PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Thursday, 16th September, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
ADJOURNMENT OF THE PARLIAMENT
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that
Parliament will adjourn to Thursday, 7th October, 2021 for the Official Opening of the Fourth Session of the Ninth Parliament and the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. Details of the logistics relating to the SONA will be communicated at a later date. HON. NDIWENI: On a point of national interest. Yesterday was the International Day of Democracy, the 15th September 2021. Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to read a statement that was issued by SADC Parliamentary Forum which was supposed to be read in all the 15 SADC Parliaments yesterday. So, suffice to say, I am reading it today, with your indulgence Mr. Speaker Sir.
It was supposed to have been read yesterday – it reads – “Today, we celebrate democracy which is the bedrock supporting the existence of parliaments. Parliamentarism and democracy walk hand-in-hand on the promising path towards worldwide peace, unity and stability. Human rights and fundamental freedoms thrive in a democracy and would perish in the absence of it. Moreover, it is trite that democratic principles are the founding pillars of the rule of law, constitutionalism and equality.
In this vein, the Forum seizes this opportunity to salute and pay tribute to SADC Member Parliaments which have bravely stood the challenging test of time and have recorded a rich history of promoting democratic principles within the context of parliamentary sovereignty. While the past and current year have been trying times for democracy in the SADC region, parliaments have endured adversity and have furthermore ensured the requisite continuity which was quintessential to legislate as well as to continue holding the Executive to account. The felicitous work conducted by SADC parliaments within their respective democratic framework has cushioned the devastating effects of COVID-19 and has enabled the region to embark on a progressive path of economic recovery.
In line with its Strategic Plan (2019-2023), the SADC
Parliamentary Forum reiterates its commitment to advance democracy through interparliamentary cooperation and to implement the SADC Model Law on Elections which is a hallmark of representative democracy and a gateway towards good governance. Thanks to continued democracy, a new dawn of hope and prosperity towers over
Africa and the world.
Long Live Democracy and Long Live Parliaments!
HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of
national interest arises from the shortages of drugs in our Government run clinics and hospitals, but firstly I would like to compliment the
Government for the way they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort they are putting to stop the spread of COVID-19 is very commendable, but what is worrying me is that Government has forgotten about the other killer diseases, namely diabetes and BP.
The aged is the main constituency that suffers from these diseases. When they go to our Government hospitals where they are given cheap drugs or free drugs, they cannot access them mainly because there is nothing. In Government hospitals, for example the hospital in Rusape, you can only find pain killers and just a few very cheap drugs.
Mr. Speaker when someone starts taking insulin for diabetes and drugs for BP, if he stops taking them, it is a goodbye to mother earth. Even now the rate at which people are dying in our constituencies through these two killer diseases has risen. So, I am appealing to your high office, Mr. Speaker Sir, if you can approach the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and persuade him to use the surplus he has declared to this House to buy these drugs because health means everything. We are here because we are healthy.
People go to school because they are healthy. We have got Vision 2030 where health for all is at the centre of everything. How can we attain healthy lives for all when people cannot access these drugs… THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you summerise your statement
HON. TEKESHE: People cannot access these drugs which are cheaper because they cannot afford to buy them in pharmacies and private hospitals. So, I am appealing to you, Hon. Speaker. For us to achieve our Vision 2030 for healthy lives for all, can we have medication in our Government hospitals which is cheap and where some are supposed to be given for free. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to
6, be stood over until Order of the Day Number 7 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS
Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the
Question again proposed.
(v)HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Members who debated the motion on the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa. I would also want to thank the Ministers who responded to the various debates where main issues were raised by Members and where the Members displayed the highest level of consciousness of the issues that were raised during SONA by His Excellency. I would like to thank every Member who researched and then debated during this crucial debate. After having said that Mr. Speaker, I therefore move for the adoption of the motion.
Motion that a respectful address be presented to the President of
Zimbabwe as follows: –
May it please you, your Excellency the President,
We, the Members of Parliament of Zimbabwe, desire to express our loyalty to Zimbabwe and beg leave to offer our respectful thanks for the speech, which you have been pleased to address to Parliament, put and agreed to.
REPORT ON THE DECLARATION OF THE 5TH WORLD
CONFERENCE OF SPEAKERS OF PARLIAMENT HELD IN
HON. MAVETERA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note the Declaration of the 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament held in Vienna, Austria on 7 and 8
September, 2021 under the overarching theme “Parliamentary Leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and Sustainable Development for the People and the Planet”.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
Jointly organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliament of Austria in cooperation with the United Nations, the in person 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament was hosted in Vienna, Austria on 7 and 8 September 2021 under the overarching theme, “Parliamentary Leadership for More Effective
Multilateralism that Delivers Peace and Sustainable Development for the People and the Planet.”
The Conference was preceded by the 13th Summit of Women
Speakers of Parliament held on 6 September under the theme,
“Women at the Centre: From Confronting the Pandemic to
Preserving the Achievements in a Gender Responsive Recovery”.
The Conference brought together close to 100 Speakers from
115 National Parliaments and a dozen Heads of Regional and other Parliamentary Organisations. Zimbabwe was privileged to be represented at the Conference by Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda, Speaker of Parliament, and Hon. Mabel
Memory Chinomona, President of the Senate.
The meetings were held in particularly extraordinary circumstances as the world battles the COVID 19 pandemic, among other global challenges. In spite of the restrictions, the Organisers of the Conference remained resolute in their endeavour for a successful in person Conference – the first International Parliamentary Meeting in eighteen (18) months. Accordingly, the Zimbabwe delegation wishes to express its deep gratitude to the IPU, the Parliament of
Austria and the United Nations for the excellent arrangements which guaranteed the hosting of the Conference in a safe and conducive environment for dialogue.
OUTCOMES OF THE 13TH SUMMIT OF WOMEN
SPEAKERS OF PARLIAMENT
The Summit paid tribute to women from all walks of life who were instrumental in confronting the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Summit’s deliberations informed the final Conference Declaration on the importance of placing gender equality and the empowerment of women at the heart of the pandemic response and recovery.
HIGH LEVEL DECLARATION
The Speakers of Parliament adopted a High-Level Declaration on “Parliamentary Leadership for More Effective Multilateralism that Delivers Peace and Sustainable Development for the People and Planet.”
The Declaration underscored the importance of international solidarity and cooperation between Parliaments in post-COVID recovery efforts. Those efforts must uphold the rule of law, democratic principles and universal human rights. The recovery must be inclusive, sustainable, green and incorporate innovative solutions to addressing the climate challenges. I shall proceed to read the full text of the High Level Declaration.
HIGH-LEVEL DECLARATION on parliamentary
leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people and the planet
In August 2020, we, the Speakers of Parliament, convened for the virtual segment of the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament. The world was five months into a global pandemic, with over 20 million recorded cases of COVID-19 infection and at least 750,000 deaths attributed to the virus. The virtual segment resulted in a commitment to strengthen international cooperation, solidarity and multilateral action, not only to lead the world out of crisis, but also to transform it for the better and to improve resilience. By the start of September 2021, the pandemic had resulted in close to 220 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection and over 4.5 million deaths, coupled with extensive disruptions to essential health systems in several regions, underscoring the urgent need for a well-coordinated, multi-sectoral approach to the health emergency, ensuring surge capacity at all levels in all countries.
Our declaration in August 2020 underscored the critical importance of multilateralism and international solidarity in addressing the daunting socio-economic challenges of our time. As some countries finally start to emerge from the pandemic, this declaration rings truer than ever before. The very fact that we have been able to meet in person in Vienna is testimony to the significant progress that has been made through our collective efforts, in particular in terms of developing and delivering life-saving vaccines for all to ensure that no one is left behind. This Conference has granted many of us the first opportunity in over 18 months to meet inperson to share our experiences and lessons learned from the pandemic and to look forward with renewed hope to a positive recovery, founded on our shared endeavour to build back – and build forward – better.
The recovery must take account of the particular impact that the pandemic has had on women and girls, young and elderly people, persons with disabilities, marginalised and vulnerable populations, refugees, and communities affected by conflict. The recovery efforts must uphold the rule of law, democratic principles and universal human rights. The recovery must be inclusive, sustainable and green and must incorporate innovative solutions to the climate crisis. We must work together as one human family in facing epidemics and other crises, overcoming differences of all kinds and seeking to foster a culture of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance of the other. A renewed commitment by all parliamentarians worldwide to meaningful and effective multilateralism is critical to such a recovery.
We recognise that women have made a significant contribution on the front line of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and girls, with lockdowns leaving them more vulnerable to domestic violence and increasing the burden of caring for children and the elderly. Women have also been more likely to lose employment or income as a result of the socio-economic downturn. Women and girls in conflict situations remain particularly vulnerable. All these situations have stressed the importance of putting gender equality and the empowerment of women at the heart of the COVID-19 response and recovery. We must build forward in a more gender-inclusive way and create a new global social compact for gender equality enabling the full and effective participation of women in all spheres of society. From this perspective, women must be part of the strategy and leadership of the COVID-19 recovery process, and the first step to achieving this is to ensure their equal and meaningful representation in parliaments, governments, private companies and other decisionmaking bodies.
We also acknowledge that social distancing and lockdown measures during the pandemic have had a devastating impact on youth, limiting their access to education and reducing their employment prospects, which has resulted in isolation and a surge in mental health issues. At the same time, young adults have undertaken vital front-line roles as healthcare, public utility and retail workers, as well as supporting their communities during the pandemic. We recognise these critical roles and pledge to harness the positive energy and innovativeness of young adults by making every effort to increase youth representation in our parliaments, including by joining the IPU Campaign ‘I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament’, which is promoting several transformative actions. We also commit to promote initiatives aimed at educating and training young people in modern information technologies, thus preparing them for the jobs of the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a multifaceted crisis that has undermined progress in the achievement of the sustainable development goals, made States more fragile and eroded international cooperation, resulting in worldwide increases in poverty, hunger, inequality and violence. Parliaments must rise to the challenge by, first and foremost, protecting the norms and principles of peace, development, democracy, human rights and respect for the rule of law. We must also tap into the many benefits of inter-parliamentary dialogue and cooperation in order to build bridges for better understanding, so as to lay the foundation for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world where all people can live in freedom and dignity.
The global economic recovery must, therefore, be inclusive, with commitments to fight poverty and lessen inequality, reduce unemployment, and improve access to education and essential services. This should nurture renewed efforts to address the root causes of conflicts and build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. As the United Nations has recognised, Parliaments have a key role to play in identifying bold and transformative actions to make the attainment of the SDGs a reality. With less than a decade to go, we commit ourselves once again to accelerating our efforts to fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in our work as parliamentarians.
A sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will depend to a large extent on international cooperation and solidarity. Accordingly, we reiterate our support for the World Health Organisation, in particular in terms of its work on research, rapid response and better pandemic preparedness through enhanced cooperation among nations. We call for strengthened international cooperation on vaccine research and development, production and distribution, and improving accessibility and affordability. In this regard, vaccines must be distributed rapidly, fairly and equitably, as well as universally. No one will be safe from COVID-19 until everyone is safe. Innovative measures, such as voluntary licensing and exchange of know-how and technology must be taken to enhance equitable access to affordable vaccines and to scale up global vaccine production and distribution in the long term. We commend the collaboration among countries, along with health organizations and manufacturers, including through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) programme. However, much remains to be done to ensure unimpeded and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
We urge collaboration on continued research and innovation into the treatment and elimination of COVID-19 and coronaviruses more generally, including the debilitating long-term impacts of post-
COVID-19 syndrome (also known as “long COVID”). Moreover, we call for close cooperation to prepare the world for future pandemics. In this regard, it is important to work towards the establishment of a global health charter, to be agreed upon by world leaders, which guarantees health security for the world’s population, without exception, and to confront epidemics and disasters of a global nature with common universal principles and values, and in a manner that guarantees respect for human health rights.
The recovery of the global economy following the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain and unequal. Many countries will face huge budgetary deficits in the coming years and parliaments must be ready to address such challenges. We believe that a fair, open, inclusive, transparent and non-discriminatory rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization at its core, remains a pivotal foundation for the global economy. We call for increased coordination on macro-economic policy, continued efforts to strengthen sustainable global trade and oppose protectionism and unilateralism, and robust measures to revitalise the global economy – including in terms of developing a fairer global tax system. A key component of the economic recovery will be the advancement of the digital economy. We, therefore, call for more efforts to address the digital gap and ensure fair access to technology, internet connectivity and knowledge. Parliaments should help facilitate the development of core digital infrastructure and enhance digital skills among their populations.
The COVID-19 pandemic must not overshadow the urgency of climate action. In order to genuinely build a better future and longterm resilience, we must achieve a green, inclusive and innovationbased growth and sustainable recovery. We remain convinced of the compelling need to tackle climate change and reiterate the critical importance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the actions and targets set out in the Paris
Agreement. We welcome increased support for the Paris Agreement, in particular the return of the United States earlier this year as a party state to the Agreement. We express our strong support for an ambitious and collaborative outcome from the 26th UN Climate
Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021, and stand ready to make a robust parliamentary contribution to this process.
