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SENATE HANSARD 20 MAY 2021 VOL 30 NO 41

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Thursday, 20th May, 2021.

The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM HON. MINISTERS

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: We only received apologies from two Hon. Ministers.  Hon. Mhona, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Hon. Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  We have two Ministers in the House.  The Deputy Minister of Local Government and National Housing, Hon. Chombo and the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Matuke.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. What is Government policy regarding boundaries in rural areas. They demarcated those boundaries in 1980 but the current local authorities are not clear with those boundaries.  They are selling land at growth points but they end up surpassing the boundaries ending up selling people’s fields.  Now chiefs and headmen are also fast tracking, selling that land in fear of losing their land. There is also a problem where people are displaced by local authorities and they do not give people alternative land to settle.  What is Government policy in terms of this?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam President.  I would like to thank Hon. Chief Chikwaka for the question.  I agree with you Hon. Chief Chikwaka.  We know that people are demarcating farms into residential areas which is not allowed.  If they want that to happen, they should apply to the Ministry of Local Government for them to have permission to turn their farms into residential areas.  Right now we are trying to rectify the problem of land barons and many people now rush to rural areas to buy land.  After all, no chief or headman is allowed to sell land. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIKWAKA: I did not ask my question with reference to farming areas; I specified that it is a problem to us as Chiefs. What is Government programme in terms of clarifying the boundaries that were put in 1980 up to date; we do not even know the boundaries. They did their planning for growth points which are in rural areas, but we do not know the boundaries.  So that is causing confusion.  Local authorities are actually taking away farming land from people which is disturbing their livelihoods.  I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Madam President. Most of the towns under local authorities right now are busy making master plans because a lot of urban areas want residential stands.  So, we are waiting for them to conclude their master plans.  We also expected local authorities and chiefs to give their input so if that process is completed, we will be able to go to the traditional leaders to inform them.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF. MAKUMBE: Do rural areas fall under local authorities, because the question is specifically to do with land that falls under traditional leaders.

HON. CHOMBO: Thank you Madam President, Zvimba at the moment is planning to make another master plan to incorporate other areas that surround Zvimba itself.  It means those new master plans are going to affect other surrounding areas.

THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Is that not happening all over the country so that it can be done in collaboration?

HON. CHOMBO:  Madam President, this is happening in collaboration with all local authorities.  So I am saying before we finalise the process, we will go to the traditional leaders and inform them.

*HON. SEN. MAKUMBE: Thank you Madam President Hon. Sen. Chikwaka tried to clarify. I would like to give an example, in Buhera we do not have one farm, those areas are growing – Chief Makumbe and Nyashanu boundaries converge at Murambinda and another side is of Chief Mundawarara.  When we engaged the local authorities, they said they want to make a master plan but when those people heard about that, they are now panicking.  When the growth points were built the local people were affected but they were not allocated stands.  As we speak, they do not have land right now.

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): I agree with what the Hon. Senator said.  People who are now buying residential stands are usually people from far away, people who are residing in those new areas are mainly from far away or from other areas. So that is a problem I have seen that in Seke.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: In Murambinda it is local residents within the area that may be doing commercial activities in the growth point but now need other land.

*THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Hon. Sen. Chief Makumbe let me help the you, I think the Hon. Minister must go and investigate because it shows that this problem is everywhere and not only affecting the two chiefs.

*HON. CHINAKE: Thank you Madam President, My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  What does the Minister have in plan so that all people have access to clean water?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam President and I thank the Hon. Sen. for such a pertinent question.  The Government has the devolution fund which is 5%, that is in the Constitution.  We give to local authorities so that they improve the living conditions of people looking at health, education, water, electricity and social amenities.  So, right now we are seized with the issue because access to water is very limited to all the councils. We are urging the councils  that funds for devolution can be used and people will get access to clean water. I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE:  Thank you Madam President, my question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  This year we were blessed with a lot of rains but some areas received excessive rains and this damaged their crops.  What is Government plan so that these people get access to food because some did not get a good harvest?

*THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Madam President concerning some areas that received a lot of rains and the crops were affected.  Each and every year the ministry goes around the country looking at people who did not harvest anything and they take food there.  The food for Social Welfare is not given only when there is drought, it is given even if we have a bumper harvest.  There are some people like in the urban areas who need help continuously.  Even if we go to the rural areas where we come from, there are people there who are living with disability who cannot fend for themselves. It is the wish of Government that they should continue to help them.  Those places which were affected by the rains, we are busy right now moving around the country registering those people.  If our register is complete, you will see us giving them food.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Madam President. I want to ask the Government what plans they have when it comes to veld fires because people are causing fires irresponsibly. Is it still the same penalties or you have changed the penalties? This year we received a lot of rains, which means we have a lot of tall grasses.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  Thank you Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for the pertinent question which touches on his province. I come from the same province with him, Mashonaland West and we top number one when it comes to veld fires. The Minister of Environment this week was in Cabinet. He came with a paper on what to do so that we prevent veld fires. A lot was talked about. What we are supposed to do is to sensitise people and the chiefs and to hold awareness campaigns so that people do not cause fires looking for wild animals for relish. We should come up with stiffer penalties to deter people from causing veld fires and also doing advocacy in schools so that people know and are aware of how important it is to look after our forests. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. GWESHE: Thank you Mr. President. I am speaking on behalf of the people in the urban areas and I have a question from them. We heard from Parliament about feeder roads that they want to be mended but there are roads which are damaging car tyres. So people are asking whether they...

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Sen. Gweshe, you are not supposed to say you have been sent by somebody or ‘I heard somebody’ but you raise the question in your capacity as a Senator. So ask your question.

*HON. SEN. GWESHE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is; we have bad roads which are damaging tyres – are we allowed as citizens to engage graders that will remove those tar patches because they are damaging our tyres?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. There are various types of tyres. For example, we have State roads and council roads. The road that she is referring to in the locations is for the Ministry of Local Government. They are the ones who take care of those roads. What I can say is; since she is here she can answer the question on the roads that we find in the locations which are damaging our tyres.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. President and thank you Hon. Sen. Gweshe for such a pertinent question. Right now, all our roads countrywide are not good. The issue has been taken up to Cabinet and we have come up with an Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme. We are now on Phase 2 and this programme encompasses all the roads from DDF and local authorities. If you go to the locations, you will find that some of the roads have started to be patched. If we complete Phase 2, it will be a thing of the past. Thank you.

*HON. SEN. O. HUNGWE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I wanted to forgo the question but I discovered that it is pertinent. I hope Hon. Ziyambi will be able to assist us since he sits in Cabinet. My question pertains to vaccines. Does Government know that there are areas where people are just being vaccinated and not being issued with cards? They are only being registered and yet they will not be given the cards. This is happening at Kuwirirana Clinic in Gokwe North. There are some people who are being vaccinated but they are not being given their vaccination card. There is a danger that if they get the first jab of vaccination they may not recall when exactly they will get the second jab because some of the people are elderly. My request is; may Government intervene and scrutinise the situation which is happening at Kuwirirana Clinic in Gokwe North? I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. President for the question.  The answer is, there was a shortage of cards but those health facilities were supposed to issue them with temporary cards.  The Government never at any time said people should get vaccinated but not get those cards because the Government knows the problem and the danger related to that.  Indeed, someone may forget the dates.  So, I will take that message to the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure that anyone who gets vaccinated should get a temporary card if there are no permanent cards as yet so that there is enough evidence when they go back for the second jab.  I also got a temporary card when I was inoculated.  I went back for the second jab, and I did not get the card.  This is Government policy and not what is happening in Gokwe.  I would want to thank the Hon. Senator for the observation.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to direct my question to the Leader of Government Business.  How can Government assist our traffic police in controlling traffic, especially in Rotten Row?  Sometimes motorists do not even comply and do not stop and that is a problem.  How can Government assist on that issue?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I thank you Mr. President and I would also like to thank the Hon. Senator for that question which is very important on how the Police can be assisted.  This week, the Minister of Local Government brought a paper after the President asked what we can do in order to repair roads in order to ensure that there is safe traffic flow in urban areas, especially after business hours.  There is so much congestion and confusion.

