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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 21

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 7th December, 2016

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

APPOINTMENT TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEES

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the

House that, pending the finalisation of nomination of committees by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, Hon. Mliswa will serve on the following three Committees:-

1.    Agriculture, Mechanisation, Lands and Rural Resettlement;

2.    Education, Sport, Arts and Culture and

3.    Mines and Mining Development.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE PRIVILEGES, IMMUNITIES AND POWERS OF PARLIAMENT ACT

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I also wish to inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has considered the proposed amendments to the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act, Chapter 2:08 and is inviting an input from all Members of Parliament.  Copies of the proposed amendments have been circulated through your pigeon holes.

INVITATION TO THE ZIPA MEETING

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I furthermore wish to advise all Members of the Association of Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV/AIDs (ZIPA) that a meeting will be held tomorrow, 8th December, 2016 at 9:00 am in the Government Caucus.  All Members who are interested in issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS are invited.

          HON. GONESE:  On a point of privilege Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of privilege?

          HON. GONESE:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I am raising a matter of privilege as a Member of Parliament.  I want to place it on record that we are being abused in this august House.  Previously, members of this august House have raised the issue that we must abide by our Standing Orders; we must abide by the provisions of our Constitution.  It is very clear that in terms of Standing Order No. 63, Hon. Ministers, if they are not available to come to Parliament, must apply for leave in writing.  We have made the point previously that the Chair, yourself or the Speaker, whoever is in the Chair must inform us – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, Hon. Members. 

          HON. GONESE:  I am going to reiterate the point.  Last week, the Hon. Speaker agreed that he should inform us of members who would not be present because they have been granted leave.   He mentioned specifically the Ministers who had asked for leave and said that the Administration of Parliament was going to make a follow up.  The Hon. Speaker gave an undertaking - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, can we have order in the House.

          HON. GONESE: The Hon. Speaker gave an undertaking that the Administration of Parliament was going to look in to the case of those Ministers who were in flagrant violation of Standing Orders, who had not applied for leave and who had not been granted leave.  Up to now, we have not heard a response but for today, my point is this and it is very simple.  Your office should inform us at the commencement of each session because the provisions of Standing Order No. 63 as read with the provisions of Section 107 of the Constitution are very clear. 

          We must be advised as a matter of procedure and as a matter of practice at the commencement of each question time session of the names of those Ministers who have applied to your office to be excused.  We must then be advised of those who have not so that the necessary processes of disciplining those Ministers as provided for in terms of Standing Order No. 63 unfold.  As it is, we are being taken for granted, which is the reason why I am saying that we are being abused.  The people of Zimbabwe are being abused.  You must advise us who has been excused – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          We demand that before we proceed, please tell us which Minister has been excused.  We need to do that as a matter of practice every time we come for question time.  We must follow our rules.  Our rules are meant to be obeyed, this is our Bible, that green book is our Bible.  Yesterday we had a full House and some hon. backbenchers had to be moved from their seats because all the Ministers were present and by the same token, they should have been here today.  So, we are therefore demanding that before we can proceed, before we can go to question time, tell us which Ministers are being truant and thereafter we can then proceed.  So, that is our demand Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Member.  What you have been saying is very important to this House but the problem now is you continue going on and on saying the same question. I want to answer you but you keep on stressing.  I am saying from this Chair, the Hon. Speaker surely promised us that we should let you know.  That is if we receive something from those ministries or Ministers.  Right now, I just have an apology from Hon. Mumbengegwi who is attending a meeting somewhere outside the country. 

          To those who are not attending, I do not have any written apology from any office.  Anyway, since this was promised to you Hon. Members, the Hon. Leader of the House and the Vice President is also here to help us on what might have taken place but after that, I think we can proceed because we have some Ministers at the front bench who can answer to some questions which you have.

          HON. GONESE:   I just have a minor point if you can just indulge me.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is it?

          HON. GONESE: We just want your assurance that this will not continue as a matter of where we just talk about it without any concrete action being taken.  That is the assurance we are simply asking that from now going forward, appropriate measures and necessary steps are going to be taken, so that those Ministers are charged with contempt of Parliament.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of Order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My point of order is that it appears like Hon. Gonese keeps on talking and talking and it is painful to us for him to always be talking like this.  I think the Leader of the House is here.  As the ruling party, we are also fed up of continuously being told now and again.  What we need here - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order can we please have order.  

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My point of order is that there are some painful things that happen in this House.  We are consistently being blamed. The Vice President as Leader of the House is here, he should go and sit down with his Ministers to ensure that we are not continuously remonstrated by the Hon. Gonese.  It may appear as if he is being political but that is the situation on the ground, that is the truth. That truth becomes over emphasised.  So, we are requesting Hon. Vice President to go and talk to his Cabinet Ministers for them to attend Question Time. If all Ministers are not there, we should be informed than for us to give Hon. Gonese the floor every time for him to air more complaints. 

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  Madam Speaker, it is true that Hon. Gonese is a champion of the issues he just mentioned every day.  I always respond to him that we have Cabinet every Tuesday and I inform them that on Wednesday, there is Question Time and they should attend.  They cannot all come at the same time because they have different programmes.  I think they will be here.  Most of them are here and their deputies are here as well.  I suggest that they pose their questions to those Ministers who are here and they should be able to respond to those questions.  Others are still coming but our hope is that they should be here because each minister knows his responsibility. 

In most cases, Hon. Gonese keeps on reiterating his point as if we do not understand.  We understand what he will be talking about and we have understood his concern.  We support him that Ministers should come on time.  I thank you.

+HON. M. KHUMALO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  What is the Government’s policy measures on the road leading to Victoria Falls.   At an area called Insiza, there are trees close to the road.  Motorists are involved in accidents by hitting these trees, when are these trees going to be removed from that road?  I thank you.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Could Hon. Members minimise the meetings amongst themselves or lower their voices.  If Members cannot do that, then they can go to the Lobby.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADANHA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking such a very important question.  I would like to inform this House that the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development is currently engaging with strategic partners to rebuild most of our roads.  As you might be aware, we recently signed the EPC that is the Engineering Procurement and Construction of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Road, which was the first road, our first priority on our list.  Right now, we are engaging other partners so that we can also dualise the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.  We are aware of the road condition that is not very good, but we have already re-constructed some sections along this road that were in very bad conditions and causing some accidents.

We have more roads that we are going to build.  The third road on our priority list is the Harare-Nyamapanda.  We are engaging with strategic partners to dualise this road from Beitbridge to Victoria Falls. 

+HON. M. KHUMALO:  Hon. Speaker, my question was not been answered.  My question was pertaining to Victoria Falls road.  There are trees close to the road and that is where Governor Malaba died.  Vehicles hit the tree there, what is Government policy to remove that tree.  Since we have a company that is constructing a fence along this road, is it possible for this company to remove those trees causing accidents on the road?

HON. MADANHA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  If I got the question well, the Hon. Member is asking what we are going to do with the trees which are along the Bulawayo to Victoria Falls road.  I will have to consult with the department of roads because this issue has not been brought to our attention that there are trees.  The general regulation is, all trees that are within the road servitude must be cleared.  So if there are some trees hindering traffic or which are causing accidents, we will go and attend to them and make sure that these trees are brought down.  I thank you.

*HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would want the Minister to explain to this House the difference between dualisation and resurfacing.  I am saying this because the Plumtree to Mutare road exercise was said to be dualisation but we later realised that it was resurfacing.  Now, he is talking about dualisation of Beitbridge-Chirundu road.  We want him to explain to us so that we can be enlightened on whether it is dualisation, the expansion of the road or it is just resurfacing of the road, like what happened on the road from Plumtree to Mutare which was very expensive.

The project on the road from Plumtree to Mutare should be around $3.9 billion but the Beitbridge to Chirundu is below a billion dollars.  We want enlightenment on what caused the expensive nature of Plumtree to Mutare in comparison to the dualisation of expanding the roads.  That comparison does not satisfy us and we need an explanation.  Thank you.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

VISITORS IN THE SPEAKER’S GALLERY

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I recognise the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery of Widecombe Primary School from Harare.  You are most welcome – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. MADANHA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank Hon. Zindi for the question that she posed.  Most people do not understand what is meant by dualisation and resurfacing.  Dualisation is having two lanes going in one direction and two going the opposite direction.  The road from Plumtree to Mutare was not dualised – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]-

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Members there is a question and there are other Hon. Members who want to understand the answer from the Minister.  The Hon. Member has posed a question so, if you know please keep quiet and give others a chance to listen. 

