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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 35

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 13th February, 2019

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

PETITION RECIEVED

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: I wish to inform the House that on 14th January, 2019, Parliament received a petition from Mr. Blessing Chamwapuwa Kudhlande requesting Parliament to amend Sections 91 and 125 of the Constitution to provide for minimum educational qualifications for election as President and Member of the National Assembly.  The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I also have to inform the House that I have received Adverse Reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following Statutory Instruments published in the Gazette during the months of August and November, 2018;

a)  Statutory Instrument No. 148 of the 2018, Vungu Rural District Council (Environmental By-laws) Regulations, 2018,

b)  Statutory Instrument No. 149 of 2018, Bikita Rural District Council (Traffic by-laws), Regulations, 2018,

c)  Statutory Instrument No.253 of 2018, Civil Aviation (General Procedures and Enforcement), Regulations, 2018,

d)  Statutory Instrument No. 255 of 2018, Civil Aviation (Instrument Flight Procedures) Regulations, 2018 and

e)  Statutory Instrument No. 271 of 2018, Civil Aviation (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) Regulations, 2018.

HON. T. MLISWA:  I rise on a point of privilege Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, a very good afternoon to you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Good afternoon.

HON. MLISWA:  Madam Speaker, I rise to register my displeasure and to equally seek guidance from you as the Chair on how far Members of Parliament can go in enjoying the privileges and immunities that are there.  The reason why I am saying so is that I am under threat by Hon. Nduna after he confessed that he has killed many people – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]  - whilst he has killed many people, he equally has threatened to kill me.  So, I want to understand whether this is how Parliament and Parliamentarians must act.  My life is under threat, not only is it under threat - [AN HON. MEMBER: Wawakatuka ndiani?] – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Nyarara iwe.] – Madam Speaker, you know who is making noise, can you be firm…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Have you finished Hon. Mliswa?

HON. MLISWA: Madam Speaker – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections] – Muchataura zvenyu, nenyaya dzenyu dzekudanana nevakadzi vepa Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Mliswa, go ahead.  Order, Order, Hon. Mliswa, may you approach the Chair.

Hon. Mliswa approached the Chair.

HON. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The remarks by Hon. Nduna of killing people in a country which is under scrutiny for violence, especially allegations that there are ex-defence forces people who were in civilians who were armed who killed people. Is it not the likes of Hon. Nduna because the police and the army are exonerated – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

HON. NDUNA: I object. Ndichitukwa here.

HON. T. MLISWA: The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon.  Emmerson Mnangagwa is busy going around the world defending these issues which have caused disharmony and disunity in the country and we have an Hon. Member – the police and the army has been accused yet the answer lies in Hon. Nduna who has said that he has killed people.

Madam Speaker Ma’am, we have had a lot of people killed in this country and the state security agents have been accused, myet the answer is very clear. Itai Dzamara is one of them who went missing and we now do not know whether he was killed by Hon. Nduna or not – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, may you approach the Chair.

Hon. Mliswa having approached the Chair.

HON. T. MLISWA: Parliament of Zimbabwe is a sacred institution. Parliament of Zimbabwe cannot have murderers in it. It is important…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa I have heard your concerns. May I make a ruling please. You are now debating.

HON. T. MLISWA: I am talking about an issue which is of my concern and my family in terms of life. You have not been threatened. I have been threatened of being killed. I have been threatened of being killed by Hon. Nduna and I am worried looking at him that the danger that is on me is so much. This is not a joke. We cannot take it as a joke.  We come to Parliament to represent people and not to be threatened by people. We do not come here to be threatened by people. This is an issue you must take this seriously because it has a lot to do with the democracy of the people of Zimbabwe and freedom of association.  This is an issue that you must listen to and make a ruling in the end.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, yesterday you were here but you did not state your case.

HON. T. MLISWA: I was not here yesterday. I can raise a point of privilege anytime.

 THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is it because of the cameras?

HON. T. MLISWA: I am addressing the issue of being threatened, what more do you want me to address? It cannot be sensitive. This Parliament has nothing to do with Party. We do not want you, Madam Speaker to be supporting your Party members. We might as well turn it into a ZANU PF Parliament. Listen to me I have an issue which affected me and I must discuss it. I can raise an issue of privilege anytime. There must be a Privileges Committee set up to investigate that. The evidence is there, unlike our Committee where the evidence is in the paper. The evidence is on video – Hon Nduna said it. I want a Privileges Committee set up to investigate that for the integrity of Parliament.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: May you approach the Chair.

HON. T. MLISWA: I have been approaching the Chair. You cannot whip me. You cannot keep whipping me. I have been approaching the Chair how many times Madam Speaker? Let me finish and then you can make a ruling. If you want to chuck me out, you can chuck me out but the issue will not end. I will limit myself to the issues. How many times have I been there? Our lives are under threat by that man. He is still in Parliament and you allow him to be in Parliament. He is a murderer. You kill people you do not know. Vave kukumukira manje vanhu vacho wakutaura chokwadi wega. Wazviona wave kurotomoka. Munhu haauraiwe, munhu haauraiwe. Wakupenga manje. Mari dzeZinara uchiba usingabhadhare.

Madam Speaker, you tell me the same thing when I come there that I must not talk about it. That is what you said to me. I must speak. These are serious issues. We are being threatened. He is constantly threatening anyone. Gun trotting in Chegutu, you also did the same with guns.

Hon. Nduna having stood up.

Do not go away you murderer, you murderer come back, come back you murderer. You are a murderer come back. Self confessed murderer.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I think you are now losing the plot. This is no longer an honourable House.

HON. T. MLISWA: You are killing the justice system. Ndimi murikuprotector ma murderer. Ziyambi futi une Human Rights Report unonzi unofanira kuinvestigetwa iwewe – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] - We are intimidated every day. I need to finish. He is a useless Minister of Justice. Shumba, you are in Human Rights Commission to be investigated on Hurungwe issues. You know that. Ndinokuregerera. You are mentioned in the Human Rights Commission Report to be investigated as Minister of Justice. You are not exemplary.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, leave the House.

HON. T. MLISWA: Uda kuita chii? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –  Uku kuMash West hausi kutonga, unotonga chii?Iwe wakauraya Vanhu kuHurungwe – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –You are a useless Chairman – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] 

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Leave the House!

Hon. Mliswa was escorted out of the Chamber by the Serjeant-at- Arms.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order Hon. Members. Hon. Zwizwai, may you sit down. I have heard what Hon. Mliswa said. I will study the matter and make a ruling because the issues are in the courts as we speak – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – That is my ruling Hon. Gonese. Please may you sit down?

