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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 12 MAY 2009 VOL. 35 NO. 29

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 12th May, 2009

The House of Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o'clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

MEETING OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE OF THE ZIMBABWE WOMEN'S CAUCUS

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to inform all members of the Management Committee of the Zimbabwe Women's Caucus that they are invited to a meeting on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 in Committee Room No. 4 at 0830 hours.

INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF THE 100 DAYS PLAN OF GOVERNMENT

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would also like to inform members of Parliament and Senators that they are invited to a public launch of the 100 Days Plan of Government on 13th May 2009 at Rainbow Towers at 0930 hours in the morning.

MOTION

DISTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURAL INPUTS

First Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the distribution of agricultural inputs.

Question again proposed.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members who have already contributed to the motion can contribute on the amendment proposed.

MR. MWONZORA : Madam Speaker, I move that the motion be stood over until other motions are dealt with. This is because Hon Gonese moved for an amendment and he is not present to back up the motion.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

Second Order read. Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

MR. MADAMOMBE: Madam Speaker, firstly I would like to congratulate you and Mr. Speaker for being elected into such a high office. I would like to congratulate all members of Parliament who were elected to represent various constituencies.

Madam Speaker, I humbly stand before you making my maiden speech committed to working towards the fruition of the dreams, goals, aspirations and expectation of my constituency and my country.

Madam Speaker, though it might, on the surface, appear to be a relatively simple task, it is a mammoth task that calls for self dedication, self sacrifice, self denial and determination on my part for I stand to essentially serve and not to be served.

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Leaders of our three main Political parties for signing the Global Political Agreement. The Government of National Unity tries to steer Zimbabwe out of crippling challenges. Peace, transparency and rule of law are the prerequisites to true and meaningful transformation into a desired Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwe that is desired by its people as well as expected into the Global Village.

My constituency is bleeding from many problems. Madam Speaker, raw sewages flowing just on our doorsteps. The offensive smell is the order of the day. If you move around in Tafara and Mabvuku, you will find sewage flowing everywhere and even in houses. People have dug trenches to allow sewage to flow across their yards. The whole reticulation system needs replacement.

Madam Speaker, electricity is another concern in my constituency. Some areas have been without electricity for the past three years and this has affected businesses. Electrical gadgets are so affected by regular power cuts such that replacement and repairs have become the order of the day. Communication is also difficult as the network is always down. This has contributed to serious deforestation as households now use firewood as an alternative.

Madam Speaker, my constituency has gone for a period ranging between one and two years without tapped water supply which has necessitated unbearable trips by households to fetch water from unsafe sources; thus compounding the health situation. Efforts to provide clean water were made through the drilling of boreholes but since their inception, the majority of them have become dysfunctional and are in need of attention. I would like to commend the efforts of the organizations which have assisted in the drilling of boreholes.

Madam Speaker, my constituency was not spared by the wave of violence which was perpetrated against members of the MDC by political hooligans. MDC members were forced to surrender their party regalia, houses were stoned, even my house was attacked. They destroyed all the windows and roof. I reported to the police and no one was arrested. Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of our greatest heroes Tonderai Ndira who was abducted and brutally murdered by unknown people. I would like to say he did not die in vain for his blood watered the tree of revolution. May his soul rest in peace.

Madam Speaker, poverty and inflation have become the greatest enemies of our country. The rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer everyday. In my constituency most people are living below the poverty datum line. It is unfortunate that we cannot make a door to door survey, otherwise on a single day life in my constituency, we would be shocked to find that two meals a day would be a privilege for a few. The rest are going with one meal a day. With this scenario, most of the people in my constituency are vendors and I believe vending is an honest way of earning a living and the arresting and confiscation of their wares is not the solution. I think they must be properly registered and allowed to operate freely, provided they abide by local authority by-laws.

I stand as one who is committed to see the young and the energetic finding and creating employment in this country rather than fleeing to neighboring countries in search of greener pastures. As we embark on a massive nation building exercise, the country needs them, they are under an obligation to build our nation. Therefore in my constituency, which is Mabvuku-Tafara I will we strongly and tirelessly support employment creation through SMEs. I will encourage and welcome both foreign and local investors. By creating a conducive atmosphere to their operation and through proper funding, I see most of our youths participating in the building of our economy. Therefore job creation is a priority in my constituency.