          HON. MADANHA: The road from Plumtree to Mutare was not dualised.  Those are single lanes.  On the cost of the road, the figure that you saw in the press, that you say is below a billion dollars; it was noted that it is Beitbridge to Harare.  The figure US$2, 7 billion that is normally referred to; those are known as estimates.  For the Beitbridge-Harare and Chirundu highway roads, there is going to be a ring road that is going to surround the whole of Harare and then there is one that comes from Harare to Chirundu.  The total cost will come toUS$2 billion plus, but Beitbridge to Harare comes to about US$980 million.

  Rehabilitation is the same as repairing.  The road Plumtree to Mutare was repaired and expanded from 7 metres to 10 metres, so if you look at it, you will realise that other areas were resurfaced.  Our tarred road is 15 cm thick and with time this wears out by about 4 to 5 cm.  So, there is need to resurface and maintain that width.  I do not know if I have answered your question.  I thank you.

HON. MANGAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Energy and Power Development.  What is Government policy on the contribution which the rural people can make when they want to electrify their homes?

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): The Hon. Member has indeed asked a very pertinent question.  The Ministry has the Rural Electrification Fund which is responsible for rural electrification.  So far, since it started in 2000 through an Act of Parliament, the Rural Electrification Fund has electrified over 8 500 public institutions, this includes rural clinics, Government buildings and schools.  It has gone further to electrify rural households and that is done on a 50% basis.  In other words, Government contributes 50% and the rural families contribute the other 50%.  So, this is a subsidized programme and I am sure that is what the Hon Member wants to know - to what rural households contribute.  So, 50% by the rural people, 50% by the rural electrification fund.  I thank you.

HON. MANGAMI: Why does it take time when one has contributed that 50%, Government takes time for it to electrify a certain place?

HON. DR. UNDENGE: Madam Speaker, indeed it takes time, that is subject to availability of funds.  There is high demand for rural electrification and perhaps if I mention the statistics as they stand – 40% of families in Zimbabwe have access to electricity and 60% do not have access to electricity.  Most of the 60% belong to the rural areas. There is now high demand by everybody to have access to electricity, hence the application rate is very high, resources are limited and that is why there is this time lag.  I thank you.

*HON. CHISOROCHENGWE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government.  May you enlighten us on the law that was there that if you wanted a stand in the urban area; you needed a waiting list number.  Is it still applicable?

*THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE): I thank the Hon. Member for the question in reference to the waiting list.  That law is still applicable.  All councils here in Harare, there is a place called Remembrance House, that is where there is the waiting list.  I am taking of council. 

Furthermore, the council will have the waiting list that they use to allocate stands and houses.  However, in the previous months, there was a lot of corruption taking place, so it is a challenge that has affected people in terms of acquiring houses from the council.  As a Government we have quite a number of areas that we have identified as State land to ensure that people can get stands in order to build houses in Harare.  I thank you.

HON. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to ask the Minister on what we witnessed in Norton in the last election whereby people were allocated stands before the election…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Member that is not a supplementary question, it is a question on its own.

*HON. MARIDADI: Amai handisati ndapedza – [THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ahh!]- Sorry Madam Speaker, Handisati ndapedza - [laughter] - regai ndibvunze.  Madam Speaker I was asking on what I saw on TV -  the Hon. Minister allocated stands in Norton to youths in total of 9 000.  Even the President of Zimbabwe said it is not everyone who can get a stand and he said this is not possible.  Minister, was everyone who got a stand in Norton on the waiting list?

HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Firstly, I want to tell the Hon. Member that he did not see the way he interpreted the whole issue.  I was never on television allocating land.  Secondly, nothing stops us from allocating our people stands for them to build houses.  In Norton, there are so many of them.  There may be civil servants who are lodgers and occupy cottages on main houses.  So, our aim as Government is to ensure that we implement the housing-for-all scheme. 

          If you look back we said if we are voted into power we will be able to give people stands in order for them to get housing.  Most Members on my right have approached the courts to block this idea of allocating stands and land to the people.  I do not know where they want people to stay - in the trees or as squatters? 

          We are also building flats to ensure that people get homes for example, in areas like Mbare.  Our Government is aimed at ensuring that everyone gets decent accommodation.  My colleagues do not want people to settle in their own dwellings and have their roofs over their heads in a comfortable way.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHISOROCHENGWE: Hon. Minister, my supplementary question is, as the Minister is it your role to allocate stands to the people or it is the duty of the councils? 

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  Madam Speaker, I wish the Hon. Member knew what it means to be the Minister of Housing.  It starts from me.  Those councils work with what I give them.  Therefore, I cannot be denied allocating stands to people.  I thank you.

          *HON. CHAMISA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question to Hon. Minister Kasukuwere is, on this issue of stands, it is one question with various sections.  The first section is, why is it that the Government only sees to the allocation of stands just before elections?  This is because we realise that people are only remembered when we are on the eve of an election.  The most important aspect that I mentioned on my question is, does the Minister not see that he is going back and forth.  He allocates stands today and the next thing is, he is demolishing those houses.  People would have been given permission to build without authority.  The Minister may not see this because where he stays no one can come and demolish the houses but some people’s homes are being demolished.  By doing such actions, is that expressing concern for the people?

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you Madam Speaker for the question that was posed by the Vice President, Hon. Chamisa.  I would want to remind Hon. Chamisa that during the Inclusive Government, the Deputy Minister of Local Government was Hon. Mutsekwa, which means that he was not able to do anything.  We have come and we are saying implementation needs to take place – [HON. MARIDADI:  Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Maridadi, I think you have to withdraw what you have just said because it has nothing to do with what the Hon. Minister is saying.  Your being in the same class with the Hon. Minister has nothing to do with this House.  You have to withdraw.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Madam Speaker, I withdraw that he is behaving like a school boy.   You are not behaving like a school boy.  Thank you.

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  May you allow me to give an explanation that we have a lot of people who do not have decent housing.  Our waiting list is at 1.25 million Zimbabweans who do not have stands.  That is why I said that if we look back, the Ministry was run by one Hon. Member who is no longer there, Hon. Mutsekwa.  I am sure Hon. Chamisa remembers that he left the Ministry before he implemented anything.  What we are then saying is that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. CHAMISA:  I have a point of order Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?  Order, order please.  Can we hear what the Hon. Member wants to say. 

          *HON. CHAMISA:  Madam Speaker, you are aware our Standing Orders do not allow us to make reference and accuse members who are not in this House who cannot respond to such allegations.  The Minister knows that when the Government is working, it is not right for them to make allegations against people who are not here. I think Hon. Kasukuwere should address what we have asked him – from the challenges that he has in the party, G40 and the destruction of Lacoste.  That is what he should focus on. I thank you.

          *HON. KASUKUWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I do not want to say much on how the Hon. Member who posed the question rose to power – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order!

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  My apologies for stepping on his toes.  I know there are so many things he is not happy about.  To go back to the issue of housing …

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, may you just respond to the questions that were posed?

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  We do it before we go for an election …

          HON. HOLDER:  Good afternoon to you Madam Speaker.  I have a point of order.  My point of order is, this side of the House is making too much noise – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - We cannot hear what the Minister is saying.  After all, Hon. Chamisa came into the House late and he got the floor for more than four times, whilst we stand up and sit down.  We are tired – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] - 

          *HON. KASUKUWERE:  Thank you. I was responding to the question on when it should be done.  I do not know when we should have done this.  I believe it is something that we mentioned long ago through a policy statement that was made by Hon. Chombo who gave the total number of housing units we want to build.  We were not given an implementation date or when it was supposed to end. The issue of forth-coming elections is entirely their concern. We are just doing our work. So, if it is something that really affects and hurts them, there is nothing we can do about it but we are going to continue.

          On the issue of demolitions, he mentioned a very interesting issue. It pains us as well as Government. That is why we have gone a step forward to ensure that we allocate stands to the people. The people who have failed to implement are those from his party. So, we are saying that we need to step in and ensure that no further demolitions take place. We need to regularise – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members,

          HON. KASUKUWERE: The law says that whoever has land that was invaded is the one who demolishes those houses. The whole of Harare is in the hands of the council. Whoever has a complaint goes to the councilors. What we are saying is that we no longer want demolitions. We now want to plan and ensure that people are properly settled. That is what we are going to be doing.  Until the election comes, we are going to be doing that day and night. I thank you.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I gave a ruling that, that is the last supplementary question on this particular question. Can we please proceed? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]- Yes, that is a ruling.

