very good thing. In this august House, there is need for us to value development, emulating His Excellency. I will not say much but my plea is that as Zimbabweans, let us work hard and develop our nation. I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Yes, what is your point of order?
HON. CHIKWINYA: May the Hon. Member assist us with matodyachipi kufa ndiMwari, what it means in English so that Hansard Reporters can capture this properly. May the Hon. Member assist Hansard Reporters by translating that into English?
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, may you take your seat.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to say a few words regarding the speech which was presented by His Excellency President Mnangagwa regarding the state of affairs in Zimbabwe. I was listening when my fellow Members were debating. What is evident is that our poverty is deepening because the Members of this august House continuously repeat about the goodness of one thing. So, it becomes clear that a peaceful country is seen by the state of its economy, the exchange rate. If you want to understand the difficulties that are faced by people in a country you just go to their money markets. The money markets demonstrate the state of affairs of any nation.
The Second Republic which we allude to means that we are running away from where we came from. Where we came from was bad and it is as if the New Dispensation is a new thing, there was no Zimbabwe; it is just starting now because where we are coming from cannot be explained.
I want to go back to my first point that the state of a nation is evident through its economy. When the New Dispensation came we had a strong economy. The US dollar was 1:1 with the local currency. Mr. Speaker, the current President even spoke about it. He was saying that US dollar is at par with the local currency, the Zimbabwe Bond then. What happened is that a lot of people lost their monies when it was alleged to be 1:1. Previous speakers spoke about inflation and when inflation rises, it means that there is no peace in a nation and the state of the economy is not alright. Zimbabwe has the highest inflation but His Excellency at one point was saying that the local Bond was stronger than the Pula but the Pula has maintained its position. No-one wants to talk about the Bond because no-one wants to know the percentage of the inflation of the Bond.
Mr. Speaker Sir, when you look at the Bond at the moment...
HON. R. NYATHI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I want Hon. Madzimure to withdraw his statement because Zimbabwe does not use any Bond, it uses the Zimbabwean dollar.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Madzimure, may you take the floor.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for showing the the Shurugwi North Member of Parliament that the Bond Note is the local currency. Hon. Speaker, I was alluding to the fact that comparing local currency to SADC - however, if the Hon. Member wants me to play the recording of the statement that was given by His Excellency, I have it in my phone, I can play it. He spoke about the currency clarifying then that it was stronger than other currencies in the region. When you look at the period when he spoke about the currency then in Zambia, there was His Excellency, President Edgar Lungu but as I am speaking the Zambian currency is now stronger and performing better than other currencies in the region. When the current President was sworn in, 230 000 Kwacha was around US$10 000 but now it is equivalent to about US$15 000. That currency is strong and because of its strength, it encourages business investors to come and invest because they are aware that if they bank their money they will get interest. So, it is important to know how money gains interest when it is in the bank. In Zimbabwe however, when you bank your money it will depreciate instead of gaining interest like in other countries. This is good for people who take loans knowing that their money will gain interest; it will be good for their businesses. In Zimbabwe at the moment, things are not like that. Importing something from Poland, it will land with a cheaper price than the same goods manufactured in Zimbabwe. You will find that when you manufacture goods in Zimbabwe you stand to lose a lot. I expected that to be alluded to in the SONA and His Excellency was supposed to address the issue and after the address then explain how the industry was supposed to respond to this situation.
Interest rates are exorbitant on producers and manufacturers. Then there are overheads like rates, electricity and alternative forms of energy such as diesel and for someone like myself who manufactures foam rubber, you need five chemicals and you add water but before adding water there might be a power cut or surge or load shedding which will affect the production cycle or even the product being manufactured. Even when you connect the generator you will still lose a number of seconds and at times the machinery will have lost its memory. Then you will need two days to clean that chemical because it will not have been done properly. How then can you compete with manufacturers who are outside the country? Now, for you to have new machinery, it is expensive to get money from the money market and you do not have the money anyway. When you apply for money you may get it the following year, which is counterproductive.
If we look at farming, we cannot talk about the Pfumvudza Programme yet we had embarked on farm mechanization which started during the era of the former RBZ Governor Gideon Gono. This was done because we wanted to increase the yield. You cannot increase the yield when you are using your hands to do conservation farming. There is no mutsakwanyi because all the trees have been cut. I farm in my rural area and I was called to receive my inputs for the farming season but I only got 2kg maize seed yet on the register I am said to also have received a bag of Compound D and a bag of top dressing, which I did not get. We are told in this august House that people were given inputs and all the wards benefitted. The local village heads benefitted from Pfumvunza yet the ordinary people used their own money for inputs and we do not want to lie about it. We cannot say that they benefitted.
