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SENATE HANSARD 07 April 2016 25-40
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 7th April, 2016
The Senate met at Half-past Two o’ clock p.m.
(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform
the Senate that I have received non-adverse reports from the PLC on all but one Statutory Instrument published in the Government Gazette during the month of February, 2016.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
*HON. SEN MUMVURI: My question is directed to the
Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services. Recently, there have been reports of the Net One saga, which is impacting negatively on the Ministry. What is Government policy regarding this problem?
*THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MANDIWANZIRA): Thank you for the question Hon Mumvuri. Let me explain that the on-going problem at Net One is an issue which was enunciated by His Excellency, Cde R. G Mugabe as he urged
Government to fight corruption to the end in parastatals. Even in his
Ten Point Plan, he highlighted that the biggest enemy in the Ten Point Plan is fighting corruption, therefore each Ministry has tasked to fight corruption in parastatals. As a result, we urged the Net One Board to investigate the problems in Net One.
What really worried us was that we have three cellular telephone companies in this country namely; Net One which is owned by Government; Econet, which is privately owned and Telecel which may soon be a parastatal in the next two months. When we compare the first two companies, the best performer is Econet with 8 million subscribers followed by Net One with 4 million subscribers. But when we look at the profits which are raised by these companies, Econet makes about $200m to $300m per year while Net One is making a loss and yet they are supposed to make half of what Econet is making. We therefore suggested that there be management restructuring. After the management restructuring, the board appointed a new Chief Finance
Officer. As a result of this restructuring, we have a new Chief Finance Officer and this Chief Finance Officer addressed the board showing that she had unearthed some potentially corrupt activities which had been happening at NetOne.
The corrupt activities included companies which were paid for some services which were never delivered to NetOne. Some finances were directed to different to companies in contrast to those which had been awarded the tender. We have companies that supplied fuel and were supposed to be paid without showing proof of delivery of the fuel.
Top executives were pursuing payment all the same. For instance where payment of US$187 000 was instance demanded, it was discovered that only US$83 000 was due. As a result, because of these problems the board called for a forensic audit at their board meeting in December 2015. As the mother Ministry, they asked whether we concur with the undertaking of a forensic audit and we agreed because we are fighting corruption together. Forensic audits have to be done in line with good corporate governance and in line with His Excellency, President R. G.
Mugabe’s 10 Point Plan for economic turnaround.
All financial problems facing Government and parastatals should be handed over to the Comptroller and Auditor General. The
Comptroller and Auditor General is now looking for forensic auditors to do the audit. As a ministry, we do not interfere with the work the board the Comptroller and Auditor General are doing. We do not want to be seen as interfering on what is going on at NetOne. We believe the Comptroller and Auditor General is going to unearth whatever was going to make all things clear within the results of the forensic audit. *HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: I know we have heard of the
results of this audit which is going on. We only hope that when this has been done, the people who are responsible in these corrupt activities will be taken to court and tried because in the past, we have had such people just being arrested and no further action taken. As the people who are suffering from these corrupt activities, we need to know what steps will be taken to punish these people.
HON. MANDIWANZIRA: I will talk with regard to ICT, Postal and Courier Services regarding NetOne. We are not only talking of NetOne, but we have lots of companies which are under our Ministry. I would like to inform this august House and the public that when we have been given an audit report from the Comptroller and Auditor General, if there is somebody fingered as to having indulged in corrupt activities, we will take them to the police and ask for the arrest of the perpetrators. The monies which have been abused are public funds. Ways and means will have to be taken so that money is given back to the Government. If you accumulated some property, that property will be sold to refund Government.
Zimbabwe has suffered a lot because of corrupt activities. Madam President, when you look at what is happening in the Ministry, we have never said anything about it. It is the Auditor General’s Office and other officers. We are saying to those people who are discussing things which do not concern them, please be patient until an audited report has come out. We have heard people talking and quoting Ministers and even high offices, we are silent and we await the Comptroller and Auditor-General to come up with its report. As a Ministry, we are saying whoever has been fingered in corrupt activities is going to suffer the consequences. His Excellency, President Cde. R.G. Mugabe gave us a mandate to perform and we will perform to the expectations. We are not going to be side – tracked or intimidated.
HON. SENATOR CHIMHINI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Minister, there is a new development where we are talking about the National School Pledge.
Have you really considered what it is all about? Have you consulted the parents or stakeholders so that you get their views because we do not want to have a situation where there is an imposition, people do not know exactly where it is coming from and what we want to achieve.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Let me
thank Hon. Senator Chimhini for that important question about the National School Pledge. He asks basically two questions; have you considered where it is coming from and also have you consulted to make sure that everyone is on board with it. Madam President, the school pledge that we have adopted as a Ministry was crafted after our consultations for the new curriculum. Where it comes from is basically the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Here are some aspects of that pledge. It says, ‘Almighty God in whose hands our future lies’. If you listened to the Prayer before the business of the Senate started, there was reference to Almighty God in the same manner the school pledge refers to ‘Almighty God in whose hands our future lies’. There is a pledge that infants are going to recite. Infants mean ECD (A), ECD (B), Grade 1 and 2. This is a very simple pledge which talks about Almighty God in whose hands our future lies.
Then it goes, ‘I salute the National Flag’. Then it says, ‘I commit to the dignity of hard and honest work’. Those are the three lines that the pledge says. If you go to our Constitution, you will find those words actually being plucked from our Constitution.