          +HON. MPALA: My question is directed to the Minister of War Veterans. Since he is not in, I will redirect the question to the Hon. Vice President Mnangagwa. What is Government policy on the welfare of war veterans particularly those who are laid to rest at the Provincial Heroes Acre. We see that relatives are the ones who attend to those shrines. They dig those graves and also source for picks and cement so as to enable those relatives to be buried. What is Government policy on that? I thank you.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): I understand that the problem relates to the digging of graves where the relatives of liberation heroes who pass on. I was trying to find out from the Minister of Local Government as to what happens because there is the understanding or regulation that all former war veterans are entitled to status of war liberation hero whether district, provincial or national level, they are awarded that status and that status goes with some benefits from the State.

I am sure it happens that the communication from wherever the war veteran hero has passed on, coming to headquarters and having the system responding, perhaps takes time. This results in relatives digging up the graves. Where the communication is done on time, the provincial JOC has the capacity to deal with such issues. I thank you.

*HON. MAONDERA: What I want to find out is that if the relatives of those people had carried out those duties incurring costs, will you refund the costs that they will have incurred? I thank you.

HON. MNANGAGWA: There is a fixed allowance for the burial of every liberation war hero, whether the relatives have done it or Government has done the work, that does not change. They still receive the specified allowances.

*HON. MUPFUMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is, we are aware that such war veterans’ remains are buried and war veterans are making contributions to ensure that they rebury such fallen heroes. What is the Government policy on that issue? I thank you.

HON. MNANGANGWA: Madam Speaker, where the programme is sponsored by Government, it is the Government that meets the expenses. There are incidences where comrades on their own, because they know where their colleagues perished, they come together and exhume the remains of their own colleagues and do that work. Officially, there is the Ministry which has the responsibility to do so. So, we do not regret that comrades have that love to go back and exhume the remains of their own colleagues.

HON. MANDIPAKA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister responsible for the welfare of war veterans. In his absence, I wish to ask the Leader of the House, Hon. Vice President E. D. Mnangagwa. Section 84 of the Constitution is clear about the rights of veterans of the liberation struggle. It is also very clear about their entitlements. My question is, how soon do we expect as a nation to see a Board of Trustees being put in place to manage and implement the welfare of war veterans, given the stories that we read especially the one that is so disturbing where Cde. Chinx is said to be desperate? Thank you.

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGANGWA): Madam Speaker, I think it is noble that our Constitution provides for those benefits. The second issue is the question of resources to implement the ideals which we cherish. Wherever resources are available, the Government makes sure that it supports such ideals, but where there are no resources, it does not mean that the Government has abandoned the values and wishes as enshrined in the Constitution. We will continue to do our best to make sure that we satisfy the ideals articulated in our Constitution.

*HON. SITHOLE:  Since the Vice President has said Government has no resources to improve the welfare of the war veterans.  Is it not possible for the Government to reduce the President’s trips so that money is channeled to war veterans?

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):   I did not say Government has no resources.  I said where Government has no resources, so there is a difference.  Indeed, the Hon. Member should be able to table in this House where the President travelled and where he thinks he should not have gone on a trip. 

          *HON. ZINDI:  I direct my question to the Leader of the House.  This is on the issue of the war veterans’ welfare.  This has been spoken over and over again without nothing tangible happening regarding income generation projects.  Ever since, there has been talk of the welfare of the war veterans, there was the war veterans’ board composed of Cde. Dabengwa, the late Mujuru and the late Zvinavashe and Hon. Deputy Minister Mabuwa was also a member of that board.  What did this board achieve in terms of income generating projects for the welfare of the war veterans?

          Furthermore, as we speak, does the board still exist to address the issues of war veterans?  I thank you. 

          *HON. MNANGAGWA:  Madam Speaker, the problem that I face with Hon. Zindi regarding her concerns is that everything is being done for the war veterans.  It is very rare for us then to ask people to gather and inform them that today we have implemented x, y and z.  Every year, if she were to look at the budget statement, an allocation is made towards the war veterans, their children and health.  About the board that she mentioned where Cde Dabengwa, the late Mujuru and Zvinavashe used to sit, what the achievements were, what she needs to do is to write the question down so that I can go and research.  It is not Government policy to know the achievements of the board but the issue as regards the presence of the board; we will investigate to find out if there is such a board.  The issue is that there is a requirement as regards the law that there should be such a board.  We have held several meetings where the welfare of the war veterans was discussed and the war veterans also gave their own concerns.  They were saying that they were happy with what they were receiving but they would appreciate if additions were to be made.  Discussions have been held and discussions are ongoing as regards to improving the welfare of the war veterans.  I thank you. 

          HON. NYAMUPINGA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is in relation to these 16 days of activism against gender based violence.  Allow me to give a background before I ask my question to the Leader of the House.  We all know that in the rural areas, most of gender based violence happens because women will have failed to cook well, especially meat if it is not prepared well, many women are beaten.

 My question is, there is a research that was done by WHO on the global burden of diseases which estimated that smoke exposure from a simple smoke act of cooking is the fourth worst risk for diseases which cause premature deaths to women and children under five.  What is Government policy on clean energy, nyaya yehutsi yapedza vana?  We want to see things like bio-gas and electricity in the rural areas.

  *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  I have observed that she wants me to respond to the question but the Minister is in the House, maybe she does not know who the Minister is but the Minister is present.  The truth is that the world over, Zimbabwe included, we want to move from the methods that cause smoke emission.  We want to go into clean energy, which does not damage the environment.  This cannot be done overnight.  It is a gradual process.  We should remain focused to achieve our goal.  We understand her issue, we are moving towards that direction to ensure that that is done. 

We have ethanol, which we are looking at.  So, my Hon. Member is now aware of what is happening. 

*HON. CHIBAYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Hon. Kasukuwere.  As a representative of Mkoba, Gweru.  It is now almost two years without councillors running that council.  The issues that I am aware are at your heart is service delivery.  Residents of Gweru no longer have people to receive their complaints.  This has now disturbed the levels of service delivery in Gweru.  The councillors have petitioned the court and they have all won their cases.  What do you have in place to ensure that the councillors go and discharge their duty as was mandated by the electorate?  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. KASUKUWERE):  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  The question relates to councilors and the state of affairs of the Council of Gweru.  We have a commission that is running that sits in the interim after we had observed that there were certain short comings with regards to the manner in which the councillors were conducting their business. 

There were councillors who had petitioned the courts last week and we said we would then follow the local government amendment laws which now empower us, as a Ministry, to accept written submissions by suspended councillors as to what their position is.  We start at the level where the Ministry will look at each issue as it relates to every councillor.  This is done by our legal practitioners in our Ministry.  It is an easy task and if there are those who would want to have charges preferred against them, they will appear before tribunals.

It is our problem collectively with Hon. Chibaya, to ensure that service delivery is done properly.  This morning, I was given a report by the Chairperson of Gweru, Mhangami.  We now have a town clerk and we have directors.  They have done water projects in villages 14 to 19 and they can now access water in Mkoba.  They have also purchased 10 motor vehicles to attend to burst pipes, they have bought 10 skid bins to ensure that refuse is removed, there is a fork lift and a lorry that is going to be purchased to ensure that sanitary services are improved.

I would want to give the Hon. Member my assurance that we share the same concerns and that we have the interest of Gweru at heart.  In the mean time, let me thank Mr. Mhangami’s Commission for having discharged their job better than the councillors before them.  I thank you.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  My supplementary question to the Minister is around the composition of the Commission vis-a-vis the existence of councillors.  At the moment, we have three councillors in Gweru and in addition to that, the Minister has put in three commissioners, which is completely unlawful because we have got enough councillors to form a quorum to transact business of the people in Gweru, legally and effectively.  So, whether they are delivering well or not, why is the Minister deciding to deliver services unlawfully?  Why is he deciding to ensure that services are improved through sodomy and rape when he could do it properly?

HON. KASUKUWERE:  Madam Speaker, we suspended the entire council so there is no question about them forming a quorum.  They cannot form a quorum when they are suspended.  They can only form a quorum if they are legally in office.  The three councillors I have talked about are those who were elected.  We had three unfortunate deaths of members of our Gweru council who passed on and they were replaced by three councillors who themselves, had no blame or in other words were not part of the suspension.  The three who are deceased were also actually part of the suspended, but we cannot suspend the new councillors who were elected after the other ones had died. 

