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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 24 AUGUST 2021 VOL 47 NO 78
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 24th August, 2021.
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORT RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA): I wish to
inform the House that I have received a non-adverse certificate from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the Pensions and Provident Fund Bill [H. B. 17, 209].
(v)HON. MUCHIMWE: On a point of priviledge! I want to bring forth this point about Johane Marange Church. We have in our church a policy which says those who marry under-aged girls are not part of our church. So whoever marries an under aged girl saying they are from Johane Marange, that person is lying, they are not part of us – [Rest of speech was inaudible due to technical glitches.] -
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Hon. Muchimwe, I am a bit
surprised as to why you would raise such a point of priviledge. Are you in any capacity to be representing your church or maybe you are representing it in your own capacity as an individual and as a Hon. Member? I think this issue is in the hands of the ZRP right now and the culprits have already been arrested. I heard that they are due to appear in court anytime soon. So, I believe that it is only proper for us as Parliament, since we have got three arms of the State which we know are there and we need to make sure that we allow all due processes of the law to take its course.
HON. T. MOYO: My point of national interest arises from the commissioning of the oxygen plant by His Excellency, the President Dr E. D. Mnangagwa last week on Thursday in Mutare. That plant is very important because it shows that the Second Republic is very serious, particularly on the drive to industrialisation and urbanisation. Before the commissioning of the plant, the Government of Zimbabwe used to import oxygen which is very important and indispensible for the hospitals. Now the plant is able to produce all our needs in one week.
This is a reflection of the hard work of Dr. Mnangagwa, particularly in producing and also in import substitution industrialisation. Zimbabwe is able to export oxygen to neighbouring countries that do not have the capacity to produce.
It is also a reflection Madam Speaker of the importance and significance of heritage based philosophy Education 5.0 which shows that students are able to mix with captains of industry to produce what is needed by Zimbabweans. It is very important for us to commend the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development for the good rapport that exists between it and the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. When we visited the plant two years ago, we said we were troubled because there was nothing on the ground, but within two years, we have managed to produce such a fantastic plant. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Indeed it is commendable, also looking at the work that the Second Republic is doing, taking cognizance of the energy power interventions that the Second Republic is spearheading.. That is commendable.
HON. MBONDIAH: My point of privilege arises from the fact that Government, a couple of days ago, announced the suspension of disbursements of COVID-19 allowances. We are right in the middle of COVID-19 and we are still under lockdown. Families are still not able to fend for themselves. I would like to plead with the Minister of Finance to come and give a statement on the beneficiaries of the COVID allowance fund and how many people actually benefited from the fund. I feel that this fund is going to stop before it has even started. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon
Mbondiah. I am sure that is quite a pertinent issue to do with COVID-19 allowances and for the Minister to come and give a Ministerial Statement to that effect. I am sure that has been noted. He is going to respond accordingly.
HON. TEKESHE: My point of privilege arises from the visits made by several ministers in my Constituency, Makoni Central. There have been several visits by a number of ministers to my area. To my surprise, me being the Member of Parliament for that constituency, I am neither informed nor invited. Instead, they informed and invited the aspiring Member of Parliament and went to the extent of introducing him as a sitting Member of Parliament for Makoni Central. I do not understand this.
What I am appealing to you is for the powers that be to separate politics and Government business. You cannot go and introduce an aspiring Member of Parliament whilst the sitting Member of Parliament is there. People tend to think that I am snubbing Government business, yet I am not. I am not being informed. As a sitting Member of Parliament, I am not told of such events. We have a motion on patriotism on the Order Paper, - how can you talk of patriotism when you do not invite the local Member of Parliament for the area? It does not make sense.
I am appealing to you Madam Speaker, that for the next coming two years, let me also be informed of the visits by ministers on Government business. Do not inform me when it is a political meeting but when it is a Government meeting, I need to attend because you are painting me as though I am a negative person to Government programmes, yet they do not invite me. I am not sure if I am the only one but there could be a lot of people outside who are not being invited.
I do not want to be invited to political gatherings but when it is
Government business, let it be so. I thank you.
THE ACTIGN SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Tekeshe
for that point of order. I am sure that is worth noting that we need that inclusivity and we also need to separate politics from developmental programmes. It would be prudent for you to try to approach even the Ministry of Local Government and find out programmes that are there. It might seem as if there was some miscommunication within your office or the Local Government Department which we believe is non-partisan to be communicating with you. That is quite pertinent and your involvement is very needed as a Member of Parliament for that area.
Hon Nduna having interjected online to give his point of privilege.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon Nduna, I am supposed to have a maximum of three points of privilege on each day. So I am going to indulge Hon. Mathe.
+HON. MATHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of
privilege is, I have realised that I have to say this before this House, that
I would like to thank the President of Zimbabwe Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa for assisting by acquiring vehicles for the police force. Not so long ago, I did mention that the police were having a hard time in trying to keep the peace in the country and I mentioned that they did not have transport to attend to scenes of crimes. I also gave examples of several police stations here in Zimbabwe, including Nkayi South where I come from. It has been very difficult for police to attend to crime scenes because each time you reported, the police officer would ask if we had transport to come and put them up. I have seen the President coming to assist with vehicles for police officers.
I would like to thank the President very much, together with other rural Members of Parliament. They are so grateful to the President for issuing out vehicles to police stations. Now police officers are able to carry out their duties. They no longer have to ask for transport from anyone. Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Mathe
for that point of privilege. We really commend the efforts of the Second Republic being led by His Excellency Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa in making sure that the police force will be mobile. Thank you very much for that.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam
Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 and 2 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Order of the Day, Number 3 has been dealt with. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 7, 2021]
Third Order read: Second Reading: Guardianship of Minors
Amendment Bill [H. B. 7, 2021].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you
Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to read my Second
Reading speech before I move that the Bill be read a second time.
This Bill seeks to amend several provisions of the Guardianship of Minors Act to ensure that the Act is in conformity with the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
In essence Madam Speaker, the Bill is to align the Act to the Constitution. The Constitution, as it states in Section 2 is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice and conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. This therefore necessitated the amendment of the Guardianship of Minors Act.
Madam Speaker, custody and guardianship of children are one of the most important responsibilities of parents. A parent with custody has day to day care and control of the minor’s person and a guardian has a legal right allowing him or her to manage the affairs - including health, education needs, financial security or welfare needs. This means that almost on a daily basis, a decision is made concerning that particular minor.
Madam Speaker, allow me to delve into some of the provisions that are going to be aligned to the Constitution by the Bill. The
Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 80 (2) gives women and men the same rights regarding custody and guardianship of children. At present, the Act assumes that fathers are the guardians of children and favours mothers in regard to the custody of children. The Bill seeks to give same rights to men and women when it comes to exercising custody and guardianship of children.
Madam Speaker, the decisions that a guardian makes concerning a child under his or her guardianship should serve the best interest of the child. Child marriages are a topical issue. We need to barricade all the avenues of this practice. In the worrisome case of Anna Machaya, it is alleged that the deceased minor’s marriage was consented to by the parents. The Guardianship of Minors Act, Section 4 (1) (b) gives powers to a parent with guardianship to give consent to marriage of a minor. The Constitution accords the right to found a family only to those who have reached the age of 18. The Bill will delete the provision of Section 4 (1) (b) of the principal Act, thereby aligning it to the
Lastly Madam Speaker, the fact that the Guardianship of Minors
Act permits the giving of consent to a marriage of a minor and the prevalence of child marriages, makes the need to enact these amendments non optional and urgent.
I therefore plead with Hon. Members of this House to support and pass this Bill. Madam Speaker, this is a very short Bill which I believe we should not have any problems in passing. I therefore move that the Bill be read a second time.
Madam Speaker, I am advised the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee is finalising the report, so I move that debate be adjourned to allow the Chairperson to present the main report before debate is opened up. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th August, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam
Speaker, I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 4 to 18 be stood over until Order No 19 has been disposed of.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON PRIMARY
AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE OPERATIONS OF
PRIVATE SCHOOLS DURING COVID PANDEMIC
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Madam Speaker, as
Chairperson of the Committee, I will present the report of the Portfolio
Committee on Primary and Secondary Education on the Operations of
Private Schools during the Pandemic Lockdown on behalf of Hon. J.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: I stand to give the
report of the Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education. You will note that in this House, we had several issues that were raised pertaining to the running of trust schools and a number of issues were raised. Hon. Mliswa raised that issue many times and a ruling was then given by the Speaker that we should call upon the trust schools and discuss with them issues that were being raised in this House.