Then there is a pledge that all the other learners are going to recite from Grade 3 all the way to Form 6. It starts with the same words,
‘Almighty God in whose hands our future lies’. Then it says one aspect, respecting the mothers and fathers who laid in the national liberation struggle, basically Chimurenga, imvukela. It then goes to say
‘acknowledging the richness of our natural resources. It also says, ‘also acknowledging the richness of our cultures and traditions. It goes on to say, ‘I salute the National Flag and I commit to the dignity of honesty and hard work.’
If you look at that pledge, it is building consciousness among our learners to love their country, to understand that they have a rich heritage of natural resources and culture and they are also committing to their country and saying ‘I respect the dignity of hard work. Basically, they are saying, we are not going to be corrupt but we are going to eat what comes from our hard work. Those are the aspects of the pledge and it is mainly coming from our Constitution.
The objective is to have learners who have patriotism and consciousness about their country and also say we are masters of our own destiny and will use our own natural resources through hard work to create value for ourselves. That is where the pledge is coming from. Have we consulted? The Constitution itself came about after a thorough consultation. Everyone here knows about the consultation that was associated with the constitution building. The fact that the pledge is getting its words from the Constitution says, in fact, there was consultation that built the Constitution.
As we did our outreach for the new curriculum, we consulted widely. The first consultation took place on November 28, 2014. Every school in this country became a venue for consultation, where we brought in the parents, leaders, other stakeholders like the School Development Committees (SDCs), the community leaders and any other organization within that community was invited to come and make their presentations about what kind of curriculum they wanted. Issues of the national pledge were also on the agenda, to say we now want to do a national pledge like other countries do. Do you support it? We consulted almost a million people through that process.
After that consultation we came back and did what we called the zero of the curriculum. In the zero draft, there is that pledge. We went back through a confirmatory process, back to the same stakeholders to say; this is what we have come up with in as far as the new curriculum is concerned. We had also included the verbiage of the national pledge and we consulted. Just two weeks ago, after the Cabinet’s approval of the zero draft, we went back to all our provinces talking about these issues and indicating that we are going to launch the national pledge on May, 3 as schools open for the second semester. There has been widespread consultation. I can assure you Hon. President that there is no question about the consultation process as far as the national pledge and our new curriculum are concerned.
We are quite happy that we did our part as far as consultation is concerned. We are sure that the entire nation had given their input into it. It is also coming mainly from our Constitution. There was prior consultation that took place during the Contitution building process.
Thank you Madam President.
HON. SEN. JUBA: Thank you Madam President. I just want to understand about what is happening in Matebeleland North. Our children speak Tonga, Nambya, Ndebele and other languages, but Shona is very hard. However, at the end of the day, you find out that the teachers you bring to Matebeleland North do not even speak the language, even to say salibonani…
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Order, order Hon.
Senator. I am addressing all Hon .Senators. When you stand up to pose a supplementary question, the question has to be related to the original question. So, yours is a new question and you are free to ask it as an independent question. It cannot qualify as a supplementary question.
HON. SEN. JUBA: Hon. Minister, we have a problem and our children are not learning because they do not understand the language. If you go there and talk to those teachers, they do not understand what you are talking about. However, my question is, how are the children going to learn if they do not understand the language. We are appealing to the Government to bring people who speak or try a little bit so that our children will be free. I have got the ECD ones, they cannot even write because they cannot speak Shona. I thank you Madam President.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam President and
thank you Hon. Senator for asking the question. I am sure the Hon.
Senator stands in the same shoes that we are standing in ourselves. We need a teacher supply that responds to the very issues she is raising. I am not a training ministry, I merely receive trained human resources and we do the best we can with them.
If the Hon. Senator could raise sufficient numbers from the constituencies, I am sure our counterpart, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education will be very happy to train them and allow them to become teachers. I thank you.
*HON. MUMVURI: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economioc Empowerment. A few days ago, the Ministry went on an outreach programme in different areas. Mashonaland East was given hundreds of thousands of dollars for the youth projects. However, only US$1000 was paid as a revolving fund. What is the Ministry doing to recover that money and what are the plans regarding future programmes for the development of the youths in the country?
*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF YOUTH, INDIGENISATION
AND ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT (HON. TONGOFA): Thank you Madam President for giving me the opportunity to respond to Hon.
Senator’s question. This is a headache to the Ministry because we are looking for ways of recovering the loans advanced to the youths. The youths who were given these loans have nothing to show that they were given monies. We visited provinces such as Mashonaland East with Hon. Mushowe and some of these youths indicated that they opened up some projects that they are operating but some did not start even a small project. We now have problems in recovering these loans. Some youths were given $1 000 and some were given $500. The cost of recovering the money will be more than the money advanced. Therefore, our strategy in the coming phase is the beneficiaries of such loans should be youths who have knowledge in the management of business. When they bring a project proposal, it should be a viable project.
Also, we have realised that in the past, the youths who obtained these loans all wanted to go into poultry farming but when the birds have reached the selling stage, they have no market. The birds are either eaten at home or are given out as credit to bad debtors. As a result, they fail to pay back the loans. As a Ministry, we are now proposing that these loans be given to a group. It will be easy to follow up because we will not be following up individuals. We have realised that tracking a loan for an individual is more expensive.
The other step we will take is that we will be working hand-inhand with traditional leaders, Members of Parliament or any organisations within that area who would have worked with the youths and help them look for viable project proposals. We have realised that in the past, when some youths were given loans, some would go for leisure activities such as beer drinking and some even buy cars or pay lobola.