So to that extent, I have said all the councillors are going to go through the motions and the processes.  If we find that some of the councillors are not guilty and must not be suspended, they will come to work and if they are over 11, they will constitute a quorum.  So, we are very much aware of the legal responsibilities we have and we know the law anyway, so we will do what has to be done correctly in terms of the law.  Thank you.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  I realise that the three councillors that are currently lawfully councillors in Gweru came through by-election, so they are legally there already.  Why should they be assessed or punished because of people they replaced – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] - 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  Why is he not disbanding the Commission so that they form a quorum?  Three councillors form a quorum – [AN HON. MEMBER:  It is 11.] -  No it is not 11, it is a third of that.  So they are there.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order!

HON. KASUKUWERE:  Assuming it is a third, what is a third of 18?  Just mathematics.  Gweru is composed of 18 councillors and there are three councillors – [AN HON. MEMBER:  It is a sixth.] – No, in fact the quorum in Gweru council is11.  I know what I am doing.  We cannot have three councillors run the city of Gweru, hence we have appointed the other commissioners to beef up the numbers so that they can be able to do the work.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House, the Vice President Hon. Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.  As an august House, as members of the opposition, we recently complained about policy on the manner in which food is being distributed all over Zimbabwe.  We complained that food was being distributed on partisan basis.  We then appealed to you that it should be non-partisan.

We saw rice being received from Japan to feed the people, but the biggest problem that we have in this country is that as members of the opposition, we are not getting rice to give our own constituencies as the people’s representatives.  The distribution is now even worse.  No redress to the question has been done. The problem is now even involving members of ZANU PF.  There are members in ZANU PF that are receiving rice whilst others are not receiving it based on factions – the G40 and the Lacoste factions. If you want to prove that I am not lying, the Hon. Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services should show the records of the people that have received that rice.

*THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Member, get to the gist of the matter.  What is the question?  Do not get excited.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I asked the Hon. Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Services to give the records of the MPs that were given rice in Zimbabwe.  You will see that the majority of the members that are going to receive rice are in ZANU PF and they are now going to get a second bite of the cherry.  Why should we not redress this issue that they be given the rice in a non- partisan manner?  It is being distributed in ZANU PF along the G40 and Lacoste lines.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, please listen to the response.

THE HON. VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  I do not understand what the response should be.  Initially he said when people are receiving food throughout the country, it is being done on partisan basis.  We do not allow such discrimination in the distribution of food.  The law says that all deserving persons should be given food regardless of political affiliation. If there is a vulnerable family that deserves to be given food, it should receive the food and that is policy.  However, on the second issue where he mentioned that some received and others did not receive the food, surely that cannot be a policy issue but administrative.  I ask the Hon. Member to put the question in writing so that the specific issues can be investigated accordingly.

          HON. GONESE:  My supplementary question is; if we can have clarity on the way in which the policy is supposed to be implemented.  He has indicated that in terms of the policy, there must not be any discrimination on the basis of political affiliation.  What I want the Minister to tell the nation through this august House is precisely how the rice is supposed to be distributed, what is the role that is supposed to be played by Members of Parliament as a matter of policy and the role of the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services?

          THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I thought that once Hon. Mutseyami has put his question in writing, everything is going to be answered with a Ministerial Statement.

          HON. GONESE:  No Madam Speaker, what I need at this point in time is clarification on the policy while Hon. Mutseyami goes into details regarding unfair distribution.

          THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  I think he is addressing his mind to who receives and how the vulnerable groups are identified.  That is done through the ZIM-VAC system.  The beneficiaries are identified and written down and these are the people to whom, administratively and not by policy receive the transportation logistics and the method of distribution.

          HON. MLISWA:  I would like to seek clarification from the Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Chombo, who is responsible for the law enforcement agents of this country.  The Constitutional Court ruled that Professor Moyo must not be arrested but that is a Constitutional Court.  Does that stop the ZRP, which is constitutionally mandated to enforce the law because if we all rush to court especially myself, you are aware I have been before the courts over 70 times and acquitted 70 times.  It seems you are also compromised because I have a letter with me which you wrote on the 19th exonerating the Minister in question over the donations made from ZIMDEF saying they were for the Party.  However, there were also transfers into his account.  Did the Party give him the go ahead to also receive the transfers into his account?  What I am basically trying to say is that the role of the law enforcement agent is not to listen to the Constitutional Court but to bring somebody before the courts, investigate and take them to Rotten Row.  So, why has the Minister not done that?  Could it be because His Excellency who has powers to stop Ministers from being arrested has issued such an order?

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO):  The Zimbabwe Republic police will arrest anybody when there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed.  ZRP does not take orders from the newspapers or WhatsApp but will first investigate and when they are sure and convinced that a crime was committed, they will then effect arrest.  The President of this country, Cde R. G. Mugabe has not told the police or anyone that they should not be arrested because they are of such a position - that is not correct.  So, if there is evidence which Hon. Mliswa of Norton Constituency has that he thinks the police can benefit from, they will be very glad to accept and utilize it.

HON. MLISWA:  Minister, you are wrong.  The Prosecutor General ..

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon Mliswa, you cannot say the Minister is wrong.  Just bring in your supplementary question.

HON. MLISWA:  I withdraw the word wrong.  Minister, the Prosecutor General is responsible for investigating and they have written to the Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to arrest.  They are the key body in ensuring that The Professor is arrested because they are the ones who studied the docket.   Three letters were written to the Commissioner General to arrest Professor Moyo.  His Deputy Minister was arrested, so why has he not been arrested after the Prosecutor General who has the mandate to investigate has said he must be arrested?

HON DR. CHOMBO:  The Hon. Member said Professor Moyo went to the Constitutional Court and was given a reprieve for whatever reasons, I really do not know.  So, why should the police then act contrary to what the law says?  Secondly, I am unaware of any correspondence between the Prosecutor General and the Police.  If there are issues of concern, I would be very glad to look and see what the issues are.  So, instead of bringing the issues here, they could have been brought to me and I would have attended to them.

HON. MLISWA:  Minister, the Constitutional Court has not stopped Professor Moyo from being arrested, unless you have another court order.  The law enforcement agent has not been stopped from arresting.  Why then is he not being arrested, he cannot duck and dive.  He has not been stopped from being arrested.  He must be brought before the courts and answer to the allegations just like his Deputy Minister did.

HON. DR. CHOMBO:  I have already answered that question a number of times, so he can read the Hansard tomorrow for the answer.  I thank you.

          Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

          HON. HOLDER:  Madam Speaker, I move that time for Questions Without Notice be extended by 15 minutes.

          HON. CHIBAYA:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          *HON. KAUNDIKIZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care or his deputy.  In their absence, I direct my question to the Leader of the House.  What is Government policy as regards the elderly that are 60 years and above that are being asked to pay for their treatment in Government institutions?

          *THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA): Madam Speaker, my understanding is that, it is true that the elderly are entitled to free medication.  What I am not certain about is the cut-off age, but the elderly do not pay for treatment in Government institutions.  If the Minister was here, he would have given the specific age.       

          If you fall within the stated category you should not be made to pay.  If there are any persons who paid because they were asked to pay, if you know of such an incident, please write to the responsible Minister of Health and Child Care that such an incident took place and that the elderly who are entitled to free medication have been made to pay so that the issue can be looked into then redressed.  I thank you.

          *HON. MAHOKA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Hon. Dr. Gumbo.  What is Government policy about the department of roads?  We observed that a lot of money is being given to people that construct the roads but they are not properly constructed.  The road to Manicaland is peeling off on hot days.  We have our own Department of Roads - why should this money not be given to this department so that they can buy sufficient equipment and the Government can repair such roads without outsourcing this service to foreigners because we do not have foreign currency which is in short supply.  I thank you.

          *THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. GUMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker for the question that has been asked by Hon. Mahoka.  She is unhappy with the peeling of the surface of the road due to the hot weather.  Believe me, this question - I have already responded to it in this august House.  The work that was done on the Plumtree -Mutare road, there are sections where it was not properly done.  The company that constructed the road is attending to such defects.  This road was constructed as a result of a tender being awarded.  It was a public tender, it did not ask for local suppliers.  The tender was won by Group Five from South Africa.  It did not mean that the Department of Roads or any Zimbabwean company was barred from submitting their tenders.  If our department was capable, it could have done it. 

As regards the issue of the Department of Roads which is under the Ministry of Transport, that it should be given sufficient funding to purchase equipment, I applaud her for that but as Parliament, when we come to the issue of budget allocation, a lot of money must be allocated to the department of roads so that they can purchase road equipment to enable them to maintain the roads on their own.