Therefore, the Committee resolved to invite the Association of Trust Schools for oral evidence and we deliberated on that oral evidence. The issue around the trust schools is raising a number of issues. The introduction is dealing with why we had to have a discussion around the trust schools.
1 We know that COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the operations of the education sector.
- We also know that since the first case of COVID-19 which was recorded in March 2020, the school terms have had to shift in line with the lockdown measures.
- As we speak, we know that the children are not attending school.
- We also note that during the imposed national lockdowns, schools were expected to continue with their lessons using various online methods.
- We also note that questions were raised concerning the way private schools were operating in Zimbabwe and were being accused of not following the Government school calendar.
You will remember the conversations that we had in this House where there was an argument that we were creating a parallel structure to the normal school structure because at that time, ATSs were alleged to have come up with their own agenda. These issues were then referred to the Committee for further interrogation. The main highlights of the meeting with ATSs were that:
- We actually established that from 1962, we had a formation of what is called the Association of Trust Schools.
- Membership to the association is voluntary and is guided by rules and regulations of the club.
- The criteria for membership comprises strict guidelines which are:
- they need to be non-profit, good governance, accountability transfer that it should be fair;
- that the curriculum that supports and prepares children for future development is also from within and outside
It is important that people understand this because what was of note was, we found that when we were talking about the examinations that they are subjected to, particularly those at ATS, it is mostly the Cambridge examination.
- Membership to the association is paid by students and not the schools.
- That subscription is part of the school fees paid by the learners.
Thus, some schools with more children pay more. It is important that we understand that the money is actually coming from the students. To a large extent, it means that those that can send their children to the ATSs have to be at a particular class to be able to afford the learners to pay. The white race is not a determining factor, so we are not saying the ATSs are schools run by a particular race. However, you will find that in terms of the management, because it was formed in 1962, it generally follows a particular way of managing those schools without necessarily noting and saying that it is a racial set up.
- Most of the member schools have adopted the multi-currency system which has been used by parents to pay tuition for trust schools.
You remember that one of the issues raised in this House was that the Association of Trust Schools was demanding that school fees be paid in foreign currency. So, when we did this investigation we were told by the ATSs that they were operating on a multi-currency basis and those who wanted to pay in RTGs could do so, I guess at the prevailing rate.
- The tuition fees of trust schools are set in accordance with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and that the guidelines which require the involvement of SDAs, PDAs and voting were as determined in the Education Amendment Act.
It is again important for Hon. Members to underline this because we are going to deal with it as we begin to say what our concerns and recommendations were.
- The ATSs is not involved in any way in negotiating the school fees structure of its members. We did say this is an association, however, this association then says for all intents and purposes, we do operate as a group. However, when it comes to issues of determining the school fees, it is entirely up to the schools to do that. When we then tried to find out what the costs were, we found that most schools were pegging the US dollar fees component to the black market rate and not necessarily to the current auction rate. We were also told that the biggest cost drivers for the trust schools were salaries, which are 60% to 70%, given that the sector is labour intensive and every class must have a class teacher.
In answer to why their fees are so high, they said unlike in public schools where the teacher to child ratio is 60, they have a ratio of a teacher to 20 children. So it means they have to employ more teachers and a lot of the money is going towards payment of those, hence the reason why the fees are high.
They had indicated to us that they are still bound by the rules of the Education Amendment Act, so if fees are being set up they have to be subjected to the guidelines provided for in the Education Amendment
Act. They came back to us and said well, it is not our problem that we end up giving and saying this is our school fees, although we understand that we still have to ask Ministry of Education. In their opinion, the Ministry of Education was not approving the school fees in time, so nonapproval for them would mean consent. Basically, they would say if the Ministry does not approve, we assume that they are consenting. We raised the issue of online because it had been subject to the issues that had been raised here that even in circumstances where the children were not going to school doing online lessons - we were not having lesser school fees because children were not physically going to school. We queried that it did not make sense to charge online costs at the level of the same school fees structure, even in circumstances where the kids were actually not going to school. Their argument was to say well, as we told you, the money that is being paid as school fees is to go towards the teacher. The teacher is not necessarily on leave. They may not be physically doing face to face interaction but they are still at work and therefore, we expect parents to pay the online school fees. We raised the issue to say how then do you come back and insist that you want your own separate kind of school calendar? Their argument was that because we were teaching and the kids from our trust schools are engaging in lessons. Therefore, we felt that they needed to take a break and when Government insisted that we continue, you remember that time when they were brought back before the other lockdown; we noted their criteria that effectively the trust schools were operating independently outside Government. From a legal point of view, as a trust, they constituted themselves that somebody is bound by the trust rules.
For example, you find that when a parent is bringing their child to the trust school, they have to sign and agree that they will be bound by the trust rules. So when a parent wants to divert or raise a different position to that of the trust, there is always that complicated issue of a legal framework that is set on the basis of a trust and others who are then arguing that no, we are bound by the superior position of the Ministry.
We will speak a little bit about the complications of such a school.
We did ask what is the secretariat for the ATS? The Chief
Executive Officer is currently a very nice gentleman; I must say - Mr.
Tim Middleton. The Administrator is currently Kathy Middleton and the Office Manager is Peter Horsfield. We cannot comment on what that means but I think in the context of Zimbabwe post-independence, the trust schools must look at that structure and say to themselves what perceptions does it create. As a Committee, we did not read into it but we just thought it was important to put it out there so that the ATS itself may begin to introspect and say does that not create the kind of perceptions and issues that were being raised.
We noted that, in particular, in terms of their trust documents and deeds, they can be sued. They have legal persona to sue and to be sued.
In particular, we refer to the case of Prof. Mwenje versus Mrs. P. Makoni, Arundel Trust School. It speaks to some of these things, just to give you some information Mr. Speaker. This particular case was a case in which a parent who had a child at Arundel School from Form 1 – 4 decided that they wanted to move their child, I think to St. Georges. They could not be allowed to move that child to St. Georges on the basis that the Arundel School was saying our trust document says when you bring your child; you bring them for Form One to Form Six. So this Prof. Mwenje had to take this issue to court to get a determination.
I think it just explains to you the complexities that I was talking around trust schools and how they subject parents in particular, to some issues you know for all intense and purposes, are quite ridiculous. I think the conversation should be what should we do with that kind of legal problem? If Mr. Mwenje did not have the resources to go to court, it could have been a different conversation. If somebody goes to that case, I think it was before Justice Chitapi, it makes very interesting comments around how schools should not operate that restrictively to such an extent that parents cannot make decisions around them.
You begin to wonder whether, like what Hon. Mliswa raised here, that there may not necessarily be freedom for parents to speak to some of these issues. If that environment is so elitist and so litigious, how do we actually get any of our other people that are not at that level to get access to those schools? From us as a Committee’s point of view, that was our concern. We are not trying to meddle in the independence and the perfect way that trust schools could be working. I think we do not want to create an enclave that almost creates a situation where it is a class or race issue. The trust schools need to look at some of these things as they proceed.
Like we said, when we go to the issues around recommendations, we are saying that notwithstanding the democratic rights of the trust schools to exist, the Committee notes that Section 45 (2) of the Constitution provides that this chapter binds natural juristic persons to the extent that it is applicable to them, taking into account the nature and right of the freedom concerned. We therefore think and we are recommending to this House that the many accusations around trust schools, which may not be true - like I said, when they came to us, we did not get a sense that they had anything to hide and I must applaud them for that because they came to us. However, I think for us to clear these perceptions that there are racial issues, for example some of the issues that we will raise here are to do with salaries - there are arguments that in trust schools, the salaries for the black teachers are different to the salaries of whites. We cannot prove that because we did not go into that detail and analysis. I think it is an issue if put on the table, that
needs to be investigated so that if it is not true, then it becomes clear that we do not have any differentiation on the basis of race.
When we raised it with the leadership of the ATS, one of the responses was to say look here, we are dealing with education qualifications and so on. Again, the argument was when we have these reports, the reports are that we could have the same education qualification and training but this person is paid better than me because of the fact that they are white and like I am saying Mr. Speaker, we want to put it very clearly, we have no position as a Committee on that because we did not investigate, but we feel that is an area that should be investigated. Therefore, you will find that one of the recommendations that we are giving is, we feel that either the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, because they have the overall supervisory power, should actually go into trust schools and investigate whether this is true or not. If it is true, then action should be taken because we cannot, in a post independent Zimbabwe have that situation taking place in the country.