Monies were coming from CABS and each province was given $10 million. The loans that were given out are $4.5 million and the only amount recovered was $1.5 million. We had meetings with CABS so that we can re-launch this project. We are now in the process of working on the modus operandi for this project to be a success. We will also be requesting guarantors who will be able to guarantee the loans advanced to these youths. The guarantors should be assured of the fact that should the youths fail to re-pay, properties will be attached from the guarantors. Therefore, we are saying guarantors should be told that this is what it involves. If you guarantee somebody, when they default, you will be held responsible for repayment of those loans.
When we launched this programme, we thought that it would be a revolving fund and when they pay back, monies will be advanced to other youths who want to go into projects. The youths should know that this is a loan and not a grant. Banks are working on the recovery of these loans and we are working together with the banks so that we tell them that we want those monies. Banks will go to the youths and the youths will say the money belongs to the Ministry and the Ministry will tell them that the money belongs to the banks. Hence, we are saying let us put our heads together and work as one. The youths should be told that these loans are a revolving fund. After you have benefited, your colleagues should also benefit. We have started on a new programme in order to help the youths. Let me emphasise and say youths need to be assisted and we should have a consistent supply of cash instead of having an ad hoc programme. We have a lot of youths who are coming from colleges, universities and Vocational Training Centres. They graduate into the streets and as a result, they need to have projects which are in concurrence with what they studied. We therefore need to put up a fund which is going to be used in funding youth projects. At the moment, we do not have a permanent fund but we depend on getting the funds from the banks that are facing financial difficulties.
We have a programme called LEAF, which is an economic empowerment facility and is going to assist the youths in financing. When we have been advanced these loans by the banks, we will give you the modus operandi of the coming fund. We also have an ILO programme which is going to assist. The programme they have is TREE, which is Training for Rural Economic Empowerment. We looked at this project and said it is a very good programme. The
Minister of Finance and Economic Development has promised us that he is going to assist with the funds so that we take over what has been done by the ILO.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Thank you Madam President.
My question is directed to the Minister of Rural Development, and Preservation of Culture and Heritage. How far have you gone with the ethanol project where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a national level? This project is in Mbire in Mashonaland Central. What is the current position?
THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A.
NCUBE): Thank you Madam President. Unfortunately, I am not aware of the project and also I do not think that if falls within my Ministry. I hope that the question will be referred to the relevant Ministry. Thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA: Madam President, I am not
really content by the response given.
*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Thank you Madam President.
My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. Minister, I am not racist or tribalist, but is it possible for parents to go to schools and train children traditional dances. In my constituency, children are being taught a dance called ‘chinyamusasure’ and they will be singing songs like dzinonwa munasave or other mhondoro music. All we know is that we have some other dances which belong to those areas. Children should be taught traditional dances which obtain in their constituencies. For instance in Hurungwe, there is for Chinyamusasure and Dzemhondoro and in other areas, there is mbakumba while in Mashonaland Central or Mhondoro, there is Jerusarema.
*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Let me start by thanking the Hon Senator who asked the question on the cultural dances which are performed in Zimbabwe. When we were looking at enhancing the education curriculum, this was accepted by Cabinet on 22nd September, 2015. There are two or three aspects which we may discuss in response to the question that has been posed. In the new curriculum, especially in infants to grade two, there is visual and performing arts or expressive arts. That is where the learners are taught music, traditional dances and playing of traditional instruments which are prevalent in their areas of residence. There is also art which is involved so that each school is able to teach these studies to the young learners. Whatever item is used in training these children is introduced by the trainers, be it the teachers who were trained to teach those subjects or the parents in those areas.
If you go to junior levels, there is life skills education and this strengthens the curriculum and our culture as mentioned by the Hon. Senator. Also looking at junior school, we have juniors performing arts which will be perfecting what will have been learnt in the lower grades. As we advance we now talk about heritage and the Constitution, which talks about the culture of the people of Zimbabwe. Be assured that we are now very advanced in our education curriculum.
*HON. SEN CHIFAMBA: I would also like to find out from Dr. Dokora about the parents who are against the pledge which you have made for their children. What it means is that children will also make a pledge which they will not be able to follow up because they do not know what it means. As far as the parents are concerned, the pledge should be done at secondary level when the pupils are advanced in their thinking capacity.
*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): When I got into this House, my Deputy Minister was responding to a question which is similar to what has been asked and the question has already been answered.
HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: I would like to find out from the
Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier
Services about the Panama Scandal message that is circulating on
WhatsApp and Face book, about your involvement in corruption. As a Member of Parliament, I am concerned and you also have to be concerned because your name is all over the internet. Since you are in the Executive, I think Zimbabwe needs to know what is going on with this Panama scandal.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Before the
Minister takes the floor, it is unfortunate you were not here but he has already addressed that question in detail. So you will get it from the Hansard.
+HON. SEN TIMVEOS: My apologies Madam President, I am
sorry I was late.
+HON. SEN MLOTSHWA: Hon Minister Ncube, when we look
at the Constitution, it says that Zimbabwe is a Christian country but we also have our culture which we have to preserve. When you look at the musical programmes on ZBC and Christians are performing and singing they tend to look down upon the work of traditional healers and call it diabolic, yet that is the culture of Zimbabwe. What is your Ministry doing to ensure that people know that practicing of traditional healing is part of our culture and should not view it as being diabolic.
+THE MINSTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON.