*HON. MAHOKA:  My question is that the patches that are being put on this road, I do not believe are good.  As Government you need to stop those people from doing it or they should redo the entire road.   There should not be patches on this road; there should be a proper resealing of that road.  Those that have heart problems are being affected as they travel on that road. I thank you.

*HON. DR. GUMBO:  I thank you Madam Speaker.  I agree that there are such patches on this road.  Let me take this opportunity to explain that the Plumtree to Mutare road was not constructed.  It was merely resealed, which means that they did not go into full construction of that road.  That is why they tend to be patches and why only US$260m was used to construct that road.  This was a resealing exercise from Mutare to Plumtree.  For a construction of that road, it would be in excess of the amount that we used.  Resealing simply means putting on a new surface on a surface that is already there.  Funds permitting, we will remove the surface so that the road can be reconstructed so that it will not have such patches that you are talking about.  I thank you.

*HON. ZINDI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am concerned about the figure of US$260m, I read in the paper that the figure would be US$3.8b to US$3.9b for the Plumtree to Mutare road.  Even when he responded that he has since answered that same question, the sum of US$3.9b was made reference to.   I want to know as to the exact figure that was used by the Ministry in the resealing exercise of the Mutare -Plumtree road.  Was it in the region of US$206m is that the truth?

*HON. DR. GUMBO: The amount used for the resurfacing of the Plumtree to Mutare road is $206 million.  I am not the one who mentioned the figure.  That amount was passed by Parliament because it is a debt.  Every Member of Parliament is aware that we have an agreement that was passed by Parliament indebted to the sum of $206 million for the construction of that road.

HON. DR. MASHAKADA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Finance but in his absence, I direct it to the Leader of the House.  Madam Speaker, we are approaching the festive season and it is common cause that people cannot access their funds from the banks.  There are long winding queues in the banks as people are trying to withdraw their funds but banks have imposed very low withdrawal limits.  This is affecting economic activity.

My question is, in view of the fact that bond notes were issued and the market had hoped that the bond notes were going to alleviate the cash crisis, even though the people had rejected the bond notes, they were introduced.  Their introduction has not solved the cash crisis.  What is Government policy regarding improving the liquidity situation in the country?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. MNANGAGWA):  I thank the Hon. Member for the question.  There is the issue of policy and the issue of administrative procedures.  With regard to the issue of policy, addressing the issue of lack of liquidity in the market, one measure that has been introduced is the introduction of bond notes for internal transactions.  At administrative level, the Reserve Bank has introduced the bond notes initially with $10 million.  Last Monday, they put in another $7 million and we are now at $17 million.  They are going to put again another amount until we reach the amount stated of bond notes.  That is intended to ease internal commercial transactions among our people. 

We have serious concern about the queues that we see around banks.  It is not policy of Government that people should queue.  That must be resolved through the financial services sector, by the people in there.  We would also want to find out why they are making people withdraw limited sums, yet so far $17 million has been put into the market.  On a weekly basis, an amount shall be put into the market by the Reserve Bank.  We are together Hon. Mashakada in addressing the concern of liquidity in the market.

*HON. ENG. MUDZURI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question regarding the issue of bond notes is that Government policy in a US dollar account should also be used for bond notes and that there will be no separation.  It has been indicated that for internal use, we should use bond notes and further stated is that this is an incentive that is going to be given for exports.  This is now confusing people.  People had foreign currency accounts because they needed US dollars for paying fees but they can no longer do that.  The Reserve Bank now stops people from paying fees when you have a foreign account which has money. 

What is going to happen to people that have freely raised such funds for own purposes because you are now forcing them to use the bond note?  What is the Government’ policy as regards this?

*HON. MNANGAGWA:  Madam Speaker, the Vice President of MDC-T once sat down with me and I responded to all the questions that he has raised.  Maybe he wants other people to now know about it.  I will reiterate my response to the two of us.  My explanation was that it is true that the bond note and the US dollar are equivalent.  They are at par.  If you are putting the bond note together with the US dollar in a pocket, as you take out your money and want to buy, the currencies are the same.  I do not know if I have it here – [The Hon. Minister searched his pocket] – This is a bond note and this is the US dollar.  They are put in the same pocket.  The two can coexist, they are not in conflict.  If you go to the bank, it is the same account where you deposit your US dollar and your bond note.  The following morning, if you want to get your bond note, you are given.   If you want your US dollar, you are also given a chance to do that.

I explained about imports and I explained that there is a nostro account which means that what we import, we pay through foreign currency or the US dollar.  For us to earn that foreign currency, we earn it through exporting to foreign countries.  Then it goes into our nostro accounts through our Reserve Bank so that when these transactions are done through your bank, it relates to the corresponding bank out of Zimbabwe where you use the nostro account.

There are four things that we can use to earn foreign currency.  The stage where we are now is that we are now importing more than what we are exporting.  In terms of balance of trade, in the nostro accounts, we have a deficit.  That is where the challenge is and hence the delays in carrying out the transactions.  We then decided that given such a scenario, we should use our bond notes to buy our African chewing gum and our wild fruits called matamba but we then said the same account should be used for US dollars and the bond note because they are the same.  So, if you have a lot of money you go to the bank and it will be disbursed.  However, we have laws that then restrict the amount of foreign currency that you can take out of the country.  People are quite happy with the bond notes.  I thank you.

HON. BHEBHE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Zimbabwe currently has 94.6% of its  people  surviving on informal trade meaning that they go out to Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana to get things to resell so that they can survive with their families.  How then do they manage to access money when it is not available in the bank?

HON. E.D MNANGAGWA: The Hon. Member is saying, here are people who want to go and buy in Mozambique and some other surrounding countries.  You only do so when you have money. When you do not have it, you cannot say you want to go and buy because you do not have the money.  However, if you have the money, you go and withdraw your money in US dollars but you must also take into account the exchange control regulations regulating how much you can take outside.  So that is how it is.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

RELEASE OF SUSPECTS BY SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE

THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Madam Speaker, on the 5th of October, Hon. E. Cross asked the Minister of Home Affairs an Oral Question to state if it is Government policy to allow senior members of the Executive to order release of suspects arrested on criminal charges, to also state whether the released persons were under the instruction of the Acting President; also to report whether any kind of force was used and to state whether any physical injuries to the police officers were sustained in the incident.  I had promised to check and bring an answer to this august House.  So, I do have the answer and I wish to go through it.

Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, provides that all persons are equal before the law and have the right and equal protection and benefit of the law.  In this context, therefore, no person is above the law and any person who has committed an offence must accordingly be dealt with in terms of the law.

Section 219 of the same Constitution provides for the police inter-alia to prevent and investigate crime.  In enforcing the law, the police will do so without fear or favour.  The Constitution as the Supreme law of the land provides the guiding principles in dealing with all matters including prevention and investigation of crime.  It follows therefore that the Constitution of Zimbabwe has a policy framework on which all other matters must derive authority.  It has never been and/or will ever be Government policy for any person regardless of status to interfere with police operations.

Item number 2 – the two persons referred to in this question were not arrested by the police.  Police Avondale provided detention facilities, otherwise the suspects were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.  As the Minister of Home Affairs, I can therefore not comment further on suspects who were arrested by another entity and not by the police.  Police fall under Home Affairs, Anti-Corruption Commission does not. 

 I wish also to further state that I do not know under whose instruction they were released and therefore, I have nothing to tell to this august House.  I will also want to further state that the police at Avondale or anywhere have not received any complaint from anybody about injuries or anything. 

The other item that I think was referred to is the issue of Silobela Constituency in need of a police post.  Currently, there are no funds available to build a police post in Silobela.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I have now attended to the matter which was raised on the 5th of October by Hon. Cross.  Thank you.

HON. CROSS: Mr. Speaker I have raised this matter on three occasions in this House.  The incident I referred to is one where the Vice President, Hon. Mphoko went to Avondale Police Station and instructed the Member in Charge to release two individuals who had been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission on the basis of allegations involving US$1,4 million taken from ZINARA.  Now, if the Minister is not aware of this, then he is blind and ignorant or deaf or all of these.  There is no way that I can accept his answer this afternoon.