In conclusion, I call upon every member in this august House, firstly to support the efforts made by our leaders, forgive each other, and forget yesterday and focus on tomorrow. Yesterday we were fighting but today we are sitting in this House as brothers and sisters and we have shown and/must continue to demonstrate to the outside world that we are capable of solving our own problems. God bless you all. I thank you.

MR. SULULU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I feel humbled to congratulate you and the Speaker, Hon. Lovemore Moyo on lending on the highest and most esteemed posts in the House. I extend my undiluted congratulations to all hon. members elected free and fairly for the historic

7th Session in the Zimbabwean Parliament.

To our Prime Minister, the right hon. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, I salute you and your new demanding role. Sadly though, it stills pains that

you are on this journey without your devoted wife and loved mother of the nation, the late Amai Susan Tsvangirai. However, we shall be with you in these trying and hard times and shall fully support you in our national duty.

To the three Political Parties: MDC - T, ZANU PF and MDC - M who now form the inclusive government, I thank you for a job well done - for putting our motherland Zimbabwe first.

On my part, I feel honored by the huge responsibility bestowed and entrusted upon me by the hungry and suffering people of Silobela - who willingly sent me to anchor our cries in this august House. To them I say, I fully know and understand our problems. However, I am sure and confident that together we can deliver. Madam Speaker, allow me to chat my maiden speech.

The season we are marks a new error for our nation. We desire change and a lasting legacy. Our nation is rich in natural resources as well as human resources. Our people are resourceful and peaceful. Despite all these challenges, our nation finds itself in a largely man-made crisis. The economic crisis emanated initially from political mismanagement, corruption and ineptitude. Later it was amplified by drought, international isolation and also over-regulation of financial services and industry by an overzealous central bank. We the people, in response, also contributed to the crisis by becoming expert speculative traders rather than producers. Because the national policies then, rewarded speculators and punished producers, even our industry stopped producing and engaged in trading with huge margins. The national policies destroyed commercial farming on purely political grounds and completely destabilized our agricultural industry. Attempts at agrarian reforms were pitiful because we violated a fundamental right of title. We need to return, as a people, to true reconciliation and recognize that Zimbabwe has citizens of every colour and race and each Zimbabwean has a constitutionally protected right to the fruit of the land without discrimination. We need to restore the sanctity of the right to title. Investors want to know that their right of title will be protected and honoured. There should be no second rate Zimbabweans for we are all equal before God and should be treated as such by the state.

Madam Speaker, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr, "When the architects of our republic wrote the anthem of our independence with their blood, they were signing a promissory note to which every Zimbabwean was to fall heir". This note was a promise that all men and women, yes, black as well as white, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of prosperity.

It is obvious that today Zimbabwe has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens are concerned . Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Zimbabwe has given its people a bad cheque, a cheque which has come back marked "insufficient funds". But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that they are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this cheque - a cheque that will give us upon demand, the riches of freedom, security and justice.

Madam Speaker Sir, we owe it as leaders to our people for the state to deliver a valid cheque of a competitive and dynamic educational system, a vibrant and life-saving health system, an infrastructure amenable to tourism and travel and a policy framework that encourages entrepreneurship and responsible business enterprise. Our business policies encouraged a dependency syndrome that enabled connected individuals to benefit and profit out of resources without being productive. We need to re-look at our ASPEF facility and input programme for agricultural industry.

A Christian author, Verna Hall aptly says, " Government is a house in which the economy lives". It follows that challenges in the economy emanate from failure in the government. The all inclusive Government we have put in place should now work to create a better residence for our economy. Its policies must promote and protect economic freedom. Charles Wolfe, a known economist, defined economic freedom as, "A people's freedom to own their property, to choose their own occupation, to keep the fruits of their labours and to buy and sell in a free market where wages are determined not by government mandate but by voluntary exchanges of free men and women".

Madam Speaker, the advise given in BC55 by the philosopher and politician Marcus Cicero should be heeded, "the budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance from foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome becomes bankrupt. People must again work hard instead of living on public assistance". This is the mandate that we give the new Inclusive Government.