NCUBE): The Constitution of Zimbabwe says there is freedom of worship and if you want to follow the traditional type of worship, it is up to you. If you want to follow Christianity or any other religion, you are free to follow any religion that you want. If you choose to play drums or traditional cultural dances, it is entirely up to you. Zimbabwe is a democratic country and a free country which believes in the conscience of individuals. Thank you.
+HON. SEN MLOTSHWA: My issue was on co-existence. All I
wanted to know is what they are doing as a Ministry to ensure that those that are Christians and those that practice witchcraft co-exist because it is allowed.
THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Senator, I
will not even call upon the Minister to respond to that.
+HON. SENATOR A. SIBANDA: I would also like to find out from Hon. Ncube about the sacred places in Zimbabwe such as we had, some certain fountains which were said to be sacred. We were not to do anything unholy in those areas. We had sacred mountains and caves, how much are we protecting these areas as Zimbabweans because we are not to do anything which is supposed to defile that place. We have some Christians such as the apostolic sects going to those holy springs and performing their rights, thus defiling our traditional places as defined by the chiefs. So my question is, are these places still as sacred as they were considered by our traditional leaders and culture?
+THE MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND
PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON. A.
NCUBE): Thank you Madam President for this question on sacred places which are being defiled by other religious sects. My Ministry as a department of culture, looks at the traditional beliefs of the people and also sacred places in Zimbabwe. According to our traditions and customs, these are sacred places. Therefore, no Government especially in the city in Harare, we cannot be able to look at what is happening at each individual places if it is being defiled. Therefore, if these sacred places are being defiled, people are supposed to go and report to the traditional leaders in that area that we have people who are defiling our sacred places. We have the traditional leaders, chiefs and kraal heads who will be able to go and talk to those people who are defiling our sacred places.
*HON. SENATOR MUMVURI: My question is directed to the
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development. Before I ask my question, I would like to thank Hon. Gumbo for the work he is doing. He is really working hard and making personal visits to the places, making it a point that the job is done. I will talk of the National Railways of
Zimbabwe (NRZ). This on-going strike is now a pain in the nation of Zimbabwe and families are suffering. What is Government doing to solve the problem of these grieving workers? They have stayed for a long time without receiving their salaries. What is the policy of Government regarding the people who are suffering because of the job they did and were never paid for it?
*THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): I
thank the Hon. Member for the comment and character which he has taken in asking his question. We need to be aware of the people who are in problems. The National Railways of Zimbabwe has workers who are aggrieved and these play a very important part in the economy of the country. As we are talking now, these people are in a bad welfare. Madam President, these workers have not been paid their full or partial salaries for a period which is over a year. As a result, the management which has been there has come to the extent of cutting down some of the salaries and even those of the management. There was a flat fee which was given with the highest person being given $700 from the thousands they were earning and the lowest had a salary of $170.
Despite taking that step of cutting down on salaries, we have companies like ZISCO, ZIMASCO, Hwange and Tongaat Hulett which were giving NRZ lots of business and keeping it afloat, viably but these companies are no longer able to give business to the railways. Tongaat Hulett for example, is a sugar manufacturing which was paying $800
000 per month but that contract has since been abrogated since October 2015. The Hwange Colliery used to give railways business of carrying coal to different areas, ZIMASCO is no longer carrying the ore to those areas. Consequently, the NRZ no longer has such lucrative contracts which used to give it money. As a result, there is no money to pay the workers.
The NRZ had said it was going to keep the workers at a minimum level so that they can carry out the work but unfortunately, like I have stated, the companies which were giving NRZ money are no longer giving anything. So, what was happening was the amounts which had been obtained by NRZ were given in grades such that different grades were paid certain amounts or certain percentages of their salaries but it is now tough to make those pledges for payment. As management and the Ministry, we are now looking at people who owe NRZ lots of monies and we are now going to these companies and pleading with them to pay. We know that some of these companies are Government companies and we are pleading with the Treasury to use TBs which can be converted into cash and workers given a minimum amount of the cut pay so they have something to take home.
We are following up on our creditors. Yes, it is tough and people are on strike but as administration and the Ministry, we have managed to pay some of the workers. Up to yesterday, we had made some payment to those people because we have made follow ups on some of the companies such as ZPC which have given some monies which we are going to distribute to the workers. We are not going to fully pay them but we will just give them a little to take home and sustain their lives. It is quite a difficult job but that is the best we can do.
At the moment, Government is importing maize and the NRZ is an important aspect in the movement of this grain into the country. We are appealing to the workers to give us some breathing space so that we can pay these monies. However, we are now saying we are no longer going to do any job before payment. Any job which has to be done, has to be cash up front, no credit but we want to take care of the welfare of the workers.
We are also continuing with negotiations on the recapitalisation of NRZ so that we are able to move all the goods which are supposed to be moved. The people’s welfare is at its worst and we need to look for ways and means of alleviating these problems. Now that I have given you this explanation, I am sure as Hon. Members you now understand. You have given me the chance to explain the appalling situation with the welfare of the National Railways of Zimbabwe and you may go and tell them the steps which are being taken by Government.
+HON. SEN. B. SIBANDA. : Thank you Madam President. My
question to the Minister is; what is the Ministry’s policy when it comes to traditional leaders who are actively involved in politics, whether by choice or forced?
+THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON.