I think Mr. Speaker Sir, this country deserves better.  I am looking at the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.  Minister, how are we going to tolerate this kind of behaviour?  I understand that in fact, the Vice President’s security details manhandled the Member in Charge and that he was forced to release these two men into his custody.  The Vice President referred to these two men as ‘my friends’. When are we going to get on top of the scourge of corruption if we cannot tackle this in our very midst? – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-

HON. GONESE: On a point of order! In terms of procedure, this is a Ministerial Statement, it is no longer Question Time and that is my understanding.  On a Ministerial Statement, Hon. Members make their observations, it is not a question and answer session.  So, I believe that we have had Ministerial Statements before in this august House Mr. Speaker, and you are also very aware because I know you have been a Member of the Speaker’s panel for quite a long time.  If it is a Ministerial Statement, all Hon. Members make their observations. It is not even questions; they make their observations and comments.  It is almost like a debate.  Only at the tail end when all the Members have exhausted, the Minister then responds.  If there are supplementary observations and comments, they are then made.  That is my point of order that in terms of procedure, let us not make this into a question and answer session.  That is not the procedure.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO):  Can you resume your seat Hon. Minister.  Hon. Gonese, this is a Ministerial Statement.  Hon. Members may only seek clarification to what the Hon. Minister has already alluded to rather than a debate.  So, you can only seek clarification where you are not clear from the Minister.  It is not a debate.

          HON. GONESE: Maybe it is terminology.  That is what they want to do; to seek clarification and the Minister can respond.

          HON. MARIDADI:  Hon. Minister, in your statement, you say those people were at Avondale Police Station because the police provided only facilities for their custody; they were not the arresting authority.  Then you say, you do not know the circumstances under which they were released.  What were you investigating if you were not investigating that?  Again you say you do not know who gave authority for their release.  Those should have been two major issues that your investigation should have found out.  If you did not investigate that Hon. Minister, I think I can safely say you did a shoddy job and you must go back and re-investigate.  Thank you.

          HON. MLISWA:  Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  The issue is an issue under which the Minister explained, he seems not to be sure and it involves a Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, a high ranking official.  This is the time when a Commission of Inquiry must be put in place to investigate the conduct of the Vice President.  It is critical that the zero tolerance to corruption the President talks about must have no sacred cows in it.

          I am glad that the Minister of Home Affairs clearly explained that the law enforcement agents do their job without fear or favour but there seems to be a selective application of the law.  It is important for the credibility of this nation that the Minister of Home Affairs be honest with himself.  If he has got insufficient answers, I think he should research from the Commissioner General who is responsible for the operations of the police.  He seems not to be sure on what went on.  As a result, a Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of the Vice President must be set up.  Thank you. 

          HON. ZVIDZAI:  Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity.  The Minister’s response has got so many ‘I do not know, I do not seem to care and I am not interested,’ effectively trivialising what the general populace of this country thinks is a very important issue for the purposes of building confidence in this nation and ensuring that we have got clear policy.  My worry is that the Minister seems to trivialise issues that are very important to us and I do not think it is very acceptable for the Minister to do that.  Thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA:  Mr. Speaker, from the Minister’s explanation, he confirms that there was an arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission of those two particular members.  The Minister further says he cannot be held answerable to issues that were done by ZACC.  My question therefore is, can the Minister further explain if the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has arresting powers.  If it does not, who then should order the police to arrest whoever the commission would have found to be guilty or reasonably suspected of having committed a crime?

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, you have already contributed.

          HON. GONESE:  It was a point of order.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order, order.  You were the first person who started this …

          HON. GONESE:  With due respect Mr. Speaker Sir, mine was a point of order.  I did not make any contribution on the substance, I did not speak on the merits of the matter.  It was simply on a question of procedure.  That is all I did Mr. Speaker if you refresh your memory.  Now I want to seek clarification on matters of substance. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  To the point please.

          HON. GONESE:  Yes I will stick to the point.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The point which I need clarification on Mr. Speaker, relates to the fact that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is established in terms of our Constitution.  Chapter 13 is very clear that the functions of the Commission among other things have got the power to investigate crime and so on but they are also mandated with powers to give directive to the Commissioner General of Police.

          In terms of the Constitution, the Commissioner General of Police is obliged and I will read the appropriate section which says the Commissioner General of Police must comply with any directive given to him or her by the ZACC – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] – I believe that in circumstances where the ZACC is investigating a case and they have asked accused persons to be placed in detention, that to me amounts to that direction for the Commissioner General through the various police officers at the various police stations to comply with those directives.

My concern Mr. Speaker is that the response of the Minister was wish-wash.  It is not quite clear what he is trying to tell us.  When he is trying to tell us that the ZACC does not fall under his Ministry, to me that does not hold any water.  By virtue of the fact that the ZACC was investigating a case and they had two persons placed in cells which are handled or controlled, to me amounts to the direction which is provided for by the Constitution.  I want the Minister to clarify why the police did not proceed to ensure that these two persons who had been arrested after investigations had been completed by ZACC were not brought to the courts.  That is our concern. It would appear as if there was interference and that interference is what is of great concern to Members of this august House, particularly in a situation where the whole nation is worried about corruption.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: I want to give a supplementary question.  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  If you can observe Mr. Speaker, that ten Members from the opposition have spoken and a single ZANU PF Member has rose because they are raising non-existent issues. They should not stop me from raising my issues before you have heard me. Listen to what I am going to say. Do not prejudge the issues. – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.]-

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Mliswa, let us hear him in silence.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Mr. Speaker Sir, it is evident that Hon. Mliswa has been arrested 70 times. He was being acquitted because he had lawyers...

          HON. MLISWA: I was acquitted over 70 times. HuGrade 2 hwako noku...

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Mliswa, I have not recognised you. Take a seat Hon. Mliswa, let us behave please. If this happens again for the second time, do not blame me if I ask you to go outside.

          HON. MARIDARI: My point of order is that we are seeking clarification from the Minister on the statement that he has been pleased to deliver to this House. I think it is incumbent upon the Minister to give responses and not anybody else. I think the Hon. Member is out of order because he is responding on behalf of the Minister and I do not think it is proper.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, he is free to debate like I have given you the chance to debate. Hon. Matambanadzo, please proceed.

          *HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am not protecting a person but I am saying the truth. The truth of the matter is that a person should not suffer or be hurt. The issue of Hon. Minister Moyo has not yet been concluded. Furthermore, the Minister says that he does not understand what has happened because the matter is subjudice. Hon. Mliswa stole some cattle, tractors and emerged victorious, but the truth of the matter is that he was committing these offences, but because of his good legal team, he was acquitted. He committed his offences in broad daylight.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members. Can we respect this House please?

          *HON. MURAI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I want to say the Hon. Member is lost because of the subject matter that is under debate. He is bringing a new issue altogether. Thank you.

          +HON. K. SIBANDA: I would want to ask the Minister of Home Affairs if he says that if everyone is guilty, they should be arrested. Are there others that should not appear to answer their charges whilst they are coming from home? That is what I want to find out.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, let us hear the Hon. Minister in silence Hon. Members. Order please!

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. The (ZRP) Zimbabwe Republic Police, is a wonderful police force, well respected in the region, well trained and as their Minister, I am proud of them. In this particular matter, the police were not involved. They only assisted in providing a holding cell. Secondly, the issues that happen to the persons that were arrested, were the matters that ZACC should be able to answer because ZACC is no longer in the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is resident elsewhere.

          I also wish to say that ZRP does not respond to issues that are raised in the papers. They rise to issues that are submitted to them with reasonable grounds that a crime was committed. Finally, the other issues that Hon. Members from across raised, I am not able to answer some of the issues now as to whether ZACC has arresting powers or not. I am going to further investigate and come back and report to this august House. Thank you. 

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The matter is not closed. The Minister says he is still going to investigate.

          HON. CROSS: When will he come back to us Mr. Speaker? Can we have a date?

          HON. DR. CHOMBO: Mr. Speaker, I will liaise with you and sometime early next year, I will come back and give further information on this matter. Before I even come here, I will meet with the gentleman and inform him that I am coming to Parliament to address that matter.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

 PRE-PAID ELECTRICITY METERS

1.    HON. CROSS asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House:

(a) How many pre-paid electricity meters have been installed in homes and business premises throughout Zimbabwe ever since the programme began?

(b) To detail how many prepaid meters have malfunctioned since installation and what ZESA is doing to repair or replace such meters and when the programme would commence?

(c) To detail the guarantee that was issued by the manufacturer or supplier and to state whether those obligations are being met, and if not, to explain why that is the case.

 

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Mr. Speaker Sir, failure rate has been within acceptable industrial standards, except for meters supplied by ZTE that exhibited high failure rate. ZTE contract was cancelled as a result of high failure rate. The total number of meters that failed to date is around 6,000 which translates to 1% of the installed base. So, because of meter shortages, it has taken long to replace some of the meters failing at site, but there is a plan to replace all fault meters as soon as the next delivery of meters is received. This is the answer to question (b).