HON. GONESE: Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of privilege which affects us as Members of Parliament. As Members of Parliament Madam Speaker, we have got a situation which occurred in the presence of Parliament. That situation affects all of us and we are very concerned because of what transpired. Fortunately, even those who were not there were able to see from a video which was circulating all the events. So, we are very clear in terms of what we heard and it is important for us to be made to understand because in your ruling, if I understood you correctly, you have indicated that the matter is under the courts but I believe that is a different issue Madam Speaker. What has happened is that there was a summons which was issued seeking damages for defamation. That is not the subject matter which we are talking about. The subject matter which has been taken to court relates to a civil suit seeking damages. What we are concerned with is a situation where threats were made to a Member of Parliament …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: This is why I said I am going to study the matter

HON. GONESE: We just need clarity because it appears to me that the facts seem to be clear.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I am aware of what transpired and I am going to study the matter and make a ruling.

HON. GONESE: The reason why we got confused Madam Speaker is, you made reference to something under the courts …

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please may you sit down, I am going to study the matter and make a ruling.

 HON. GONESE: I am going to sit down but I just wanted you to have the import of what you are saying. Before I resume my sit Madam Speaker, I was going to suggest that a ruling be made to refer the matter to the Committee of Standing Rules and Orders. They need to study the matter because it is prima facie; it appears to be clear and my understanding is that when a matter is clear, it is referred to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders. This is what I thought should be your course of action.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

HON. O. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. What is Government’s policy in terms of double payments made to ZBC signals to both ZBC and Multichoice which is DStv?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA): I would like to thank the Hon. Member for that question but I do not think it is a question which has not been dealt with in the past. If there is more information which the Hon. Member has or would like to know more, he can put that in writing?

*HON. TEKESHE: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. What is Government policy in solving national problems such as when we were talking about the fuel situation in the country, we noticed that people who were getting cooking oil were directed to buy from T.M and O.K supermarkets which are cheaper while in rural areas it was expensive. We also notice as of now that with fuel, we are also going through the same problem whereby motorists in the cities are getting fuel at a cheaper price than people in the rural areas. Why are we discriminating?

*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I thank the Hon. Member for the question about ill-treatment of people in rural areas versus people in urban areas. We have a very fair Government which treats all its citizens fairly. Whenever we are working on any problem and when we are looking for solutions, we check on who is suffering most because of the problems which are there and proffer solutions. Let me take a good example of drought mitigation programmes. More grain is taken to the rural areas because that is where people are suffering more than the people who are in the urban areas.

 Let me now turn to the question which he talked about; the introduction of ZUPCO buses.  Government noticed that the urban areas commuters suffer because they go to work every day and they are paying exorbitant bus fares.  However, the Government will soon be embarking on easing the problems for people in the rural areas because they also need to travel.  They need to have the services of ZUPCO. I thank you.

          *HON TEKESHE.: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Is it that the Government is mainly concerned about the fuel for people in urban areas only than in rural areas?  In urban areas people go to work and in the rural areas people suffer. What I think is happening is that we now have an animal farm situation where by some animals are more important than others.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker but I think the Hon. Member did not understand my earlier explanation.  I said transport is mostly needed in urban areas because we have commuters going to work on a daily basis yet in rural areas people do not commute to work.  However, when we talk about drought mitigation we noticed that in rural areas we have more  maize assistance being given to rural areas. We have also noticed that in urban areas we have some people who are also suffering from hunger hence we have introduced a programme to alleviate the hunger for people in urban areas.  So, the Hon. Member should understand when I talked about mitigating factors which help us in making the decision of proffering these solutions.  Whereas I said people in urban areas go to work every day, the people in rural areas also go to work but they walk to their fields and gardens.  I thank you.

          *HON MUCHENJE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  My supplementary question is that, because of the difficult times facing people in urban areas we now have people in urban areas who are moving to peri-urban areas.  This means they will also be commuting from the rural areas to the urban.  So, my question is - are you not considering them so that these people can have their problems alleviated through subsidising transport fees by introducing ZUPCO buses?  I live in the rural areas and I see people commuting. So they have the same problems with urban commuters. 

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: The Hon. Member has talked about people who live in Harare East which is a rural area.  These people asked for buses and they were given because these people also need their problems solved through subsidisins their fuel and transport costs.  I will repeat myself; the Government looks at people who are suffering more than others and proffers solutions.  Some people in urban areas have had their homes destroyed hence they moved to rural areas.

          *HON. NDUNA: My question is on transport especially in the rural areas.  What is Government policy in the near future especially taking into account that the President has visited a lot of countries looking for assistance for people who live in rural areas regarding their transportation?

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I will keep on repeating myself.  The Government is solving these problems on a phase by phase, stage by stage basis.  Government sourced for buses and we were promised 500 buses which are going to be distributed to the different areas but the temporary solution which has been implemented now is that people in urban areas are being assisted in commuting to and from work.

          *HON. KARENYI: Thank you Madam Speaker.  May you tell us Government policy regarding subsidising public transport?  Where is the money coming from? Do we have a fund and is this a sustainable project, because it might be a temporary solution and in the immediate future the system collapses.

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: This is a new question; it is different from the previous question asked which was on discrimination of people in urban and rural areas.  It should be rephrased and introduced as a new question not a supplementary question.

          *HON. MUSABAYANE: Thank you Madam Speaker.  I am directing my question to the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Shiri.  We have a lot of cattle which are dying in rural and A1 farming areas.  What is Government policy regarding the prevention of death of these draught power animals?

          *THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SHIRI) Thank you Madam Speaker.  Government is aware that we have a lot of cattle which are dying because of tick borne diseases.  As Government, we are buying chemicals and taking them to the rural areas so that cattle can get dipping services.  At times we delay sending these chemicals to the dip tanks in rural areas. Therefore, I am now informing Members of Parliament to go to their constituencies and encourage these farmers to pull their own resources and buy these chemicals.  It is pointless for a farmer to be proud of seeing a very big herd of cattle then they die because the farmer cannot sell just one beast to sustain the remaining ones. 

          I know that at the moment there is a dipping fee of $2 which is required of them but in comparison to the current problem, this is just a drop in the ocean.  We are calling on Members of the public that as farmers we should be proactive and take measures to invest in our cattle. Take these animals as collateral and buy chemicals so that we serve the draught power.  I thank you.