We are also saying in terms of Section 243, it is mandating the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to investigate any other form of violations. Some of the violations that we heard or alleged violations that we heard are that when it is sporting activities, they refuse to compete with so-called lower class schools or black dominated schools – that is what was put to us. Again as a Committee, we have not taken a position on it because we did not investigate, but we think that a body like the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission- surely should be in a position where they can go and do that investigation to see whether those violations are indeed taking place.
We also recommend that the Education Amendment Act provides for the Competition and Tariff Commission to investigate any issues that are to do with fee structures. Again, it is a pity that Hon. T. Mliswa is not here because one of the issues that he kept raising was that, yes there may be a system in which parents are asked to come and vote on a particular fee structure but because of all these issues involved with the fact that if you are the only one who is raising this, your child may be targeted and people feel intimidated. Perhaps the environment is such that the framework does not work. So we have a body that is allowed to do that, hence we are recommending as a Committee that the Competition and Tariff Commission goes into the ATS and establishes whether the fees that are being charged are commensurate with what any other reasonable ordinary Zimbabwean would do because if it is not, then it is creating a monopoly and creating a particular enclave.
I have already spoken about Prof. Mwenje and Mrs. P. Makoni’s case. I think that the fundamental issue or the problem that we found in that case was I would say, the problem that is between the Law of Contract and the Education Amendment Act. You will find that in that case, the Hon. judge speaks to that particular issue in that if you sign somewhere and say I will be obligated to what is in here and I am bringing my child on the basis that my child will follow these rules and I will abide by these rules, you automatically have gotten into a contract. So at what point does the Education Amendment Act supersede the Law of Contract? I think it is a conversation that needs to be held. Perhaps the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education needs to look at it and find a way of dealing with that particular aspect because if it is not, you will recall that the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, when I raised that issue in the House before, he came back with that argument that it is Law of Contract. I think that is where you are finding a lot of court cases dealing with those issues on the basis of the Law of Contract and not necessarily on the basis that the Education Act in itself is superior to the contracts that are signed at that level. So it is a lacuna in the law which I think needs to be dealt with.
The last recommendation was that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education supervises all schools in Zimbabwe. It is important that it investigates, like I said the allegation of salary discrepancies and all these allegations because the law in this country states that it does not matter what school it is. The supervision lies with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. So after all has been said and done, after we have asked the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission to do the investigations around violations, I think our major recommendation is that all these issues that have been raised about ATS need to be investigated.
I must say Mr. Speaker, we are generalizing but I am sure within the context of Association of Trust Schools (ATS), we have very good ATSs which cannot even have any of these allegations but just one bad apple can spoil all the other apples that are there. So I therefore bring this report as the report of the investigation that we did as a Committee.
I thank you. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for recognising me.
I am here to support the motion moved by the Hon. Chair of the Committee, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga on the operations of private schools during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Mr. Speaker Sir, Association of Trust Schools was formed in 1962. The major mandate of this association is to provide non-profit education and also to prepare children for leadership positions. The circumstances that led to this investigation are that the issue was raised in this august
House by Hon. Themba Mliswa. The Hon. Speaker of the House, Adv.
Jacob Mudenda gave us the green light to invite Boards of Directors of these trust schools and they appeared before our Committee Mr. Speaker Sir.
There were a number of allegations which I am going to highlight. The first allegation was the issue of racism in terms of salaries. There was an allegation that white teachers were being paid more or better salaries compared to their black counterparts. The other allegation was the issue of selection of athletes. It was alleged that the issue of merit in terms of selection of rugby, cricket and soccer players, you name it, that preference was given to white students as opposed to their black counterparts. There was also an allegation Mr. Speaker Sir that
Association of Trust Schools usurped the prerogatives and powers of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education concerning the issue of school calendar that the Association of Trust Schools were operating were not within the confines of the school calendar but they had their own calendar as opposed to what was obtaining in Government and public schools. All these circumstances prompted the investigations.
We must mention that we managed to interview the board of directors but the Committee did not interview students who are learning in those schools, neither did the Committee investigate the teachers or ancillary staff members because that was not within the confines of what the Committee was supposed to do.
The other allegation was that trust schools were rejecting RTGS in the payment of school fees. Now, when they came for oral evidence, the findings that we made are as follows; according to the people who appeared before the Committee; they rejected that there was no racism in those schools and that particular or individual educational practitioners negotiated their own salaries that individually one was supposed to negotiate with employers. These teachers are not paid by Government but are paid by the schools, so individual teachers would negotiate their own package. So no one would know whether white teachers are being favoured as opposed to black teachers; there is need for a further investigation. They also rejected that there was racism in the selection of athletes. They said the issue of meritocracy was being prioritised that students who excelled very well in rugby, soccer and whatever discipline, such students were selected on the basis of merit of those who excelled, be it black students or white students, they were chosen according to ability and potential.
There is need for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education like what my Hon. Chairperson Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said, that there is need for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to interrogate those investigations by visiting the schools. On the issue of school fees, they said they accepted RTGS as a form of payment whether it is ecocash, swipe or US dollars; so they implemented the multi-currency system. They would peg their fees using the black market rate which makes those fees quite exorbitant and that the ordinary person would not afford to send their children to those schools and that brings the issue of elitism so that these would appear as elitist schools. The majority of people in Zimbabwe cannot afford to send their children to such schools.
On the issue of the Education Amendment Act which talks about free basic compulsory education, this would not apply to these Association of Trivate Schools because their fees are too high and they are actually a deterrent and barrier for people who earn low salaries.
Finally Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to thank the Chairperson for this report and also to thank you Mr. Speaker for this opportunity that you have given me.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate which is very important. Firstly, I would like to thank our Chairperson Hon. MisihairabwiMushonga who raised the motion and I also want to thank my brother Hon. Dr. T. Moyo for his very good debate such that we do not have many issues to add. I just want to add two things on the payment. As long as the Government has decided to use a particular currency, we should urge all those who are living in the country of Zimbabwe to use that currency as much as possible. Last week, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Dr. Mangudya gave preference to the US dollar when it comes to other things. When it comes to schooling, I think we should be considerate and allow for the multi currency to work.
Lastly, there is the issue of late salaries regardless of grades. Salaries must be paid on merit, meritocracy must be used than any other medium which is discriminatory. I want to thank the Hon. Chairperson for this very good report which covers the petition which was there. I thank you Hon. Speaker Sir.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, I just want add to a few issues, the disparity between the trust schools and the Government schools stems on three issues. The first one is that the trust schools – Mr. Speaker Sir, I am asking that you mute Hon. P. Zhou.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MUTOMBA): Hon.
Members on virtual platform please maintain your silence, we want to hear Hon. Nduna debating. Go ahead Hon. Nduna.
(v)HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, Hon. P. Zhou is still not muted; I ask the administration to take charge. The first one is the issue on the business plan which the trust schools are conducting as opposed to the Government schools. It stems from the colonial era where Government has taken back the land but has left those trust schools at the same level that was taken from our forefathers without any compensation. I said this because Government sought to align the Constitution to the Act of Education – [Technical glitch.]- Therefore, also growing the business of the trust schools and their children opposed to the former black marginalised majority who have never had the opportunity to have mortgage financing based on the title deeds from the same land that has been taken for redistribution.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of – [Technical glitch.] –with the hotels and the retail sector so that we are not treating the trust schools any different than the retail shops and at the hotels that we stay in as well as the fuel stations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, aligning the Constitution with the Act as has previously been alluded to by the Leader of Government Business Hon. Ziyambi as he was debating the Guardianship of Minors Bill - the alignment of the Act and the Constitution is very key; Section 2 of the Constitution is very alive and well. The extent that any Act which is ultra vires to the Constitution should be repudiated to the extent of its inconsistency.
The Mines and Minerals Act is inconsistent, the Urban Councils Act is inconsistent, the Mines and Minerals Act, the extent of empowering the former marginalised black majority is inconsistent. The issue of the Urban Council’s Act is inconsistent in Section 205 (3) (C) of the Urban Council Act. It needs to be aligned to Section 72 (7) (C) of the Constitution which says the people of Zimbabwe will be enabled to re-assert their rights to land so that there can be economic benefits derived from that land and title. So that there can be economic benefits derived from the Mines and Minerals Act if it is aligned to the
Constitution Section 30 (4).
So, all these Acts that are ultra vires need to be repudiated so that they strike down subsections for these Acts in order that we can align our trust schools to our Government schools in so far as the Constitution is related. I thank you.