We also express our deep concern about the negative impacts of the climate crisis on human health and security, such as increased food insecurity, water stress and resource scarcity arising from increasingly frequent and ever more severe weather events, all of which in turn fuel conflicts and tensions and force more people around the world to leave their homes. We stress the need for preventive strategies to mitigate climate risks and enhance resilience, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalised people. We recognize the importance of preserving biodiversity and express our support for COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, due to be held in Kunming, China in October 2021, under the theme of Ecological Civilisation – Building a Shared Future for all Life on
The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in increasing threats to our democratic principles and institutions. In addressing the pandemic, the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government have had to take challenging decisions, notably curtailing freedom of movement, which has sometimes led to disillusionment and citizens losing trust in the political processes and in their representatives. Left unchecked, this dissonance, which is often fed by misinformation and extremist ideology, can create serious security threats to our institutions and to the physical safety of our legislators and staff. Governments should take people-centred measures, in full respect of human rights, in order to restore public trust that was eroded during the pandemic. Parliaments should serve as the centre of democratic accountability and transparency, including for COVID-19 responses, by systematically integrating public engagement into their work. This will enhance their legitimacy and the quality of parliamentary processes.
Parliaments have remained open for business despite restrictions on their ability to meet in person. This has led to unprecedented innovation, bringing information and communications technologies (ICT) from the back office into the very heart of parliamentary chambers, allowing remote working, remote sittings and even remote voting in many countries. We encourage parliaments to continue to innovate and expand the use of digital technologies in order to be appropriately prepared for future emergencies, enhance access to parliaments, and ultimately increase their accountability, transparency and openness to the public.
While information and communications technologies have allowed the world to remain as interconnected as possible, and have contributed to enhancing prosperity, development and security at all levels, our increased use of technology carries considerable risks, exposing us to cyber-attacks and cybercrime. The internet, and in particular social media, is fertile ground for misinformation, manipulation and the dissemination of false news and disinformation, discrimination, harassment, hate speech and violence. Increased mass surveillance, undue dependence on and unregulated use of algorithms and artificial intelligence, and digital privacy are also pressing concerns.
All stakeholders need to observe principles, rules and norms for responsible behaviour in the ICT environment. We call on the global community to come together and establish a multilateral framework for regulating the use of digital technologies and imposing greater accountability on big tech corporations. More generally, we must work for a global consensual approach to the management of these challenges, including data security and privacy, the consequences of the use of artificial intelligence, and the ethical aspect of scientific and technological innovation, in strict compliance with our human rights obligations.
We strongly believe that a global community with a shared future for humankind has interwoven mutual interests and aspirations. Common challenges can only be overcome through global responses, coordination and collaboration between all our nations. We, therefore, reaffirm the key role of multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core. We also firmly support the IPU’s efforts to engage and mobilise parliaments and parliamentarians around major international global processes and global commitments, thereby further strengthening the parliamentary dimension of global governance. We must continue to review, revitalise and renew multilateralism, so as to ensure that the voices of parliamentarians are heard at the United Nations and other international fora.
We commend the Austrian Parliament and the IPU, our global organization of national parliaments, for bringing us together for this parliamentary summit at such a historic time. We pledge to take this Declaration back to our countries and our parliaments, and to work diligently in following up on its key recommendations. We look forward to coming together again under the auspices of the IPU and in cooperation with the United Nations so as to share our experiences and report back on progress achieved.
Reservations expressed: To paragraph 4 (gender equality) and paragraph 12 (climate change): by Turkey To the concepts of
“people-centred measures” (paragraph 13) and “global community with a shared future for humankind” (paragraph 17): by Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland,
Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker for recognising me. I am here to second the motion that has been moved by Hon. Mavetera on the Declaration of the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament that was held in Vienna, Austria. It is important to note that the Parliament of Zimbabwe was heavily represented by our Hon.
Speaker, Adv Mudenda. It was also represented by Hon. Chinomona,
President of the Senate and a number of Hon. Members.
The major aspects which were discussed which are crucial especially for this House include the issue of international multilateralism. By multilateralism, we are looking at global relations amongst countries whereby the United Nations or the World Trade Organisation interacts with those countries that are affiliated to their organisations. This important summit or conference was held at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the entire globe. Recommendations which were made are very important, particularly to this august House.
In multilateralism, there are efforts which are done to eradicate poverty, especially among developing countries whereby countries are supposed to interact in a manner that does not disadvantage the Third World countries, whereby the Third World countries will not be developed with their resources taken in their raw state in line with the core periphery theory by Andre Gunder Frank who has observed that the developed world has a tendency of under-developing the Third World by siphoning or taking away the raw materials.
It was also observed that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on those groups that I will regard as the marginalised, the vulnerable groups. Here we talk of women, children, girls, refugees and people who are disabled. These are people who were affected and are still being affected by the virus up to this day. Their situation has been worsened or aggravated by the lockdowns, which witnessed even the informal traders having to spend most of the time in their homes and that has worsened their situation. The disabled people have not been spared because of this disaster or pandemic.
Some of the important issues which were raised Mr. Speaker concerned climate change which is so topical these days. Climate change manifests are as a result of, as witnessed, a number of disasters happening. This could be in the form of things like Cyclones depletion of the ozone layer and the effects of climate change have been seen all over the globe. Serious food shortages caused by droughts, quite a number of serious droughts being experienced, not just in Africa but in Asia and the entire globe just because of the effects of climate change.
So, member States or countries that send their representatives are being encouraged to find a way to protect our climate by embarking on the so called green jobs. By green jobs, we are talking of an attempt to reduce emissions into the sky and promoting those jobs which will not pollute the atmosphere and the environment. This is very important particularly in a sustainable economic development. The issue of vaccines also took centre stage whereby there is need for international cooperation and solidarity in terms of research.
All countries should make some efforts to ensure that scientific research is embarked on by our universities, industrialists and scientists to ensure that new vaccines are discovered every day in terms of vaccines. I need to mention that the developed world has reneged on its promise to provide vaccines to the developing world. I think there is need to remind the developed world but it is also an advantage to us because if we are dependent on them, it means according to the dependency theory, we will continue to rely on them and we will not be innovative. It is high time that the developing world should capacitate scholars in laboratories. We have seen this happening in Zimbabwe where we are talking in terms of Education 5.0 and also a Bill on Center for Education, Innovation where we are encouraging students from primary to high school to embark on innovative measures and research which will culminate in the discovery of drugs which are needed particularly for the cure of this virus COVID-19.
The issue of digitalisation also came under spotlight whereby core-digital infrastructure is needed. People need to embrace ICT skills in order to curb crime and ICT skills as a way of mitigating the effects of COVID-19. We have seen some attempts being done by the Zimbabwe Government to provide infrastructure that promotes electronic learning or e-learning to avoid physical learning particularly at a time when lockdowns are being experienced. Finally, parliaments should focus and respect issues to do with accountability, transparency and openness.
So this conference was and is still very important to us because it will encourage the global community to fight pandemics, disasters and calamities caused by disease and change in climate. If we embrace all the suggestions which we have done at this conference; this world will be a better place to stay.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me the
floor to air my views. I just want to say a few things regarding the motion that has been presented by Hon. Mavetera. What has attracted my attention is the need to look at the impact of the pandemic to our young people’s lives. Hon. Speaker, the pandemic has heavily affected young people’s efforts particularly those young people that are involved in sporting activities. Those young people that are thriving on arts activities and music, they could not get their earnings from their usual activities because of the impact that was emanating from this pandemic. Hon. Speaker, it is very important to note that at the conference, they also picked those issues and highlighted the need to support our young people in that regard. Our young people’s education is heavily affected during this pandemic. Looking at our Constitution locally, Section 20 (a), talks of the need for our young people to access education and training and this was heavily affected by the pandemic. It was also noted that there is need to increase the young people’s representation in Parliament and we are also supporting that idea.
Hon. Speaker, it was also observed that young people need to be trained in modern information technologies that will be preparing them for their future jobs and jobs that will help them to have sustainable lives and of note Hon. Speaker is that young people’s informal or even their formal businesses which are normally at infant stage or starter stage were heavily affected by this pandemic. I do not want to say much but I just wanted to highlight the aspect of looking at our young people’s contribution and the effects that has been done by the pandemic.
HON. S. BANDA: Thank you so much Hon. Speaker for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to this worthwhile motion which was moved by our good sister Hon. Mavetera and seconded by my brother Dr. T. Moyo. Hon. Speaker Sir, firstly, I want to thank you so much because you practice what you preach. You taught us about gender activism and gender balance. I am glad that the trip to Vienna was led by you Hon. Speaker together with our President of the Senate who is of the other gender. Mr. Speaker Sir, that really shows how balanced this nation is towards gender issues.
While you were not here Mr. Speaker Sir, even the Speaker’s Panel itself kept involving men and good women, showing that you really empowered and imparted your skills. So, though we missed you in person, Parliament was being run in a very professional manner by the Speaker’s Panel.
In theoretical terms, multilateralism is a key concept on which the architecture of contemporary international systemdwells. Multilateralism refers to an alliance of a number of countries who have got similar goals and it plays an important role in molding how we develop. So for me, it is the hallmark of the theory of international relations. Today, the contemporary world is all about globalisation. Had it not been for globalisation and the multilateralism, COVID-19 might have been in other countries and not everywhere else but now we have got forums through multilateralism to go in and make the decisions together, discuss and analyze issues.
So, I want to thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for the Vienna
Speakers’ Agenda that we had where you continue to build relationships. It could be also nice that through the multilateralism that Zimbabwe also gets to benefit directly and multilateral institutions like World Bank, IMF stop looking at us with a black eye.
They should come back to Zimbabwe and start funding Zimbabwe. We welcome the SDR that has come in but we really want more so that there is more that happens to what we are seeing today. We see the infrastructure that is going on which is very positive. We also need to drive and do more so that even the social impact, the country can benefit directly.
The issue of climate change that was discussed really touches us when we realise that when we were growing up, Zimbabwe had only 5 regions, now it has got 6 regions and it is only 3 of them where rain continues to follow the usual pattern, but the other we have added one more region to those which are getting more arid.
Therefore, this issue of multilateralism should come in to help us so that the world that we live in is developed through the innovations, through the digitalisation and other things that are being developed. Sowe also add our academic institutions to work with the people on ground, the informal sector that we really change and find ways of fighting poverty amidst disaster. In this way then, the issue of multilateralism – when we take that which we have learnt locally and practice outside, then indeed the Speakers around the world objectives will really matter. I thank you.
In conclusion, I want to thank you so much for what you have given us, indeed we need to continue working with these forums and they also need to come and support us as a nation. On a lighter note Mr. Speaker Sir, when you were not here, Hon. Chinotimba has been too quiet, I hope he is going to debate because I miss him. I thank you.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I would really want to thank the Hon. Members who have debated on this declaration. More importantly, the issue of the IPU campaign – I, say yes, to youth in Parliament. I am very elated and very happy to have that campaign also being adopted in this House. Therefore, I move for the adoption of the high level declaration on Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism that delivers peace and sustainable development for the people in the planet. I so move for the adoption.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Mavetera, you need to ensure
that the whole declaration is circulated on line through the Members’ emails so that they have it on record. Some Committees may want to take certain portions of that declaration and debate further in their Committee meetings and workshops.
HON. MAVETERA: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker Sir.
I will do that. For all Members who would like to have a view of this, it is going to be circulated in Hansard.
Motion put and adopted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 9 to
28 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 29 on today’s Order Paper has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
POLICIES AND FRAMEWORKS THAT DRIVE THE
YOUTH AGENDA SECTOR TOWARDS THE NATIONAL
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AGENDA
Twenty Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the need to promote youth inclusion and influence on public policy in order to enhance their participation in the broader economic sphere.
Question again proposed.
HON. MAVETERA: I would like to thank the Hon. Members who debated on this motion which was seeking for the establishment of a Youth Caucus which is quite an achievement in this august House. Since 1980 we have never had that, so indeed, we are happy that we have got an all inclusive President who has also included youths who is Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa and also yours truly Hon.
Speaker Sir. You also made the establishment of this Youth Caucus.
Therefore I move for the adoption of this motion.
Motion that this House:
DESIROUS to uphold the Constitution and to protect it at all times;
COGNISANT that Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measures including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that youths, that is to say people between the ages of fifteen to thirty- five years-
- have access to appropriate education and training;
- have opportunities to associate and to be represented and participate in political, social economic and other spheres of life;
- are afforded opportunities for employment and other avenues to economic empowerment;
- have opportunities for recreational activities and access to recreational facilities; and
- are protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse.
ALSO, COGNISANT that the founding values and principles which bind the State and all institutions and agencies at every level include, among other things, recognition of the rights of Youths,
ACKNOWLEDGING that any measures and programmes for
the Youths must be inclusive, nonpartisan and national in character;
DESIROUS to promote Youth inclusion and influence in public policy with the main objective of increasing and improving youth participation in the broader economic sphere in order to harness the
Youth demographic dividend
NOW, THEREFORE, RESOLVES, that
- A Caucus of influencers and Youth experts, led by sitting Hon Members of the National Assembly, be assembled to focus on policies and frameworks that drive the Youth
Agenda Sector towards the National Economic and Social
- Hon Members of Parliament in their various
Constituencies prioritise Youths in resource allocation and programming;
Hon Members pursue innovative initiatives and strategies that bring together the Youth sector and the various stake holders for the purposes of promoting participation and mainstreaming in public and private sector programming in the country,put and adopted.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that we revert to Order of the
Day Number 9 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON YOUTH,
SPORT, ARTS AND RECREATION ON THE PETITION FROM
GWANDA COMMUNITY YOUTH DEVELOPMENT TRUST
REGARDING YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING
HON. TONGOFA: I move the motion standing in my name
that: That this House takes note of the Report of the Portfolio
Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation on the Petition from Gwanda Community Youth Development Trust regarding youth participation in decision making.