          *HON. MUSABAYANA: Thank you Hon. Speaker for giving me the chance to ask my question.  I understand what the Minister has said; members of the public, the A1 farmers, the peasant farmers, should pull their resources and buy chemicals, but I am saying now that we have had a lot of cattle which have died, this was draught power. What is Government policy in assisting these people who have suffered so that they carry on with their daily chores since they do not have what they were using, this draught power?

          *THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULUTRE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): As Government, we do not have a policy which is aimed at assisting the people who lost their cattle, but we have since introduced a command cattle programme where we are saying farmers should come and borrow money from the fund. The money borrowed will be repaid in five years. I will talk to members of my Ministry to look for intervention measures which could be introduced to assist these farmers who lost their herd of cattle.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is that cattle are very expensive to purchase why can Government not work on remedial measures to help people in Rushinga area because we have heard of people who are losing cattle because of problems in Rushinga. Why can Government not introduce a programme to assist these farmers? What is Government doing to help the farmers who have lost their cattle? Farmers need to be assisted in purchasing a herd of cattle to replace them and also assist people in drought areas like Masvingo, how is Government going to help these people?

          *HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI: Thank you Madam Speaker. We are aware that in some areas, we have the problem of foot and mouth and this is spread through the mixing and grazing together of wild animals like the buffaloes. What we have done as Government is that we are now erecting fences to demarcate the areas between the resettled areas and wild life so that these animals do not mix, that is both wild animals and domesticated animals.

          I was in Rushinga and the problem they have is that there was no water for these animals. As a result, the animals were now crossing the border into Mozambique to access water. As Government, we have since started to drill more boreholes and we are also working on a de-siltation programme so that cattle can have water in the same areas so that we do not continue to have that same problem of our cattle crossing into Mozambique. So, as I speak, the problem in Rushinga has been solved.

          HON. MUTAMBISI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government policy with regards to the registration process of satellite schools? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Satellite schools are established as an interim measure to make sure that we provide a place where learners in a particular area can be educated. Typically, it takes about 2 x 2 class room blocks, at least one teacher’s cottage, and adequate ablution blocks to make sure that such a school is registered as a formal school. The Hon. Member will know that our current thrust as Government is to make sure that we upgrade these satellite schools to formal status after we have developed these minimum standards.

          I have told this august House that currently we are building 17 schools where there were satellite schools and we want to continue with the programme of upgrading all our satellite schools to formal status so that our learners can have proper and appropriate learning environments so that we can have quality education. Thank you.

                   HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much. My understanding of a satellite school is that it is an institution that is annexed to an existing registered school. So, the Minister was not specific, in my view, about the conditions necessary to establish a satellite school. For example, where I come from, there is a school called St. Georges Muchena where some students walk as for as 15 or so kilometres. Can we not have a satellite school at that location that is supervised from the main institution? I think this is the general understanding that a satellite school is not necessarily going to be registered entirely unto itself as an institution, but rather it is annexed to an existing school. So, the question is, can we not go ahead and establish those schools where teachers are supervised from an existing institution? Thank you.

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: That is exactly what I said. Satellite schools are a satellite of a registered school. They need certain minimum levels of development for them to become stand alone and those are the conditions that I was saying for a satellite to become a registered school that stands on its own, it has to meet those standards. We establish those satellite schools as satellite in order to make sure that we are relieving the problem of learners walking long distances.

          We give them a TIC or a Teacher in Charge who is actually a teacher at the parent school and all the teachers are seconded from the parent school and they are supervised by a parent school.  We have about 1 800 satellite schools in the country but we do not want them to be perpetually satellite. This is why I was saying Government is focused on developing them to make sure that they meet the formal standards in order for them to be registered.

          *HON. MAKONYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government policy regarding the problem faced by parents in raising the school fees. The previous Minister of Education had said parents may pay in any form, be it cattle, goats or even cars. Does that policy still exist where people can pay in cash or kind?

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA):  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  Let me tell you and say, whenever we are talking of domestic animals, they are a form of cash and what we know is if you do have cattle, goats and sheep, you can sell these and get the cash to pay the fees for your children.  I know that most of us who received their education in rural areas know that our parents used to pay school fees using cattle, goats and sheep and some would even brew beer for us to attain our education.  As a result, we did not have that policy whereby we were saying parents or guardians can drive a herd of cattle to school and say I have come to pay the school fees but what we encourage is to sell that animal and take cash to school.  I thank you.

          HON. MAKONYA:  I have a supplementary question Madam Speaker.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Makonya, hauna kumbobvira wakaita mutemo!

          HON. MAKONYA:  Supplementary Madam Speaker.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Go ahead.

          *HON. MAKONYA:  Minister, when we are talking of people in rural areas, we are saying these farmers in rural areas do not have the cash to buy the cow or ox which I may want to sell.  That is where my question lies.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Let me respond on behalf of the Minister. Please take your cattle to the people in urban areas who have the money to buy the cattle and you take cash to school.

          *HON. MAKONYA:  I have a point of order.  I think the Minister is supposed to respond to the questions.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Can you sit down. 

          HON. MUTSEYAMI:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

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

          *HON. MUTSEYAMI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I think it is the duty of Ministers concerned to respond to questions.  Therefore, my request is please allow the Hon. Member to ask her question and the Minister will respond accordingly.  So, please do not proffer answers to questions Madam Speaker.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Members, please ask policy questions which are of assistance to the nation since you are the representatives of the people – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order!

          *HON SHAVA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  If he is not there, the Leader of the House may respond to my question.  What is Government policy where hospitals do not have medicines and yet NatPharm has lots of medicines which have since expired?  Why should medicines expire when hospitals are there to utilize them? 

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I thank the Hon. Member for this pertinent question regarding Government policy on health systems.  It is Government’s intention that medicines should be available in hospitals.  That is why Government created an institution like NatPharm so that it sources these medicines.  Now what the Hon. Member is asking is not a policy statement but a logistics question.  She is saying these medicines have expired without being taken to hospitals.  I therefore kindly ask the Hon. Member to put this question in writing since it is a specific question and the Minister of Health and Child Care will respond accordingly. 

          HON. DR. LABODE:  I have a supplementary question.

          *THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  The Minister has responded to say the Hon. Member should put her question in writing and the Minister of Health and Child Care will respond accordingly.

          HON. DR. LABODE:  We want a Ministerial Statement on the crisis of drugs in Zimbabwe.  That is what I wanted to say.  

