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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 JULY 2018 45 no 17

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

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

PRAYERS

(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. SPEAKER

APOLOGIES RECEIVED FROM MINISTERS

THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received the following apologies from the Ministers and Deputy Ministers;

1.    Hon. Prof. Murwira – The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development;

2.    Hon. W. Chitando – The Minister of Mines and Mining Development; and

3.    Hon. Madiro – The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage;

PETITIONS RECEIVED

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have to inform the House that on the 1st of November, 2018, Parliament of Zimbabwe received petitions from:

a)      Mr. Believe Guta of Number 2141, Nyandoro Drive, Kadoma, beseeching Parliament to enact a law which provides for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Youth Commission to enable institutions of Government to fulfill the requirements of Section 20 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on youths.

The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports and Recreation.

b)   Mr. Blessing Chamwapuwa Kundhlande of Number 12 Millais Avenue, Romney Park, Bulawayo, beseeching Parliament to amend Section 91 (1) (b) relating to the qualifications for election as president and vice president.

                   The petition did not comply with the rules of procedure as provided in Appendix D of the Standing Rules and Orders and is therefore, inadmissable. The petitioner will be advised accordingly.

HON. NDUNA: I ask for your indulgrnce to recognise me. I have a point of order according to Section 68 of the Standing Rules and Orders. On the 9th of September, it is on record in the Hansard – it was the day when we were supposed to elect or to nominate you for election – where I was told to sit down by Hon. Sikhala, it is recorded in the Hansard. This infringes upon my rights as a Member of Parliament because on that day, I was not given an opportunity to nominate you as a result.  However, I ask because Parliament has teeth and means to rebuke and chastise such errand behaviour – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON SPEAKER: Order, order! Carry on quickly.

HON. NDUNA: Parliament has teeth and means to rebuke, chastise and castigate such errand mischievous behaviour. I therefore call upon Parliament according to the Standing Rules and Orders, to have a Privileges Committee set up in order to investigate and give accordingly the rightful sanction to such errand and delinquent behaviour. I so move. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. Nduna, this was not supposed to be a point of order but a point of privilege.  Nonetheless, I have heard your concern.  What it means is that at the material time, there was nobody on the Chair and one of the areas that are weak in our Standing Orders, is that where the Clerk of Parliament is conducting business of Parliament, he needs to be given full authority so that appropriate action can be taken. 

In the instance, there was a lacuna and there is still a lacuna which I want to believe the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will have to look into in order to close that gap.

          HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of order…

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have recognised Hon. Nyathi.

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of privilege….

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have recognised Hon. Nyathi.  Can you sit down – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -   Order.  Where a member has been recognised, another member of this Hon. House cannot just stand.  You wait until we hear the other member that has been recognised ahead of yourself.  So I had recognised Hon. Nyathi.

          HON. NYATHI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I rise on a point of order in terms of Standing 68 (d).  On Tuesday, 13th November 2018, Hon. Mutseyami while debating his motion on vendors, made a misleading statement regarding the results of the 30th of July 2018 Presidential elections. 

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Togarepi subsequently raised a point of order pertaining to the said statement.  The Chair duly ordered Hon. Mutseyami to withdraw the statement but he persistently refused, in total disregard of the authority of the Chair – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -   As a result…

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can you please proceed and finish.

HON. NYATHI:  As a result, other members joined in support of or against his statement and stance, thereby plunging the House into great disorder.  The Chair had to adjourn the House prematurely in terms of Standing Order Number 113.

Hon. Speaker Sir, it is my averment that the conduct of the member was in breach of the rules of the House and could constitute contempt of Parliament, in terms of Standing Order Number 112 – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -   I am …

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order! Order, order – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

An Hon. Member having stood up before the Hon. Speaker recognised him.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  How can you just stand up before I have done my ruling? - [AN HON. MEMBER:  My apologies Mr. Speaker.] – – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Order.  Hon. Nyathi, I will study the matter and make a ruling in due course – [HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] –

HON. SIKHALA: Mr.  Speaker Sir, my point of privilege concerns issues that we raise in this House over the questions that we ask Hon. Ministers. 

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Yes.

HON. SIKHALA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, you make rulings that the Ministers must make ministerial statements over issues that we would have raised in this Parliament.  It takes almost six weeks before the Ministers respond to our questions – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Mr. Speaker Sir, we cannot wait ad infinitum for questions that need clarifications from our ministers.  Can you make a ruling on that matter?

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Thank you.

Hon. Mutseyami having stood up to raise a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  I have not made my ruling Chief Whip.  Can you please sit down? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Chief Whip, you are the first to observe the rules – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Order – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

An Hon. Member displacing another on a chair.