(v)HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I also want to add my voice to the debate – [Technical glitch.] - As much as we know that parents should not be generally charged for school levy and so many things which means that the money that is supposed to be paid during the COVID -19 period must be lower than generally when the kids are allowed to attend school individually.
It is a common knowledge that any money that has been collected from the public funds for public purposes generates the Government automatically to get an interest into it, such that the Government wants to monitor and see whether the purpose through which that money has been paid for is kept for which means that Government therefore has a right to send its auditors to any school in Zimbabwe to check so that there is no virementing of funds and if any school is then found to be wanting, then proper action must be taken.
I also want to comment on the issue of different remuneration based on the colour of skin. Yes, I know that Hon. T. Moyo talked about people going to negotiate their salaries but what is very striking to us is: does it really mean that Africans are very poor in negotiating salaries so much that even the one that is not well educated as the other – when a white person is less educated gets more money because he has got very good skills in negotiation? I doubt that. I think we should not accept this scenario, especially after 41 years of independence. The law of equity must apply and I think that is an area where the Ministry of Education needs to look into.
Finally, I also want to talk about the issue that Zimbabwe has got laws that govern the running of every one of our ministries. Therefore, what I mean to say is that all our private schools must be subjected to laws and regulations governing the running of schools here in Zimbabwe because the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education checks their laws from the law of the land, which is the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Constitution of Zimbabwe is the supreme law that governs all ministries and everyone in Zimbabwe. We do not want to see private schools having their own laws that are different from the parent Ministry. That should be looked into and where possible, there should be enactment of a law to stop that kind of practice being in place. I thank you.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th August 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the House reverts to Order of the Day, Number 6 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
- MUSWERE): Allow me Mr. Speaker Sir, to thank Hon Togarepi for moving the motion to debate on the Presidential Speech which was delivered on 26 October 2020, and also Hon. Mhona for seconding the motion. Allow me once again to thank His Excellency the President,
Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa for a great speech which he delivered to us as a nation. The President touched on very pertinent issues regarding the
ICT, postal and courier services sector.
In his State of the Nation Address and the Official Opening of this
Third Session of the Ninth Parliament, the President said “the enactment of the Cyber and Data Protection Bill which was introduced in the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe must be speeded up, more-so given the importance of robust and secure information systems to drive digital services in all sectors of our economy”. Zimbabwe like many other countries globally, is fully aware of the importance of ICT for socio-economic development and transformation.
However, I do not want to say much about the Cyber and Data Protection Bill which has been in this House. We are now awaiting finalisation of this Bill.
It is our realisation that a well regulated ICT environment will yield results for the betterment of our country and as a sector, we acknowledge that those countries from both developed and developing countries who recognise the potential of ICTs, developed policies, implementation strategies and invested in ICTs, have realised immense benefits for their economies and their people. Once this Bill is finalized Mr. Speaker Sir and enacted into law, this will see the establishment of the Cyber Security Centre and a Data Protection Authority whose sole function among other issues will be to increase cyber security in order to build confidence and trust in the secure use of ICTs by data controllers, their representatives and data subjects. This will create a technology driven business environment and encourage technological development and the lawful use of technology. Such an environment would drive digital services in all sectors of our economy. Like I have indicated, this
Bill is now at an advanced stage.
Hon. Mavenyengwa contributing to SONA debate alluded to challenges brought about by COVID-19. Schools were closed and those in urban area benefited from online learning whilst their counterparts in rural areas could not enjoy the same. This observation was correct. The Ministry supported by its sector workhorses is doing a lot to mitigate such challenges because today computers are regarded as a learning tool and this means that computers do come with internet connectivity to ensure that education can be provided for all students and pupils.
POTRAZ, TelOne, ZARnet, NetOne, the private sector and the Ministry itself, have embarked on a programme to make sure that all schools in Zimbabwe in urban and rural areas have computers and that they are also connected to the internet.
In the 2021 Budget that was released in November last year, the Ministry was allocated Z$410 million for the computerisation of the schools. Even though the budget is not enough, we are working to ensure that schools are computerised by working together with the private sector as well.
In addition Mr. Speaker Sir, Cabinet approved the National ELearning Strategy which will see the deployment and connectivity of
6600 schools in the country. In addition, the Presidential E-Learning
Programme is an ongoing programme. In his contributory speech, Hon.
Mavenyengwa also indicated that Community Information Centres (CICs) should be spread to cover all areas including the most disadvantaged rural areas.
Mr. Speaker Sir, this is exactly what the Ministry is doing. It is the
Ministry’s desire that CICs are brought to all wards across the country.
The students and pupils will then use the internet at all CICs for learning purposes. To date, Mr. Speaker Sir, a total of 180 CICs were established throughout the country and of these, 145 are operational and 35 will be operational before the end of this quarter.
Going forward, more attention will be given to rural areas and in the budget release, an $82 million fund was established for these CICs. These CICs will also provide free connectivity across the country. Mr.
Speaker Sir, allow me to quote Hon. Peter Moyo who happens to be the
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Hon. Moyo contributing to debate on children’s right to a motion brought by Hon. Dr. Nyashanu said, ‘Right now we have got a pandemic which is world over. What are we doing with our children and are they well equipped?’ It is this last part that I am interested in.
The National E-learning Strategy and the free internet connectivity to all CICs for the next nine months is now being operationalised across the country. Mr. Speaker Sir, ICTs are recognised as critical enablers of economic activity and an ITU analysis revealed that a 10% increase in the country’s digitalisation scores fuels a 0.75% to 1% growth in its GDP per capita. Additionally, the economic effect of digitisation accelerates as countries move to more advanced stages of digitisation.
Furthermore, ICT transformation leads to economic improvements in various sectors of the economy which also includes in the agricultural sector. The real benefit of ICTs in societies is invaluable, but cannot be easily measured. ICTs have changed the way transactions are conducted, the way in which information is circulated and the way in which we educate and inform ourselves, thus social inclusion is improved. This however will only yield intended results when we have a well regulated environment which is now being addressed by the
Cyber and Data Protection Bill.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we are focusing on access utilisation governance and the growth of the ICT industry and our goal is to connect the unconnected. I thank you.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th August, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1
to 10 on today’s Order Paper, be stood over until Order of the Day
Number 11 has been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND
SOCIAL AMENITIES ON THE INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF
WASTE MANAGEMENT IN ZIMBABWE
HON. CHIKUKWA: I move the motion standing in my name; That this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio
Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and
Social Amenities on the Inquiry into the State of Waste Management in
HON. GABBUZA: I second.
HON. CHIKUKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
The Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities conducted an inquiry into the state of waste management in Zimbabwe. Solid waste management in Zimbabwe is guided by the Environmental Management Act [Chapter 20:27] which stipulates that no person shall discharge or dispose any waste in a manner that causes environmental pollution or ill health to any person. The Committee was prompted to conduct the enquiry by the rapid increase in urban population which directly translates to an increase in waste generation coupled with the inability by local authorities to adequately cope up with waste generated prior to rapid urbanisation.
Objectives of the Visit
The main objectives of the fact finding visits were:
- To assess the overall state of waste management in Zimbabwe.
- To understand the challenges faced in waste management by local authorities with a view to recommending for improved waste management.
The Committee received oral evidence from the Permanent Secretary of Local Government and Public Works on 20 October 2020 on the policies, programmes and legislation that govern waste management as well as challenges faced by local authorities in waste management. The Committee was divided into three teams with Team
- visiting Mutasa RDC, Mutare City Council and Nyanga RDC. Team
- visited Gweru City Council, Gokwe Town Council and Kwekwe City
Council. Team C visited Kariba Municipality, Karoi Town Council, Bindura Town Council and Epworth Local Board. The visits were conducted from 2 to 6 May 2021.
Oral Evidence from the Ministry of Local Government and
The Committee received oral evidence from Mr. Churu, the Permanent Secretary for Local Government and Public Works on policies, programmes and legislation that govern waste management and challenges faced by local authorities in waste management. The
Committee was informed that the Environmental Management Act,
Urban Councils, Section 23 of the Second Schedule as well as the Rural District Councils Act, Section 32 of the Second Schedule deal with waste management. He explained that Section 23 and 32 in the Urban Councils and Rural District Council Acts respectively deal with the powers that local authorities have in ensuring appropriate waste management in local authorities’ jurisdiction.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the state of waste management in local authorities was very primitive. He emphasised the need to improve on waste management to ensure the health and safety of residents. He explained that most of the challenges in waste management were being experienced in urban areas mostly in high density suburbs. Members of the public were blamed for being insensitive when it comes to proper disposal of waste. Local authorities were also blamed for failure to collect garbage on a regular basis. Local authorities had not been able to move with time and failed to cope with the growing population. The other problem highlighted was that there was little treatment of waste in Zimbabwe and a lot of illegal dumping of waste.