          *HON. ZWIZWAI:  I have a point of order.  My point of order Madam Speaker is that we have women parliamentarians.  Some of these Hon. Members are new whilst others have been here in previous Parliaments.  We have noticed that whenever women are asking questions regarding Government policy, Madam Speaker, you are looking down on women; you are suppressing them.  A woman has talked about these medicines which talk about chronic illnesses such as diabetes, malaria et cetera.  You are a woman.  You are our mother figure.  We are not trying to dissuade you from making decisions but we are saying assist them in getting assistance on health problems and educational problems.  I know I have asked a pertinent question because you have smiled.  I thank you. 

          HON. MADHUKU:  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  What is the Government policy with regards to Government aided schools in terms of operational guidelines governing civil servants in such schools as well as the operations of SDCs visa-a-vis, those of the RAs and also the extent to which they can use the resources like the fees, public funds which are paid by parents.  Thank you very much Madam Speaker.

*THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Madam Speaker, I beg your indulgence, I did not hear the question.  May the Hon. Member rephrase his question so that I may respond accordingly? 

HON. MADHUKU:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question, like I have indicated is directed to the Hon. Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  I want to know the Government policy with regards to Government aided schools which are run by the various responsible authorities, that is in connection with the payment of fees; the extent to which they can use or access such fees and also the operations of the school development committees.  Thank you much Madam Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  Let me hazard an understanding or comprehension of this question.  I am assuming that the Hon. Member wants to know whether Government aided schools are permitted to use the funds that are paid into their own accounts by parents for their own purposes.  I think that has been always the case.  The schools collect levies and they use them locally to run the schools.  I also seemed to hear that there is a question regarding SDCs and there are Statutory Instruments that are used to guide the operations of SDCs. 

The Hon. Member is a former headmaster and he probably understands that the Statutory Instrument guides everything that SDCs do.  We are currently in the process of renewing the Statutory Instruments, but that will have to follow the amendments that we are doing to the Education Act.  I think it will be soon.  That is my answer, assuming that I comprehended that question.  I thank you.

HON. C. MOYO:  Thank you Madam Speaker Maam.  My question is directed to the Leader of the House in the absence of the Minister of Finance who is always absent.  What is the Government policy with regards to forex allocation to urban local authorities?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The policy of Government is forex is allocated to all the essential sectors of the economy first and the nitty gritties of how it is supposed to be done, he can put it in writing and the Minister of Finance will come and explain further.  All the essential areas have to be allocated first, that is the policy. I believe City of Harare, because they have water treatment chemicals, they fall within the same category.

HON. C. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, almost all the local authorities unfortunately are controlled by MDC. There is an outcry to say ‘we are awaiting forex allocation from RBZ’ and there is a serious shortage of water chemicals.  I am worried if the Leader of the House is talking about essential, is he saying the applications that are done by urban local authorities are not essential.  I can see the blame game coming to say MDC is failing to run local authorities.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I stated the policy that all essential sectors have to be allocated.  I did not speak about the actual allocation.  We have limited resources; the actual allocation is no longer a policy matter but a resource matter.  I thank you.

HON. CHIKWINYA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  In the 2019 Budget, the Minister of Finance proposed a forex allocation committee and we approved as Parliament.  Up to now, that forex allocation committee to promote transparency in the allocation of forex has not yet been set.  What is the Government position on that?

HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, I want to thank him for the question. That question is not a policy but an implementation question which he can put in writing so that the Hon. Minister can give an update as to the extent of the implementation of that policy.

HON. KASHAMBE:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Section 27 of our Constitution provides for basic free education, but as we speak there is nothing happening on the ground.  What measures are you taking to ensure that this policy sees the light of day?

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Those who are in the Education Portfolio Committee know that just about two weeks ago, we were talking about that same issue.  That issue is one of the amendments that are going into the Education Amendment Bill that will soon be coming to Parliament for discussion.  We are aligning the requirements of the Constitution with our Education Act.  That issue is coming when this august House deals with the amendment to the Education Act.

          HON. MUSHORIWA: Supplementary! The Hon. Member quoted the Constitution which is the supreme law of the country. Understandably any Act is actually subservient to the Constitution of the country. If the Constitution says basic education is supposed to be provided for free, can you clarify the Government policy in regard to that, because I do not think the amendment of the Education Act has any bearing to that.

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: The reason why I referred to the Education Amendment Act is that the Education Amendment Act is going to operationalise that part of the Constitution. That is why I referred to that. In addition to that this nation will have to understand that we will have to generate the necessary resources in order to meet that constitutional requirement. As of now the resources are not available. In fact what is happening now is that we are selecting a few disadvantaged learners and supporting them under BEAM. So, we have started that process but it has to be a phased process, based on the availability of resources. 

          HON. NDUNA: Supplementary! Hon. Minister thank you for your answer but my question is that the children that you speak to and about on BEAM  - most of them are in urban constituencies. Where I come from, the councillors are taking advantage of that and are putting their children on that programme at the expense of the needy and vulnerable. What is it that you are doing in order to sanction such modus operandi by these delinquent councillors in the urban authorities?

          HON. PROF. MAVIMA: If there are any specific cases of corruption in the registration of BEAM, I would encourage Hon. Members to highlight those cases so that we can deal with them.

          *HON. NYABANI: My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry. What is Government policy in protecting the environment through veldt fires and indiscriminate cutting down of trees? We notice these veldt fires are very destructive to both property and lives. What is Government policy and steps being taken in curbing this scourge?

          *THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I thank the Hon. Member for such an important question regarding Government policy on veldt fires. We have the Environmental Management Authority which has embarked on public education programmes in teaching people on how to prevent veldt fires. We have also seen the Minister running around with a view to putting a stiffer penalty on people who start these veldt fires and indiscriminate cutting down of trees. The perpetrators need to be apprehended and given appropriate sentences which will prevent other people from such a destructive habit.

          *HON. MADZIMURE: If you look at countries where they rely on wood for fuel and curing tobacco, what they encourage is that when you cut down a tree, you plant two or three to replace the ones which you have cut.  These countries are able to carry out these programmes because Government supplies the seedlings for replacing the cut down trees. Does Government have such a policy in place?

          *HON. ZIYAMBI: I thank the Hon. Member for proffering such a solution that when you cut down one tree you should replace it by two trees so that we have more trees. On the other hand, Government has set aside a tree planting day, the first Saturday of December with the aim of increasing the trees which were cut down. I welcome the idea that he has come up with that when you cut a tree, you plant two to replace that tree.

          HON. CHIKUDO: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What is Government policy towards decongesting and depopulating our urban cities and towns countrywide?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which the Ministry of Local Government is dealing with. They have a programme of decongesting the cities and putting up structures going up. I am sure towards the end of last year they had a presentation where they gave members of the press the programme of action that they wanted to undertake. The Hon. Member is free to visit the Ministry of Local Government to see the beautiful plans on how they intend to carry out the programme.