A local Zimbabwean woman Debie Jeans commented in response to the Inclusive Government, "Could this be it? Yiko yini lokhu?Ndizvo here izvi?Has the change come of age and almost sneaked up on us? Is it really possible that we are suddenly, miraculously and incredibly standing on top of the mountain looking at the view before us? The cynics out there will be quick to advise caution and I hear them, but in my heart there is a stirring hope and out of the blue, the universe has conspired to throw us a lifeline of possibilities. Not for nothing though. We now begin swimming the difficult waters of " dollarization" and the restitution of all we have lost in this battle for our motherland. We will have to dig deep again this time to negotiate the dangerous undercurrents of adaptation, application of the new rules and restructuring, so that we move towards the safety of solid ground where we can rebuild our lives, our hospitals, our schools, our communities and our industries in a far stable, nurturing environment.

Hon. Speaker, the times are changing and Zimbabwe is turning right again. It is imperative that we, as leaders, become peddlers in hope. That we trade in hope rather than pessimism. While others are waiting for this New Inclusive Government to fail, we need to resolve to shame the prophets of doom. Our political leadership will now need to bury the hatchet and turn their swords into plough-shares so that as co-labourers we will be partners, not only in government but in rebuilding our nation and our hope. We are no longer adversaries but fellow pilots in this flight called Zimbabwe. It will be vain for either the President or even the Prime Minister to sabotage the other as this will result in a crash that will seal both our destinies. We need to work together with goodwill and trust. I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that this is our time as a nation and by God's grace we will turn this nation around to a Zimbabwe whose people can walk tall again with pride. To the detractors of our national aspirations and peddlers of hopelessness and prophets of doom. We can only answer that with a resounding phrase that rocked America on the 4th of November last year, "Yes, we can!" We can and we will rebuild and restore Zimbabwe's fallen glory. Zimbabwe will arise out of the label, "failed state".

Allow me to say, Hon. Speaker, we need to create an economy that supports productive entrepreneurship; a shift in mindset from profiteering to viable and productive business models; a new national psyche that despises violence, corruption, theft and abuse of public resources, a culture of saving and investing in order to acquire a greater return; a strong work ethic that results in productive labour and not an entitlement mentality. I have to mention here, we need to bring back our brains that we have exported and lastly a culture of thinking of the legacy that we create with our policies, behaviours and attitudes. We will leave Zimbabwe better off or would posterity spit on our graves - you hear me.

Hon. Speaker, I have heard it said that you can not solve a problem at the same level that it was created. I, therefore, believe that we need to revisit the persons in offices who have created some of our national problems and work at replacing them urgently so as to solve these problems. It is my firm belief that part of our economic malaise is a product of the interventionist policies of the RBZ ChiefI can not imagine our abilities to source funds from International partners as long as he is in office. If we indeed intend to be playersinternationallythen surely, we should givethought to his immediate release and move forward to the appointment of a well qualified and non partisan Banker. I believe this office needs to be revisited and occupied by an economist who has the foresight to solve the problems of the nation. We can not work effectively unless we restore confidence in our banking sector as intermediaries in our financial systems. This role was deliberately destroyed by those who benefited economically by the absence of the banking system. Fortunately though, the Short-term Emergency Recovery Programme (STERP) mastered by our Finance Minister, Hon Tendai Biti and recently launched by his Excellency the President seems geared to redress this problem but I however, do not believe this Governor and other government heads who are partisan and have overstayed in their offices are capable of lifting Zimbabwe out of the quagmire they plunged us into.

Finally, I believe, that it is time that we realise that we live in a global village. The main rule of engagement is that of interdependence of Nations as opposed to their independence. It is unwise to continue insisting on independence in a global economy. We can not go it alone. Therefore, it is imperative, for us as a nation, to restore relationships with the international community. The only way Zimbabwe can meaningfully contribute to and therefore benefit from the global economy is by being a responsible and good standing member of that community.

We urgently need to be seen to espouse the values of good neighbourliness, human rights and international justice. We need to forget the past and forge ahead to create a future as one wise man said, "it is people who have no future who keep reverting to stories of the past." We need to outgrow the bitterness of our colonial past and cease to blame the coloniser even for our own folly. We need to take responsibility for the 29 years after independence and stop perennially being complainers.