- NCUBE): Thank you Madam President. My apologies, I find this question interesting. The traditional leaders who are involved in politics – I would like to know if he is speaking of chiefs or village heads, but what I want to say is that all traditional leaders are supposed to be apolitical. Looking at the issue of traditional leadership, I am not sure who amongst them is involved in politics. However, what I want them to do is to be apolitical and be just to all Zimbabweans without showing any kind of discrimination. It happens at times in different places as we live together as people, there is hatred and lying about each other. However, what we want is for traditional leaders to be fair to everyone and be apolitical. I thank you.
Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in terms of Standing Order Number
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
PLANS TO IMPROVE ADULT EDUCATION
- HON. SEN. MAVHUNGA: asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education whether there are plans to improve adult education in Zimbabwe.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
EDUCATION (HON. DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam President.
I thank the Hon. Senator for the question which helps us clarify the significance of the non-formal education sector or component in the Ministry.
The non-formal education sector complements and expands access to education services in the Republic. In March, 2015, the Ministry produced and launched an expanded National Non-Formal Education Policy. The policy requires that every school should establish a nonformal education classes. Previously, schools were required to apply for special status.
Further, the policy allows us to create and open distance learning opportunities at secondary school level. Previously, open and distance learning was available from the correspondence school only at primary school level. Independent colleges will form an association in accordance with the Statutory Instrument 371 of 1998. After the formation of the Independent Colleges Association, we will be constituting the College Advisory Council in compliance with the same Statutory Instrument.
Quality issues in non-formal education
Non-formal education classes will be handled by qualified teachers. Ordinarily, they are the same teachers who deliver classes in the full time component of the same schools. All independent colleges – this is a requirement, should be registered with the Ministry. Those that are not in compliance will be closed down.
Non-formal education learners will use the same learning materials prepared by our Curriculum Development and Technical Services division. These materials are by and large, the same materials used by the full time learners.
Education inspectors will supervise non-formal education programmes in the same way they supervise the full-time component of education delivery services. The two clear pathways of non-formal education relate to primary schools that offer basic literacy, simply young adults or adults who return to school because they want to be able to write and read numeracy figures and so on as they engage in various activities. So, basic literacy will be available, functional literacy and the Zimbabwe adult basic education programmes, where the target might be; they wish to cover two or three levels in one year. Like Grade one, two and three can be contracted and covered in one year and four and five can also be treated the same, depending on the entry point of the young adult or adults.
At the secondary school level, schools will offer part-time and continuing education, as well as open and distance learning programmes, where they can come back and say; ‘I want to deal with a specific discipline to gain a skill.’ That can be facilitated at each school. I want to thank you Hon. President.
ALLOCATION OF RESIDENTIAL STANDS BY VILLAGE
HEAD ZIN’ANGA UNDER CHIEF SEKE
- HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Rural Development and Preservation of Culture and Heritage to:
- Clarify the correct position regarding allocation of residential stands by Village Head Zin’anga under Chief Seke since Manyame Rural District Council is claiming penalties of US$1000 per household for illegal settlement, despite the fact that they were alloc ated the stands by a substantive village head.
- To explain the import of Section 282(d) of the Zimbabwe Constitution, which refer to the functions of Traditional Leaders vis-àvis Section 276 of the same Constitution which refers to the functions of Local Authorities?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
AND PRESERVATION OF CULTURE AND HERITAGE (HON.
- NCUBE): Thank you very much Madam President for the question raised by Hon. Sen. Chimhini in which he is requesting me to clarify the correct position regarding allocation of residential stands by Village
Head Zin’anga under Chief Seke since Manyame Rural District Council is claiming penalties of $1000 per household for illegal settlement, despite the fact that they were allocated the stands by substantive village heads. Madam President, I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for asking the question. However, it is pertinent to note that the said stands were allocated for residential purposes illegally by villagers within the village.
Most of the culprits have been convicted for illegal sale of communal land at the Magistrates’ Court. The majority of the beneficiaries are not bona fide descendants of the rural village in question but come from nearby urban centres, such as Harare and Chitungwiza. In addition, most of the beneficiaries were not looking for a stand to set up a rural homestead but residential urban stands and they form the bulk of the commuting public to surrounding urban centres.
Mr. President, the stands in question are not properly planned and have no appropriate amenities for an urban settlement. This august House may wish to know that the area in question is composed of 551 illegal households against a carrying capacity of 109 communal households. As such, the population has since surpassed the standard communal set up, complete with grazing land and agricultural fields. In addition, some of the stands are established on wetlands, under power lines, within road servitudes, on grazing lands and areas reserved for some other planned developments.
Given the above, Manyame Rural District Council was tasked by the Ministry to not only put an end to the illegal land allocations but also to re-plan the area appropriately. Mr. President, layout plans for the area in question were produced and approved by the Department of Physical Planning in 2015. Meanwhile, council is seized with a re-organisation exercise for the said area.
Mr. President, the Hon. Senator may want to know that the penalty being charged by Manyame Rural District Council is part contribution to the ultimate purchase of regularised stands and will go towards planning and development costs for the area.
The Hon. Senator has also asked that I should explain the import of
Section 282 (d) of the Zimbabwe Constitution, which refers to the functions of traditional leaders vis-à-vis Section 276 of the same
Constitution, which refers to the functions of the Local Authorities. Mr. President, the two sections of the Constitution show that both traditional leaders and Rural District Councils will play key roles vis-à-vis administration of communal land. The Ministry is working on the realignment of the different pieces of legislation to the Constitution. Detailed respective roles and functions of how the two will relate to each other in administering the land in question will be articulated through the alignment of the Traditional Leaders Act, Communal Lands Act and the Rural District Councils Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIMHINI: The first response where the Minister
talks about the numbers of people allocated, the question I raise is, if you are now talking of regularization, you are saying people have to pay $1000 as penalty and you regularise. I think you are throwing in confusion. Are people going to be removed or they will remain there?