How many people do we know who have taken people’s monies or even some politicians who have taken money from COTTCO and other companies? This is not true. Pfumvudza is not good even for our elderly. These are issues that made us go to war. We need to think about mechanizing for the benefit of the elderly, pensioners and others. When there are incessant rains, the Pfumvudza Programme is not sustainable as the ground is water-logged and the small holes dug by communal farmers cannot sustain that much rain. Can productivity and crop yield be expected to grow through Pfumvudza? No, it is not possible, and now you find companies like Sable Chemicals closing. How can you produce fertilizer at a cheaper rate? We are saying Zimbabwe should retain its bread-basket status but we need to use modern technology and not what we are doing. We are deceiving the people.
Regarding dams, these should have irrigation schemes which will benefit communities. However, we are not doing that and most of the dams do not have any plans regarding irrigation equipment and other income generating projects. The Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam for example, has no master plan. We are just wasting water. The Gwayi-Shangani Dam was supposed to have been providing water to Bulawayo by November, 2022. Progress is only evident in Cowdry Park yet all the way to Gwayi there is no progress and no pipes have been taken there. We have been working on that dam for so many years and some people have forgotten that the dam is not a new project brought about by the new dispensation. It is a project that was started during the late President Mugabe’s era.
I would like to also speak about electricity – it is important that there is electricity in industries. The Hwange Unit 7 was supposed to be completed last year and starts with a line at Manhize. Manhize has a lot of steel but no one can explain who owns this company and how Zimbabweans are going to benefit from that and for the people of Chivhu, how value addition is going to be done. When you go to Iran where they mine steel, the town has a lot of steel and local people are benefiting but here in Zimbabwe, we take all our raw steel to China then we consume finished products from China. That is not production.
On education, when looking at the 28% pass rate, this is not ideal and people are deceiving themselves. On the list of 100 best performing schools, there are only three schools which excelled in Matabeleland. What are we doing? We were supposed to set targets for our education. For example, in Matabeleland, what pass rate is expected – you can build NUST....
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon. Madzimure, you have five more minutes to go.
*HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. It is not an accident that the intake of NUST is dominated by people from other provinces; it starts from the low pass rate in that area. How can they be enrolled at NUST with two or three points? This starts at O level. The pass rate in Matabeleland is not pleasing and there is no plan to remedy that as far as SONA is concerned. I do not think those who advise the President told him about the state of affairs. You can build Gwanda Polytechnic but you will find that the lecturers and students who are dominating are from other provinces. Those from Matabeleland are not found in these colleges because we are not looking at their education. These are the issues that I believe where supposed to be addressed.
We have students who are attending lessons under a tree. We still have four to five teachers who live in the same house with four rooms. Some Hon. Members here present were supporting this but some have schools that are thatched 43 years after independence. That is not ideal.
I then turn on to peace in the country. It does not necessarily mean that if there is no war, there is peace in a country. We have people who are arrested and stay in jail for a long time, like during the time of Smith. Usually, these people did not commit a crime and they are released later on. We also have thieves who are arrested and they stay at home and only come on trial days. These would have stolen millions of dollars. I witnessed an SA Congress where there was a former Minister of Health who abused COVID funds. He thought he would become President of ANC but the people did not allow that to happen. They did not prevent him from contesting but they denied him. Here in Zimbabwe, criminals are going around scot free because they have lots of money. They are arrested and then released. Some people are building beautiful houses on top of mountains because they have a lot of money that they got through corrupt activities but we are not doing anything about corruption in this country.
On political violence.....
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, your time is up.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: May the Hon. Member’s time be extended by five minutes.
HON. NDUNA: I object.
HON. R. NYATHI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Tuesday, 14th February, 2023.
RESPONSE TO QUESTION ON MOBILE REGISTRATION EXERCISE
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Mr. Speaker Sir, a matter was raised in this august House by Hon. Markham with regards to the Civil Registry exercise to issue documents to citizens who did not have them through a mobile registration exercise. His concern was with citizens in Hatcliffe and Borrowdale who did not have identity documents.
He indicated that over 2000 people in Hatcliffe and over 500 in Borrowdale did not have identity documents and this was of concern. I will give this august House an overall report on the conduct and achievements of the mobile registration exercise and then specifically provide statistics with regards to the exercise in Hatcliffe and Borrowdale to address Hon. Markham’s request.
The Civil Registry Department conducted a national mobile registration exercise which commenced on 01 April and ended on 30 September 2022. The main purpose of the exercise was to reach out to all eligible Zimbabweans to obtain birth certificates, national identity documents as well as death certificates. The documents were issued at no cost with some of the registration requirements relaxed to cater for as many people as possible.