The first part which asks on how many meters have been installed to date - 575 667 meters have been installed. The other part of Question 1, manufacturers through the local agents have an obligation to replace meters failing within the warrant period. The warrant period was extended to 36 months from the standard 12 months at ZETDC’s request. Manufacturers have also offered meters at no additional cost to replace those failing at site after expiring of warrant. Most of the failures are to do with exposure to harsh environmental conditions, especially rain.  ZETDC has improved the technical specification to ensure meters are of higher Ingress Protection rating and hence more resistant to harsh environmental conditions.  I thank you.

RESTORATION OF POWER AT DOMBORUTINHIRA BUSINESS CENTRE IN MUTASA DISTRICT

2. HON. SARUWAKA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when the Ministry would restore power at Domborutinhira Business Centre in Ward 19 of Mutasa District where the transformer was struck by lightning in February 2015, thereby affecting the business operations, especially the butcheries and bottle stores.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, it is my pleasure to give a response to the important question raised by Hon. Saruwaka.  There has been a shortage of distribution transformers, many of which have been damaged due to vandalism hence the delay in replacing the Domborutinhira Business Centre transformer.  The transformer to Domborutinhira Business Centre a 50kVA11/0.4 kV was availed to Mutare environs and installed. I am pleased to inform the Hon. Member that the transformer was connected and customers are enjoying ZESA power.  I thank you. 

HON. SARUWAKA:  I want to take the opportunity to thank the Minister for restoring power to the Domborutunhira community.  We thank you Hon. Minister and that this is coming from Mutasa Central. 

HON. ZVIDZAI:  My supplementary question to the Minister is whether it is cost effective for the Ministry to be looking at things like burnt transformers in all the local authorities in this country.  I want to know why his Ministry is not pursuing a relationship with local authorities who are closer to where things are happening. Obviously, if he did that, I see a possibility of efficiency in terms of corrective measures and delivery of services. 

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  I assume the reason why the Hon. Member has talked about local authorities is because local authorities have presence everywhere in the country.  That is the assumption I am working from.  Having made that assumption, ZETDC is present in all these areas.  In all areas under local authority jurisdictions, ZESA has offices there.  We have depot managers there and deport staff.  They can easily attend to such problems.  Let me also add that local authorities do not have electricity departments, neither do they have personnel qualified to replace transformers.  It is not their core business, it is outside their mandate.  We will as a Ministry act speedily to rectify any electricity problem in rural areas subject to where we have shortages of transformers but the moment we receive transformers, we move to ensure that the problems are rectified.

ZESA’s mandate is to ensure that no one lives in darkness.  I think we have lived up to that, as testified by the Hon. Saruwaka who is thanking ZESA and the Ministry for doing its job. I thank you.

CONNECTION OF ELECTRICITY TO MBUMA MISSION IN NKAYI DISTRICT

3. HON BHEBHE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House;

 a) Why the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has not

connected power Supplies to Mbuma Mission in the Nkayi District in

view of the fact that the power lines were constructed more than five and

a half years back.

b) Why the power line poles to Mbuma Hospital which fell more than four years back have not been attended to despite the fact that the authorities have been informed of the incident.   

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. (a) The Mbuma Mission Hospital was energised on the 13th November, 2016.  We are currently receiving and processing applications for connections. 

(b)The line failed just about the same time when the feeder to Insuza (Siganda) failed due to copper theft and vandalism.  Priority was to get the Insuza line up first due to its strategic position in terms of national security by way of the telecoms traffic between Matabeleland North and the rest of the country.  When we finished the Insuza line, we then discovered that there was further vandalism on the Mbuma line and we needed a huge injection of resources to get the line up again.  Line re-construction works were eventually completed and line the energised on 13th November, 2016. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to urge Hon. Members to go and spread the message in their constituencies that  people should stop vandalising ZESA infrastructure. They should stop stealing cable lines, oil transformers and so on because Hon. Members come to Parliament to ask ZESA to go and restore what people in your constituencies would have destroyed or vandalised. 

HON. BHEBHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The information given by the Minister is not very accurate because I personally, as the Member of Parliament went and spoke to ZESA.  ZESA told me a completely different statement from the statement that the Minister is giving.  On the first part of the question, ZESA told me that they have contracted a private company to deal with the line, not that there was vandalism.  The poles leading towards Mbuma fell because of the rains. 

On the second part, the power lines that were used to Mbuma were not copper power lines, they were not vandalised.  Mr. Speaker Sir, I have personally visited Mbuma Mission, at one point in the presence of the Minister of Health and Child Care.  The Minister has said that the line was energised, the line to Mbuma was not energised, the line could have been energised to Siganda, not to Mbuma.  As we speak right now, the poles leading to Mbuma are still lying down.  So, I do not know where the Minister is getting that information from which is not accurate.

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  I do not think Hon. Bhebhe was listening carefully to my speech.  He is saying that the line was energised up to Siganda, this is what I read out in my response here.  I mentioned the Insuza (Siganda), so he was not listening, he was busy talking to someone when I was reading out my response. 

After presentation of my response, I then went on in general terms to urge Hon. Members here to go back to the constituencies and tell people not to vandalise ZESA infrastructure, for example items like cables, transformers and oil.  Then he assumed that I was referring to Mbuma Mission line.  So, he was not listening carefully to my speech.  All what you are saying, I addressed that, the answers are present here. 

Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue is being attended to.  I have supplied an adequate answer.  I thank you.

HON. BHEBHE:  Mr. Speaker, I do not think vandalism and poles falling down can cause me to mistakenly think that the Minister has given me the answer.  He is speaking of vandalism, that the lines was vandalised; I am speaking of the poles that fell down and those poles have been down for more than four years, Hon. Minister.  So therefore, I want an answer as to why ZESA is not doing their job by attending to those poles that are lying down - that is point number one.  The reason why ZESA has not been connected at Mbuma, it is because of the poles that are lying down that have not been attended to.

When I went to ZESA, ZESA promised and told me that those lines are being attended to by a private company.  I am not sure whether that private company might be one of those companies that are accessing money from ZESA without doing their job.

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member is going in circles and being pedantic.  I said ZESA is responding to the problem.  They have acknowledged that.  Vandalism – I talked about it in general terms after I completed answering the question.  I was now urging members to ensure that they should not vandalise ZESA infrastructure after completing my response to his question, but he is going back to take what is outside the answer and saying vandalism does not affect that.

Yes, I agree with you, there is no vandalism there.  I spoke about vandalism with respect to urging members here, when they go back to ensure that the public protects ZESA infrastructure.  What is pertinent here is for the problem to be attended to and ZESA is attending to that problem.

HON. BHEBHE:  I have another supplementary question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your issue again Honourable?  I think the Minister is trying to be quite clear that he has actually answered your supplementary question.  The two things that he is addressing are totally different - the poles that are down and vandalism are totally different.  According to what he is saying and according to his answer, he has actually answered your question, but I think, like he is rightly saying that you were busy discussing, but anyway, I will give you the privilege of asking the last time.

HON. BHEBHE:  Mr. Speaker, let us go to the second part of my question, which is what I am saying that part to me, is not answered adequately.  My second part is very clear.  It is pointing out the poles that have been lying down for four years.  I have personally gone to ZESA and nothing is happening.  I want to know from the Minister why for four years they have not done anything.  Why are they not doing anything now when the hospital is servicing not only Nkayi district, it is actually servicing part of Gokwe, part of Bubi district and part of Lupane?

So, people are suffering.  That hospital is running generators 24 hours a day for four years, but the Minister keeps on saying they are still fixing it for four years.

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I think the Hon. Member should thank me because we are doing something now.  He is talking about four years ago when I was not even Minister of Energy and Power Development.  Now that I am there, I am sorting out the problem so I am expecting a pam pam from you.  I thank you.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  Supplementary question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  No more supplementary questions.  This has taken quite a lot of time.  We need to move.

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  No, Mr. Speaker.  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker Sir.  This question was in writing.  It is in writing therefore, the Minister should have sought an answer from ZESA, not to come here and tell the House that he does not have an answer when the question was in writing and it has been on the Order Paper for some weeks.  So, to be told if the House is going to be misled by being told that …

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your issue Hon. Chimanikire?