 Order, order, order! – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

Hon. Members, Hon. Members, while the cameras are good to make the public follow the proceeding, will you be collected and behave as Hon. Members. 

Hon. Sikhala, I hear you.  When you use the latin phrase ad infinitum, you contradict yourself in terms of the six weeks timeline you had indicated.  So, I do not think the issue of non presentation of the Ministerial Statements has been ad infinitum.  We have had Ministerial Statement presented here except for the Hon. Minister of Finance who was away and his apology was tendered.  As soon as he came back from his Executive business, he did tender the Ministerial Statement.  I am not sure whether you had one Hon. Minister in mind.

          HON. SIKHALA: The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has a pending Ministerial Statement since we opened this Parliament.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.  Unfortunately, the Statement was made, you might have been absent on that particular day – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. GONESE: Point of clarification on that matter.  I recall Mr. Speaker, point of clarification.  If my memory saves me right, there was a pertinent issue which was raised to the Hon. Minister…

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Gonese, I have got the correct information.  Thank you.  I am advised that at the material time when the statement was to be made, Hon. Sikhala was out of the House.  The Ministerial Statement was ready well in time and he is ready to give it at the earliest opportune time. So, it is not lost.  Please, let us not drag ourselves, this is Question Time, your electorate out there are waiting to hear the issues that you bring from them.  So, I am not going to entertain any further points of privilege – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          Hon. Gabbuza having stood up to speak

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Can you please sit down.

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

          *HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare – [AN HON. MEMBER: He is not here.] – In her absence, to the Leader of the House.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  The Deputy Minister is here.

*HON. MATANGIRA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare. Looking at the current situation in our country, do we have adequate food for the nation? This is because people were getting a 50kg each but they were very few, now that many people are lacking food, at what percentage are you going to add to the current feeding programme?  As Members of Parliament, people are grieving because of lack of food day in day out.  We were only able to give out what we had but it is now dry.  I  thank you – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank Cde. Matangira for the question – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Paradza, order.  In terms of our Standing Orders, you address the Hon. Members as Hon. Members, no Comrades here.

*HON. MATUKE: Alright.  I want to thank Hon. Matangira for the pertinent question which touches on the nation of Zimbabwe which is faced with a drought ahead of us because of lack of rainfall. What I want to tell Cde. Matangira – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – What I want to tell Hon. Matangira…

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Hon. Deputy Minister, can you stick to the rules.

*HON. MATUKE: A slip of the tongue Hon. Speaker and I am sorry about that.  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  What I want to tell Hon. Matangira is that the Government respects the people when it comes to hunger.  So, we expect that the maize silos that we have in the country is adequate enough to the extent that even if we do not receive rains, we will be able to sustain ourselves for the next two years – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, there is a Committee which is tasked to assess on those who will have been reported to be facing hunger and register them.  It is the Government’s duty to ensure that people do not perish for lack of food.  So, as a Ministry, when we finish our assessment on the level of hunger facing the people, we will be bidding for maize from the Government, adequate enough to feed those who will be faced with lack of food.  So, we want you to know that we have a team which is moving around rural areas. 

In addition, I also want to inform this august House that the President of Zimbabwe, Hon. Mnangagwa said that maize should not be distributed only in rural areas but also in the cities because thy are equally faced with hunger – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – So, the maize will be distributed to the people adequately.

*HON. MAJAYA: Thank you Hon. Speaker.  Hon. Minister, can you tell us the composition of this Committee because in the past, most of the food was being abused by Members of ZANU PF.

*HON. MATUKE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The committee that looks into the people that require feeding is apolitical, it is a Government committee at district level and involves several ministries as well as non-governmental organisations.  They go to assess the victims otgether with the councillors and come up with the list of beneficiaries in need.  Once politics comes into play and others are not receiving food, please bring that quickly to our attention as the Ministry because the President said everyone has a right to eat food when we are faced with a drought situation.

*HON. MASENDA:  My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture and Water.  Is the Minister aware that – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Can you disabuse the expression of iwe iwe.  Hon. Member, can you proceed.

*HON. MASENDA:  Is the Minister of Agriculture and Water aware that in our constituencies, many boreholes are not functioning.  We have a dry season, people and their livestock are having problems in accessing water in areas where there are no inland dams.  May the Minister come up with a response in that regard?  I thank you.

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, today we are asking questions in line with Government policies and not the occurrences in our constituencies.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir. 