The Committee that is being chaired by Hon. Minister July Moyo tabled a paper that indeed looks at all those things that include enforcement.  We realised that even the Police are in serious trouble because the roads are in a poor state.  Sometimes, the Police try to stop people from carrying passengers at undesignated points but they also realise that there are no properly designated areas.  So, we ended up saying our roads should be expanded so that traffic may flow properly.  For example, at Mbudzi roundabout, vendors and other illegal traders should be removed so that the road may be expanded.

There should also be repair and refurbishment of roads that go outside the city centre.  That will solve our problems.  As it is, the Police will not be able to properly solve this problem.  They are trying but it is very difficult.  We are saying, there will be repairs and refurbishments or roads, as well as, expansion so that we also have bus lanes.

*HON. SEN. MOEKETSI:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works.  What is Government policy in terms of pegging of residential stands?  Where I stay, there are people who were allocated residential stands but there are no roads, water and sewer.  So, that has caused a lot of commotion and people were wondering on what should start. Is it servicing or residential stands allocations?  I thank you.

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):  Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that question.  Those are indeed topical issues with regards to allocation of stands.  That problem started mainly when housing cooperatives started.  Those cooperatives were given land to allocate to their members and they contracted developers.  However, most of them just collected money from people and did not implement developments like roads and sewer and that is a problem.  That is why we have problems in areas such as Caledonia and Epworth.  People are staying in areas that are not properly planned; there is no minimum infrastructure like roads and sewer.  That has led to an influx of land barons who allocated residential stands to people with no infrastructure put in place.  Our policy is, no one will be allocated a residential stand when there is no infrastructure development for sewer, water reticulation and roads.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. SHUMBA:  Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care and in his absence, I will direct to the Leader of the House.  There is an outbreak of COVID 19 in Kwekwe and the variant came from India.  We hear that Government has said anyone who comes from India should go on self paid quarantine.  My question is, what is Government going to do in order to stop the spread of the disease because someone may return from India but fail to meet the expenses for their quarantine? I thank you.

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for such an important question concerning the Indian variant of Covid-19.  Indeed, we started having that variant after the return of a citizen who had gone to India.  After testing the patient and the immediate family, that is when they realised that.  Indeed, the Minister of Health who is the Vice President gave a statement and there was confirmation that that variant was the one that is in India.

On Tuesday, Cabinet sat and it was agreed that people who will be returning from India as a first measure to protect the citizens have to prepare for quarantine at their own expense.  Even if you show that you were examined and you are negative – for us to be satisfied, we require that you stay for 10 days in quarantine at your own expense.  All our borders will be instructed to enforce so that we are able to identify those who are positive.  That is the first measure we decided to take to protect citizens from that variant.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MATUPULA:  Thank Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  I have noticed that some of our prisoners who will have been let out after an amnesty; when they go out, they commit – crimes for example rape and gruesome murder.  Is there a policy to assist the rehabilitation system on how to assess them if they are ready to be admitted into society?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Senator for the question, it pertains to our programme of incarceration and rehabilitation and reintegration in society.  What we have noticed Hon. President Sir, is we have low numbers of prisoners who get out and commit these levels of crimes that have been mentioned by the Hon. Senator.  The majority of prisoners commit petty crimes so that they go back because they fail to get somebody to look after them.  Even when they go back, they indicate that I committed this because I feel I am better off here because they could not find relatives or anyone to take care of them.  I however admit that we need to strengthen our rehabilitation and correctional aspect so that those offenders that are released, regardless of whether it was an amnesty or after finishing their sentences, they can be truly integrated into society.  Our screening process for those that we give amnesty is very stringent, to an extent that those that get amnesty we would have made sure that in our opinion they are ready to be integrated into society.  We have correctional officers who do that job and we always endevour to ensure that those ones are ready but here and there, you get some who will then recommit crimes and end up back in prison. Thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President, my question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.  We find that in Zimbabwe, the majority of people earn their salaries in Zimbabwean dollars but when it comes to fuel at most of garages, they sell fuel in foreign currency.  What policy is Government putting in place to correct this situation?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA):  Thank you Mr. President, I would like to thank the Hon. Senator for that pertinent question.  I think from last year, 2020, the Government gave permission that those with their free funds can import fuel and they can sell that fuel in US dollars or Rands so that they will be able to replenish their stocks.  However, there are some dealers in the industry who continue to receive foreign currency through the RBZ and these are supposed sell that fuel in Zimbabwean dollars, for example RTGs, ecocash and so forth and not in US dollars.