Do they pay $1000, stands are regularised and they remain there? That part has not been explained.
HON. A. NCUBE: Thank you. It is Government policy that the land in a resettlement area must actually have a normal carrying capacity. When the Government enacted a law known as the Land Acquisition Act, it was mainly meant for agricultural purposes. This means agriculture entails mainly two aspects, that is, animal husbandry and cropping. Under normal circumstances, animal husbandry would always require enough grazing land for the livestock whilst cropping also requires enough land for cropping purposes. Once people overresettled or we start overgrazing livestock in those areas, it defeats the whole purpose of the land reform programme. I thank you.
STEPS TO REHABILITATE URBAN ROADS
- HON. SEN. CHIMHINI asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to explain the concrete steps the Ministry has put in place to rehabilitate urban roads which are in a sorry state, given that the role of collection of vehicle licencing has been taken away from Local Authorities and has been given to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development through ZINARA, and no meaningful allocations are transferred to Local Authorities for road maintenance.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. J.M.
GUMBO): Thank you Mr. President. I would also want to thank Senator Chimhini for asking this question. The rehabilitation and maintenance of urban roads is the responsibility of Local Authorities. It has not been taken away from them except for regional, primary and secondary roads passing through cities and towns, which are maintained by the Department of Roads in my Ministry.
The collection of vehicle licencing fees by ZINARA is meant to ensure that funds collected are disbursed to Local Authorities and used for road maintenance when Local Authorities submit their acquittals to
ZINARA. It is also meant to ensure equity in that some Local
Authorities hardly have any cars registered within their jurisdictions.
Hence, would literally get nothing even though cars still pass through them. The collection of licence fees by ZINARA has helped Local Authorities to realise those collections because they are now guaranteed of receiving money. If Hon. Chimhini can ask the question next week, I can come back and give him and all other Members here present, the amounts that we have given to Local Authorities. This is the reason why when Hon Mumvuri spoke about me going around, I said it is because I know that the money that we are giving to Local Authorities is being misused and misdirected. I will then be able to give you of the figures that we disbursed to the local authority of your concern. Then you can see that they have never been able to collect the amount of monies that they are getting through ZINARA. The moment ZINARA disburses the money to your Local Authority and they use it for the purposes that the amount is meant for and acquittals are made, we again give them more money. If they do not work, it is because they have misdirected the funds.
So I would be very pleased to come back and give you a chronology of the monies that we have given to your Local Authority and even for all the 60 Local Authorities we have in the country, for the information of all the Members here present so that when you go home, you can question why things are not being done and where they are putting the money.
ISSUANCE OF DRIVERS’ LICENCES
- HON. SEN. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development to state whether the Ministry is aware that driver’s licences are now corruptly issued at Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) test centres, at specific prices and not on the basis of driving competence of applicants. What are the Ministry’s plans to stop this?
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT: (HON. DR. GUMBO):
The Ministry has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption, in line with the aspirations of ZIM ASSET. In this context, my Ministry has implemented the following proactive strategies to curb corruption at the
- VID depots are grouped into three categories that is: small, medium and big, for purposes of analyzing their performance. The strategy helps the Ministry to monitor performance per depot and be able to identify the existence of wayward behavior through the analysis of daily, weekly and monthly returns and reports. This strategy has demonstrated its effectiveness since its inception in 2009, resulting in 32 officers being fired when it surfaced from the analysis on the returns that corruption was taking place at 13 VID depots namely; Eastlea and Belvedere in Harare, Chitungwiza, Gweru, Mutare, Chiredzi, Bindura, Kadoma, Victoria Falls, Zvishavane, Nyamapanda, Chinhoi and Marondera who issued 199 driver’s licences to undeserving applicants and these were cancelled by the Ministry.
- We have erected conspicuous notice boards at all VID depots and on March 3, 2016, introduced three toll free numbers, which are (08013121-3), informing members of the public to phone the supplied numbers if they have been asked for a consideration or a bribe by VID officials in order to pass a certificate of fitness test or to obtain a driver’s licence. The toll free numbers are also displayed at the rear of all VID vehicles. So, in this instance we also ask the support of the public whenever they are approached to do these corrupt activities.
- All depots have suggestion boxes strategically positioned for Members of the Public to air their views on service delivery.
- In line with SADC Harmonisation of standards for testing drivers, we have constructed in all VID yards, SADC standard hill starts, three point turn facilities, parallel parking and reversing facilities to enhance transparency and fairness by ensuring that 80% of the test is done in the yard - in the full view of the public, thereby reducing corruption tendencies. The remaining 20% of the tests are done in town, where senior officials carry out random quality control checks to minimize corruption tendencies.
- With respect to vehicles inspected, senior officials carry out random, quick but thorough quality control on vehicles inspected
by subordinates; that is, the vehicle will be recalled for checks on five main systems of a vehicle.
- We will be introducing in the near future, a balling system on a pilot basis at VID Eastlea. The system entails that learner drivers who would have come for a road test pick a ball from a basket with an office number leading them to an examiner who will take them for the test. This strategy is envisaged to counter pre-arranged corrupt practices.