Challenges in waste management
The Permanent Secretary highlighted that lack of investment and attitude by local authorities impacted negatively on the waste management. Local authorities lacked resources to embark on big projects. He indicated that there used to be funding through donor support and soft loans available to local authorities for major water and sanitation projects but these were no longer available. The revenue being collected by local authorities was said to be inadequate to cater for what was needed in terms of service delivery. This resulted in local authorities giving top priority to water leaving other critical areas such as waste management. Apparently, there was no funding available from Government, donors or multilateral agencies for waste management. It was pointed out that globally, local authorities’ capital development is provided for by financial institutions such as the International Monetary
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that the Environmental
Management Agency (EMA) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality were not assisting local authorities in terms of waste management as was expected. EMA was viewed as placing more emphasis on its regulatory function and in that regard local authorities had become a source of revenue to EMA. EMA’s fines were viewed as too high and these fines were not channeled towards ensuring compliance with the requirements. He mentioned that until 2020 there was no feasible landfill plan from the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality yet EMA was charging punitive fines to local authorities for not complying with a standard landfill. He also cited that lack of foreign currency to purchase refuse collection trucks was impacting negatively on refuse collection. The size of some local authorities made refuse collection expensive because of door to door collection. It was explained that some nations insist on people separating and delivering waste to collection points.
The Committee pointed out that the amount of litter collected was insufficient to cater for a large recycle plant. City of Harare which has the potential to be a recycle center was not being proactive in courting investors.
Mr. Sanungure, Mutasa RDC’s Community Health Officer gave an overview of the state of waste management. He explained that Mutasa RDC had ten rural service centers and one growth point. The RDC was collecting waste at Hauna Growth Point, Mutasa District Service Centre, Watsomba Rural Service Centre, Manicabridge Rural Service Centre, Tsvingwe Townships and Penhalonga Township. The RDC procured its own dumper truck for the purpose of refuse collection and was waiting for its delivery. While waiting for the truck, three contractors were engaged to collect solid waste. In busy areas such as Hauna Growth, Tsvingwe Township and Penhalonga Township, waste was collected twice per week and in other areas once a week. The council said they provided bins at the business centres for disposal of waste. At the time of the Committee’s visit, the council had no system in place of separating waste and had no cages at the centers where different kinds of waste can be disposed.
Mutasa RDC had six communal septic tanks and three sewer ponds and these were managed directly by the RDC. Rural Service Centers used individual refuse pits for refuse disposal and the refuse was collected from the pits when full by the RDC. Mutasa RDC makes follow ups to business centers to make sure the business owners dispose of their refuse in a proper manner. To force compliance, those who do not meet the laid down standards will not have their shops licenses renewed. It was explained to the Committee that inspections were done to small business owners to make sure waste was disposed in a proper manner.
The RDC had partnered with some companies like Delta and Chiedza in an effort to have the waste recycled. The RDC was also considering recycling of saw dust from timber to see how it can be used as a source of energy.
Tour of Projects
The Committee toured Sanyatwa Market Stalls and bus terminus which were clean but were not fully operational as there were very few people occupying the stalls and buses were not using the bus terminus. The business center was clean and had no litter. However, there were no concrete bins or plastic bins at the market stalls or bus terminus for waste disposal. The RDC was in the process of providing water to the market stalls from a borehole which had been drilled. What was left was to connect pipes from the borehole to the market stall and the ablution facilities used by the traders.
The Committee also visited the dumpsite area which looked very small and shallow. The refuse in the small pit did not look like it was disposed recently. The RDC was urged by the Committee to improve on the dumpsite by developing a bigger and dipper dumpsite.
Mutare City Council
The Environmental Health Officer, Mrs. Muyambuki briefed the Committee on the state of waste management in Mutare. In terms of equipment, the Committee was informed that Mutare City Council had five refuse trucks against a required fleet of twelve. It had three compactor trucks and one skip truck for use in refuse collection.
It was mentioned that some areas in Mutare needed to have refuse collected on a daily basis and with the five trucks it was not possible. One truck would service four to five areas per day. It was submitted that of the five refuse trucks, two were no longer reliable and had frequent breakdowns resulting in backlog in refuse collection and residents dumping waste. The city was planning to increase the fleet by purchasing two more refuse trucks in 2021.
The Environmental Health Officer indicated that about 18000 tonnes of refuse was being collected monthly. There was no separation of waste at source and waste recovery was being done at the landfill by private players. However, Community Health Clubs had been created and will assist in waste separation at source. A company called Clean City had indicated an interest to go into partnership with Mutare Council in the collection of recyclable waste.
Tour of Landfill
The Committee visited the landfill for Mutare City which was said to have been used for over fifty years but were planning to move to a new site but the move was affected by high costs of developing a new landfill. The landfill was well managed and was big enough for refuse disposal.
Mr. Jaravaza, the Chief Executive Officer gave a report on the state of waste management in Nyanga. He informed the Committee that Nyanga RDC used a reliable refuse compactor for refuse collection twice a week in all residential areas in Nyanga urban while refuse bins were provided in all public areas. The RDC had a tractor and dumper trailer as backup for refuse collection. In Ruwange District Service Centre, refuse was collected from the public areas such as bus terminus, the green markets and flea markets by fulltime council employees.
Nyanga RDC had no lined refuse disposal facility that is compliant with EMA standards. The RDC complained that they pay a lot of money to EMA as disposal permit fees. They accused EMA of failing to provide local authorities with the design for the compliant lined refuse disposal facility for adoption by local authorities. The RDC said EMA does not invest/plough back the punitive permit fees it collects from local authorities in the development of proper landfills in order to solve the problem of ground water pollution which EMA accuses local authorities of causing.
Tour of the projects
The Committee conducted a tour of Nyanga’s dumpsite. The dumpsite was fairly developed and well managed although it did not meet the EMA requirements. The dumpsite was being used and is located far from the residential areas.
The Committee also toured the Nyamhuka Township and the market stalls. The area was free of litter and the new constructed stalls looked decent for use by informal traders.
Gweru City Council
Mr. S. L Sekenhamo, the Director for Health Services for the City of Gweru briefed the Committee that the City of Gweru generates around 9000 cubic meters of solid waste on a monthly basis, the source being household, industrial, institutional and medical waste. The City
Council’s efficiency in waste collection was at +/- 70%.
Waste Management services in Gweru were funded from the council’s coffers. There were private players like Delta Beverages which provided assistance to the council in terms waste handling. Delta Beverages provided collection cages at most business centres where sorting was carried out.
Waste management fleet
Gweru City Council had a total of 10refuse compactors. Of the total fleet, only four refuse compactors were on the road, 3 trucks were beyond repair and costly to repair since the vehicles are ex-Germany brands which were phased out. The parts for the ex-Germany trucks are no longer locally available hence the trucks remain in a state of disuse. The council had three refuse trucks which were in a good condition as they were purchased between 2016 and 2018. The existing fleet was inadequate for the council to effectively and efficiently manage its waste. In a bid to effectively execute its mandate, the council indicated to the Committee that, there was need to purchase the following refuse equipment:
|Refuse Compactor Trucks||7|
|Skip Bin Truck||1|
|Tractor drawn skip lag||1|
|Front end loader||1|
Waste Disposal Sites
In Gweru, waste was disposed at McFadden Farm disposal site. The Triple C approach was used to manage waste at the site which is confine, compact and cover. However, the city did not have a landfill but had plans in place to develop a standard landfill as per EMA requirements.
The Committee toured Kudzanai Bus terminus, Kombayi market and Irvine bus terminus which were under construction. A state of the art market and bus terminus were being constructed at Kudzanayi. The Committee also observed that vendors that were initially operating at Kudzanayi bus terminus relocated themselves to an open space adjacent to Mutapa high density suburbs after the railway line. It was pointed out that the council was hardly providing any waste management services at the site. However, the area was generally clean as the vendors were able to organise the cleaning of the area by themselves.