We have heard that report – you do not find many service stations that are selling fuel in Zimbabwean dollars.  At the moment, we are verifying whether that those service stations that receive foreign currency from RBZ are selling that fuel in Zimbabwean dollars or they are selling that fuel in US dollars.  Once those investigations are completed, then we will be in a position to give a statement.  We do have some service stations, although very few where you can get fuel in Zimbabwe dollars, for example at some PetroTrade service stations.

Most of those fuel companies that are given foreign currency by RBZ provide fuel to Government Ministries.  CMED and PetroTrade are supposed to serve Government departments who buy fuel there in Zimbabwean dollars.  Yes, we are very much aware that there is that problem, but the majority of our fuel these days is through DFI, this is where these companies use their free funds to buy fuel, import it and in turn sell that fuel in US dollars.  Thank you.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Yes, Hon. Minister, I think that question deserves very urgent attention because there are very few retail outlets which are selling fuel in Zimbabwean dollars. I think in Harare you get one fuel station, yet they are being the given money – every Tuesday the Reserve Bank Governor releases a statement on foreign currency.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who is also the Leader of Government Business.  I just want to know whether the people in Mola are getting transport at least to get to Kariba.  They used to have water cars which used to go at reasonable price but to get to Mola is very difficult.  I just want to know if there is anything helping the people around Mola to move from Mola to at least their nearest town which is Kariba.  The roads are not good and there is no way you can access anything in that area.

With this COVID-19 also, I do not know how much they are getting to ensure that they get fair human treatment in terms of injections, PPEs and the like.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: It is a very specific question Hon. Mudzuri.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  I indulge him because I come from Mashonaland West but most of the time, Hon. Chombo, there are portfolios dealing with this on a daily basis.  However, what he said is very correct.  If you want to go to Mola from Kariba by road you go to Karoi then Magunje and from Magunje to Mola, is a dirty dust road.  You will need almost six hours to reach there.  Recently, during the rainy season, the road was damaged but fortunately, it was repaired.

There is a long term solution which is under discussion.  I think the Minister of Local Government can give further details in that regard.  In terms of transport, DDF is sometimes there and sometimes it is not there.  If we develop that whole corridor and have boats along Zambezi Road,  it will significantly help the people of Siakobvu and Mola.  More importantly also, we are resuscitating some projects that were abandoned a long time ago.  One of them is developing the Administration Centre for Kariba at Siakobvu.  It was abandoned a long time ago. We feel that if we spruce and re-develop that centre, there would not be need in the short term for people from that region to go to Kariba to access services.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. CHOMBO): Thank you Mr. President.  I would like to thank Hon. Mudzuri for that question.  I just want to emphasise that we are developing that corridor, Mola-Siakobvu and also, we are making sure that Siakobvu is open. Most of the people that come there need documentation like IDs and so forth, so if we make sure that our Administration Office is there, that will lessen work.  In the short space of time, we are trying to encourage that boat to make sure that it plies regularly.  So we are trying to make sure that DDF resuscitates that.  I thank you.

+HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Education.  What is Government saying pertaining to the education of children?  Children were going to school for only three days a week.  Recently, they changed to go for a whole week but parents are supposed to pay an extra fee of US$5.  Also, what is the problem with Government not paying teachers so that they teach the children?  Even though we are paying the US$5, they are only learning for 5 hours.  Teachers are saying, for children to learn the whole day parents should pay US$10.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  I will answer the first part of the question and defer the last part on salaries to the relevant Minister who is here.  On the first part, schools have made arrangements to comply with COVID-19 regulations.  Even though learners may not be attending school for the whole week, they cover material that they are supposed to cover that particular week in order to comply with COVID-19 regulations.  So, it is not much per se; the physical attendance, every day five days a week, the matter is whether learners are getting the information that they are supposed to get for that duration of time in order to satisfy the requirements of the syllabus and ensure that they comply with COVID-19 regulations.

I am not sure that there is a direct linkage to COVID -19 regulations and the practice then of charging an extra money, which as Government we do not allow for learners to learn extra hours.  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Mr. President.  On the issue of teachers’ salaries, I think negotiations are underway.  When we talk about salaries, we include Ministry of Finance and also our Ministry, as well as workers themselves.  Negotiations are underway and I hope they will strike a balance.  Right now, I cannot give a correct position on whether we are going to come up with a real figure and when but I can only comment that negotiations are in progress.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: Thank you Mr. President, my supplementary to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is that the Minister should help us by listening to the truth that we are telling him. We are the ones coming from the rural areas and we are the ones who have children who are borders and learning in towns.  Children in the rural areas are going to school twice a week, yet their counterparts in the urban areas are going to school daily and are also able to access internet and their parents can afford to pay for extra lessons, yet when they sit for examinations, the examination paper will be the same.  Taking into cognizance that children were greatly affected by lockdowns due to COVID-19; you should help us Minister so that our children receive the same education throughout the country.    

* HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Senator Chief.  If that is what is taking place, it is not right and it is not Government policy.  What I want to encourage is that the Government allows each and every school to come up with a school development association.  We must use this platform to report the school to the relevant authorities.  If the teachers who are doing this are known and the parents are just looking at these teachers, the Government cannot act without proof.  They must sit down and ask the teachers why they are doing it.  If there is no satisfactory answer, they must then take their case further.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: On a point of order Mr. President.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: What is your point of order?

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: My point of order is that the Minister is not helping in his answer.  He is just telling us to consult and go to associations when he is representing Government.  Government has a policy that must be followed everywhere in the country.  So we are asking that this request is coming from Senators, it must go to Cabinet and they must make sure that this is processed so that the correct position is taken as per Government policy.

HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President, I think I have answered.  The Government policy is that it does not condone such practices.  In order to deal with such practices, there must be a report to indicate that this particular school is behaving in a manner that is not consistent with Government policy and the reason why I said let us have our SDC engaging the school authorities is to get a speedy solution to it.   I never run away from the question.  Initially when it was asked, I thought that the reason why learners are going 3 days is because there is need to comply with COVID-19 regulations.  Hon. Sen. Chief Nhema said it has nothing to do with COVID-19 regulations and I admitted and I said if that is the case, what is happening is against Government policy of which the Government policy is that learners must learn.  The immediate solution is to mobilise our SDCs to engage the school authorities.  When that fails, then there is need for the Ministry or Government at large to ensure that they enforce that provision.  I thank you.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 66.

HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Mr. President, I move that time for Question Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.  We have burning questions to ask the Minister here present, I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHUNDU: Thank you Mr. President.  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  What is Government policy concerning chiefs and village heads who are recognised in the Constitution when it comes to arbitration? If they do so, if the defended is not happy, he will go straight to the Magistrate Court and we find a chief is being given summons and asked to stand in the same court with the same person that he would have given judgment to.  What is your policy?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President.  The Chief’s question was asked in Mt Darwin when we were opening a new court.  The senior magistrate said that they were going to look into it so that it will not happen.  So it is an issue which is under our purview.  We are going to take the necessary steps.

*HON. SEN. MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Leader of the House because it is about the education sector. What is painful is that everyone is doing what they want in the education system. In the rural areas, we got an average of 12% pass rate for Grade 7. This means those children are represented by most of us here. This war between the Government and its workers is affecting our children. We want to know Government’s plan so that what is happening may come to an end because this is affecting the future generation. Parents are paying double – you pay the school fees and the private teacher and that is the normal thing. Parents see that it is better for parents to pay double. We want to know what the Government is saying by stopping individualism so that we go back to the map when it comes to education.