          HON. CHIKUDO: Supplementary, I would like to thank the Minister for his response. However, I have a supplementary question as the response was not very clear and specific on what policy exactly the Ministry has. My question is, would a Government that is well-resourced, focused and has structured investment in development and urbanisation of rural areas policy not be considered a more attractive and viable alternative solution to decongest and depopulate our urban areas?

HON. ZIYAMBI: What the Hon. Member is saying is, if we develop our rural areas we will decongest the urban areas, which is exactly what Government will do. You saw on our policy on devolution, we want to develop those areas so that when they are developed it is less attractive to come to urban areas when there is activity in rural areas. That is exactly the policy which I was saying, if you go and visit them they are very passionate about how they intend to do it. They want to develop little towns where we have growth points or townships in order to make sure that there is activity in those areas.

*HON. ZWIZWAI: My supplementary question is - when we are talking of devolution as discussed by the Minister, it is an issue which has been on the drawing board for quite a long time. We discussed it during the Constitution making process and during the reign of the former President, Hon. R.G. Mugabe. What is the problem in carrying out this devolution in areas such as Matebeleland and Chiredzi? It has been in the Constitution and has been debated in Parliament and at rallies. What is the problem in implementing it?

*HON. ZIYAMBI: Hon. Zwizwai is quite aware that in this year’s budget which he was part in passing, what is worrying me is why is he angry because money has been allocated to all the provinces. I do not understand him. We are implementing that and we have put funds towards that to start implementing this programme. Where is his problem?

HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, the question posed by Hon. Chikudo was actually specific and the Minister tried to answer it indicating that the Ministry of Local Government has plans. Any policy is backed by a plan that can be proved and seen. Can the Minister favour the Hon. House with a framework of decongesting the towns? So far we are continuously seeing even the towns encroaching into farms building simple houses but there are no industrial parks or anything to promote real development that moves people away from the towns. Can the Minister favour this House with a master plan that will address the issue of decongestion?

HON. ZIYAMBI: I want to thank the Hon. Member for the request that he has made which is a noble request. I will duly transmit to the Minister of Local Government so that he can bring it to the House. I thank you.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Madam Speaker, for the sake of our records and the Hansard, my point is to do with the absence of so many Ministers who have not turned up today. For the sake of the records, because we already have a system that the Hon. Speaker prescribed to, may we kindly have a list of the Hon. Ministers who have put apologies to the House so that next week we will do a thorough follow up with the Speaker and the Standing Rules and Orders Committee for this issue to be addressed. As I see now, it is a culture which is grooming slowly and it is becoming powerful. Some of the Deputy Ministers have actually left. Just for the record Madam Speaker, already in this House we now have Ministers who hardly come to Parliament. I would put names but for now, I will not shame them.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Your concerns are noted Hon. Mutseyami. I think the Leader of the House will attend to that. Thank you.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker, I will avail you with the list of apologies.

HON. MUNETSI: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. What is Government’s policy with regards to food assistance in boarding schools?

THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): We have a food assistance programme that is running in our schools but most of our boarding schools are self sufficient. We have a school feeding programme that is targeting primary schools mostly in rural areas but there are also some urban areas that we are giving grains especially maize. The boarding schools are supposed to be self-sufficient based on the fees that are paid by the parents. Thank you.

          HON. NDUNA: My question will be directed to the Leader of the House in the absence of Hon. Dr. Gumbo. What is Government’s policy relating to governing the distribution and handling of copper and copper products, aware that we do not produce or mine any copper and we have plundering of copper wires on ZESA lines.  What is Government policy relating the de-regulation of copper and copper products so that we can save our power lines being vandalised for the purpose extracting copper and selling copper to copper operators?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is very pertinent.  It is true that we do not mine copper in this country but as ZESA, most of our gadgets like the transformers have copper wire and  that is why there is an increase of vandalism of these transformers and electricity power lines.  The culprits are taking copper which they export outside the country for sale.  As Government, we are working on legislation that will deal with that so that we curtail the vandalism that we are experiencing in the country.

          Very soon we are going to amend the Electricity Act to take into account the vandalism of our transformers and the copper products that is in the country.

          HON. NDUNA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for the response.  Before the de-regularisation of that industry, are there any plans to securitise the power lines so that the vandalism that is happening with impunity can be nipped in the bud using for example our soldiers to patrol the key parts before we have a replica of the Dabuka-Harare railway power line vandalism?  Are there any plans of unleashing our security apparatus to protect the copper that is there?

          HON. MUSHORIWA: On a point of order! I think Hon. Nduna is not doing justice to the House and also to help the Minister to understand the question.  It is important that if he cannot speak in English, can he use Shona so that the Minister can understand rather than to bring words that does not exist in the English Vocabulary.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Point of order overruled.

          HON. MUDYIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and thank you Hon. Member for your supplementary question.  As a Ministry, we are equally concerned with the security of our electricity power lines and the transformers but at the moment, I do not know whether it is feasible to have soldiers to look after our lines – they are so many and long.  However, we are looking at means and ways on how we can secure our lines.  All we can do at the moment is to appeal to the members of the public to assist us in whatever way they can in identifying those culprits and report to the police and ZETDC offices so that action is taken immediately to try and secure our gadgets.  Recently, we came up with a new transformer where we do not use the copper wires but we use the aluminium wires and this has worked.  So, soon and very soon the problem will be solved.  Thank you.

          HON. CHIDAKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and in her absence, I will direct it to the Leader of Government Business.  What is the Government policy on the rights of persons living with disability noting that this vulnerable group is largely excluded from socio-economic and democratic processes of this country?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question.  Our disabled persons have got rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. I am not aware of the specific socio and political processes that they are not involved; perhaps if he can favour me with those processes then I will be able to answer him appropriately.  I thank you.

          HON. SIKHALA: The question by the Hon. Member is - why is that people with disabilities are not involved in the institutions of the State and also in economic and social activities?   For example here in Parliament, out of the 210 of us, there are only two people with disabilities.  How many are there in our Cabinet? So, we want the Minister to clarify. When are we going to see people with disability also being involved in important institutions of the State?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Our Constitution in Section 22, spells out the rights of the disabled and the obligations of the State to the extent of the available resources. Our Constitution also indicates the representation of the disabled in this august House. The Hon. Member is very correct. If you want more disabled persons in this House, this is the House that is able to change the Constitution to ensure that we increase the number of disabled people.