Hon Speaker, I now finally conclude. All eyes are on us at the moment. As we seek financial and humanitarian assistance to jump start our economy. Let us all show the world that we mean serious business and dedicate ourselves to that noble course. Each and every one of us has a role to play in rejuvenating our beautiful great nation to be once again the bread basket of Africa in the foreseeable future.

Ngiyabonga, I love you all, I love my motherland, ndinotenda, God bless Zimbabwe, Dankee!

MR NGWENYA: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to deliver my maiden speech. I represent Chireya Constituency. I would like to congratulate all members who have been elected into the House of Assembly to represent the wishes, aspirations and hopes of the people in your constituencies.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank those who elected me to represent them in this august House.

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the His Excellency Cde R.G. Mugabe on assuming the office of President of Zimbabwe and for giving a clear and informative address on the occasion of the Official Opening of the first session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe. The speech acknowledged the prevalence of immense challenges that all Zimbabweans have been and are still facing today that demand all people of Zimbabwe across the political divide to single-mindedly address.

Madam Speaker, it is the purpose of this address to discuss a few of the salient ideas highlighted in the Presidential speech, that include among others, unity of purpose, agriculture, education, national healing and sanctions.

Madam Speaker, I would like to sincerely thank the Principals of the three political parties signatory to the Global Political Agreement for demonstrating good leadership qualities of selflessness and sensitivity to the suffering of the people as reflected by their signing of the agreement that gave birth to the inclusive government on 15 September 2008. The signing of the agreement on its own was heartening and inspired people to learn to unite, forgive each other and work for the common good of all the people in Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, the past was characterized by many hideous and unfortunate happenings that were perpetrated by supporters of the political parties that we do represent here. The people we represent do not take comfort in being reminded of these past occurrences. The political compromise reached demands national healing that reequires an honest and open dialogue, forgiveness and reconciliation. In view of this, we as hon. members should rise above our political interests and seek, first, the common good of our beloved nation. The people we represent are desirous of a future where people of diverse political orientations would work together for the good of all people. In this august House we should conduct ourselves in a manner, as of late we have been trying to demonstrate, that inspires people with hope for a good prosperous and peaceful future.

Madam Speaker, as was alluded to in the Presidential Speech, our education system needs revamping. It is too well suited to the economies of the foreign countries as demonstrated by the massive brain drain that we have experienced over the past years. Zimbabweans are effectively and competently managing and propping up the economies of foreign countries. Our education system should be relevant to the needs of our country. It should be an education system that is economy driven. Schools should churn out people who are not only employable but can also create jobs for themselves and others.

Madam Speaker, it is true that our education system is facing myriads of challenges as evidenced by acute shortages of trained teachers, textbooks, furniture, clean water, decent accommodation and food. Schools' infrastructure is in a deplorable state. Examinations are not written on time and take a long time to be marked. Up to now marking is not completed and it is still a long way before results could be made available because of financial constraints. Teachers are reluctant to resume their duties or are reporting for work late protesting against prolonged payment of salaries and payment of paltry allowances. Zimbabwe is one of the countries on the continent with the highest literacy levels but if the current trend of decay of the education system is allowed to continue unabated our country will be the laughing stock of all nations. It is my hope that the inclusive government would craft robust educational policies that would propel the country out of its headaches. The economy permitting, all civil servants should be adequately remunerated.

Madam Speaker, the Presidential Speech admits that there are problems inherent in the agricultural sector. Poor planning of agricultural activities and inefficient management of resources, ill timed provision of agricultural inputs to farmers, poor pricing policies, failure to recognize the important role played by peasant farmers in crop production and protectionist agricultural policies among others bedeviled the agricultural sector. In view of this, urgent steps should be put in place to redress the situation.

Madam Speaker, let us all acknowledge that our country is reeling under crushing sanctions. The United States of America, Britain, the European Union and other sections of the international community imposed sanctions and various restrictive measures against Zimbabwe, for example;

·Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act,

·Suspension of balance of payment support,

Suspension of grants and infrastructure development support to Zimbabwe by the World Bank and

·Targeted travel bans on some government officials and business leaders.