Personnel Under the Mobile Registration Exercise
A total of 229 mobile teams were deployed across the country in addition to existing static registry offices. All team leaders were from the Civil Registry Department with personnel under them drawn from other departments and ministries.
During the six months long exercise, the personnel under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage were divided into two groups, upon which they alternated after a three-months period, with those from other ministries exchanging after a month.
Status of Payment to Participants.
Payments to personnel who participated in this programme were done in monthly batches. The last payment was for the month of July. Payments for August and September are still outstanding.
Mobile Registration Statistics as at 30th September 2022.
The Civil Registry Department has planned to issue 2 million national documents throughout the country. However, a total of 3 203 389 national documents were issued during the entire six months, thereby surpassing the initial target. This is clear testimony that the National Mobile Registration initiative succeeded in providing citizens with easier access to civil registration documents.
1 804 256
National Identity Documents
1 345 719
3 203 389
Hatcliffe and Borrowdale National Mobile Registration
The Market Square mobile teams which were under Harare Metropolitan Province itinerary covered Hatcliffe and Borrowdale as follows:-
10/07/2022 to 19/08/2022
20/08/2022 to 26/08/2022
The whole exercise called for a budget of ZWD12.1 billion. This amount included expenses for fuel, vehicle hire, as well as remuneration for the three thousand members who were part of the exercise. However, out of the six months in which the national mobile registration exercise was carried out, only costs for four months were met. Those for the last two months are still outstanding.
Mop-up National Mobile Registration Exercise
Preparations are underway to conduct a mop up national mobile registration exercise before the general elections. This is an opportunity that will be given to those who failed to obtain or replace their identity documents during the initial exercise. The dates for the mop up exercise will be announced in due course.
The national mobile registrations exercise which no doubt gave citizens across the country easy access to documents, dovetails with the national thrust of leaving no one and no place behind as we march towards attainment of our National Vision 2030. Mr. Speaker Sir, I submit.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have got three issues that I seek to get clarity on, I applaud the Hon. Minister for adhering to the ethos and the values of Section 35 to Section 43 of the Constitution that speaks to issues to do with citizenship. I really applaud them and what really occurred in my constituency in so far as it relates to issuance of birth certificates and national registration certificates, removing them from the alienship to citizenship.
I want to seek clarity from the Hon. Minister, the whole essence in particular where I come from of getting the national registration certificates, identity documents that have a citizenship tag is to make sure that those citizens register to vote. Given that the elections are upon us, would it please the Minister, have these blitz that he allude to put in place almost immediately or in tandem with the current voting process modus operanda because two days after the proclamation by His Excellency, immediately the voter registration exercise comes to a screeching halt.
Secondly, I would want to know from the Hon. Minister that even before the blitz is let out to go to mop-up exercise, is it still possible for the citizens to go to the current registration offices to embark on the same exercise that was embarked on to register themselves according to Section 43 of the Constitution? I thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Allow me to thank the Hon. Minister for the respond to Hon. Markham’s request. I will speak from experience and I will highlight the issues which I largely request. Number 1 is that the teams that are being referred to by the Hon. Minister in Kwekwe District which comprises of 5 constituencies shared one camera. So there is lack of equipment, because we are not debating, I will just lay out the major problems. So, because of lack of equipment, it meant that people would go first to get their fingerprints done. They go back home, they come back for photos, they go back home and they come back again to collect their identity documents. Can you close the gap of equipment?
Secondly, the Births and Deaths Registration Act Hon. Minister is not aligned to a High Court ruling in so far as one parent can be eligible to be an informant in terms of attainment of a birth certificate. So, we now have a court judgment that allows the father to be an informant in terms of attainment of a birth certificate. The law still allows the mother to be an informant even in the absence of the father. Can you also align that because in other cases, the mother is not there but the father is there, that child still suffers to have their birth certificates being obtained?
Thirdly, the issue of time taken between clearance of fingerprints, is taking more than 3 weeks, I pray that your Ministry, working together with the Ministry of ICT, take advantage of the digital platform so that at least fingerprints can be cleared digitally. You still have a paper based clearance system and then this makes the time to clear fingerprints too long. The time to clear fingerprints Hon. Speaker is that those individuals above the age of 26 without birth certificates or without IDs. They have to be cleared first in terms of fingerprints.
Lastly Madam Speaker, in the meantime while we are waiting for you to deploy teams and in the presence of lack of resources as you alluded to, why can we not relax the conditions currently obtaining at our district registration centres because as you said, the blitz had relaxed conditions so that at least we could register more people? Why can we not again make the same conditions relaxed at the district centres because as of today, registration is happening but it has gone back to those stringent conditions? Why can we not relax them so that at least more people can be processed while we are waiting for you to have your blitz? Thank you Hon. Minister.