          The Hon. Member is also correct in that the Constitution also does not prescribe a certain minimum number of Cabinet Ministers who have to be disabled. If the Hon. Member wants it to be prescribed like that, this is the correct forum for us to do that. All the other rights that are there in the Constitution, we have to respect them and afford them the necessary support that we can, the Government, within the available resources, is willing to do that. I thank you.

          HON. MUSIKAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and in her absence, I will direct it to the Leader of the House. My question is as follows. What is Government policy on protecting seasonal workers who for years are exposed to rolling ten months’ contracts without being made permanent and are being denied the requisite benefits such as pension and medical care that are accorded to permanent employees? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would refer him to the Labour Act so that he can study it and find out exactly the specific conditions that pertain to those groups of workers. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]

          HON. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of the House as the Minister is out. What is Government policy...

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Go ahead Hon. Shirichena.

          HON. SHIRICHENA: Thank you Madam Speaker. What is Government policy regarding the promotion of arts and whether there are adequate recreational facilities of international standards so that artists can develop their talents in this country? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker for the question. Indeed the Government is committed to developing more recreational facilities and the Minister of Sports is looking at facilities that have been disused with a view to ensuring that they are revamped and they can be used so that we can have more recreational facilities to use in the country. For more information, if she can put it in writing and identify specific areas that she wants attended to and the Minister of Sports will favour her with a specific answer. I thank you.

          HON. CHIKOMBO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of the House. I want to know the ideology of your Government. I am referring to whether you are for communism, social democracy or capitalism? To put it more singular, is your Government a pro-poor Government or it is for the elite or it is for the Queen B? Thank you very much.

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. We have a Constitution of Zimbabwe which is our Supreme Law that guides us and Government once in a while also spells out our programmes. Last year, we came up with a transition stabilisation programme that spells out what we need to do within the short term and within the next five years. If the Hon. Member has not seen them, he can request one and I will give him but, I believe all these documents were circulated among the Hon. Members. I thank you.

          HON. CHIKOMBO: I asked him about ideology. What we expect is for him to articulate on the ideology of his Government, but what is very unfortunate is he is running away from my question. If we read those documents that he is trying to tell this House, he is talking of social democracy but on the ground, we are realising that the poor are the people who are continuously suffering. They face high taxation, low salaries and recently we have witnessed operation Murambatsvina which is contentiously targeting the poor. So, I am asking, do you represent pro-poor or the elite or the Queen B?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Madam Speaker. The Hon. Member is a student of Social Science and he wants to present his social skills in describing ideologies. My job here is not to describe ideology but to represent Government policy. I indicated that the guiding document is the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The guiding document is our policies that enunciate our programme within a certain timeframe.

          However, if he is interested in those ideologies, I will be glad to allow him to come to my office so that we can deliberate on those, but if we want to focus on the policy of Government, we have a whole document that was presented and we have a budget that was presented by the Minister and all those issues that he wants me to articulate in an ideological document are well presented in those documents. I thank you.  

          HON. CHIKOMBO:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I promise you this is the last one.  This is a testimony that we have a Government that does not have ideology.  A policy is supposed to be rooted from an ideology.  What I asked the Minister is to explain and articulate the ideology that is running this Government.  When I raise this question, I do not raise it for myself.  I am doing this representing people of this country.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  The Hon. Member is totally lost – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  He does not appreciate how Government functions. He says policy comes from ideology.  Why is he laboring himself on ideology when we have a whole document that came out of that ideology that was presented in this august House – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] – Hon. Speaker, the Hon. Member is going in circles. That is not a question for this House. If you want to know about activities and policies of Government, you refer to the policy documents of Government, not to ideological documents. I thank you. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Before my Hon. Minister becomes emotional, I am sure the reason why these questions are coming is because we have got a budget.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Ask your question. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Yes, I am getting to the question Hon. Speaker.  We have got a budget which is styled ‘austerity for posterity’.  However, the actions that are taking place in the Executive are different from the theory that is in the budget.  I want to give an example. The Executive has been flying in hired jets instead of commercial airlines.

          HON. MATANGIRA:  I have a point of order.

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

          *HON. MATANGIRA:  Madam Speaker, the time for Questions without Notice has elapsed.  May we please now embark on Questions with Notice. 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I was saying that the Hon. Minister has spoken about the Budget and other Government documents that reflect its policies.  However, the policies pronounced by Government and its actions are in contrast. I gave an example that the President of the country flies in a private hired jet and that is not austerity for posterity.

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  That is not a question. Please if you do not have a question, may you take your seat? 

          HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Let me rephrase my question.  How does Government intend to ensure that its policies as pronounced in the documents that the Hon. Minister indicated and its actions on the ground tally?  Thank you.

          HON. ZIYAMBI:  Madam Speaker, this august House approves budgets and whatever happens in Government is approved in this august House. 

          *HON. PORUSINGAZI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  My question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  Hon. Minister, may you please explain Government policy regarding the assistance given to members of the Police Force called special constabulary and those other Police in the rural areas because these people are so hard working in maintaining law and order.  They apprehend thieves and other people who will be breaking the law.  How do you compensate these people for their hard work? 

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS (HON. MADIRO):  I am very grateful for the Hon. Member who asked this question on the private security personnel, especially in the rural areas; they help in maintaining peace, law and order.  We know that all civil servants are supposed to work in a conducive environment.  This should include their uniforms and gadgets for carrying out their security duties.  When you have equipped them as such, they are also happy.  Out of all the resources given to the security personnel, we noticed that they should be included in the Government budget.  Therefore, when civil servants are given adequate equipment and work clothes in a conducive atmosphere, they will work hard.  This includes these private constabularies. 

          *HON. KARENYI:  My supplementary question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.  There is special constabulary whom you are asking Government to give an incentive. May you please explain to us because when you look at the ages of some of these special constabulary, they are so aged and old that they cannot carry out Police duties.  As the Ministry, who are the people who qualify to be in the special constabulary?  Do you have recommended age or physical fitness? 

          HON. MADIRO:  Thank you Hon. Karenyi for this question.  When we look at the ages of these special constabulary, it is an ongoing issue.  This is a continuous process so that we check whether the person is still capable of carrying out these duties because we want people who are fit.  I can therefore say, Hon. Karenyi is well focused and we should know that when people have attained a certain age or they are no longer physically capable of carrying out these special constabulary duties, they should leave the service and go and rest. 