These measures led to the precipitous fall in the standard of living of all Zimbabweans and decline of the economy. These measures are now irrelevant. All Zimbabweans of all walks of life should stand up and demand, with a strong voice, the removal of sanctions. We should commit ourselves to working together to engage the international community in order to bring an end to the country's isolation from the international community. We are grateful that already some effort is being made to engage the International Community on sanctions and all unprogressive measures imposed on Zimbabwe and is paying dividend. So far some gestures by Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Britain to grant Zimbabwe some humanitarian aid are a welcome relief. Gratifying is also the lifting of travel warnings by Japan, USA, Germany and Britain among others on their nationals to Zimbabwe. The IMF has partially lifted the suspension of technical assistance to Zimbabwe in recognition of the country's cooperation on economic reforms. Recently, Zimbabwe secured US$400 Million from SADC, US$178 million from PTA. And US$250 Million from AFREXIMBANK as credit lines. SADC pledged US$8,3 billion to prop up Zimbabwe economy. We strongly urge government to continue this effort which will undoubtedly lead towards the achievement of a better life for all Zimbabweans. We sincerely hope that sanctions will soon be removed.

Madam Speaker, my constituency has many challlenges that need attention. People in the constituency are in dire need of food despite good rains we received this year. This is one of the areas that did not get government support in terms of agricultural inputs. Only very few peasant farmers managed to secure for themselves seed and other inputs. As a result because of previous continuous droughts, people have been rendered mere recipients of insufficient food handouts from Government and NGOs, which consequently forced some people in my constituency to resort to eating wild fruits and roots some of which are very poisonous and cause death. Cases of deaths resulting from eating wild poisonous fruits have been reported in both the print and electronic media. Very few people in the constituency have livestock, which they can sell or exchange for food to avert starvation.

Mr Speaker Sir, a constituency of 9 big wards has only 5 health centers, which are poorly staffed and ill provided with medical drugs. Gokwe-Chireya is a malaria and cholera prone area in which one should expect at least a clinic in each of the nine wards with constant supply of adequate drugs, clean water and good sanitary conditions.

Mr Speaker Sir, traveling in and across the constituency is very difficult especially in the rainy season because of some rivers and streams which cut across the constituency. There are only three poorly constructed dust roads servicing the constituency with bridges swept away by floods during the rainy season namely, the bridges across Masawi, Nyakasikana, Zumba and Kawongo rivers. As a result there is no public transporters servicing the entire constituency. Travelers depend on scotch-cuts or walk to main roads in neighboring constituencies leading to main towns and cities in the country. We call upon relevant authorities to construct and repair bridges as a matter of urgency. There is also need for main roads to be tarred and to upgrade some of the feeder roads within the constituency.

Madam Speaker Sir, the constituency is cut off from the rest of the world because of inadequate modes of communication. There are neither mobile nor fixed telephone network systems in the constituency. The constituency depends on competing pirate broadcasters for information which is sometimes distorted. The relevant authorities are requested to urgently provide the constituent with requisite communication systems.

Madam Speaker Sir, the government embarked on rural electrification programme in order to empower rural communities in a wide range of business undertakings. Nevertheless my constituency did not benefit from this programme. The entire constituency which has 16 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, 5 health centres and 12 business centres does not have electricity unlike neighboring constituencies. Availability of electricity redoubtably improves the quality of life of people in the constituency and this should be urgently considered by relevant authorities. It is my sincere hope that the Nampower Agreement and the Energy Laws Amendment Bill, which the President alluded to in his address will go a long way in meeting the electricity needs of this country in general and Gokwe-Chireya constituency in particular.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker Sir, I would like to appeal to all Hon Members in this august House to make a concerted effort to address the challenges facing our beloved country. We should unite against all forces of retrogression. The way we united towards the untimely deaths of Amai Tsvangirai and Cde Zvinavashe and are currently confronting our socio-economic challenges is unique and unprecedented. This unity of purpose should be allowed to continue forever. I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th May, 2009.

MOTION

CRAFTING OF POLICIES TO ADDRESS ZIMBABWE'S CHALLENGES

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the structural dislocation of Zimbabwe's economy.