HON. MASUKU: I second.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Madam.
Pursuant to Section 149 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Gwanda Community Development Trust (GCDYT) petitioned Parliament of Zimbabwe on the need for exercising its oversight function and promotes institutionalisation of youth participation in all decision making sectors or platforms. Accordingly, the petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and
Recreation for consideration. Thus, the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation considered the petition and resolved to inquire into the issues raised in the petition. This report is a summary of key findings, observations and recommendations on the enquiry into the subject matter.
The Committee undertook the following activities in gathering evidence;
It received oral evidence from Gwanda Community Youth Development Trust on 25th of February 2021 to get insight into specific issues that needed to be addressed.
It also gathered evidence from Dr K. Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation on 29 April 2021 on measures being implemented by the Ministry to ensure youth participation and representation at all levels of governance.
It analysed written submissions from Ministry of Youth,
Sport, Arts and Recreation and Gwanda Community Youth
In the petition, the Gwanda Community Youth Development Trust was beseeching Parliament to exercise its constitutional role and address the following issues of public concern;
- Protect the constitutionally granted right for the youths to be fairly represented at all levels of governance from the district to national level platforms, ii. Ensure that youth empowerment comes with a legislative framework.
iii. Promote youth ability to battle it alone during an electoral process- ensure ZEC set aside constituencies where youths are able to contest each other. This will see a significant increase of youth representation in Parliament and local authorities.
Oral evidence from Gwanda Community Youth
Development Trust (GCYDT)
Unpacking the petition to the Committee, the GCYDT explained that the petition sought to improve youth representation in executive decision -making platforms in all sectors.
The GYCDT argued that;
Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe mandates the state and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level to take reasonable measures including affirmative action programs to ensure that youths
- Access to appropriate education and training,
- Have opportunities to associate and be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life among others and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to it, to achieve the progressive realisation of this right”
The Government has not yet fully committed in implementing this constitutional requirement, a situation which is still making it difficult for young people to make contributions in the development of policies that respond to the specific needs of their generation.
The petitioners appreciated His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe Hon. Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for proposing that 10 youths shall be proportionally selected from all the country`s provinces to represent youth in Parliament through the constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 2 Bill on 17 January 2020. However, the petitioners argued that the proposal might give power to political parties to determine the youth proportional representation list hence deprive young people the opportunity to be appointed on merit. The petitioners also indicated to the Committee that if the 10% youth quota is adhered to, youth representation will remain at its lowest mark, yet Zimbabwe is one of the African countries with youth comprising the majority of the population.
In order for all the youth concerns to be addressed, the petitioners went on to beseech the Parliament of Zimbabwe to exercise its constitutional role and protect the constitutionally guaranteed right for the youths to be fairly represented at all levels from the district to national levels.
The petitioners further claimed that youth empowerment needed to be complemented by a legislative framework which promotes youth ability to battle it alone during an electoral process; hence the need to ensure ZEC set aside constituencies where youths are able to contest each other. They felt that this will see a significant increase of youth representation in Parliament and local government levels.
Oral evidence from Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and
National Youth Bill
In her submission on 29 April 2021, Dr K. Coventry informed the Committee that, the Ministry was working towards the development of a National Youth Bill which seeks to address a number of youth’s concerns including issues raised by the petitioners.
She further indicated to the Committee that, the Ministry was operating within the framework of the National Youth Policy and the challenge with a policy was that it is not legally binding and is also limited in scope. However, the proposed National Youth Bill will contain set of standards, principles, and procedures that must be followed in the implementation of various pieces of youth policies. The proposed law together with its instruments would ensure that legally binding principles are followed, implemented and adhered to. It would also uphold the values, principles and standards set out in section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Dr. Coventry also informed the Committee that, currently the
Bill was still at its drafting within the Attorney’s General’s office and was near completion. To that end, the Ministry was organising a workshop for the week beginning 24 May 2021 to finalise the draft Bill. Once completed, the Ministry will facilitate countywide stakeholder consultations to enable the youth including the petitioners to make their contributions towards the bill. A roadmap had been developed by the Ministry and it spells out all the stages that had to be followed up to the Bill being assented to by the President.
Dr. K. Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation informed the Committee that, her Ministry had taken a number of measures to facilitate and promote fair representation of youths at all levels; including at local government level, national level and electoral processes, which includes the following:
Creation of Enabling Legal and Policy Framework:
The Minister indicated to the Committee that, following the approval by Cabinet of the Revised National Youth Policy, the Ministry had already started working towards its dissemination to the youth and stakeholders including translation into all the major languages as well as braille. More so, the Ministry was currently spearheading the development of a new National Youth Bill which will provide for among others, facilitate and promote fair representation of youths at all levels including participation at local government level, national level and electoral processes.
Appointment of the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) Board
Dr. Coventry informed the Committee that, in accordance with
Section 3B (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act
(Chapter 25:19 as amended in 1997), an 8-member board for the ZYC had been appointed. The Ministry will facilitate the election of the other 7 members of the board by registered national youth associations in terms of Section 3B (1)(ii) and (2) of the Act. 2.3.
Decentralisation of the Zimbabwe Youth Council:
The Minister further told the Committee that, as indicated in the
Ministry’s 2021-25 Strategic Plan which is aligned to the NDS1
2021-25, the Ministry was working towards the decentralisation of the ZYC to all the country`s 10 provinces. Decentralisation will ensure effective coordination, supervision, promotion and fostering of youth activities at provincial and district levels. Reference was also made to Section 7 of the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act (Chapter 25:19 as amended in 1997) which allows the Minister to establish provincial and district structures for effective execution of its given mandate.
Youth Leadership Development Initiatives:
Dr. Coventry informed the Committee that, her Ministry, in collaboration with other line Ministries was supporting a number of youth-led activities as part of its youth leadership development programme and also to facilitate their participation. Some of the activities include;
- Junior Parliament;
- Junior Councils;
- Youth dialogue Forums (such as Youth Indabas, Youth Business
Forum, Youth Chats with Policy Makers); Youth Leadership capacity Building Trainings; and
- Youth focal desks (persons) in line Ministries.
Observations by the Committee
The following observations were made by the Committee:
The Committee noted with concern that youth participation is an issue that cuts across and unites youths from all walks of life and the claims made by the petitioners were constitutional in terms of sSction
20 of the Constitution that need to be respected and observed.
The Committee observed that young people face stiff competition from already financially established adults, thus limiting their chances of success.
The Committee discovered that youth voices, involvement and participation in the election of Zimbabwe Youth Council Board was very low since only selected individual representatives of national youth associations affiliated to ZYC were eligible to vote during the election process.
The Committee observed that the Executive had created structures that accommodate youth participation and representation. For instance, the Cabinet has approved that 10 youths shall be proportionally selected to represent youths in Parliament. However, if the 10% is adhered to youth representation will still remain low yet youths comprise majority of the population in the country.
The Committee recommends the following:
The Committee recommends that, the Ministry of Youth, Sport,
Arts and Recreation should expedite and put in place the National Youth Act by 30 September 2021. The Act should ensure that it addresses all the concerns of the youths.
The Committee recommends that by 31st of December 2022,
Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should ensure that the Zimbabwe Youth Council decentralise its structures to promote effective coordination, supervision and fostering of youth activities at all levels.
The Committee further recommends that, going forward, the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation should ensure that all election processes for Zimbabwe Youth Council are regulated by
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to ensure transparency and fairness.
The Committee further recommends that Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs should submit a bill to Parliament by 31st December 2021 amending the Constitution to increase the youth quota from 10% to 25%.
The committee also recommends that the Ministry of Justice should amend the electoral Act to provide for the modalities for the realisation of the amendment to the constitutional provision for 60 women to include young women and young women with disabilities by 31st December 2022.
The Committee supports the Petitioner`s requests in terms of section 20 of the constitution and like any other citizen of the country, the youths deserve a fair representation to that end. Thus, youth representation and participation are crucial for developing policies that respond to the specific needs of younger generations. The Committee, however, appreciated efforts being made by the Executive through Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in responding to youth’s aspirations through the development of National Youth Act which seeks to address among others, issues raised by the petitioners. I thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity.
(v)HON. E. MASUKU: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to second the report which has been presented by the Chairperson Hon. Tongofa on behalf of the Youth Committee. The petitioner sought to unpack and they are agitating, lobbying for increased youth participation and representation in Executive decision making platforms in all sectors of the society.
Madam Speaker, this is very important because in Africa, the population is described as a youthful one and the scenario in
Zimbabwe also testifies to that. More than 60% of the country’s population comprises of people who are under the age of 25. It is of paramount importance that young people are more active with more loud voices and play a part which is more visible in decision making platforms of all sectors at all levels.
Madam Speaker, as you have seen in the report Section 20 of our Constitution and all institutions of Government states that at every level, we should take action that will ensure that young people will have access to education, training and have opportunities to associate and be represented in Parliament and participate in political, social, economic and other skills of life among others. Madam Speaker, it is important that the State and the Executive moves with speed in ensuring that all sections of the institutions which promote or lobby for the satisfaction or empowerment of young people are aligned. We all know how much our youth do not have access to resources. They do not have collateral for example to get loans from the banks. They are always at a disadvantage when it comes to access of resources.
While we are still there Madam Speaker, I would want to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa for introducing the Youth Empowerment through the Venture Capital. This will go a long way in empowering the young people. Once they are empowered, they would be able to participate in decision making especially, in politics and all levels beginning in local authorities, council, provincial levels and in the National Assembly.
Madam Speaker, we however advocate that even young people from rural areas will also be empowered. At one point, it is my hope that we will help young people’s presences who are coming as far as
Binga, Tsholotsho, Nkayi, in Matabeleland North where I come from.
Madam Speaker, it is also important to pay tribute to the President, Dr. E. D. Mnangagwa and his Government for proposing that 10 youths be represented proportionally, selected from each province in the country. While this number is a bit low, I would like to salute his Government because already, this has been incorporated into the
National Constitution through Amendment Bill No. 20 of 17th January 2020. This shows the commitment from the highest office on the importance of having young people in Parliament.
Madam Speaker, it is my hope that when this is implemented, young females are also included. I would like to urge Parliament to move with more speed in rectifying most and old pieces of legislation to be made international, continental, Africa Union Chapters which have something to do with promoting the participation of young people in the economy which eventually allow them to take in decision making. Since we all know that we are operating in extremely difficult times, the world is facing one of the biggest challenges, COVID-19 pandemic which basically has slowed down most of the programmes and plans that we had on our calendar. Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity again to thank Cde. E. D. Mnangagwa and the Government for a reasonable amount of the resources that have been given to youths to support vocational training centres across the country. These efforts must be appreciated by all Zimbabweans and Members of this august House. The Committee also observed that young people said this petition from already financially well established adults is limiting their chances of success. The quota for young people in the National Assembly however, at least gives hope to our young people that they can be represented. I also urge young people to not only wait for the 10 seats but also compete for the 210 seats.
As I conclude, please allow me to thank the petitioner because it is my strong conviction that we are able to move forward as a country and succeed. We have included the masses and according to the Chief Whip, young people are the majority. I would like to urge our young women to pull up their socks and play a more active role in their areas. It does not matter where they are coming from. Our young people need to be more visible in as far as moving our country to Vision 2030 is concerned. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TONGOFA: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th October, 2021.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):
Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me also thank Hon. Members in this very important august House for giving me a very important task to bring a ministerial statement on road carnage to this august House.
Pursuant to a request by Hon. Nduna on the 18th August 2021, that I deliver a Ministerial Statement to this august House relating to the road carnages in the country as well as issues of integration of Transport Management System to minimise road crashes and fatalities, I hereby wish to deliver such a statement Hon. Madam Speaker.
Allow me, from the outset, to commiserate with bereaved families of the diseased and those who got injured as a result of road carnages along our roads. I wish to particularly single out the fatal accident which occurred on the 5th July 2021 at the 61km peg along Masvingo/Zvishavane Road where 22 lives were lost. I personally attended the scene, it was sad and horrendous. I share their pain and would therefore encourage the nation to join us in preventing similar carnages in future. With the indulgence of this august House and your indulgence Hon. Madam Speaker, allow me to call upon you to observe a minute of silence in honour of all the victims who lost their lives this year as a result of road carnage.
Hon. Members observed a minute of silence.
Madam Speaker, the available road crash statistics for this year alone are startling. During the first quarter of 2021 alone, that is January to March, the country experienced 7984 road crashes in which 282 people lost their lives and 1373 got injured. These statistics were experienced, despite the fact that for the greater part of the first quarter the country was under lockdown with limited road user movements thus anticipated reduced exposure to the risk of road crashes. Programming against road carnage and promotion of road safety are a multi-stakeholder function which requires a systems approach which is being advocated by the World Bank. I will therefore follow the systems approach in attending to the issues raised by Hon. Nduna. The fight against road carnage under my Ministry is addressed under the auspices of five pillars namely: Road Safety Management, Safety Roads in Mobility, Safe Vehicles, Safe Road Use and Post Crash Response.