HON. CHIMANIKIRE:  No, the question is in writing.  How come he does not have the answer?  He is doing something.  What is he doing?  There must be accountability.  This House wants accountability and we must have accountability.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Okay noted.

ELECTRIFICATION OF THE HLALANI KUHLE HOUSES IN DETE

4.  HON. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development to inform the House when the Ministry is going to electrify the Hlalani Kuhle houses in Dete under Hwange Rural District Council.

THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE):  At Dete town we are currently on Mtuya.  Hlalani Kuhle area is still at planning stage and it is pegged to be implemented on the third quarter of 2017.

The major challenge is the current rate of vandalism of the network.  We are having to plough huge amounts of resources to reconstruct vandalised lines, such that there is little left to use for new areas.  It will therefore take long for ZETDC to complete the residential reticulations.

Again Mr. Speaker, the issue of vandalism actually takes us back.  Where we are due to do certain work or complete certain projects, we have to divert resources to go and repair what has been damaged.  That is why earlier on I mentioned that SOS message that where we live, as Hon. Members of Parliament, we should urge the public not to vandalise ZESA infrastructure.

HON. ZVIDZAI:  The Minister seems to consistently think that it is the communities that go up those highly energised power-lines to steal copper etcetera.  Has the Minister done thorough research that he can believe that it is the communities or could it be related to people with technical knowledge on how to handle electricity, namely the people at ZESA themselves?  From your research, is it the communities or it could point towards the direction of ZESA employees?

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I think this does not require much research.  It is common knowledge that we have abundant colleges in this country where electricians are trained at universities, technical colleges, vocational schools and all these are not employees of ZESA.  They are just people with technical know how about electricity and they can go and dismantle a transformer.  They are trained to do so.  That is why in my intervention I used the word that we should urge members of the public to ensure that knowledge is spread and to be policemen, police the infrastructure.  If you see anyone stealing, be it from ZESA, be it from the public, then that person should be apprehended, I thank you Mr. Speaker.

*HON. MKANDALA:  Supplementary question.  Mr. Speaker the Minister has not answered my question.  I asked the question when Hlalani Kuhle is going to be electrified.  The Minister is referring to how it is made of thatched houses.  In 2004, ZESA actually put some lines and brought poles to Hwange.  Why was Hlalani Kuhle not electrified then?  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

HON. DR. UNDENGE:  Mr. Speaker I get the message, the essence of what she has said.  I think the Hon. Member wants this Hlalani Kuhle area to be electrified most probably tomorrow, but there is this programme of events.  All I can promise according to the schedule which is here, if they can speed up.  I will make that intervention.  Perhaps I will leave it at that stage.  I thank you.

          *HON. PHIRI:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is, is he aware that at the moment ZESA is working with skeleton staff.  The majority of the workers have been fired from ZESA hence the delays in implementing some of the duties that should have been done timeously.  What is being done to ensure that the issue of workers is attended to?  I thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. UNDENGE):  Mr. Speaker Sir, most people who comment and talk to us say ZESA is a blotted organisation and its staff rate is very high. He is the first person to come and tell me that we actually have a skeleton staff in ZESA. Perhaps to respond to his question, ZESA is present everywhere and whenever there is a fault, they respond speedily.  We have depot managers across all districts, provinces including here in urban areas.  The issue of shortage of staff does not affect us and does not exist.  I think perhaps the Hon. Member; we can give you, if you visit our office, the schedule of where the various offices are.  Things are not affected or compromised by shortage of staff.  We have highly qualified young men who are eager to do the work. I thank you.

          *HON. PHIRI:  Where I come from, I have visited ZESA offices several times and enquired from depot managers what the problems were when people had raised their concerns.  ZESA said that they have contract workers; their permanent staff is very few.  The majority of their workers are contract workers who hold 5 O’ levels and are ex-school levers.  They feel that they engage people to carry out the duties and are paid two months down the line. I know it is the practice in Kadoma Central.  ZESA has retrenched a lot of workers and now has skeleton staff.  I request the Minister to go back and find out the strength of the workers in ZESA.  I would be vindicated that there are very few permanent workers.  I thank you.

          HON. DR. UNDENGE: I would like to not hold to what the Hon. Member is saying and perhaps say that I did go to a business school. Sometimes as an organisation, you must confine yourself to your core business and outsource certain activities, related activities. I am aware that when it comes to clearing of way leaves, ZESA subcontracts to other people and there are certain pieces of jobs which it subcontracts so that it remains with its core business.  That is allowed and it is standard business practice.  It does not mean to say if you are a business and you are in a certain sector, your staff should do everything.  There are certain areas whereby it becomes more economic and it becomes cheaper to engage a contractor and to subcontract.  However, I am willing that you visit my office so that we can discuss that further.  I thank you.

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

NIGHT PATROL VEHICLES FOR THE ZIMBABWE REPUBLIC POLICE (ZRP)

          36. HON. MASUKU asked the Minister of Home Affairs to inform the House whether the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have night patrol vehicles.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO):  The police conduct both motorized and foot patrols to effectively police the community more-so during the night, to curb various offences which are committed under the cover of darkness.  It is however, a common fact that the ZRP is operating with inadequate resources. Consideration should be made to boost the depleted police fleet.

MEASURES TO CURB THE RAMPANT USE OF MACHETES IN THE MIDLANDS PROVINCE

          37. HON M.M. MPOFU asked the Minister of Home Affairs what the Government is doing to curb the rampant use of machetes which has resulted in rising murder and assault cases in mining areas in the Midlands Province, especially in Silobela and Kwekwe.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO):  The ZRP has since stepped up its deployments in all areas which were identified to be areas of conflict.  A prohibition order banning the carrying of dangerous weapons which includes machetes was published covering the period 10 October 2016 to 27 January 2017.  Stop and searches are being conducted to arrest those found carrying such prohibited/dangerous weapons.  A number of arrests have been made to date.  An observation was made that most of these disputes emanate from ownership of claims, therefore awareness campaigns targeting artisanal miners are being conducted to dissuade them from engaging in illicit mining and to ensure that they register their claims. They are also being urged to seek lawful recourse when embroiled in disputes.  Efforts to bring the disputing parties together are ongoing so that they co-exist amicably within the dictates of the law.  Raids are also being conducted on beer outlets to ensure that beer outlets operate within stipulated times and to deter patrons from unlawful behaviour.

PAYMENT OF PROTECTION FEES BY COMMUTER OMNIBUS DRIVERS TO TRAFFIC OFFICERS

          38. HON. CHITURA asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether he is aware that commuter omnibus drivers are now paying protection fees to the traffic officers in order to avert spot fines.

          THE MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. DR. CHOMBO):  The Zimbabwe Republic Police is on record that it has zero tolerance to corruption and has always urged members of the public, including the Honourable Member to report any such acts immediately.  The Police has mechanisms in place to account for corrupt police officers and members of the public alike.  Acts of corruption must be reported to the local Officer in Charge, Officer Commanding District/Province or the National Office.  Members of the public should pay stipulated fines and desist from offering bribes to police officers.  Members of the public who offer bribes and police officers who accept such bribes are both committing a crime and will be dealt with accordingly.  The police has always dealt decisively with members who involve themselves in corrupt activities as evidenced by the number of officers who are arrested, prosecuted and discharged from the force.

MECHANISMS IN PLACE TO PAY FARMERS ON SUBMISSION OF WRONG BANKING DETAILS

54.  HON. MAHIYA asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development to explain to the House the mechanisms put in place to alert the farmers in the event that the Grain Marketing Board discovers that some farmers would have submitted wrong or inadequate banking details for the payment of their deliveries to be affected.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE):   Honourable Member, in instances when farmers have provided wrong or inadequate banking details for payment of their grain deliveries, the payment does not go through and the Grain Marketing Board contacts the respective farmers to obtain the correct details.

DESILTING EQUIPMENT FOR CHITINHA IRRIGATION FARMERS IN CHIMANIMANI WARD 8

55.  HON. CHIKUNI asked the Minister of Agriculture, Mechnisation and Irrigation Development to inform the House when the Ministry would help Chitinha Irrigation farmers in Chimanimani Ward 8 with desilting equipment (excavators and graders).

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (HON. DR. MADE):  Honourble Member, desilting of water sources is not the mandate of my Ministry.  The question should be directed to the Minister of Environment, Climate and Water.  

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

          On the motion of THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOMENT (HON. DR. MADE), the House adjourned at Three Minutes past Five O’ Clock p.m.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 13:55
National Assembly Hansard Vol. 43 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 07 DECEMBER 2016 VOL 43 NO 21