Kwekwe City Council
The Kwekwe City Council Director of Health Services, Dr M. Muchekeza briefed the Committee that Kwekwe City dealt with solid waste which include household, industrial, commercial and medical waste. The major solid waste sources in the city were households, institutions, shops, markets, and industries. In 2019, population served was 99 429 out of a projected population of 111 718. Given the magnitude of the population, an average of 17 904 tonnes were generated and 16 851 tonnes were collected in 2019.
In 2020, a total of 100 077 out of a projected population of 108
359 was served. An average estimate of 16 114 tonnes of waste were generated and an average of 14 521 tonnes were collected in 2020. This gives an approximate percentage efficiency in waste collection/management of around 90% by the Kwekwe City Council. All types of solid waste were deposited at Amaveni Dumpsite, which is located at +/- 900m from the Amaveni residential area.
Kwekwe City Council used the Triple C approach to manage its waste at the disposal site. The waste was firstly confined to the area and spread out. After the spreading out of the waste, compaction then followed. Lastly, the waste was compacted, covered with soil or rubble. No waste was converted to energy by the City Council of Kwekwe, however, there were plans in place to use bio digesters to produce energy.
Solid waste collection fleet status
Solid waste trend analysis (2016-2020)
There was a general increase in waste generation which mirrored population growth from 2016 to 2020. The amount of solid waste collected increased significantly from 2016 (12 390 tonnes) to 2019 (16 850 tonnes). However, there was a slight dip in 2020 (14 521 tonnes) due to COVID-19 impact on economic activities.
Recycled Solid Waste in 2019 And 2020
There was an increase in recycling activities from 2016 to 2019 and a decrease in 2020 as shown in the table below.
|Material||Amount in tonnes in 2019||Amount in tonnes in 2020|
|Low Density Polyethylene (LEDPE)||54||43.1|
|High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)||65.7||71|
|Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)||0.8||0.6|
There was no specific segregation of waste by Kwekwe City Council. The Council had no disposal site reserved for hazardous solid waste despite the fact that Kwekwe City was identified nationally for hazardous waste disposal site.
Medical waste from city and private health facilities
|1||Total waste generated||Tonne||10.4||12.5||15.6||20.8||18.7|
|2||Total waste collected||Tonne||10.4||12.5||15.6||20.8||18.7|
Stakeholders Involved in Waste Management
Zimasco donated a refuse compactor in 2020 and used its tippers and loaders to remove refuse dumps in Mbizo area. Delta Corporation (Malting Plant and Chibuku Breweries) is a permanent member of cleanup campaign as well as Dendairy, SMEs, Vendors, Sable Chemicals and ZESA Munyati among others.
Amaveni dumpsite in Kwekwe, located 500m away from the Amaveni residential area.
Kwekwe City had old refuse trucks which frequently had breakdowns. The Committee was informed that there were plans in place to purchase new vehicles. Lack of a coordinated community participation in solid waste management was a challenge. There was need for an incinerator for medical waste and the plans were to have it constructed at the landfill site.
Gokwe City Council
The Acting Town Clerk, Mr Mandhlokuwa briefed the Committee that in terms of efficiency in waste management, Gokwe Town
Council’s coverage of door to door collection was estimated to be at
25%, overall efficiency of collection 13% and efficiency of recovery at
Solid Waste Management Policies
Gokwe Town had the following approved pieces of legislation in relation to solid waste management namely the Antilitter and Removal by-law and the Hawkers by-law. It also had the following pieces of legislation which are at draft level, the Public Health by-law and Stray animal by-law.
Most of the solid waste in Gokwe Town was generated from food premises especially food wastes from stores like Spar, Choppies,
Nyaningwe, Junior Mart and Junior Sports Bar and people’s markets which include the Craft Centre and Nyaradza markets. Vendors around Spar area, New Rank, Puzza and people in transit along Kwekwe road, pick up points in the Central Business District also generate a considerable amount of waste. Other wastes came from industrial processes which include among others, the wood shavings, electronic wastes and agricultural waste.
Coverage of refuse receptacles in Gokwe Central Business District was at 95% and 20%in residential areas. In addition to the communal bins being used in Gokwe Town, the Council procured 10 000 polythene bins to augment its refuse receptacles in order to improve on waste management specifically in the residential areas where there was a meagre coverage of refuse receptacles. The distribution for the procured bins was underway at the time of the visit.
In Gokwe communal areas, coverage of refuse receptacles was fairly good at 45%. The council had plans to procure additional 50 skip bins.
Solid Waste Infrastructure
Gokwe Town waste disposal site located at 1.5 km from the CBD.
Above is the current Gokwe Town Site Disposal Site. At the site, crude tipping was the method being used to get rid of the waste by the City Council. There was an average of three tonnes of waste disposed per day. However, the open tipping method was none compliant to the dictates and demands of the Environmental Management Act. The
Committee sought clarity on the Gokwe Town waste disposal site’s none compliance to the EMA from the management, Mr. A. Nyandoro, Chief Administration Officer, Acting Town Clerk Mr. J. Madhlokuwa and also the Mayor, Councillor Mr. Never Gwanzura and other Councillors who were present. The response was that the council engaged EMA on the issue and was given a plan with a budget of US$ 200 000 for a new waste disposal site which was way beyond the reach of the council’s coffers. However, EMA was working on new models that are tailormade for each individual council.
Refuse Collection Equipment
There was only one refuse tractor being used in Gokwe and the other one was being repaired.
Extent of Solid Waste Recovery
Only 1.3% of the waste was recycled mainly by Ziso Reutano Health Club which used the waste to make paving bricks. Some plastics and cans were collected for recycling in Harare and food wastes were reused for hog feeding.
Kariba Town Council
The Director Health Section indicated that Kariba Town had an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan. He highlighted that Kariba being a resort town, most of its waste consists of beer and soft drink cans, plastics, offal from the Lake Harvest fish factory, vegetation matter from gardens and debris from building construction. Thus,56% of the total waste was organic and the rest inorganic.
The council was using 90 litre plastic bins for onsite disposal of solid waste. The Council was also using open 210 litre drums for public places. In an attempt to effectively and efficiently deal with solid waste, the Municipality introduced a revolving fund earmarked for the supply of standard receptacles to residential areas. At the time of the visit, the Town Council was collecting solid waste from public places three times a week and once a week from residential areas using two compactor trucks and a tractor.
The council had no proper landfill and was using a dumpsite located within a game corridor. However, the council identified an area for the development of a landfill that is EMA compliant.
The Town Secretary of Karoi Town Council, Mr. Mutikane briefed the Committee that the council collected an average of 10 tonnes of solid waste per day and ten times more during the tobacco selling season. He said that, Karoi Town Council refuse fleet comprised of one truck which was functional and a refuse compactor which was under repair in
Harare. To effectively manage solid waste, the council resorted to hiring additional2 trucks to collect waste in the area. However, hiring costs were too high for the council’s budget.
Further to the above, the council had hardly any standard land fill. However, the town had a functioning dumpsite that was toured by the
Tour of dumpsite
The Committee toured Karoi Town Council’s dumpsite and
observed that there were recycling projects taking place at the site. The projects were a partnership between the council and members of the community. Recycling of plastics into paving bricks and compacting of the plastic litter were some of the activities taking place at the dump site.
During the tour the Committee was briefed that, to properly manage the dumpsite, the council gave authority to local companies to collect used cardboard boxes and scrap metals.
Bindura Town Council
The Town Clerk of Bindura, Mr. Chinowaita briefed the Committee that Bindura Town Council generated an average of 18 tonnes per day of solid waste and the efficiency in solid waste collection was at 80%. Waste collection was done fortnightly in residential areas although there were areas such as Claverhill, Garikai and Wood Brook which were not covered due to poor road network. The local authority also had a weekly waste collection schedule in the CBD which they were failing to maintain.
In Bindura Town, property owners provided their own bin sand about 40% properties had bins. The council in a bid to ensure that each property had a bin, it used to sell bins at subsidized prices. However, due to budgetary constraints the council was no longer able to sustain the subsidized bins program resulting in the 60% of properties without bins.
The Committee noted the availability of street litter bins in Bindura Town, however, the council complained that the bins were prone to vandalism and theft.
The Municipality owned the following refuse fleet, 2 by 17m3 compactors which were not working, three tractors (2 new and 1 old) and two tractor drawn trailers. The equipment was said to be inadequate to manage waste in the area.
Tour of the dumpsite
The Committee was unable to visit the dumpsite due to inaccessibility of the site by bus. The Committee was informed that small scale miners were also contributing to the poor state of the road by their illegal mining activities along the road. The Town Engineer highlighted that the council had no proper landfill however, it had purchased a piece of land at Barassie Farm for the construction of a landfill that is EMA compliant.