Road Safety Management is predicated upon International and National Legal and Policy Instruments which prescribe standards on road safety. It also refers to institutional structures, processes and procedures of road safety governance. Under this pillar, my Ministry is concerned with strengthening and capacitating road safety management institutions. This is the pillar under which the Integrated Transport Management System falls. In 2018, Government entered into a triple P arrangement and rolled out the Zimbabwe Integrated Transport Management System, which is a computer based system aimed at eliminating corrupt activities while boosting operational efficiency at VID, ZINARA, CVR, Traffic Police, Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and ZIMRA. It is envisaged that the entire criminal justice system will be linked in future to enable the implementation of the penalty point system which is on the cards under my Ministry.
Madam Speaker, under ZIMTSS we have managed to computerise the vehicle licence system through ZINARA and that process is now complete. We have also begun a pilot scheme on VID driver licensing system with aspiring drivers now undergoing a compuiterised learner license where they instantly get their results. The pilot schemes are at eight selected centres and let me also advise the House that we almost have 23 depots in five provinces and we hope to roll-out the scheme throughout the country soon. The system has the effect of reducing human interface in the process of driver licensing with a view to reduce corruption and improve competencies to reduce incidences of road carnage.
On a related matter, in order to improve road crash, data collection and recording in the country the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe facilitated the implementation of a geospatial road crash data collection and recorded system from the World Bank called data for road incident visualisation, evaluation and reporting known as the acronym DRIVER. I am sure the Hon. Members are very familiar with the word geospatial having been launched at one of our higher learning institutions, the University of Zimbabwe.
The ZRP and the Ministry of Health and Child Care will benefit from the use of the system and once fully implemented, Zimbabwe will become the third country in Africa after Morocco and Malawi to have the system. This is a welcome development because road safety interventions are effective only if they are informed by accurate and reliable road crash data.
Madam Speaker, pillar number 2 deals with safer roads and mobility. This pillar is concerned with the inherent safety and protective quality of road networks for the benefit of all road users especially the most vulnerable, for example pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. As you would all recall, on 9th February, 2021 the
Government declared the state of our roads a national disaster thereby giving impetus to the operationalisation of the second phase of the emergency road rehabilitation programme, ERRP2.
Under ERRP2, the Government is targeting to rehabilitate 10 000 km of road countrywide. I have spoken on a number of fora pertaining to the ERRP2. It is without doubt that ERRP2 leads to wider, smooth surfaced and safer roads which safeguards against road carnage. In that vein, my Ministry remains seized with the provision and maintenance of sustainable road infrastructure and other associated services working closely with the Hon. Members playing their oversight role. The Second Republic treats the issue of rehabilitation of our roads seriously.
Last time I pleaded with Hon. Members to drive along HarareMasvingo road for them to witness for themselves the commitment we have in improving road safety through road construction. Today I register another such call for Hon. Members to drive along Seke road and once again, witness what His Excellency the President Dr.
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s Government is delivering for the people. We have learnt from him. We are a listening Ministry. We have responded positively to the public outcry over potholes on our roads and need to have an interchange at Mbudzi roundabout which is very topical and is something that we are moving with speed to address.
The third pillar focuses on safer vehicles. This pillar speaks to global core and universal encouragement for the deployment of improved vehicles safety technologies to cater for both passive and active safety through a combination of harmonisation of relevant global standards, consumer information schemes and incentives to accelerate the uptake of new technologies. My Ministry through the VID continues to enforce vehicle fitness especially for public vehicles. As a Ministry, we are however alive to the road safety risk posed by unregistered pirate taxis, Mushikashika or go fast, which clandestinely continue to ply our roads in most of our urban centres. In order to address this, I believe there is need for collective action from law enforcement, local authorities and the Local Government Ministry and this calls for a holistic approach and the highest level of compliance from our citizenry.
Further on the same note of safer vehicles, I applaud
Government for the use of fiscal means to restrict the importation of aged and unsafe second hand vehicles through the enactment of Statutory Instrument 89 of 2021 which banned the importation of second hand cars over ten years in Zimbabwe. This contributes to mitigation of road carnage on our roads and the undesirable impact thereof.
Pillar number four deals with safer road use. The pillar speaks to the development of comprehensive programmes to improve road user behavior, sustained or increased enforcement of laws and standards combined with public awareness and education to increase seatbelt and for instance, helmet wearing and reduce drinking and driving, speed and other risk factors are some of the target areas. My Ministry, through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe carries out road safety campaigns in schools, churches, communities, workplaces, bus termini and roadsides.
In fact, road safety has been included in the school curriculum. In spite of the lockdowns, the TSCZ has continued to work with ZRP and the corporate world in carrying out road safety campaigns. Traffic safety training centres to teach road safety to school children has also been constructed in both urban and rural areas. Currently, one such centre is nearing completion in Seke communal area and the place is known as Chitsvedemo School. Hon. Members might be wondering what will be in that training centre. That is where we are trying to bring a real scenario of an urban set up where there is a robot, pedestrian crossing and bicycles so that those who are less privileged could have that kind of a scenario at their doorstep.
My Ministry believes that the rural community should not be left out in development. The TSCZ also has driver improvement programmes for drivers, for example the defensive driving certificate course. The course is currently compulsory for public service drivers but stakeholders are currently lobbying us to make it compulsory even to private vehicle drivers. I will also humbly request this august House to move with speed in trying to enforce and come up with a legislative tool to address this anomaly.
Also, the need to raise awareness Hon. Madam Speaker, we have got a problem when we are driving along our highways. It is clearly stated that slow moving traffic should keep to their left but you find someone insisting to be in the inner lane and this kind of culture, I humbly appeal to the people of Zimbabwe because a number of accidents are brought about by such kind of behavior whereby people start being impatient and start overtaking from both sides. This is my call to say those that are not moving according to the prescribed road limit on that particular road should keep to their left. Surprisingly, if you cross Limpopo into South Africa, the same driver would know that if you are not moving fast you keep to the extreme left. So, it is a matter of the mindset and I ask the people of Zimbabwe to take note that this is one of the major causes of accidents in our roads.
Pillar number five focuses on post crash response, this pillar speaks to increase in responsiveness to post crash emergencies, and improve the ability of health and other systems to provide appropriate emergency treatment and long attained rehabilitation of crash victims. Through the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe, my Ministry and private corporate partners, is working on establishing an inter agency national call center for the coordination of post crash activities. Research has shown that a significant percentage of road crush deaths occur within the first one hour, the so called golden hour after a road crush, thus I have instructed officials in my Ministry to work towards establishment of a sustainable road accident fund. I will endeavour Hon. Madam Speaker, to include the legislative framework for the same to be part of His Excellency the President Cde. Emmerson
Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s legislative agenda as he comes before the august House.
The establishment of the fund is long overdue and therefore, my Ministry will work flat out on the same. Most recently, I was in Kigali, Rwanda for a bilateral working visit. My delegation and I were exposed to a number of good practices in infrastructure development which enhance road safety.
Road infrastructure development should be viewed as a package including secure and robust street lighting, well-functioning drainage systems, appropriate widening of roads to accommodate cycle tracks and pedestrian pavements. Further, good, durable and clean roads are also appealing and an attraction to the tourists, thus the need to plant and maintain flower beds and green plants along the highways and such tasks are reserved for women and youths. I am glad with the listening President that we have, the same scenario and the same practice can also be adopted in our beautiful country Zimbabwe.
We must also deploy technical and financial capabilities towards fencing off our highways to security them from stray animals. It is also surprising Madam Speaker, that exercise was done and the fence was stolen and who is going now to guard one another because surely the fence to be stolen along the highway in day light; this is an act of sabotage that I think happened. It was a good gesture Madam
We should also scale out our enforcement mechanisms against vandalism of infrastructure, law enforcement is key to sustain the longevity of installations along the highways and other infrastructure.
We are also part of a global peer review ecosystem with other member States of the various conventions on road safety. In terms of improving road safety management, I am glad to report to the august House that the Zimbabwe Road Safety Performance Review Report sponsored by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(UNECA) and United Nations Economic for Europe (UNECE) from 2019 has been completed and shall be launched soon. The review report is a game changer as it identified gaps in our current road safety management system. The lunch of the report, will thus usher in a period of structural and institutional transformations as envisaged in the NDS 1 in order to achieve 25% reduction in road crashed and fatalities by 2025.
The transformation of the TSCZ into a lead road safety authority with full powers to administer the National Road Safety Policy, Strategy and action plan thereof, as well as to coordinate the activities of all road safety stakeholders in the country is eminent. In fulfillment of His Excellency, the President’s promise to the United
Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Mr. Jean
Todt in May this year, we will accede to some of the United Nations
Conventions on Road Safety as well as the African Road Safety Charter. These initiatives will unlock funds for our national road safety programme from the Global Road Safety Fund which is administered under the officer of the Special Envoy for Road Safety.
Hon. Speaker, I am also ware of efforts by my fellow parliamentarians from the Transport and Infrastructural Development Portfolio Committee during the Eighth Parliament, to encourage my
Ministry through the Traffic Safety Council to establish crash victim’s stablisation centres at tollgates around the country. While stablisation centres are a noble emergency medical service strategy, it is however unfortunate that the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe’s mandate in its current form does not include building and supporting stablisation centres. In that vein and recognising their importance, Government, through my Ministry, will work flat out to work out in sponsoring legislative police recommendation to achieve extension of mandate for that purpose.
Hon. Speaker, as I move towards my conclusion, road crashes are acceptable because we all know that they are preventable and avoidable. I therefore, appeal to all road users to behave responsibly on our roads. On that note, I appeal to families, individuals, institutions, private and public companies and you Hon. Madam Speaker and Hon. Members of this esteemed august House to join me in fighting road carnage in our motherland. Let us all play our part for road safety as it is everyone’s responsibility.
Let me also take this opportunity to then advise the august House that we had a problem of number plates which was quite problematic. A number of motorists were just plying routes with unregistered vehicles and some took advantage of that gap. I am there to announce that we received adequate stocks of number plates this past month. According to the information that we have, we have about 35 000 unregistered vehicles and we have received 37 000 pairs of numbers. It means that that gap is going to be bridged. However, at the end of October, we are going to receive 151 500 and the consumption of number plates should just give you information Hon.
We produce almost 3000 a day and that is the capacity of the production of number plates if you then multiply by 30 days, we can produce 90 000 number plates but he consumption of our number plates is between 6 000 to 7 000. This is what we import after the advent of the Statutory Instrument that banned those cars above 10 years. Before that, it was 7 000 to 8 000, so now we are currently importing about 6 000 vehicles. So, it means we will then have surplus above that. It means by end of October, if we then receive our batch for 151 000 for those who can do their mathematics, it means we will have almost close to 18 months’ adequate supply of number plates. What that entails is that as a Ministry, we are saying by the first of December, it will be mandatory for every motorist to have number plates and there is no excuse. This will also manage the issues of hit and run, those that will take advantage of unregistered vehicles.
I then now need to advise the people of Zimbabwe that come December, the law enforcement agencies, together with some of our departments, will be flat out on our road and we will not allow motorists to take advantage. Whether it is a Government vehicle, it must have number plates, and it must be licenced. Licencing, whether it is not plying, there must be a disk on the wind screen. So I just thought may be as we go back to our constituencies, we make sure that we also preach the good news that come December, all the vehicles will be having their number plates.
As we speak, they are desks that have been set up at CVR, ZINARA, to expedite the process of issuance of number plates. So, you must take advantage of that provision and make sure that you comply with the law. On that note Hon. Speaker, I want to thank you very much and thank Hon. Nduna for such a request so that I table this Ministerial Statement before the august House and also thank the Hon. Members for the continued support that I usually get to make my life easier at the Ministry of Transport. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister of
giving us such a comprehensive Ministerial Statement. I now call upon Hon. Members to ask questions of clarification.
HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Madam President, I thank the Minister for the wonderful Ministerial Statement. My question or may be suggestion, I want to ask the Minister – some of our accidents happen when there is no electricity, can it not be a policy that all robots are powered with solar. The Minister of Energy and Power Development yesterday promised that there is going to be more production of electricity but these things are always on and off.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I seek
clarification from the Hon. Minister on two issues. Firstly, whilst I appreciate the good work that they are doing in road rehabilitation, especially on the highways and in towns, I do not see anything happening in our rural areas. In Gokwe North for example, we have several roads and there is nothing happening. We want to applaud the Ministry for doing a lot of work in towns and on the highways, especially Beitbridge Road, however, what about us in Gokwe? I want to challenge the Minister to drive along KadomaPatchway-Sanyati Road and get to Binga. The road is terrible; our cars can no longer spend the 5-year term because of these bad roads. Secondly, I liked the Road Safety Management point that he mentioned as a way of reducing carnage but I think your Ministry
Hon. Minister is being sabotaged by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Un-road worthy vehicles are using our roads, they just produce
USD$5 to 10 and they are allowed to pass through. I thank you.
HON. BRIG. GEN. (RTD.) MAYIHLOME: Thank you very
much Madam Speaker. My first point is related to the haulage trucks on our roads, particularly on the Bulawayo Highway. You find that chrome carrying vehicles from Shurugwi to Selu which traffic can be on rail is on trucks. The Hon. Minister also controls the railways and I wonder why that traffic cannot move off the road so that our roads can last longer.
In other countries, trucks are restricted from moving at night but here they move anytime. Why are we just being laissez faire in controlling the movement of haulage trucks, particularly traffic that should ordinarily be on rail?