Question again proposed.

MRS MATAMISA: Madam Speaker, I rise to add my voice to this very stimulating motion. Madam Speaker may I bring to notice of the House that the poverty levels have risen to a level really unimaginable by anyone of us. At this point in time there is no one talking about classes. In any developing nation there should be a class of those 'who have' at the top, the middle class and the lower class comprised of the so called 'have nots' but now in Zimbabwe we have come to a situation where we no longer have these classes but we are all at the same level.

Madam Speaker I am sorry if I have insulted my other members but it is a reality that if you have a growing nation, there have to be those differences. If we are working very hard to get a better life today yet we do not have enough to eat on our tables and we do not have enough soap to wash our bodies, it is a thorny issue and as legislators we should look at ways of how to improve the lives of the generality of Zimbabweans.

The unemployment rate is standing at a solid 96%. If a nation has such levels of unemployment, what does that mean? I am also shocked at the unrealistic tariff rates which are being charged by parastatals like ZESA which falls under the Ministry of Energy. ZESA is giving people bills which are not affordable. Maybe it is due to lack of understanding of the value of the dollar. As Legislators, we need to look at ways of improving the lives of our people. Every household needs electricity and so electricity bills should be affordable. We should not allow these parastatals to charge whatever they want because if we do so we become irrelevant as lawmakers.

Coming to the issue of corruption, this is a very thorny issue and I do not know whether we would be able to craft any better policies that would correct the situation from what it is today. If you travel on our roads you find that there are many road blocks which are uncalled for. Our roads are now begging centres for Police Officers. If you approach a road block, the Policeman will say mauya, mativigirei? One day my husband was going to the fields and was stopped at a road block. The Policeman inspected our vehicle and he told us that he was just trying to find a fault. These Police Officers are not doing anything, they are just looking for faults so that they can extort money from motorists. We must stand up with one voice as Legislators and put a stop to this.

Madam Speaker, I would also want to talk about our health delivery system which has collapsed. There was a time when you could not take a sick person to a clinic, you would take the sick person kumasowe kunonamatirwa because if you went to the clinic there was no medication. We had the cholera epidemic and many of our beloved died. The donor community came to our rescue and rescuscitated our ailing health sector. If you go to a clinic today, the situation has improved, people are now able to get medicines. We need to move with great speed to make sure that our health delivery is fully recovered because everybody has a right to life.

Coming to the education sector, most of the schools in the rural areas are still underdeveloped. During this period of the transitional government, it is my hope that they put their differences aside and work as a team to resuscitate our education sector. We need textbooks in our schools so that at least we have one textbook to four pupils. New furniture should be bought so that our children do not sit on the floors during lessons as we are witnessing these days. School furniture was vandalised during the elections, hence our children are now sitting on the floor. We urge the responsible authorities to move with speed, and if it means working 24 hours, let it be so.

Madam Speaker, our people must be able to afford basic commodities. I urge the Ministry of Finance to move with speed so that we can have access to our monies that are in the bank, which we could not access because of the removal of the zeroes. I hope this time around no zeroes will be removed because we do not have anything in the form of salaries.

Coming to the issue of children - I am fortunate my children are grown up but we have young mothers with school going children who can not afford to pay fees. Children are going to boarding schools with empty bags. Our children are going to school on empty stomachs. How can you expect a person to work on a hungry stomach? Corruption is rife because these people are not getting salaries. Civil servants are getting an allowance of $100 which is not enough to juice my two cellphones I am using to contact people in my constituency. People in my constituency just beep and I have to phone them back. If I do not phone back, they will vote me out in the next elections. The Public Service Commission must do something so that civil servants get a salary. The motion on this issue was debated, and the recommendations given in the motion are very important. Let us take care of them as a matter of urgency.

THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS : I move that the debate do now adjourn.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 13th May 2009.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF

FAMILIES

 

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Acting Minster of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development has kindly invited all hon. members of the House to the national launch of the International Day of Families to be held on Friday, the 15th of May 2009 at Gwelutshena in Nkayi North.

On the Motion of THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS, the House adjourned at Twenty Minutes past Three O'clock.

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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 35 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 12 MAY 2009 VOL. 35 NO. 29