- We have a dedicated multi-skilling strategy for all our officers; that is, every officer is trained as both an examiner and an inspecting officer. This strategy helps to remove pre-arranged corrupt practices and predictability from officers on duty in that the manager at any given time can reshuffle officers from driving examinations to vehicle inspections or vice-versa.
- VID carries out 24hour vehicle checks blitz, as a strategy to remove un-roadworthy vehicles from the roads as well as carrying out due diligence on certificates of fitness that would have been issued by our officers. The strategy also helps to nab and prosecute motorists who are found using fake driver’s licences.
- We have a three year transfer policy which helps mitigate against over familiarization with members of the public, which may lead to corruption.
- Examiners/inspectors are strongly instructed to switch off their phones whilst carrying out driving test duties or vehicle inspections. This strategy helps to remove the illegal networking between the examiners and members of the public.
- In line with the advancements in the global village, VID as a learning organisation will, in the near future move towards automation of its services, which will help to reduce direct human interface thereby reducing corruption.
- It is from best practice that we monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the above strategies for continuous improvement. Any reported case of corruption is investigated in order to get to
the bottom of it and appropriate action is taken as indicated in Item (1) above. We have got those twelve strategies to try and mitigate corruption. We cannot deny that corruption is taking place, but who really are the ones that make this corruption to go unnoticed is actually the public. So if the public can support the efforts that we are putting in place, I think we can be able to control, but probably not to wipe out corruption, but to minimize it. I thank you.
HON. SENATOR B. SIBANDA: I want to thank the
Minister because I think it is an honest reply and a very frank and curt reply. It is not a question but a comment, the corruption Hon. Minister, starts with the driving schools, so the net may need to be widened.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATE, DDF AND COUNCIL
- HON. SENATOR MASUKU on behalf of HON.
SENATOR MOHADI asked the Minister of Transport and
Infrastructural Development to clarify the difference between State, District Development Fund and Council roads and how these roads are maintained.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO):
Mr. President, State roads are main road networks which are classified as regional, primary and secondary roads, most of which are surfaced and are maintained by the Department of Roads in my
Ministry. These are the roads like Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road, Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road or Gweru, Kwekwe and so forth. Those are the major roads which are actually attended to by the Ministry. A few of these roads are still gravel roads. The District
Development Fund, commonly known as DDF and Rural District Councils (RDCs) share the rural road network. The greater portion being gravel and classified as tertiary roads. These provide access to service centres such as clinics, dip tanks and shopping centres to mention just but a few. Such roads are maintained by DDF and RDCs, and these are the roads that I did mention that if Hon. Senator
Chimhini can bring a question, I can be able to list out for you the monies that we have given to all our rural district councils so that you can see whether they have used the monies that we have given them to attend to such roads and also, when you come to our towns, the monies that we have given them so that they can attend to potholes that we see in our urban centres. I thank you.
MEASURES IN PLACE TO IMPROVE RADIO AND
TELEVISION SIGNAL IN REMOTE AREAS
- HON. SENATOR MASUKU on behalf of HON.
SENATOR MOHADI asked the Minister of Media Information and Broadcasting Services to state the measures the Ministry has in place to improve radio and television signal in remote areas situated at the borders with South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.
THE MINISTER OF MEDIA INFORMATION AND
BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSHOHWE): Mr.
President, Zimbabwe currently has some areas that are experiencing poor or no reception of broadcasting services due to underpowered and aged transmission equipment, most of which was installed as far back as 1972. The issue of radio and television inadequate coverage is however being addressed in the context of the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project (ZDBMP) which is currently being implemented by the Ministry and is now slightly over 30% complete. I am sure the august House is aware that the whole world under the guidance of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting platforms and June,
2015 was the deadline.
Zimbabwe developed its own plan for migration which the Ministry is implementing. The plan includes expanding the 24 TV transmission sites to 48 throughout the country and replacing the old radio transmission equipment in the existing 24 sites so as to restore and improve the national coverage. When installation is completed, the new transmission infrastructure will change the television signal from analogue to digital ensuring availability of the television signal almost everywhere in the country as well as improving radio reach to over 90% of national coverage.
Any further coverage gaps beyond the completion of the digitalisation project will be addressed through the use of gap fillers to ensure a universal access to broadcasting services throughout the country. The completion of the project will ensure that most areas, including some along our borders, that are currently experiencing difficulties in receiving broadcast signal to begin receiving clear signals of both radio and television, heralding a new era in broadcasting in the country.
Mr. President, the ZDBMP (Digitilisation Project) which I said is now slightly over 30% complete is scheduled to be completed this year subject to availability of resources. There are other competing national priorities which have seen the amount of money being made available by Treasury to the project as per the original budget being drastically reduced. Consequently, the project is stalling, at times almost stopping, though the Ministry is pressing on. I am sure Mr. President, Hon. Senators would have seen me country trotting the past three weeks or so, having been to Binga, Kamativi, Lupane, Masvingo and Manicaland inspecting the installation programme that is underway on this migration project. If the country is to realize the full benefits that come with this project, we should, as a nation, strive to finish the project in a reasonable time frame.
Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to explain to Hon. Sen. Mohadi and other Hon. Senators here present, that as part of the digitalization project, we carried out inspections as indicated, of existing broadcasting infrastructure throughout the country. The Beitbridge Tower was one of the numbers which was condemned for failing to meet acceptable engineering standards. As such, the Ministry, under the digitalization project, will erect a new tower at Beitbridge to replace the old one.