Secondly, the issue of road infrastructural development surfacing materials; what measures do we have to replace the old fashioned tamarc? In other countries like Austria, Czechoslovakia, they use even granite slabs to gravel urban roads. In our country, we are sticking to the old fashioned method which is very expensive. I am told in Czech Republic, that technology was initiated by students from university and that is what they are using to surface their roads. I am saying this because in some parts of the country, tarmac was last laid before I was born. I am 68 years old, if it is going to take 68 years for a region to get a new tarred road, surely this country will not develop because the only tarred road we know is the Victoria
Vehicles that we are importing, are there any plans between yourselves and the Ministry of energy and Ministry of Industry and Commerce to have our vehicles converted to renewable energy. We are still importing vehicles which in some countries would be phased out in 10 years time and we are still bringing them in this country.
What are the plans, we will end up with vehicles that will continue using fuel when other countries have moved to renewable energy like electricity? Are there any plans between your Ministry and other Ministries?
Urban congestion vehicles; I think this is a menace on the high ways, Bulawayo to Harare, these towns, Chegutu, Kadoma and Kwekwe, what is the Ministry doing to ease congestion on the main highways. I thank you.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would also
like to add my voice in thanking the Hon. Minister for a detailed Ministerial Statement. Minister Mhona is one of the Ministers who normally act swiftly when requested to bring in Ministerial
Statements, so I would like to thank him for that.
It is so sad to be losing people through road carnage and I have discovered that in most cases when repairs are done on the roads, there is poor workmanship. I would like to single out the road towards Sable as you are driving into Kwekwe, that road has been repaired severally but the road is bumpy. As motorists are driving, some of them will be driving fast and as they drive along those roads, they end up losing control and accidents happen. I would like to appeal to you Hon. Minister so that you make sure that there is thorough supervision as these people repair roads. It would appear as if these people do not know what they are doing because you cannot be repairing a road over and over again.
I would also like to urge the Hon. Minister that there be signage on the roads. Where there are caves, people must know you are approaching a curve and you must slow down. If it means putting the humps so that people slow down, I think it is better that way.
HON. T. MLISWA: I want to thank Hon. Mhona for such a
detailed, diligent Ministerial Statement and as Hon. Khupe said, he is one of the few Ministers who respect colleague Members of Parliament and I think it must be applauded.
My point of clarity is on the mining companies that are destroying roads. For example, if you go to Norton, there is a Quarry on your left before Selous, there is a road which cuts across to the Zvimba Road which is called the Jinx Town Road. It is a 10 tonne road but 30 tonne trucks carrying Chinese chrome are using it. They do not repair it, they are damaging it. The issue of enforcement is what I am asking. What does your Ministry do to such companies which are not abiding by the law by not sticking to a 10 tonne truck and bringing in a 30 tonne truck?
Secondly, for us to have a proper road network why are we not doing like what Rhodesia did? Whoever wanted to mine, the first thing was to put infrastructure in place, put the roads. The roads that we enjoy such as Shamva and all over were born by Rhodesia. So, why are we not getting companies that are interested in our minerals to put infrastructure first – roads, schools, hospitals and all that. All the infrastructure you see today of roads in all these places is as a result of the Rhodesia policy that they had and so forth because the investment must go into infrastructure.
The other issue is, why as a Ministry and I know you being there you will come up with this, you cannot have a situation where there is an oversupply of vehicles against roads which are not expanded. It does not make sense, Madam Speaker. Hon. Mhona hears me when I am saying this. You cannot be bringing in 10 000 cars when your roads are not expanding and that is why there is congestion. So, no matter what you say, you need to stop cars coming in until you
expand the roads at the end of the day. This has killed the issue of infrastructure in terms of the roads and so forth. I would like to find out from you what measures are you going to take to ensure that there is road expansion which is tallying with the cars coming in. There is an overflow of cars and the roads have not expanded since I do not know.
Finally, what is also important, the point of clarity I want to ask the Minister is: in terms of the rural roads there is equipment which belonged to the RDC which was brought through – why are we not seeing a development in those roads? Most of the Members of Parliament here, like the Hon. Member said, their cars are finished because the roads are terrible. Whilst there is good work happening on the highway in Masvingo and so forth, not many people can afford to come into town, by the way, and see the Masvingo road. It is us with good cars who can see, but the majority of the people in the rural areas are not seeing that effort. So, it is important for you to answer to that that how can we now convince the people. You have given us a task as politicians. There is no politician here who will gather people in their constituency and say the roads are being tarred when they are not being tarred. When are the roads in the rural area going to be tarred so that we can go around our constituencies? It would be good for people in the rural areas to travel moving from gravel roads to tarred roads and not the other way round where they go from tarred roads to gravel roads. That does not give a good image of us as Members of Parliament. So, I do not know how you can augment that so that it reconcile with the good road network which is happening in towns and the rural areas. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to thank the Minister for a very good Ministerial Statement and I want to ask if the Minister is aware of the corruption happening at the tollgates which are not computerised. There is a lot of corruption happening there. Why are you not having these tollgates computerised and when are we likely to have them computerised, for example the Chivhu road, Seke road and the road when you are going to Chiredzi? I thank you.
HON. NDIWENI: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Mhona for his Ministerial Statement. I seek clarity pertaining to one road, Madam Speaker. I have got the opportunity, so I thought I would mention it to the Hon. Minister.
Whilst we appreciate the good work that his Ministry is doing on most major highways we have the Chinhoyi to Karoyi highway. Hon. Minister it is becoming a strip road. There are plenty of accidents that are happening there and two trucks can hardly pass each other on that road. It is a death trap, Hon. Minister. I thought I would mention it to you coupled with the tollgate between Chinhoyi and Karoi. We need two lanes on both sides because you go there, people stop there and they have to wait for close to an hour. You feel sorry for the people. It is easier for us Members of Parliament because we have got side roads, we can pass, but at times I really feel sorry for the general public on that tollgate. I thank you Madam
HON. MATARANYIKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want
to thank the Minister for a well detailed statement. In his statement the Minister mentioned that they banned vehicles that are 10 years or older on the basis that they had become a menace on the roads.
My issue is, we have got a lot of our people who cannot afford to buy new vehicles and all they can afford is to get a vehicle that may be 10 to 15 years old at a price of maybe US$3 000 to US$5000. So, these small vehicles make these young families very happy and it is those small things that drive them every day. If you look at the happiness index of Zimbabwe I think it is ranked around 148 out of the 180 countries or so. So, I am not sure whether this policy was well thought of, Hon. Minister because even if you were going to…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mataranyika, please
may you go straight to your question.
HON. MATARANYIKA: I want to find out from the Minister what plans they have come up with to replace those vehicles that are older than 10 years and how affordable, if there is any plan, would they be to our poor people? Thank you very much Madam Speaker.
(v)HON. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to ask the Hon. Minister Mhona, but before asking him I want to thank him for a job well done. You deserve a special Christmas gift from the people of Zimbabwe for the hard work you are doing.
Madam Speaker, Mutare, Harare and Chirundu are full of diesel tankers. Why can we not construct an additional pipeline to increase our pumping capacity and decongest the roads?
Secondly, Forbes Border post now has more traffic than Beitbridge Border post. If he does not have an immediate answer can you come with a Ministerial Statement on his plans to develop Forbes
Border post. I want to thank you Madam Speaker for recognising me.
(v)HON. SARUWAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me
start by thanking the Hon. Minister for a marked improvement along the Harare-Mutare Road at the tollgate. I have managed to time the cycle time as we pass at the tollgate, they have improved a lot to around two minutes. It is unfortunate that I heard Hon. Ndiweni speaking about the Chinhoyi problem but particularly along the Mutare highway, I think I have noticed a marked improvement. It helps in reducing road accidents because frustrated drivers at the tollgates end up bumping into each other and forced to drive carelessly for they would have lost a lot of time. I want to urge him to do the same throughout the country so that they reduce the cycle time at the tollgate.
I would also want to say that I agree with the Hon. Minister’s observation that we have got a lot of slow moving vehicles occupying the fast lane. I have not yet seen anywhere where our road signs indicate to encourage the drivers to occupy the slow moving lane so that they identify those two lanes as fast lane and slow lane. Can he, through his Ministry, put up the sign post so that the drivers know that if you are moving slowly, you occupy the slow lane and if you are moving fast, you use the fast lane.
I also wanted to say Madam Speaker, a lot of our people die during the golden hour he spoke about because a lot of Zimbabweans do not know what to do when they get to an accident. Many people try to help but they also exacerbate the problem by causing further fractures. My question to him is whether his Ministry is coming up with any plan to make sure that every Zimbabwean has the opportunity to go through a first aid training for example when Parliament is opening, can he arrange so that all parliamentarians are trained at basic first aid so that we are able to be useful when there is an accident? A lot of people need to help but they do not know what to do.
My last question to the Minister is, I notice a lot of roads do not have clear verge. At the edge of the road is where vegetation starts. I will use the example of Hauna Road and Jombe Road where there is no allowance just after the road side such that when vehicles break down, they are forced to park in the middle of the road. What is his Ministry doing to make sure that every road in Zimbabwe has at least an allowance along the verges whether it is two metres or three metres? What is his Ministry doing to make sure that has been enforced? We have got a lot of accidents being caused because of the lack of allowance outside the verge.
(v)HON. MOKONE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for giving me this opportunity to raise my concerns over the Ministerial Statement that was presented before the House. Let me start by thanking the Minister for the wonderful job that he is doing.
However, I have a few concerns. Hon. Minister, the tollgate in Colleen Bawn has not been refurbished. I think it has been like that for more than five years now. So there is no structure at all. The second issue pertains to the road that links Gwanda to Beitbridge.
There has been some improvement but some parts of the road are in a terrible state. The last issue is of the people who are hired to repair the roads. They do not do it in a splendid manner especially when we are looking at the road that connects Bulawayo to Esigodini, to be precise, it is at Kensington. The road is poorly done. Thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I thank the Hon. Minister for the Statement. There are two issues that I wish to raise. Firstly, two major policies were pronounced by Government – the issue of left hand vehicles and now the age of the vehicles. Do they have statistics to show that there is relationship between the side of the steering and accident and the age of the vehicles and accidents? Secondly, Madam Speaker, we are happy there is a lot of rehabilitation of our roads in the rural areas but do they have a mechanism to check the quality of work. Some roads are being rehabilitated very well but some are terrible and the contractors are just getting away with it. Thank you.
HON. SAMUKANGE: Thank you Madam Speaker for finally
recognising me. I am going to ask the Hon. Minister very specific questions relating to my Constituency Mudzi South in particular.
About a month ago, the Minister, the Resident Minister, myself and other stakeholders in Mashonaland East attended a function which was supposed to be a ceremony but at the same time a briefing at Rwenya Bridge. We were assured that the bridge will be constructed beginning that day. In fact, I was even told as we drive back to Harare, we should be meeting trucks ferrying equipment to repair the bridge. Madam Speaker, this bridge was destroyed in 2011. It connects Manicaland North or Nyanga North and Mudzi South. It is crucial. Since that time, there has been no connection. People have to come all the way to Harare to get to Nyanga and vice versa.
The second question that I would want to hear from the Minister is when do we expect the road which connects Nyanga and Mutoko to be tarred? It is a very important road. As a result of failure to have these tarred, our people have to travel long distances because buses do not want to go through the roads as the roads are very poor. Finally, you talked of green belt and that a dam will be built along Rwenya River, which will service most of Mudzi South. So, I wanted to know when that is going to materialise.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA): Let
me thank my colleagues for very important questions and areas, the clarity that they have sought. I will do the LIFO Last In First Out and I will start with my Hon. learned friend Hon. Samkange, since he said we come from the same province – I will favour him with the first response. His last point of clarity though, does not fall under my purview. I will gladly take that message to my colleague on the dam that is supposed to be built along Rwenya River, which will also be a welcome development to the province and the entire nation. He went further to seek clarity on the issue of Rwenya Bridge. It is true, we were there and pictures circulated in the press where I was bare footed crossing the river. That happened a few weeks ago. Surely that bridge was swept away during Cyclone Eline and this is close to a decade now and nothing has happened. It is not only the economic benefits derived from that bridge in terms of connectivity but it borders on the issues of security concerns whereby this also is our bridge that does offer security services along that corridor and therefore calls for urgent attention to repair it. Contrary to the assertions by my Hon. learned colleague that the bridge was going to be constructed on the same day that I visited, I think maybe he was trying to emphasise the issue of urgency that it has to be done when it comes to that bridge. We also have issues of procurement.
The same day, I went with contractors on site. Normally, if we flight a tender, we give them time to respond but in order to fast track, we are giving about 10 days to all contractors, then they come on site, do their bill of quantities then tender their forms. This is basically what happened. On that particular day, we had about four contractors who came to assess but apparently those four contractors in terms of capacity, what they saw, they could not be in a position to take up the offer.