HON. WATSON: Thank you Madam Speaker for this opportunity. I would just like the Minister to clarify because in the last blitz there were a lot of problems to do with the cameras to take the pictures. Hon. J. Sithole was the first Member of Parliament to request this statement in order that we find out about these issues. So can he give us an assurance that if he does his second blitz, the equipment will work because it is very frustrating for citizens to go - to be sent away, to come back to then find the photographs not taken or not there.
Secondly, were those green waiting passes with the photographs specifically only for voter registration? Those who had lost their IDs and required new identity documents for a bank or something of that nature could not use those green waiting passes. Why is that the fact? Again, they were then also told that those green waiting passes could then be taken to a district registry and changed into proper plastic IDs. I am not convinced that, that actually happened, plus the fact in Bulawayo for example, there are only two registries, the one in the centre of town and the one that is in Nketa Housing Office which deals with possibly 10 or 20 applicants per day, which makes it very difficult for a person with a green waiting pass to go and get it changed into a proper and correct plastic ID. Can the Minister clarify how ultimately he intends to resolve these issues? Thank you.
HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Minister for the report. My issue is on the speed. I will give an example. In Gweru you find that you have about 200 people in the queue waiting to take IDs but only 20 people are served. So if maybe he can try to attend to that.
On another note, I think it has been raised by Hon. Chikwinya regarding the blitz whereby your teams on the ground did not have enough equipment. So if you can also address that issue because honestly speaking, I do not think it is only Gweru but the whole country, whether it be in Masvingo or Shurugwi, the situation is the same. So many people do not have IDs especially our young people. I thank you.
HON. MUTOMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Thank you very much Hon. Minister for responding to Hon. Markham’s questions as well as informing this House that we are going to have a second blitz exercise. May I say to you Hon. Minister, the first blitz that you went through, we were quite surprised that you had two teams, those for ZEC and yours that were issuing birth certificates and IDs. Our surprise was that people who were supposed to be in front, that is your team, were actually following up those people who were registering the people for them to vote. So one wonders who they were registering to vote if a lot of those people who were supposed to get their IDs were not registered.
In my constituency, I actually had a discussion with your local leader in Buhera…
HON. CHIKWINYA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. CHIKWINYA: When Hon. Mutomba was in the Chair, he ruled that there must be no debate. So you cannot have your cake and eat it. I am just trying to direct you to your own ruling.
HON. MUTOMBA: Thank you very much. I am not debating Hon. Chikwinya. I am just highlighting these points. I ended up speaking to your provincial representative asking about the arrangement of these two teams. Now Hon. Minister, may you assure this Honourable House that you are going to do first thing first, that is having the team that is supposed to register people to get IDs in front of those people who would want to get registered for elections? Thank you very much Hon. Minister.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, some of the things have already been said by Hon, Chikwinya. Hon. Minister, I am going to be focusing mainly on Manicaland. When this programme of giving out IDs is taking place, we have had a situation whereby the teams deployed are not well resourced in terms of material. We had situations whereby you would have a camera then they would say they have run out of ink whilst out there on a mission. That has to be looked at.
The other problem that we have Madam Speaker, to the attention of the Minister, we have situations whereby a team which is dealing with the blitz of giving out IDs will get to a centre and then there are people who would have passed the age of 21 without IDS; they would request them to obtain clearance letters which are supposed to be sent to KG6 for clearance just to check as to whether they had IDs before. Once those papers are sent through the system of the Registrar General’s Office, by the time they come back the blitz team would have left the place. So you would find that these people who are supposed to benefit on IDs cannot manage to finance themselves to go to the next stations. So there is a problem. So my request on that one, I think there has to be an effort to quicken the process of the clearance and for the papers to come back whilst the team on the blitz will be at that centre. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TOFFA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker, my point of clarification is very similar to that of Hon. Mutseyami. Hon. Minister, is this blitz going to be lenient? Remember, there was a waiver on the requirements or on the stringent measures of getting birth certificates and identity cards but in Bulawayo for instance, people are still being required or told to go to their birth places. They do not take affidavits from the Members of Parliament or the councillor. They do not do the affidavits at the actual point of registration. So, I would like to know from the Hon. Minister, what the situation is this time around. Thank you.
HON. KAZEMBE: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would like to thank all the Hon. Members for their pertinent submissions. I will start with Hon. Nduna who was asking if the second round is going to be immediate and also if it is going to be in tandem with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) registration. That is exactly what I highlighted that we will ensure that it is done before ZEC’s second round is done so that it will enable those who have then obtained Identity Documents (IDs) to be able to register.