Epworth Local Board
Dr. Mhanda, the Town Secretary indicated that Epworth Local
Board consists of three farms namely Epworth, Adelaide and Glenwood. The farms initially belonged to Methodist Church who surrendered them to government after realising that the church could not control the rapid growth of the settlement. Epworth was formalised as an urban settlement in 1986 and the local board was created in 1986 to regularize and formalise the area. According to 2012 census, Epworth has a population of 167 500 and now the population is estimated to more than
There were no proper sewer reticulation infrastructures in
Epworth. Not every house hold was connected on sewer and reticulation.
Wastewater network coverage was limited to wards 1, 2, 5, 6 and part of 7 resulting in residents relying on onsite disposal facilities (septic tanks and soakaways). However, the Committee was informed that the above scenario was not an ideal situation and requires an offsite waste treatment facility.
Epworth had one waste water treatment plant with a capacity of 400 cubic metres per day which only covered Adelaide park high density suburb. Epworth had a waste water network coverage of 50km only which required major repairs in order to restore it to functionality. It was submitted that the wastewater system was clogged with debris and stones due to vandalised manholes.
In terms of solid waste, the council carried out door to door collection once a week in all suburbs using a refuse compactor. The council collected an average of 720 tonnes per month from formal areas where there are roads. The council provided a total of 12 skip bins at seven shopping centers which were emptied regularly.
Epworth Local Board did not have an engineered landfill and had no land to develop one. The council was using a dump site for its solid waste disposal.
Tour of dumpsite
The Committee toured the local board’s dumpsite and noted that there was no clear demarcation between the dumpsite and cemetery.
Some of the graves were covered by solid waste from the dumpsite. The Committee was informed that the council had plans to set up a waste recycling center in partnership with Sunshine group.
Challenges faced by Local Authorities in waste management
The following are challenges highlighted by local authorities visited:
- Fuel challenges due to most service stations charging in US$.
- High cost of maintenance of obsolete equipment.
- Lack of standard internationally recognised landfills due budgetary constraints and failure by EMA to provide the required specifications of a standard landfill.
- Illegal Dumping.
- Refuse collection charges below recovery cost.
- Sewer blockages due to increased population, foreign objects and vandalism of infrastructure by wild animals and the community.
- Shortage of refuse collection equipment and operational vehicles.
- Informal traders/vendors operating from undesignated places.
- Shortage of communal refuse bins in Central Business Districts.
- Spare parts sold in foreign currency.
- Lack of foreign currency for procurement.
- Punitive fines charged by EMA for non compliance rendering local authorities insolvent.
- Lack of arresting powers by local authorities resulting in local authorities not able to garnish their debtors’ accounts for money owed.
- Procurement of sub-standard equipment and machinery by the procurement board/authority in most visited local authorities even though the local authorities submit specifications that are suitable for the intended purpose.
The Committee made the following observation:
Most local authorities had constrained budgets for the construction of proper dumpsites and landfills resulting in them utilizing makeshift dumpsites.
High fines charged local authorities by EMA for noncompliant with waste disposal regulations further strains the councils’ budgets. The fines collected by EMA are not used to assist the councils in the development of landfills.
EMA was being unfair to penalise local authorities for failing to develop standard landfills when the agency had not yet come up with the standard requirements for the construction of the landfills.
Lack of foreign currency, obsolete equipment, rapid urbanization and lack of upgraded waste management infrastructure were the challenges bedeviling most local authorities.
Most local authorities were not recycling their waste.
The problem of transport operators and informal traders operating from undesignated areas was rampant. Recommendations
The Committee therefore, recommends that:
Local authorities should be given a relative autonomy by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works in the procurement of their equipment and machinery which must be in line with their submitted specifications by December 2021.
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry should ensure that fines collected by EMA in relation to non compliance with the Act in terms of waste management should be directed towards supporting local authorities to manage their waste by January 2022.
Government must explore the possibility of generating energy from waste by December 2022.
EMA must ensure that all local authorities are provided with the lay out plans for the engineered landfills by December 2021.
Local authorities must provide at least three bins for each household to encourage separation of waste at source by December 2021.
There is need for local authorities to be supported financially through loans and Public Sector Investment Programmes or to engage into Public-Private Partnerships to enable them to develop engineered landfills and to buy adequate equipment for waste management by June 2022.
Ministry of Local Government and Public Works should ensure that all local authorities implement by-laws to enforce compliance by the communities, informal traders and transport operators in terms of operating from undesignated areas and illegal dumping of waste by
December 2021. Conclusion
The management of waste remains a challenge for the nation at large. It is our responsibility as individuals, institutions, companies and communities to play our much needed roles in order to arrest the problems associated with waste collection and disposal. The disposal of refuse from its inception to its final disposal is critical and local authorities should therefore, enforce and adhere to waste related laws.
I thank you.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Let me start by commending our Chairperson of the Local Government Portfolio Committee for a very good detailed report on issues affecting almost every part and every town in this country. The problems in local authorities are the same, they are not different; there is just a repetition from one local authority to another. Mr. Speaker, these problems can be summarised into three.
Firstly, there is generally lack of proper development control, there is lack of proper town planning, hence these problems. Secondly, I do not want to call them stupid but generally there is lack of technical capacity in all the local authorities or all most all of them. Lastly, lack of innovativeness and development control because there is no way you can separate city planning from service delivery. If you look at all our cities, they were properly planned, being mindful that the city will grow. Things like a road, you cannot put a road for a temporary period; it has
to be in place for years and years to come because once you do not allow for the expansion of the city and you put small roads- when the city grows, you will be forced to demolish the buildings. Look at the roads in Bulawayo that is an indication of perfect town planning by the people that designed Bulawayo. If you drive on the Bulawayo Road right now, just in one direction, five lanes can fit, five vehicles can travel in the same direction although currently, only two vehicles can move in the same direction – that is proper city planning.
The engineers saw it fit that in future cars will be many, therefore they made a very big road, the same in Harare and all over.
Unfortunately, if you look at our current town planners, they are issuing out several residential stands and not putting similar development in refuse, water and roads management. The cities are sprawling but the infrastructure is not being planned. So clearly, you can see that one of our major problems is lack of town planning by our local authorities. The technical capacity – the job of an engineer is to provide technical solutions to social problems but unfortunately, maybe most of our good engineers have left the country. The few that are there are not capable to provide solutions to the social problems that people are finding. There is no excuse as to why we should have city problems for time immemorial. At some stage we must be able to say, in Harare the water problem has been solved but if you look at it there is no solution in sight. You sometimes wonder why the local authority’s administration meets every Monday for meetings if we still have a problem of toilets in Harare and shortage of water in Kariba where the Lake Kariba is plenty.
So clearly, the technical capacity is a problem in most of our cities. For example in Karoi, they have a shortage of water but there is a very big dam. However, because it is silting up, there is no more enough water for the growing town and we say to them, why not simply increase the spillway by even a metre which will double the storage capacity of your dam – those are simple solutions. The same valley where they have a dammed river, 200 or so metres downstream, another dam can be put to double the capacity of water but what they are thinking is to bring water from Magunje which is 30 km away.
Mr. Speaker, Epworth has no water and yet if you go to Epworth there is big pond which should cover almost a square or half a kilometer; a big subterranean pond, I think it is an old quarry, plenty of water, there are gardens around and the water has never been finished because it is fed from below. When the engineer was asked why they are not using that water, he said the water is a bit dark, the colour is not very attractive. However, they have never done some water testing to check for quality – simple solutions. That pond has plenty of water being put to waste but they are not sure whether it is good for consumption yetthey are looking for expensive solutions elsewhere.
EMA is charging every local authority for not having what they normally call a proper landfill or a standard international land fill. EMA itself does not even have technical capacity to construct that landfill. No local authority in Zimbabwe has got the capacity to build that very expensive international landfill. Even the world over, those are things that are designed in books and few countries can afford them but EMA is charging local authorities for not having those landfills which they cannot construct. So, this is one of the major problems that we noticed in our local authorities.
Innovativeness – Mr. Speaker, if you look at projects in many local authorities, it is copy and paste. If you see street lights in Gokwe, you are likely to see them in Lupane and all other new local authorities. It is like when one local authority finds a donor or a supplier of street lights, they will all go there and get the easier solutions. Most of the projects are duplication - look at the graders that they have, same quality, same type and when they are broken down, they all do the same. Look at their dump trucks, it is because these local authorities are not creative. You can single out some local authorities like Bulawayo - very creative, very independent and technically sound.