Let me now gladly advise Hon. Samkange that as we speak, this coming Tuesday, we are closing again after we had retendered. We now got four or five serious companies with capacity. Normally, in construction, they are categorised so we have the relevant category we have tendered and I assure the Hon. Member that we are still on course in terms of rehabilitating that Rwenya Bridge. So, you can go and advise that after Tuesday, we will then get the winner and works will then start. Not starting on Tuesday so that I am not misquoted. After the closure of the tenders, we get the contractor who is handed over the site and start mobilising equipment so that he will be on site. Hon. Eng. Gabbuza, usually when he asks, it will be on issues of quality, monitoring and evaluation and that is expected of him. Being an engineer, you are precise and the concerns are well taken on board. Once again, I appeal to the august House that this task will not be to the Ministry alone. We have got numbers for Provincial Road Engineers and if you see any shoddy work being done, do not wait for the question and answer session on Wednesday. You can call me or the engineer to take the engineer to account because this is the money coming from the citizenry and we must be accountable as citizenry as well. So, on issues of capacity to monitor, we have got resident engineers wherever we are constructing a road that are supposed to give feedback to the parent ministry in terms of the work being done. We expect that if there is no element of connivance, we must not have situations of shoddy deals being paid.
We have what we call Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, which should be signed and used for payments. So, we will not allow connivance whether it is an engineer who is superintending over that project to allow that stage if it is not done properly. We must make sure that we work together in terms of making sure that we monitor the work that we are doing.
You also raised a very important point viz-a-viz the left hand and then the old cars as well as the relationship towards the accidents that we are witnessing. Usually the fact that we drive on our left hand means it takes time for one to overtake as you have to move the whole body of the vehicle so that you have access and visibility which then makes it dangerous because the moment you want to encroach, it means you will have encroached the bigger part of the body of the vehicle. If it is a right hand vehicle, if you encroach and you see there is oncoming vehicle, you have to go back to your lane. This, however, is something that requires empirical evidence like what you were saying in terms of the relationship. Truly speaking though, in terms of old cars, in other jurisdictions, there is no way they can allow even those that are still below 10 years because in their parent countries, these are vehicles that are deregistered and normally you find the sticker on the windscreen or side glasses that the vehicle is deregistered but to us it will appear as a new vehicle.
So, the policy was in the right trajectory and this will also address the question that has been raised by my other learned colleague Hon. Mataranyika that I will then address together with this question of old cars that are being imported. The S.I came from the Ministry of Finance. Yes, we do issue permits but that was not under the purview of the Ministry of Transport, the ban. Let me also clarify for the people of Zimbabwe that just like any other issue that when you hear of Ministry of Transport, you will be asked all sorts of questions pertaining to transport. The citizenry is entitled to do that but at times some of the questions will be under different ministries. In this particular one, the ban through the S.I. in terms of ZIMRA that they will not allow cars that are over 10 years basically would fall under the Ministry of Finance. But then I will move on to Hon. Mokone, tollgates and she mentioned Colleen Bawn that it has not been rehabilitated. I am glad to announce that there is a very serious arrangement in place which is at its advanced stage in terms of implementation where we have found a financial institution willing to partake in the construction of tollgates. Why a financial institutions? It quickens the process as they will advance the funds and then collect on the tollgates when they are built. We are looking at close to 22 tollgates and Colleen Bawn is one of the tollgates. Some of the tollgates in the neighbourhood we are going to relocate so that we will not interfere in the residential areas where some of the tollgates are.
So, in terms of rehabilitating, we have a model tollgate which will then resonate and be more like the ones you see along HarareMutare-Plumtree road. In terms of mitigating even corrupt tendencies, that will then address some of the issues that Hon. Members have raised. People hired to repair roads that will also resonate with what Hon. Eng. Gabbuza raised in terms of quality and poor workmanship which is something that we must take seriously so that we do not pay people that are not producing the desired product we want as a nation.
Hon. Saruwaka, Madam Speaker, let me hasten to thank him. Why? Because every time he comes to Parliament he gives me time right from the first tollgate that now I am at Rusape and have taken seven minutes. So, each week I measure. He has been saying at times
I take more than 10 or 7 minutes or a minute. So, that kind of
feedback is quite good so that if you see the improvement along that way because the moment he says I have taken more minutes, I then raise with the relevant management of that tollgate to say yes, this is something that is happening. So, he has been giving me statistics and minutes that he takes when he is coming from the constituency to Parliament.
I humbly urge other colleagues to give feedback whether it is a tollgate or road that is not being done so that you do not wait for Wednesday to ask me a question. If you give me a road I will then instruct the engineer of that particular province to look into that particular so that the moment you come to Parliament you will be having an answer.
He also talked of verge clearance and this is important. Verge clearance like I indicated in Rwanda is something that is done by women and we are saying verge clearance is being done by corporates in terms of women and youth. If we then have that kind of practice to then group our women to make sure that is done because these are light jobs instead of contracting companies, we then have communities partaking into that exercise. That will be very important and also poses a danger if we do not clear the verge. I want to thank Hon. Saruwaka on that.
Hon. Mudarikwa you talked about Mutare-Harare-Chirundu and the volumes of trucks plying that road. Surely, under normal circumstances, the loads are supposed to be off the road to the rail and that is why you have seen our roads being damaged because the loads that are going through our roads are not intended to go through roads. Basically, it is cheaper also to use the rail in terms of carrying that tonnage and that road Mutare-Harare-Chirundu is very busy. For those who were following on the Cabinet briefing, there is a Memorandum of Understanding that is going to be signed between the Ministry of Transport here and Turkey so that we have an understanding of trying to see how we can work especially on the areas to do with rail infrastructure.
I can say there are a number of initiatives that we are taking so that we can move with speed in trying to rehabilitate our rail infrastructure. For the benefit of the august House, we are talking about 2 700 km of our rail in this beautiful country. You find that we now need to move with speed to avoid some of the cautions that we experienced especially along the railway line.
The expansion of Forbes Border post let me also take this opportunity to thank the Second Republic in terms of border expansion. For those who have not been to Beitbridge, there is a programme that is going on as we speak, the expansion of Beitbridge Border post whereby the first phase is going to be opened on the 6th October, which is a few weeks from now. You will see the freight and commercial section open to traffic. You will see that the expansion of border is not only the border facilities but the accommodation element has been brought into play as well and water reticulation.
So, this is a complete package that has been offered. I want to thank the advent of the Second Dispensation that some of these projects were not being done during the First Republic and something that we are seeing now being taken with speed. It calls upon again the essence of us looking at all our border posts and Forbes Border post is quite busy. We also have Chirundu which we will also be focusing and targeting so that we then comply and also have a good infrastructure in terms of the one-border-post that is being witnessed at Chirundu Border post. I want to thank Hon. Mudarikwa for that important question.
Hon. Adv. Mataranyika I responded to the issue of the ten year ban that this falls under the purview of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. However, the concerns are very topical in terms of us especially the first time buyers who then want to buy vehicles in terms of capacity to say if they are now below 10 years they might now afford. I think it will be a good initiative even as a nation to start having our own plant so that we start rehabilitating and our members will then get cheaper vehicles but brand new vehicles. It is something that can be achievable of where you can have a premium and monthly commitments whether you are a civil servant buying something that is new and durable.
Hon. Ndiweni, the road from Chinhoyi to Karoi. We are going to start rehabilitating. I will start from the fact that the road that links this region why people say Zimbabwe is favoured, the ChirunduHarare-Beitbridge Road, also known as the Beitbridge HarareChirundu Road, which is one road. We are talking about close to
580km and over 360km to the border. So, this is a complete road that we are talking about. Now, we are seized with Harare – Beitbridge where we have got five contractors and we are introducing a sixth contractor which was a Cabinet decision. The sixth contractor is going to start from Chirundu. So, it is Chirundu rehabilitation and we are saying rehabilitation meaning we are reclaiming the road, not necessarily pothole filling and patching but complete rehabilitation of the road.
Let me assure you that even issues of tollgates, as a matter of policy after every 100 km we must have a tollgate. If you look at that road, after Inkomo, there is another one at Lion’s Den. So, after improving the road, we are now going to have proper tollgates and whoever is going to partake into that exercise can also participate under the Built-Operate-Transfer mechanism. I assure you that Chinhoyi-Karoi road and you have highlighted that is a high accident zone, and I do concur with you and the need to move with speed in trying to rehabilitate. As we speak, the tender is going to be flighted and a sixth contractor from the locals will then partake in that very important exercise.
Hon. Tekeshe, I want to thank you very much and you have been coming before the august House about your bridge and I thought you were going to apprise the august House that your bridge is now complete. I want to thank you very much. You raised the issue of corrupt tendencies along tollgates. This is quite a worrisome incident and it is happening. There are sophisticated people manning our tollgates. Whenever an advert is flighted, you find people with degrees wanting to work for ZINARA as cashiers and you start wondering why they are so interested. This has become part of a cult system whereby whoever joins the institution within a few weeks will be part of the syndicate. It is not only the cashiers but also those who are right from the supervisors so we are busy as we speak trying to make mechanisms and having our monitoring teams and head office teams making sure that our tollgates have got serious people. The only solution to that is a fully computerised system on issues of human element. At times they create congestion so that they start using detours, avoiding the booms and this creates congestion, then you start collecting money from undesignated areas. In most cases, motorists will be in a hurry, they do not wait for their receipts. So these are some of the issues that we are talking about to say yes if we then have a model flagship tollgate, we will then mitigate our issues. This is happening and people are stealing money through tollgates and we must make sure that we ringfence monies coming through
Hon. T. Mliswa, thank you very much, you raised an important issue about mining companies that are destroying our roads. This was something that was also tabled in Cabinet and a solution was that we now need to have weighbridge construction. The example that he gave that if it is a ten tonne road; surely you do not expect to see a 30 tonne using that road. We are going to be having massive programme in terms of weighbridges. You will see us constructing weighbridges so that we have penalties for those who actually carry excess loads that will be an issue for companies that are investing in mining to start rehabilitating and start construction of roads. So, I think this will be a humble plea, yes it is not their mandate but if you then appeal to them through their corporate social responsibility to also partake into the exercise of rehabilitating our roads, I think that will be a noble gesture.
The issues of equipment being bought through Rural District Council; there is a 20% that is going towards devolution and that has been earmarked for purchasing of equipment for road rehabilitation. Madam Speaker, some Rural District Council are doing excellently well in terms of administering the issues of equipment, procurement but you find in other jurisdictions they are now buying equipment and you start wondering why they are not doing that. In the event that they buy equipment, they are supposed to maintain their roads because the Ministry of Transport is not taking all roads. We are seeing that some of the roads fall under the purview of Rural District Councils and some are DDF roads. We are saying there is no way we can administer each and every road in this country. Road authorities have got their roads that they are supposed to make sure they maintain.
Some roads in our rural constituencies fall under the Rural District Council. I will continuously urge the Rural District Council to procure equipment and wherever we come in, yes we have taken some of the roads but we have not taken all the roads. I will humbly ask the Rural District Councils through Hon. Members so that as they sit during council meetings, then they have to make sure that equipment is procured to address that issue.
I will go on to Hon. Dr. Khupe, poor workmanship and you have been very vivid on this one Hon. Madam Doctor. I agree with you, I can give a good example of people using Seke Road. It was bumpy because each year we could just patch and that is not the desired state of a road. You need to reclaim the road so that you start it from afresh and if you then drive now along Seke Road, it is now perfect. So, the idea of patching in Shona we will say kungotambisa nguva, surely in terms of stability it will not be stable. So, we have raised the issue of roads that are bumpy and that we also need to reclaim. As we gravitate towards the budget cycle, it is again my humble plea Hon. Madam Speaker, to lobby for funds so that we adequately rehabilitate our roads not just pothole filling.
Some of these roads are old, we need to reclaim and start afresh. I thank you Hon. Dr. Khupe for raising that. The need of signage is very important and the steps that we have taken as a Ministry; there are recommended SADC signage that we also need to have. For instance, the illiterate, those that cannot read; by merely looking at the signage, will be in a position to know what it means. So these are some of the issues. You talked about what we call the rumble strips, surely in a highway, you cannot put a hump but you can put those. Where you feel it is necessary even as Hon. Members, advise us so that we control even the speed and reduce the carnages that we are seeing. This is a holistic approach that we can take but thank you very much for raising that.
Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome, thank you very much for the questions that you have raised in terms of highway trucks along our roads and that actually buttress the point that has been raised in terms of the tonnage that is not acceptable. You raised another important point of trucks plying our roads after 6pm and it is known, normally they carry dangerous substances that are actually prohibited after 6pm.
You have seen the practice that even the abnormal vehicles, those carrying dangerous subsistence are still continuing to use our roads after 6pm. At times because of fatigue, they then start encroaching into other lanes and you find that they are involved in head on collision even with light. So, I agree with you that in terms of enforcement, you also need to work together and also we have law enforcement agencies. We work together with our VID team and the police so that we make sure we enforce that after 6pm, such kind of trucks are not allowed to be on our roads. Surfacing materials, you actually gave best practices in other jurisdictions where you said technology and I am happy that we now have universities through innovation hubbies. People are trying to come up with innovative products and this is something that we are also doing together with ZIMCHEM. Instead of going through products that we are using, we then use contemporary products to then rehabilitate our roads. This is an ongoing exercise and I would welcome such very important suggestions so that you will also speak to our engineers that they will be also in a position to pursue that very important initiative.
You talked about importing old vehicles vis-a-vis the renewable energy. You are very right, if you go to our CMED, we now have about 6 electric vehicles and if you then drive such kind of a vehicle and use these traditional vehicles, you actually see the difference and in terms of consumption, it is quite good that we now have lithium in abundance in this country. So they use the lithium batteries, so this is something that we also need to gracefully market so that our people will start migrating from the traditional vehicles so that we have more of the electrical vehicles and this will be a welcome development.