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS WITHIN THE AGAPE HOUSING COOPERATIVE

1.  HON. DR. MATARUSE asked the Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development to state whether the Ministry is aware of the alleged cases of mismanagement of funds within the Agape Housing Cooperative and if so, to advice when investigations into the matter would be carried out. 

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. S. NYONI):  Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question and answer in the following manner that the cooperative database that we have in the Ministry does not show a registered cooperative by the name Agape Housing Cooperative.  The records show One Agape Housing Cooperative Society Limited in Harare whose registration number is 6729 and the serial number of their certificate is 004788.  One Agape Housing Cooperative has not filed any complaint or grievance with the Ministry.  However, – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.]

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order! May the Minister be heard in silence please?

THE MINISTER OF WOMEN’S AFFAIRS, COMMUNITY, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT (HON. NYONI):  However, the procedure for dispute resolution in cooperatives includes affected members in a cooperative reporting their grievance to the nearest Registrar’s office.  In the case of Harare, it is at the Makombe Building where our officers are housed.  The Registrar’s office summons the management committee of the cooperative and its affected members to resolve the matters.  This is as far as administrative issues of cooperatives are concerned.  Where the offences alleged are of a criminal nature, the cases are referred or reported to the police for further investigation.

We also encourage cooperative members who witness crimes being committed to report to the office of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.  Where non-cooperative members are involved, the Registrar does not have mandate to preside over such matters.  I thank you. 

CONSTRUCTION OF CHAORA, CHAMAKUDO AND INYALA IRRIGATION SCHEMES

8.  HON. SHIRICHENA asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to inform the House when the Government intends to construct Chaora, Chamakudo and Inyala Irrigation Schemes in order to utilise water from the Mundi-Mataga Dam. 

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Madam Speaker.  I realise I have a handful of questions to respond to from question 8 to question 33.  I request that I be allowed not to waste Parliament or Hon. Member’s time.  I shall submit a written response to all these questions and I will attend to the latest questions that I received and these are dated 6th February.  Thank you Madam Speaker. 

HON. MPARIWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.  Procedurally, I understand and I want to say to the Minister, it is procedure of Parliament that if he has the responses, he has to go through them.  We are ready to wait here until he finishes the list of the questions.  It is not the Members’ of Parliament own design but rather that the Minister was not coming to Parliament.  Procedurally, if he reads the Standing Rules and Orders, he has to go through the responses.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARAY SPEAKER:  Thank you.  Hon. Minister, I am sure your questions, like you are saying, they are from question 8 to question 33, if possible may you kindly prepare for the questions that you have responses to now.  If the Hon. Members are available, you will be able to respond to them, if not that means you will have to submit the answer to us.  So we will start with question 8, Hon. Shirichena had already recognised herself, so may you kindly respond to question 8.  Thank you. 

HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  As I have earlier on alluded to, I have asked my staff to prepare a comprehensive response and is being typed.  I beg that I be allowed to submit a written response to all those questions.  I do not have them readily available with me.  Thank you Madam Speaker. 

HON. MPARIWA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARAY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order.

HON. MPARIWA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Exactly, like my suspicion.  I suspected in the beginning when I stood up that the Minister did not have the responses.  We appeal to the Minister to prepare the responses because if you look at some of the questions, they have been on the Order Paper for some time.  You may have to liaise with the Minister to do favour to parliamentarians to respond to the questions because he has a fully-fledged Ministry with Ministry officials who prepare responses to the questions.  It is not him preparing but it is him to bring the responses to Parliament.  Thank you Madam Speaker.  

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Mpariwa.  I think the Minister was quite clear.  He is going to come with the responses for all the questions.  So may you kindly defer questions 8 up to questions 33.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Madam Speaker, as has been indicated by my other colleagues and the Hon. Minister himself, some of these questions have been on the Order Paper for months now.  I think it is unforgivable for the Hon. Minister to approach the House and say, he is not prepared to answer to questions that have been on the Order Paper for two months.  In my view, Mr. Speaker, that is contemptuous of Parliament.  It is sign that the Hon. Minister does not take Parliament in the regard that it is supposed to be.  The Hon. Minister has shown that he does not respect Parliament, that is why he can come to Parliament ill-prepared to deal with the questions that have been on the Order Paper for over two months.  He goes on to say that let me break the procedures and just hand over written submissions without him answering to the question.  I think that is improper, that is unprocedural and that is contemptuous of Parliament Madam Speaker.  I believe that a ruling to that effect must be made.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Sibanda for your point of Order.  Like what the Minister indicated, he has assured us that next week, this time, he will be able to provide us with the answers. So, we cannot continue pressing on the same issue. He has already communicated his position. So let us wait for next week Wednesday, he will be able to respond to us.

     HON. P. D. SIBANDA: On a point of privilege. I believe that the Hon. Minister was supposed to ask for the leave of the House to do that. Where he has failed to do that I think it is only proper for the Chair to announce that if the Hon. Minister does not do that next Wednesday sanctions should be put on him.

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: One thing that I would know is that we are all Hon. Members in this august House. I am sure he is honourably saying it that he will be able to respond to those questions next week. So, let us give him until next week on Wednesday and if ever there is any action that needs to be done, we will respond to that. I thank you.

     HON. B. DUBE: When is he likely to be available Madam Speaker? Specifically I am concerned with Question 36 that refers to myself which was put before this House on 21st November 2018. I just want to know if at all we are going to have some of these answers because the risk is that some of these things are practical issues where if someone takes months like this Minister of Health is doing, it is very prejudicial to where we come from, because some of the issues are actually issues which are practically affecting people on the ground. I just wanted you to tell us, we are deferring this to when and what is happening to the Minister of Health and Child Care?

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: If I can recall last week the Hon. Minister was available but what could have happened is that it might be on the Order Paper but it was not responded to at that time. For now what we need to do is: let us find out, maybe he has got leave of absence since he is not available. He will respond next if he is available.

     HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order. With all due respect, with what is transpiring at this sitting today, it become important that we have the list of those who forwarded their apologies now. From there we can move on.  I would not believe that some of these apologies might have been initiated from this House like what we saw last week.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE TEMPORARY CHAIR

MINISTERS WITH LEAVE OF ABSENCE

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: I have a list of Hon. Members who have sought leave of absence. They are

Hon. Sen. S. B. Moyo; Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade;

Hon. Prof M. Ncube; Minister of Finance and Economic Development;

Hon. F. Chasi; Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development;

Hon. K. Coventry; Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture;

Hon. J. Moyo; Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing;

Hon. O. Muchinguri-Kashiri; Minister of Defence and War Veterans;

Hon. M. Ndlovu; Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Hon. Members, like I had previously said, let us defer Questions 36 to 53 since the Hon Minister is not available and we have not received any apologies from him. I am sure some communication will come to that effect next week.