The last issue indicating lack of innovativeness, the world over there is money in refuse but our local authorities see refuse as a problem and yet other countries see refuse as money. If you go to China, when having a soft drink bottled in a plastic, you will find somebody waiting for you to finish the drink. The moment you finish, they will nicely request for the empty container because there is money in that empty container.
In Langkawi in Malaysia which is a third world country, they are making use of refuse. All the refuse is separated in the first instance, combustible refuse which burns is fed into a power station, generating
19 mega watts of power, supplying Langkawi and Putrajaya. The refuse – the plastic type is burnt into furnaces on the same site and molded into plastic pellets which are given to plastic manufacturers. How many plastic manufacturers do we have in this country? Just next here, we have Wessex Engineering, Rainbow Engineering, Tregers Plastics which is part of the Kango Group of Companies, Pro Plastics, etcetera. All those companies make irrigation pipes, paper bags but they have to import pellets from South Africa yet we have a problem with plastic refuse which could be easily converted. That is the job of engineers to think outside the box and make money out of refuse.
I think as long as we approach the problems the way we are doing, they will remain there because people are not thinking. Now, devolution funds are going to the local authorities but the problems are still there, so it is not money but lack of innovativeness. I thank you.
(v)HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to debate on this topical issue. Firstly, I want to thank Hon. Chikukwa for coming up with such a lovely motion and Hon. Gabbuza for seconding it.
When we talk of waste disposal issues, we are speaking of the core of how a nation is run. I think you remember that His Excellency the President, E. D Mnangagwa has been carrying out the cleaning campaign every month. Even us in the opposition used to regularly clean before the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we need to go back to that. Let me come to the issue of waste disposal. Unfortunately, we are just looking at the symptom of the problem. The cause itself is not being looked at. I just want to differ with Hon. Gabbuza when he said that funds are not an issue. For me, capital is an issue - why, because at the moment 32% of the residents in Harare are the ones who are paying their rates. The rest are not paying because they are saying refuse is not being collected and sewage is not being disposed properly, there is no water and there are no roads. Basically, the cause of all this is the amount that councils are collecting. We need to help the councils to start collecting more by improving some of these things like the issue of refuse disposal that we are speaking of today.
Some residents are refusing to pay bills because there is nondisposal of waste. Even in Mt Pleasant itself where I come from, they are saying improve refuse collection first because we do not have water and roads but what we want first is a clean Harare. They want a clean city. As long as we do not perform in terms of waste disposal, we are also going to have councils which have problems in capital. The capital is required by the dumper trucks. I am of the opinion that each urban ward in cities should have at least a dumper and each urban ward in a town should have at least a dumper for two wards. I also propose that for each Rural District Council wherever they have a town setup, they need at least one to cover that entire town.
Another challenge that is being faced in terms of refuse collection is schedule. I remember there was a time when Harare had a refuse schedule and they used to follow it religiously and waste used to be collected. If a study is to be made, it would be realised that when the refuse was being collected on time, even residents were paying even more. I remember studies that were made at that time showed that 53% of the people were paying their rates when refuse was being collected but now it is no longer the case because refuse is not being collected. In Mt. Pleasant, there are some organisations which have come up with recycling of waste. They separate waste and do exactly like what Hon Gabbuza was saying and they are trying in their little way to do that. I also urge other councils to do the same thing. In Mt Pleasant, after every two weeks, we have got a recycling day especially on Saturdays but right now because of COVID, it has stopped. We need to have that in all constituencies.
To show you how terrible this problem is, even in Mt. Pleasant, there was a time when residents dumped waste at Mt. Pleasant District Office saying Harare City Council is not doing its job and they only stopped when Harare City Council started bringing in PPP with CleanCity because Clean-City had the dumper trucks and they tried to solve the problem. We need PPPs with companies which have got capacity to do this job.
The issue of devolution, these districts, urban and rural councils, are failing to dispose of waste because when they collect the funds, most of it is going to their central district office. I propose that each ward should keep 25% of the funds at that ward or district level and the rest will go to the main council. That which is retained will be used to buy bins. I also propose that since there will be one dumper per district, that dumper would then be repaired using the funds that have been retained at a particular collection point.
On 20 August 2020, Combined Harare Residents Association raised a petition with Parliament that Harare City Council had bought 29 dumper trucks. Of those 29 dumper trucks, only 14 were delivered and the other 15 were not. We want those 15 to be delivered. They flighted an advertisement sometime in May saying that they want to buy more refuse trucks. What happened to those dumper trucks which were bought but not delivered? That issue has to be taken to its root problem. The issue of fuel problems and maintenance cost can be helped if those district offices retain their 25% at point of collection.
Lastly, I just want to speak about the issue of Pomona which is in
Harare. It also happens to be in my constituency Mr. Speaker Sir. Pomona is now at the centre of town. Harare needs to find a new landfill. If you go where I stay, when you wake up in the morning, there is smoke in the air and that is a hazard both to human beings and climate. So, Harare has to move its current landfill from where it is to another area because Pomona is within a residential area. The latest housing development by IBDZ is right next to Pomona and it is something that Government has poured money into through the Budget which we have approved as Parliament. I am calling for the Ministry to say, can you reconsider where the refuse site for Harare is. I thank you. HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank our Chairperson Hon. Chikukwa for this wonderful report and the seconder Hon. Gabbuza. Waste management is a very important and integral part of the protection of the environment of our country, be it solid or water waste management. Hon. Gabbuza earlier on alluded to innovation and one Hon. Member has advised the country to go into biogas production. He said that waste can be seen as just waste but it can also be very useful. We can utilise solid waste and produce biogas, that is the innovation that Hon. Gabbuza was talking about.
In waste management, when you dump waste anyhow, there is gas production which is very dangerous to the air that we breathe. Ideally, all towns and cities should have landfills. They are very expensive but we have these devolution funds that we have just decided to give to the local and urban authorities. I would suggest that going forward, we should allow them to plan for such things which they should prioritise and say how much do we need for a landfill because when we just dump this money to these local and urban authorities, they do not prioritise. As we were going round, most structures that were constructed were flea market stalls. I am not against them Mr. Speaker Sir, but what we forgot was these flea markets generate a lot of waste. So we have started with what generates waste before planning on how we are going to dispose of the waste. On the way forward, I would think it is best that the local authorities and the urban authorities are given time to plan and give a budget of what is it that is important, what is it that is urgent for these cities before we start encouraging people to generate waste.
A landfill is very protective of the ground water because it has a planned way of collecting leachate. When I was growing up, Bulawayo used to collect waste water, treat it and that waste water used to water the park. As you enter Bulawayo through Leopold Takawira, that place used to look beautiful and green. People would go there to take photographs during their weddings, but now it is dry because we have let the infrastructure dilapidate and for us now to restart, we need more funds. We will complain and say these things are expensive. I am saying these devolution funds, can they be utilised on such things so that we can continue saving our water which is already a problem in our cities and use the reclaimed water.
What we need to do, Mr. Speaker, is just maybe buy the chemicals to treat the water from the waste management water plants. So I would like to say we do not need rocket scientists, like Hon. Gabbuza said. It is just innovation, common sense on what we can do with regards to solid waste management.
I would also advise that we should have a policy that is enforced to separate solid waste at source. Our refuse trucks collect mixed waste yet if we had a policy that every homestead or every business separates waste at source, then these trucks would be collecting according to the categories of the waste and we are not going to have this whole mixed waste dumped in these dump sites because it is also very environmentally unfriendly. In most of these dump sites, there are so many flies and these are the same flies that fly to our homes. So we have increased problems now because when these flies fly to our homes, they are bringing in bacteria from these dump sites and these lead to diarrheal diseases.
I am thinking, Mr. Speaker Sir, we just need to plan well, take our time. We should not rush into these things because we have devolution funds. Let us just utilise these funds. Let us sit down and plan what is more important, what should come first. Let us prioritise. So I would like to urge the Government to allow these authorities to start planning and not just dump this money.
The structures that were built that we saw in these cities are beautiful but they are the worst waste generators. So I think it is very important, Mr. Speaker, that we go back and sit down on the drawing board and say what is it that is important, how do we reduce waste generation? Thank you Mr. Speaker.
HON. MUTAMBISI: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 25th August, 2021.
On the motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON.
MPARIWA, the House adjourned at One minute past Five o’clock.