THE MNISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Hon. Sen. for your question. Mr. President, the question is not different from what I have responded to before. As Government policy, we have our wishes that our children should learn and pass and the teachers are there. Some schools are there and some schools are being built. My biggest plea is that for our children’s education, we should all be involved in their education. That is why the Government has allowed that at each and every school, there should be an SDC Committee which works hand in hand with the administration of schools so that they look at challenges in the community. That SDC Committee which works hand in hand with the teachers has powers to approach the Ministry of Education articulating the challenges that they are facing in their schools. That is the answer that I gave. For now, I cannot give any other response that we can approach these teachers and take the law into our hands because we want to leave it to the rightful people which are the Ministry of Education.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and in his absence I will direct the question to the Minister of Justice. What is Government policy with regards to the auction system that they talk about? When they talk about the auction system, we understand it has dropped from the top going down and they say it is moving very well, which is not what is transpiring on the ground. The percentages that are prevailing in the economy are no longer good. What is Government policy with regards to auction system? They are busy telling us that it is working and yet it is not working in reality.

*THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: Did you understand that Hon. Ziyambi? Repeat your question because it is not clear at all.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: I am saying the auction system says the exchange rate is at USD1 is equal to Z$84.00.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I would like to thank the Hon. Sen. I also thought he was going to explain why or how USD1 to Z$84 exchange rate is not working so that I can understand because in our information, we are saying when people apply for the auction system, the banks write to them and tell them how much they have been allocated so that after funding, they get their acquittals. I wanted to understand where it is failing so that we can really rectify.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF NHEMA: Thank you Mr. President. Maybe it is because of my minimal education. Our understanding is that when the auction rate is at Z$84, it would apply everywhere and that was meant to stop the black market rate. When we go right now into the shops, the exchange rate is now ZS120 or more than Z$84. The exchange rate prevailing in the economy is more than the auction system exchange rate.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFFAIRS (HON., ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. The auction system is working very well – what he is talking about is that we have an auction system rate and the parallel system rate. The shops for retailers or traders are supposed to use the rate that will be prevailing at the auction system, but experts in finance who talk about transition from multi-currency to one currency – they say if you look for money from the parallel market, it will not be equal. What is supposed to happen is that there must be stability. If you look at what is prevailing in the market now is that the rate is no longer going up like what was happening before. That is what the Ministry of Finance and the experts are working on so that we do not have a lot of distortions. In order for that not to happen, we encourage that people should use the formal system. I am glad that it is working but at some point we will eventually get to where we want to get to where we get a stable exchange rate both in the formal and informal. If you look at the inflation rate, it shows that it is going down. Thank you.

Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in terms of Standing Order No. 62.

WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTION WITH NOTICE

NATIONAL DISABILITY POLICY

  1. HON. SEN. TONGOGARA asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to inform the House when the National Disability Policy to alleviate the plight of people living with disability will be enacted into law.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  The National Disability Policy was adopted by Cabinet on 9 February, 2021 and the plan is to officially launch the policy before the end of June, 2021. The National Disability Policy outlines the goals that the Government hopes to achieve with regards to disability inclusion and the methods and principles that it will use to achieve such goals. The aim is to enhance the well-being of persons with disabilities in both rural and urban areas and in all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe thereby alleviating their plight.

In addition to the National Disability Policy, the Persons with Disabilities Bill have been drafted and was briefly considered by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation in March, 2021. The Bill is currently being revised through a peer review process by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Attorney General’s Office). The plan is to resubmit the Persons with Disabilities Bill before the end of June, 2021 for further consideration by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.

The National Disability Policy has been aligned to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, (UNCRPD) (2006), which Zimbabwe ratified in September, 2013. The Persons with Disabilities Bill is also expected to domesticate and be aligned to the same instruments.

On the motion of THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE), the Senate adjourned at Nine Minutes to Four o’clock p.m. until Tuesday 8th June, 2021. 

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