You talked about congestion along our highways. There are a number of bottlenecks along our highways. I can give you an example of Bulawayo Road which I think is the one that you use Hon. Brig. Gen. (Rtd) Mayihlome. If you look at roundabouts that we have that are actually prohibiting the flow of vehicles, these are some of the areas that we are actually revisiting; if you are along a highway, there is no reason for congestion. So these are some of the issue that we are seized with as a Ministry that we want to take corrective measures to address those anomalies.
Hon. Torerai Moyo, thank you very much for raising very important points on the state of our roads in rural constituency. Like I indicated that in terms of rural constituencies, the mechanism and the setup of our roads in rural constituencies fall under the purview of DDF and Rural District Councils. You normally find Ministry of Transport having the major roads linking constituencies but that is not an excuse. The roads all belong to the Ministry so I will say this is something that we will also want to work closely with our road authorities so that we make sure that even some of our roads in constituencies be rehabilitated and that they are re-graveled with speed. So, I actually take this issue with the urgency it deserves. The law enforcement bribes, the issue of mindset in this country is something that we need to preach day in day out. You find the mushikashika, even if you as the ordinary people, there is a perception that the police own the Mushikashika because you will be seeing the police standing while the Mushikashika will be ferrying people. You then start to wonder to say in terms of enforcement, why is this happening. So, this is something that is happening and in terms of bribes. They are being given bribes and maybe that is the reason why the mushikashika are left to ply on our roads. If you look at the Wish vehicle, count one up to ten, nine of them are used in the Mushikashika business. They actually pass through roadblocks and one wonders how and why, so this is something that, as the august House, we should come up with punitive pieces of legislation to ban such malpractices that we are seeing on our roads.
The example that I gave you about the Zvishavane accident that I visited, it was a Wish vehicle again which had a head-on collision with another vehicle and it was carrying about 11 people in that vehicle and also having passed through police check-point. Therefore, in terms of enforcement, we should take such issues seriously as a nation with regards to compliance. Why are we not complying? The laws are there but we are not complying and at times the law enforcement agency are not enforcing at all. This does not apply only to the police, the VID; they are supposed to be enforcing but at times you find an overloaded vehicle passing through a VID check-point. Therefore, these issues need to be addressed with urgency as a nation.
Hon. Mguni, I want to thank you very much. You talked about provision of solar robots. That is a noble idea and with the shortages that we are experiencing as a nation and the abundance in terms of the natural light that we have, this is supposed to be the right trajectory.
Yes, it might fall under the Local Government in terms of implementation but I am saying this is a noble cause that the moment we have solar robots, it will be excellent. It is something that we can then take on board and make sure that we also save the energy that is scarce as we speak.
I would also like to urge my fellow colleague, the Minister of Local Government who is also here present to say let us take this initiative seriously so that we make sure we convert the traditional lights that are still using our very precious electricity to solar. Not only that, even the roads that we are constructing, it is something that is desirable to have lights throughout the roads so that we do not have dark spots.
Madam Speaker, I feel humbled to be before this House especially coming from my fellow colleagues and the zeal that they are demonstrating seeing the nation, some of the issues being addressed. So, I want to thank you very much and I want to say I am at your disposal, feel free, do not wait for Question and Answer Session on Wednesday. If you have got time, I operate 24/7, let us chat, wherever you see we can add value, I am also willing to take your advice and make sure that our country moves forward.
HON. S. BANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker Maam. I have
two points of clarity and the first one is to thank the Minister because his Ministry is a listening ministry. We ask them to change the road that they have put to say the residents of Mt. Pleasant prioritise this road and the ministry understood…
…that town there are roads that are being constructed, if I say construction, they are actually just taking gravel which is not gravel and just putting it on roads, this will not compact it. They are going to cause climate change because they are going to cause siltation in rivers which are downstream. I would want to ask the Minister to send a team there to investigate and see if engineering works are being done properly in terms of rehabilitating those roads. I thank you
(v)*HON. KARUMAZONDO: Thank you Madam Speaker
Ma’am. My point of clarification to the Hon. Minister is on the fact that other contractors have failed to complete road construction within the stipulated period. I would like to know what the Ministry has done with such contractors.
HON. S. KHUMALO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to express some appreciation on the work that is being done by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development countrywide in terms of repairing, expansion e tcetera.
I realised there is a road between Bulawayo and Tsholotsho, that road was under construction in the last parliamentary year. When the teams packed their bags and left at the start of the rain season, I thought they were going to come during this time of the season to continue the road works. However, I now realise that we are in October and the rains are on the horizon and there is no work taking place on that road, if the Minister can highlight to us what plans they have for that road?
HON. SAIZI: I just want to find out from the Minister with regards to Harare-Bindura Road. It is now one of the worst roads in the country where a lot of accidents are happening. What plans are there for this road since it is one of the busiest roads in Mashonaland Central.
My other point is that it seems there is a problem with small projects that are being done by the Ministry, I will take an example of my road that links Muzarabani Road to St Alberts, and it is a very important road which connects the hospital only available there but it is only about 3km which are left and we had been trying to get to complete this road but up to now, nothing has been done. Is there any plan to ensure that these small projects also get attention as the major roads are being done?
(v)HON. G. DUBE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I just want to find out from the Minister, there is a road which links Chisuma to Batoka Gorge which is Batoka Bridge where we are supposed to do the other power station. What are the plans for that road because it is not clear whether it is the Government which is supposed to take care of it or it is the Zambezi River Authority? The signs that were put some years back that the road would be under construction any time, but up to now, it is four years down the line and we do not know what is happening there.
(v)+HON. M. NKOMO: (Inaudible virtual recording due to
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nkomo, I am sorry
you are not audible. You can put your question in writing.
HON. NDEBELE: I just have a short contribution Hon.
Minister. I wish to say if ever there was bad blood between your Ministry and local authorities, especially Bulawayo, before your tenure began, I pray that you mend relations and as Hon. Gabuzza rightfully puts it, I might as well go further to apologise on behalf of the local authorities. Why am I raising this Hon. Minister? It is because it is clear to all of us in this House that local authorities are struggling to mend roads. In Bulawayo, especially one road that passes right by my house was stripped of tar more than 10 years ago and todate our council is struggling to re-tar that one.
So if it may please you, Hon. Minister, beyond what you have been doing please reconsider doing even more. I believe when you disburse funds to local authorities you wait for them to finish working on a particular road, they reconcile with your office and only then are you able to release more funds. If that modus operandi could be revisited so that before the onset of the rainy season our councils are able to attack the numerous roads that require mending. I thank you.
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND
INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MHONA):
Thank you Hon. Madam Speaker. Once again for those who do accounts I will do the FIFO method which is the First-In First-Out.
So I will start with number 1.
Hon. Banda, the first part I did not quite hear him properly but he then went on further to talk about Mvuma, that yes, it is a vibrant area that has got a lot of activities that we all know. In terms of the issue of roads in that area, once again it is something that we then call upon a holistic approach so that together with local authorities, in terms of Rural District Councils where he can see and try to add value. Surely that then resonates well with what Hon. Ndebele talked about, the issues of disbursements to then say if we then disburse to a particular project and wait for acquittals.
These are some of the issues that we have been seeing and I assure the august House that in the next few weeks you will see the disbursement list from ZINARA again to say this is how much we gave to a Rural District Council, local authority, to the Ministry which is under Department of Roads so that each and every road authority is accountable. We do not want a scenario where people would say the
City of Harare is not being given funds. This is something that we are doing so that the citizenry will know that this is the amount that went towards a particular project because this money is supposed to go towards road rehabilitation. We want to make it clear that each road authority will account. We are going to flight the amounts that we are going to disburse to local authorities, rural district councils, DDF and Department of Roads.
Hon. Karimazondo raised a very important question that there are people whom we have given tenders, they have not done a good job and are behind in terms of completing the roads. We have quite a number of contracts that we have canceled for such individuals. We give them tenders, they come and they have favourable rates, but when it comes to bringing in equipment to do the road construction, they are found wanting. We have such companies, Madam Speaker. We do not know whether they want to sabotage the Government programmes or they are looking for a sense of livelihood, but what I want to inform this House is if we see someone is not able to carry out the job, we normally take it upon ourselves to reassign that tender to those who have the capacity.
Hon. Gen. Rtd. Khumalo raised an important point on the Bulawayo-Tsholotsho Road. Let me say this, Madam Speaker, I once said to this august House that I have got the Ndebele blood in me because my mother comes from Plumtree. A number of roads were marginalised in terms of perception and in terms of reality from Matabeleland where we are talking about – I can give you a good example. We have got contractors who when we flight a tender, you then find that within the neighbourhood there is no one who has got capacity and at times you find contractors coming from Harare going to, whether it is Matabeleland North or Matabeleland South and in terms of mobilisation costs they then become prohibitive.
So, you find in terms of uptake of some of the jobs that are coming from that side they are not moving with speed as anticipated, but also the issues that we are facing, a challenge that we addressed whereby people from this side were being taken, whether it is Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North or Bulawayo and working, disregarding the ideals and the ethos that whenever we are rehabilitating a road, make use of the local communities. So, these were some of the challenges that we were facing with contractors to take their workforce from one province to another province which is not acceptable.
I want to assure the august House that now we have taken it upon ourselves as a Ministry and I want to thank the Second Republic again on this particular issue and in particular His Excellency where we said all stalled projects in Matabeleland, whether Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North and Bulawayo and including other provinces, we are taking on board.
We have got Bulawayo-Tsholotsho, Bulawayo- Victoria Falls, Bulawayo-Beitbridge Roads. These are the roads that we are now seized with in terms of procurement so that whatever was done, we need to reserve and to preserve the value. Some of the roads were just planned and now we need to surface them but there is grass coming up on some of those roads. We must move with speed so that we rehabilitate all those stalled projects. I want to assure Hon. Dr. Khupe and Hon. Anele, my learned colleague there, to carry the message to say we are going to attend to the roads that we were supposed to be doing and that we abandoned. It is not like we abandoned them but it was that era. With the Second Republic, we are taking on board those stalled projects. This is the instruction from His Excellency to move with speed and try to rehabilitate such roads.
I want to thank Hon. Rtd. Gen. Khumalo for raising that important point to say let us administer all stalled projects. Hon. Brig. Gen. Mayihlome, yes, we have got a number of such projects especially in your area. These are some of the roads that we also need to move with speed and address.
Hon. Saizi talked about Harare-Bindura Road. Yes, I got a request to say that we start moving with speed. Madam Speaker, I think this will be of paramount importance and very key to you since this is your province as well. We are going to be rehabilitating this road. We tried to pothole-patch some of the areas but we now need proper reconstruction of the roads in some of the areas. The procurement programme is underway as we speak. He also talked about Muzarabani and St. Albert’s. There is also another road of which I wish Hon. Seremwe was here, St. Albert’s Dotito. These are some of the roads that were done and then abandoned. They will fall in the same category like the roads that I talked about from
Matabeleland that these are the roads that we want to complete and some of them are less than 5km. We now need to make sure that we start rehabilitating all these stalled projects and to assure the august House that we will work even during the rain seasons. I am glad Engineer Gabbuza is here, we also have technology to do roads whilst it is raining. It will be an excuse to say now that the rains are here, we are not going to be on the roads. There are some activities that you cannot do during rainy time but whenever the rain stops, there are some jobs that you can do. I want to assure the august House that yes come rains; we are not going to have excuses to be out of the roads. We will be addressing the rehabilitation and reconstruction of our roads.
Hon. Godfrey Dube, I need to check on these specific roads. Although, I now know a number of roads, this one that he has talked about the Chisuma-Batoka Gorge Road, I need to check with my engineer. I assure him that I will, personally give him feedback on the status quo of that particular road before mid-night today. For the benefit of the citizenry and for the other Hon. Members, this is something that we can also share when I get a platform. We know the importance of the Batoka Gorge and what is happening there. The question was who is in charge? Is it the Zambezi River Authority or it is the Government that is going to superintend? We know that there are going to be works at Batoka Gorge, so I need to ascertain who exactly is going to be partaking into that exercise.
Hon. Nkomo was not audible but I thought maybe she was talking about the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. As we speak there was a feasibility study that has been going on. We will help to get the results of that feasibility study. The purpose of the bankable feasibility study is to ascertain the viability…
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Sorry Hon. Minister. I can read the question which I asked Hon. Nkomo to put in writing.
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: The road to Victoria Falls has got big trees nearby which causes more accidents. What are your plans to clear the trees?
HON. MHONA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Let me thank Hon. Nkomo for that question. When we talk of verge clearing, we also include the issues of cutting down trees and grass along our highways. This is an exercise that we also need to move with speed if there are areas that are noticeable in terms of the dangers that they pose. I will be glad if we appraise the Ministry of such areas that we know so that we engage our engineers to go and see and make sure that they address that challenge. Besides that, that road is going to be rehabilitated completely. The road is narrow and it had a number of potholes. Yes, we did patching but it then becomes bumpy like what Hon. Dr. Khupe was saying. So it requires a total rehabilitation and this is the one that I was talking about – the bankable feasibility study to ascertain the viability of the road especially if you want to put tollgates. If you are going to get numbers in terms of traffic passing through the tollgates. With the advent of COVID, we know the tourism has gone down in terms of the activities but we hope that we will get the required numbers along this road so that we justify the total rehabilitation of the road. I am sure as the bankable feasibility study is done, you would see that the rehabilitation will start even if it is not favourable. The reason why one would need a bankable feasibility is to make sure whether he will be in a position to recoup the cost because this will be a triple P or Built Operate Transfer model where an investor will be trying to recoup his or her own investment.