He also asked why people cannot continue to get IDs at the static offices. I think in my report, I also highlighted that even during mobile registration, the static offices continued to operate and they have not stopped. So, yes our citizens can continue to get IDs from our district offices and provincial offices.
Then Hon. Chikwinya raised the issues to do with resources, cameras in particular, where a team was sharing one camera and when it breaks down it would mean work would stop. Point taken, this time around we will try and ensure that they do have enough equipment. We also hope and trust that – all depends on resources. We work with the budget that we are allocated and the budget that is released. As I alluded to earlier on that we did not have enough resources for the entire project but we did our utmost, given what we had. However, we will try our best to ensure that those issues are addressed. I think it is partly about the Act; apparently I want to thank him. I was not aware that there is need for that alignment but what I know for a fact is that operationally, if our people were not doing it, then we will look at it. They have already started, following that court order because I actually spoke to the Registrar General (RG) today. In fact we entertained the Committee from Namibia. That question was raised and the RG responded to that question. So, we will definitely do that and thank you for that.
Then this issue of fingerprints taking long, we will look at how best we will deal with this one. Going forward, I have spoken about the need to computerise the Police. I have spoken about the integrated solution which we are deploying as a Ministry, which includes the Police Integrated Information System which is in the Police and in the PIIS, there is computerised fingerprint solution. It is work in progress but I understand the point that he has raised. We will try and see how best we can relax that. I am not promising now because it needs approval but we should be able to do something about it.
Maybe we can try and consider allowing the people to proceed whilst the fingerprints have been taken, allow them to proceed and get their IDs. The reason why we do fingerprints is because these people have gone beyond a certain age. Some of them would have committed crimes and they deliberately want to change names and IDs, so that is why we need to check whether the person is cleanand really needs an ID or is trying to run away from his previous crimes. That is the need for that but I am sure we can find a way to say, okay let us proceed but if we then find that this person who is now called John was Peter, I am sure we will be able to track them so that we do not inconvenience them. It is something that we will consider.
You also asked if we could relax the conditions at the static offices, it is something we can also consider because the initial one was actually issued by His Excellency the President, so it had a timeframe. It was a forced blitz but we might as well consider that to see if we can increase the numbers that can register at the static offices. I will take that up and see if we can get approval.
Hon. Watson, yes problems with camera issues, I think I have responded as I responded to Hon. Chikwinya. It is the same response. There is another question on the green pass, again I will attend to that specific issue. Hon. Chibaya, speed where from 200 people only 20 being served; yes, it may be a question of also equipment but again, I can definitely look into it to see how best we can deal with it, especially now that we do not have that pressure that we had during the mobile registration. We should try and improve on that.
The equipment, I think I responded to that one. Hon. Mutomba is querying why we went after ZEC. There are two things. We have a programme but we only go when we have been given the money. So, we had to wait for the money from Treasury. We also target April for a reason - why, because most of the people that we will be targeting are in the rural areas. Normally, we hire lorries, open trucks and all the lot and we would want to reach to each and every person to the best of our ability but we try to avoid the rainy season. The rainy season ends March-April thereabout. So we try and do immediately after that so that we can reach to as many people so that the programme is not interrupted by rains. You can imagine right now, if we have to do the mobile registration with all these rains, how many people would we attend to on a daily basis. That is the whole idea.
Again, we need to be working together with ZEC so that we can go in before them. You would appreciate that ZEC is an independent Commission, so we do not really control them but for this particular exercise, I agree with you that we need to work in tandem. This time around, we will go before them so that we ensure that people register.
Hon. Mutseyami, teams not well resourced, I have responded to that. The fingerprints issue, I have responded to that and Hon. Toffa, leniency, I think it is the same issue that was raised by Hon. Chikwinya which I would look at. I would like to thank the Hon. Members. Thank you Hon. Speaker Ma’am.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. DR. MAVETERA): Let me thank you Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon. Kazembe for the Ministerial Statement on Mobile Registration Exercise.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. R. R. NYATHI: I move that we revert to Order of the Day, Number One.
HON. NDUNA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2023]
Amendments to Clauses 6, 9, 10, 11, New Clauses 12, 14, 16 and 18 put and agreed to.
Bill, as amended, adopted.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
POLICE AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 1A, 2023]
THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE (HON. KAZEMBE): Madam Speaker, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
On the motion of HON. R. NYATHI, seconded by HON. CHIKWINYA, the House adjourned at Twelve Minutes to Five o’clock p.m. until Tuesday, 14th February, 2023.