     HON. MUTSEYAMI: As a matter of procedure, we need to seek guidance from the Clerk of Parliament. Now that we have the absence of the Minister of Health and Child Care who happens not to have put an apology. I think it is all in the best interest of this Parliament to address the issue of contempt so that we move on because this has been a problem.

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you for noting that concern, especially Hon. Mutseyami. What we are going to do is that we are going to engage the Leader of the House because of the concerns that you have raised in this august House so that at least we get a favourable response that will come to this House, so that at least this is addressed and Hon. Ministers can be able to come and respond to these questions that are long overdue.

     HON. SARUWAKA: May I request that when the Hon. Ministers send their apologies, can they favour us with a small reason to understand where they are instead of just sending us the list of those who are unavailable. We need them to state that the Minister of Finance is in Belarus, the Minister of Health is hiding and so on.

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Responding to Hon. Saruwaka’s point of order, every time that Hon. Ministers are not available they usually communicate with the Clerk. For security reasons, sometimes it is not prudent for us to be saying it in the House.

     HON. MUTSEYAMI: Madam Speaker, for the good of the House please kindly take note that as we speak we have questions directed to the Minister of Information. She and the deputy have left. We have a question for the Minister of Transport, the Minister has left and his deputy has left. The Minister of Higher Education was here and he has left. These people were here and they have left the House. All these questions are here for them to answer. Is it that they are not taking this country seriously or they are not taking the Presidency of ED seriously? What is the problem?

     THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Let me respond to that. Like I have previously said, for now, what we need to do is to understand that they have got some concerns that they have and they are not available today. As much as it is, they came and then excused themselves. So, as much as they excused themselves, there is no way that we can tell them that you are not able to go. It is only natural that way.

HON. O. MGUNI: May I take this opportunity to clarify the process of these questions, how they are administered. When a question is raised by the members and is captured through the Order Paper, it goes to the Ministry and in the Ministry there is a Permanent Secretary who is overseeing and managing the diary of the Minister. Those technocrats, the directors look into the questions from Parliament and advise the Minister with the answers. Therefore, for today, can we please ask those Ministers who are present and we will also advise the Ministers that are not here to consult their directors so that they bring answers in the coming week. I thank you.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education was here but had to excuse himself because the questions that he had today had already been answered. Questions 107 was answered on the 5th December, question 108 and 109 were answered on the 19th December. Thank you.

PROVISION OF CELLULAR NETWORKS IN KARIBA’S NYAMINYAMI DISTRICT

          131.    HON. HOUGHTON asked the Minister of Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services to inform the House when cellular networks would be provided in the following areas in Kariba’s Nyaminyami Rural District Council –

          a. Msampakaruma;

          b. Makande;

          c. Kudanai;

          d. Kasvisva;

          e. Mamvuramachena;

          f. Negande;

          g. Chilimba;

          h. Mola.

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY AND COURIER SERVICES (HON. DR. MUSWERE): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking that question. From the onset, let me inform Hon. Members that part of the Ministry’s mandate through POTRAZ the regulator, is to create an environment that enables licenced operators to provide service throughout the country. The authority and indeed the Ministry, are very appreciative of the efforts of the three licenced mobile network operators (MNOs) in providing service throughout Zimbabwe. However, the Minister also acknowledges the fact that there are still quite a number of areas which are not yet covered by the mobile network operators.

          Through the Universal Services Fund, the authority seeks to plug the coverage gaps. In spite of our best intentions due to resource constraints on the part of mobile network operators and Universal Services Fund, there are still quite a few areas that have no mobile network coverage. The Ministry understands the importance that ICTs have on the lives of all citizens. Access to network services is now acknowledged as a basic right of every citizen.

          In Nyaminyami Rural District, the authority put up a shared base station at Gachegache. The Gachegache base station was launched end of January this year and is an example of how the authority can intervene in a positive way to provide network coverage. Kasvisva has already been surveyed and work is expected to start in the next quarter. Msampakaruma and Mola are next on line to benefit from the USF. Mamvuramachena will be covered by Kasvisva and Msampakaruma sites while Kudzanai will be covered by Makande site. Negande is earmarked to be covered by Siakobvu site. Surveys are still to be done in Chilimba area. Mobile network operators have also redoubled their efforts in addressing network coverage gaps. It should be underlined, though, that towers are imported in-asmuch-as base station equipment is imported. The rest is common knowledge and I shall not go beyond this point. I thank you.

          HON. CHIKWINYA: The Hon. Minister, in his response spoke of resource constraints but it is public knowledge that the Universal Services Fund is being loaned to other non-telecommunication issues like ZIFA. So, can you balance between non-resourcing of POTRAZ and your ability to be able to loan out funds to non-telecommunication issues.

          HON. DR. MUSWERE: Thank you Hon. Member of Parliament. I believe this is a specific question which would need details. I thank you.

          HON. GABBUZA: I think it is also very unfair for Ministers to be just giving us promises. This is a researched answer. Why is the Minister not able to give us timelines if work is already being done? These are not new projects and the amount of work is known. Can the Minister indicate to us what timeframes he has because if he is constructing a base station, we know how many months it takes? So in that case, what are the timelines that he is giving us so that we can check on progress? Thank you.

          HON. DR. MUSWERE: The only reason why we cannot give specific timelines is because we also have to rely on the mobile network operators to give us the details when they are going to import and construct the base stations. I thank you.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Madam Speaker, the purpose of written questions is to give a Minister ample time to research. It is common knowledge that base stations are provided for by service providers and the Minister is fully aware of it. He even mentioned another fund that helps in that particular process. So, why did the Minister not get that detailed information which he had more than a month to research on? Can you give us the timelines because that is precisely what the question by the Hon. Member is asking for?

          HON. DR. MUSWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. I will have to follow up with POTRAZ with regards to the Universal Service Fund and when the base station will be constructed. However, as alluded  with reference to question number 130, I even gave a detailed report wherein we are pursuing a policy of infrastructure sharing.  I even indicated that with regards to Kasvisva which has always been surveyed which is expected to start in the next quarter.

          Questions with Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER (HON. MAVETERA) in terms of Standing Order Number 64.

          On the motion of HON. O. MGUNI seconded by HON. TOGAREPI, the House adjourned at Seventeen Minutes to Five O’clock p. m.

 

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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 13 FEBRUARY 2019 VOL 45 NO 35