I want to thank Hon. Nkomo for that.
Hon. Adv. Ndebele, you did not give me the name of the road. If you can give me the name in particular I will be very grateful and send my engineer to see what was done and what it is we can preserve. Even if it is under the Bulawayo local authority, we can actually request ZINARA to specifically fund and make sure that when they prioritise their projects, they will start with such projects so that we preserve the value.
The issue of local authorities struggling is true. Local authorities are struggling and I want to highlight a good example. Hon. Mliswa is not here, we gave Norton Town Council funds for rehabilitation and they took about two months with the money seated in their coffers but not doing work. So you start wondering why at times we would have a local authority, funds having been disbursed but they are not performing but there are other local authorities who are actually not performing because of various reasons.
During the old era, local authorities would receive money from
ZINARA and then start prioritising other commitments and you still wonder why. This is something that is happening and we are saying, especially to the Committee on Finance, when you start tracking, we are going to give you the list of all the funds that have been distributed so that you follow the money to make sure that the local authorities are using the money for the intended purposes. Above all there is no bad-blood with local authorities. I believe that whatever is not functioning properly, we can sit and talk and pass my gratitude to the City of Bulawayo to say let us work together if there is anything. So far I have not seen anything but I am there to work with any local authority. Thank you Madam Speaker.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 10 to 26 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 27 has been disposed of.
HON. TEKESHE: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS, NATIONAL HOUSING AND
SOCIAL AMENITIES ON THE INQUIRY INTO THE STATE OF
WASTE MANAGEMENT IN ZIMBABWE
Twenty-seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the Third Report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social Amenities on the Inquiry into the State of Waste Management in Zimbabwe
Question again proposed.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND PUBLIC WORKS (HON. CHOMBO):
The Minister of Local Government and Public Works acknowledges the report as presented by the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works, National Housing and Social
Amenities on an Inquiry into the State of Waste Management in Zimbabwe, which was presented to Parliament in 2021. I would like to commend the work done by the Committee in reiterating the need for Local Authorities to maintain clean and healthy cities.
The objectives of the fact finding visits of the Committee were as follows: to
– assess the overall state of waste management in Zimbabwe – understand the challenges faced in waste management by local authorities with a view to recommending for improved waste management. The issue of waste management is an essential service that must be provided in every local authority in the country. I therefore concur with the Committee in setting out this fact finding mission with these objectives.
The Committee mainly received oral evidence which for us is first hand information from parties who are dealing directly with local authorities and whose evidence we abide by.
The evidence from the Permanent Secretary presented to the Committee represents the position of the Ministry and that received from the local authorities again that is their position and we accept it as presented to the Committee.
Challenges Faced by Local Authorities and Committee Observations
The report highlights challenges faced by the local authorities and I will proceed to respond to these as given.
- Fuel is being sold both in the local currency and foreign currency. There are service stations that are meant to be selling fuel in the local currency as they are receiving foreign currency form the RBZ through the auction system. Local authorities should therefore be able to access fuel in both local currency and foreign currency. There are, however, some fuel companies who have been flouting procedures and these companies have been identified and are supposed to be fined for such actions. Local authorities should be able to approach central government in order to get assistance when facing such challenges
- In terms of high maintenance of obsolete equipment, that is clearly an administrative issue whereby local authorities need to consistently service equipment as a way of
maintaining their equipment. Local authorities have been receiving devolution funds and such funds must be used to buy new and reliable equipment. There is rather no need to waste money in maintain obsolete equipment. The Ministry remains available in overseeing operations of the local authorities and continues to advise where necessary. – The Ministry takes note of issues raised in reference to EMA, which are to do with landfills and high fines being charged. The Ministry will work together with the
Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and the local authorities in coming up with solutions to the issues raised herein.
The recommendations given by the Committee are well received and will be implemented as presented with the following responses given as follows:
- Local authorities by virtue of their creation are autonomous institutions and a tier of government. They are devolved units of central government and are conferred powers and responsibilities in terms of Section 264 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Section 276 of the Constitution stipulates the functions of local authorities which include the power to make by-laws, levy rates, taxes and raise sufficient revenue for them to carry out their mandates. The Urban Councils
Act (Chapter 29:15) and Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13) further buttress Constitutional provisions relating to the functions and powers of local authorities as they make their own budgets, collect revenue and expend in line with the budgets. This therefore entails that local authorities already have the desired autonomy to budget and procure machinery and equipment without any hindrance from central government. Over and above, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works through the Ministry of Finance offers Duty Free Certificates to Local Authorities who procure service delivery equipment which include, among other things refuse compactors, dozers, skip bins and skip trucks.
Government must explore the possibility of generating energy from waste by December 2022.
- The Government has engaged various investors with the view to invest in waste to energy generation. Potential investors have presented their concepts to local authorities and plans are underway to have a waste to energy plant at Pomona dumpsite for the City of Harare. This follows approval by Cabinet of a possible construction of a 22MW waste to energy plant under the BOOT model for the envisaged joint venture partnership. To date, prefeasibility studies have been completed, MOU signed between Harare City and the prospective investor and awarding of tender for prefeasibility study is at adjudication stage. Key milestones registered include conclusion of bankable feasibility study to qualify prefeasibility study and verify viability of project and due diligence visit report and feedback. Given that this will be the first plant of its nature in the country, all local authorities shall be tasked to explore potential investors in a bid to invest in waste to energy as part of comprehensive ways of managing solid waste.
Local Authorities must provide at least three bins for each household to encourage separation of waste at source by December
- Whilst waste separation at source is a welcome idea which local authorities must engage in, there has not been meaningful movement with regard to the provision of at least three bins for waste management master plans, waste recycling policy and inadequate refuse fleet to ferry different types of separated waste. However, the drive towards waste to energy by the government entails huge investment in significant waste separation at source, procurement of adequate refuse collection equipment and recycling. At this juncture, local authorities have not moved much in procurement of adequate refuse bins at household level and the incapacity is worsened by intermittent revenue inflows vis-a-vis enormous service delivery mandates. In this regard, the recommendation has been noted and the local authorities are working towards effectively managing solid waste with the view to prioritise waste separation at source and the procurement of refuse bins and receptacles should be included in their annual budgets. Another recommendation by the Committee is that there is need for local authorities to be supported financially through loans and Public Sector
Investment Programmes or to engage into Public Private Partnerships to enable them to develop engineered landfills and to buy adequate equipment for waste management by
Local authorities can apply for Public Sector Investment Programmes for the purpose of constructing landfills in their respective constituencies. Some local authorities like Gwanda Municipality, Kadoma City and Norton Town Council have engaged development partners and constructed landfills. Councils can therefore engage in Public Private Partnerships and submit their proposals to Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency for approval of the intended partnerships they wish to engage in. The Government has also provided a leeway for local authorities to procure service delivery vehicles and equipment from Belarus and this shall be done through loans with favourable terms and conditions and local authorities should take advantage of this provision.
The other recommendation was the Ministry of Local
Government and Public Works should ensure that all local authorities implement by-laws to enforce compliance by the communities, informal traders and transport operators in terms of operating from undesignated areas and illegal dumping of waste by December, 2021. Local authorities are duty-bound to enforce their by-laws and ensure compliance. The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works facilitates examination and subsequent gazetting of the bylaws through the office of the Attorney General and Print Flow respectively. It is the prerogative of local authorities to ensure that all by-laws that are essential for smooth execution of their operations are in place and gazetted. Local authorities have by-laws which covers vending, hawkers, transport and clamping and related fines. Deployment of adequate municipal police is of paramount importance to ensure enforcement of the by-laws by citizens. Councils should engage Zimbabwe Republic Police if there is need whilst
Environmental Management Agency is also mandated to enforce compliance by issuing penalties. Local authorities with capacity gaps in terms of municipal police have the duty to make the request and I authorise the recruitment.
Government banned private transporters in a bid to deter the nuisance caused by illegal operators, hence, any transport operator in urban setups should be under the ZUPCO banner which makes regulation easier.
In conclusion Madam Speaker Ma’am, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works shall continue to execute recommendations of the Portfolio Committee and monitor local authorities to work towards effective and efficient management of solid waste for sustainable development in councils. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I just wanted to commend our two Ministers, Hon. Deputy Minister Chombo and The Minister of Transport Hon. Mhona for sitting with us in this
House till so late so that we dispense of the people’s business. I know the public pocket paid them already for this but it is commendable that they consider hanging around so that we could dispense of such important public business. I really want to thank them. It is a commendable work ethic which is so rare in this country. Thank you
HON. T. MOYO: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. H. MGUNI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
Debate to resume: Thursday, 7th October, 2021.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. T. MOYO: Madam Speaker, I move that we revert to
Order of the Day Number 21 on today’s Order Paper.
HON. H. MGUNI: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF THE LATE HON. LISA
HON. H. MGUNI: I move the motion standing in my name that
EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on after a short illness on Tuesday, 4th February, 2021 of the late
Member of Parliament for Beitbridge Constituency Hon Lisa Singo,;
PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Member rendered to Beitbridge and the nation at large;
RESOLVES that its profound sympathise be conveyed to the
Singo family, relatives and entire Beitbridge Constituency.
HON. T. MOYO: I second.
HON. H. MGUNI: Thank you Madam Speaker. Lisa Singo was
born in 1974 in Beitbridge. She was the daughter of the late Thivonali Mbedzi and the late Phillip Singo. She attended her primary school education at Beitbridge Mission Primary School and continued her secondary education at Vhembe High School.
She was inspired by her mother the late Thivhonali Mbedzi who was a ZAPU Chairperson of Matabeleland. She joined ZANU PF shortly after completing her ‘O’ level studies and was registered under the Lufuno cell group. She was later elected to the Batanai settlement where she grew politically and elected to the district level where she served as land and relocation secretary for five years. Lisa was brave company for young and old, men and women. She abhorred injustice and arrogance. She was a humble person who did not look down on anyone regardless of social status. She used unconventional and powerful ways to teach her children life lessons. She was a hard worker who dared to follow her dreams of being involved in politics.
She was a committee member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe and community leaders. She would be remembered for the genuine love she showered on her fellow humans while on earth. She was kind, loving and caring. Her ability to embrace people from difference statuses was a mark of love. At the time of her death, she was Member of Parliament under the Proportional Representation (PR) and served as Secretary of Labour and Production on the Beitbridge District Coordinating Committee (DCC).
She is survived by two daughters and one grandchild and a son whom she raised as her own after he lost his mother at the age of four.
I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker Ma’am. I would
like to thank Hon. Mguni for the motion on the untimely death of Hon. Singo. It was a very big loss to this House. I knew Hon. Singo as a Member of the Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development. She was very sociable. She mixed with everyone and had a good rapport with all Members of Parliament, regardless of political affiliation. Hon. Singo demonstrated political maturity and executed her duties efficiently, diligently and we are missing her contribution in the Portfolio on Higher and Tertiary Education. We want to express our sincere and deep loss to the Singo family. I wish to say, may her soul rest in peace. I thank you.
HON. NDEBELE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am rising to
share a thought of comfort and condolences to the grieving family of the late Hon. Lisa Singo and the entire Beitbridge Constituency. I particularly wish to express my condolences to Hon. Mguni. I know she lost a bosom buddie and a very close workmate. I wish to say I am very sorry for your loss. Madam Speaker, I will not sing Hon.
Lisa Singo’s praises. A lot has been said by the Acting Government
Chief Whip. May I wish her soul to rest in eternal peace? I thank you.
(v) +HON. MOKONE: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving
me the opportunity to add my voice on the condolences on the passing on of Hon. Singo. I express my condolences to the Singo family and the entire Matabeleland South people. Hon. Singo was a person of the people. She was one of the women who were working with the community. I know she was very close to Hon. Mguni and I would like also to console Hon. Mguni by saying, we will meet in heaven that is what we believe. With those few words, I would like to comfort the Singo family. I thank you.
(v)*HON. MAGO: Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to add a few words to the debate on the untimely passing on of Hon.
Singo. We were together with Hon. Singo in the same Committee.
She never discriminated someone basing on where they come from. She was an Hon. Member who used to work very well with other people. I remember we went for a public hearing. She offered us transport using her own car. We waited for her for three hours until she came and the one who actually delayed to go out was the Committee Clerk. She said why did you delay, I waited for you for three hours. We used to work very well with the Hon. Member. May her soul rest in eternal peace?
HON. H. MGUNI: Thank you very much Hon. Speaker. I
would like to thank all those who contributed to this motion. Thank you so much. May Lisa Singo’s soul rest in peace. I would like to
move that the motion be adopted.
Motion that this House;
EXPRESSES its profound sorrow on the untimely passing on after a short illness on Tuesday, 4th February, 2021 of the late
Member of Parliament for Beitbridge Constituency Hon Lisa Singo;
PLACES on record its appreciation for the services which the late Hon. Member rendered to Beitbridge and the nation at large;
RESOLVES that its profound sympathies be conveyed to the
Singo family, relatives and entire Beitbridge Constituency, adopted.
On the motion of HON. T. MOYO seconded by HON. H. MGUNI, the House adjourned at Twenty-Eight Minutes past Six o’clock p.m. until Thursday, 7th October, 2021.