However, we will do it in a way that ensures minimum disruption of existing radio and television services by building the new tower whilst the old one is still in use. Mr. President, these are the efforts that the Government of Zimbabwe, through my Ministry, are making to ensure that there is universal coverage of both television and radio signal in the country. I thank you Mr. President.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MANDIWANZIRA): Thank you Mr. President. I move that Orders of the Day Numbers 1 to 6 be stood over until Orders of the Day Number 7 and 8 have been disposed of.
Motion put and agreed to.
RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND THE EXPORT-
IMPORT BANK OF CHINA
THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (HON.
MANDIWANZIRA): I move the motion standing in my name;
THAT WHEREAS Section 327(3) of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an International Treaty, but has been concluded or executed by the President or under the
President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe, does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;
AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China, relating to the Tel-One backbone Network and broadband access project being implemented by Tel-One (Priavate) Ltd was concluded on the 1st day of December, 2015, in Harare, Zimbabwe.
NOW THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327(3) of the
Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.
Mr. President, Tel-One (Private) Ltd is implementing a 116.8 million Backbone Fibre-Optic Transmission and Broadband Access Project, aimed at; replacing and upgrading and transforming its transmission backbone call and access network into a modern telecommunications infrastructure providing a wide range of voice data and video services.
To date, Tel-One has completed phase one of the project between 2010 and 2013 at a cost of US$18.2 million of which the Government contributed US$6.2 million and Tel-One, from its own resources, US$12 million. Phase One, comprising of the following routes; Harare-Mutare Fibre Optic Transmission, Harare-Bulawayo Optic Transmission and installation of the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Internet Protocol Microwave Radio Link.
Phase Two of Tel-One Backbone Fibre Optic Transmission and
Broadband Access Project will focus on the following components;
Capacity upgrade in northern parts of the country, that is Mashonaland
Central and West Provinces, Bulawayo-Beitbridge Fibre Optic
Transmission Route, Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Fibre Optic Transmission Route, Gweru-Masvingo Fibre Optic Transmission Route and supply, installation and commissioning of internet protocol multi-media systems access and converged billing system.
The Project Financing and Loan Repayment
Mr. President, on 1 December, 2015, Government and the Export Import Bank of China, signed a Preferential Buyer Credit Loan
Agreement amounting to US$98.6 million for Tel-One Backbone and Broadband Access Phase Two Project. The loan represents 85% of the contract amount. The balance of 15% of the contract has already been implemented and works completed under Phase One as alluded to
The US$98.6 million facility has the following terms;
- Interest rate of 2% per annum;
- Grace period of 5 years;
- Tenure, including grace period of 20 years;
- Management fees of 0.25%;
- Commitment fees of 0.25%;
Counterpart fund of 15%, which as mentioned before, has already been implemented under Phase One
Pursuant to signature of the loan agreement, an on-lending agreement will be signed between Government and Tel-One with the above terms. The proceeds due to Tel-One under the project will be ring-fenced into
Escrow account that will be jointly monitored by Government and China Exim Bank. The interest payment will be the first charge with the balance left for Tel-One to carry out its activities. The interest repayment will be based on the loan amount drawn down.
In the event the proceeds in the Escrow account are not sufficient to repay the interest and the principal of the loan, the loan agreement indicates that the extra revenues from Net One Escrow Account will be used to settle the Tel-One loan facility.
The expected benefits
Mr. President, the project is expected to yield the following results; Presents a platform where organisations can easily and readily access information across sectors;
- Provide cheaper, accessible marketing places as well as ease business transactions;
- Offer modern telecommunication services whereby clients can access data, voice, video services and information;
- Telecommunication gadgets will be used interchangeably with ease by the market, where a single number to use across either a land line or mobile device;
- Savings on calls made between landlines and mobile devices by providing alternative cheaper forms of communication like Viber and Skype;
- Local sub-contractors will be involved in the installation of equipment for the project;
- Contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with downstream effects that come with the growth of the ICT Sector;
10% growth in ICTs will result in 1.4% contribution to GDP growth. These are statistics by the World Bank;
- Enhance access to online services in sectors of the economy such as Education and Health;
- Transform Tel-One to become the preferred one-stop telecommunication services provider offering a variety of valueadded services…
HON. MLOTSHWA: Point of Order, Mr. President. I think we have no quorum. How can we continue with business when we are less than the number required?
Notice having been taken that there being present fewer than 26 members, the bells were rung for Seven Minutes and a Quorum still not
being present, THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
adjourned the House without question put at Twenty-Six Minutes past
Four O’clock p.m. pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order Number
NOTE: The following members were present when the House adjourned: Hon. Sen. Bhebhe M.; Hon. Sen. Carter M.N.; Hon. Sen.
Chimbudzi A.; Hon. Sen. Chimanikire A.; Hon. Sen. Chimhini, D.A.; Hon.
Sen. Chimutengwende C. C. C.; Hon. Sen. Chief Gwenzi; Hon. Machingaifa
T.; Hon. Sen. Makwarimba C.; Hon. Sen Makone T.; Hon. Sen. Mashavakure N.; Hon. Sen. Masuku A.; Hon. Sen. Mkhwebu A.; Hon. Sen. Mlotshwa S.;
Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane.; Hon. Sen. Mumvuri D. D. E.; Hon. Sen. Chief Nebiri.; Hon. Sen. Ndhlovu J.; Hon. Sen. Nyathi R.; Hon. Sen. Sibanda B.;
Hon. Sen. Sibanda A.; and Hon. Sen. Tawengwa C.