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

HON. MLISWA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order arises from the fact that there are many questions in terms of the distribution of food aid to the variables.  I am suggesting that a Ministerial Statement be done in terms of who allocates and which areas are most affected as well and equally, are people supposed to pay for this maize when it gets to them.  I think it will respond to a number of issues that we would like to talk about.  I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Minister, since we are facing this national disaster with the late rains that have come through, it would be good that you come up with a ministerial statement and put together what the Ministry is doing to address the challenges.  Is that agreed?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  It is agreed Mr. Speaker.  I will prepare a statement for that.

HON. MATHE:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Agriculture.  Is the Minister aware that most of the dip tanks in the rural areas are down.  The communities are complaining that there are no relevant chemicals for the dip tanks, resulting in livestock not being treated.   What is the Government policy in terms of resuscitating the dip tanks that are down as well as providing with chemicals wherever possible?  I thank you.

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question.  It is Government policy that animal health production and productivity must be enhanced.  Therefore, Government has put in place a number of measures to ensure that animal health production and productivity is maintained.  To ensure that is achieved, Government is making sure that the Department of Veterinary Services is well capacitated to deal with animal health, production and productivity.  In terms of the dip tanks that the Hon. Member alluded to, Government is making sure everything that is required to ensure our dip tanks have the necessary chemicals are put in place – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order. Hon. P. Sibanda, please can you allow the Hon. Minister to finish his response?

HON. KARORO: To demonstrate Government commitment to animal health - Government has committed resources to make sure more dip tanks are constructed around the country so as to make sure all animals get the health that is needed. I thank you.

          HON. TSUNGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. What measures are in place within the Ministry to make sure that access to health care by every citizen is achieved noting the lassez faire approach adopted by those tasked to facilitate the operationalisation of new health facilities in the outlying areas?

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. That is a very pertinent question and we would like to ensure that we have as many health facilities around the country. As I have indicated before, in each and every constituency, we want to see Hon. Members and Senators coming forward giving us the guidelines as to where they would like facilities to be created. We have to move with primary health care and primary health care starts at the village level. We want to have a health post at the village level and we want to have rural health centres as the next level, followed by the district hospital level, provincial hospital  and then the quaternary or tertiary institutions. We all have to work towards achieving universal health coverage which means we want each and every member of our society to be able to access free medical care.

Everybody has that right and it is entirely up to us. My Ministry together with the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services; we will be working towards finalisation of the National Health Insurance Scheme which will come to this august House for approval because we want to make sure that everybody has access to free medical care.

Likewise, as we create adherence health institutions, we will be making sure that each and every institution follows the laid down regulations. My Ministry has got all the regulations which state the metres that are required for each and every facility, whether it is the number of toilets, reception, everything is noted in there. We have those Statutory Instruments in place which guide us as to how we can create our clinics. Every Member of Parliament has got access to that information.

          I want to point out further that access to health and affordability is a right of all Zimbabweans. We need to ensure that everybody gets the licencing done in the appropriate manner. We cannot go down on standards unfortunately. We have to follow standards. Everybody will have to comply with the laid down standards, protocols and be able to come up with a health system that is relevant.

          HON. MATEWU: My supplementary question to the Minister of Health and Child Care is that how do you talk about access to health care and primary health care when we have most medical centres and most pharmacies charging people in US$ yet everyone earns in RTGS? How can you talk about that when most people cannot even access a US$? We have many patients that are dying because they do not have the US$ required to buy the medication. I thank you.

          HON. DR. O. MOYO: I would like to thank the Hon. Member for coming up with that question because that is the topical issue at the moment – charging of medication in US$. That is unacceptable due to the shortage of foreign currency which everybody knows. We do not encourage the retail pharmacies to continue charging in US$. We are here as a Ministry to protect the public and that is exactly where we are moving to. We are making sure that the shortages that have happened will be taken care of. We are making sure that medicines will be available in our pharmacies and institutions.

It is an issue where we kindly request for a some time to be able to rectify. You will all realise that the US$ disappeared from the market. In the past, the retailers and wholesalers were able to action on their own but now they are all dependent on RBZ which has to come up with the foreign currency. There is a big shortage of foreign currency at the RBZ. I have personally made contacts with the RBZ Govenor and right now we realise that we have to control that scarce foreign currency because you will find that there are some institutions which were taking foreign currency and utilising it for their own benefit and not for the benefit of Zimbabweans.

We have decided to ensure that all those who are going against the regulations which we have stipulated on foreign currency will beheld answerable. Foreign currency, should be used strictly for the benefit of the population. We also realise that access to health and when I say access to health and the current situation, these are two things which are running parallel. The access to health is a programme which we have been running with all along and then comes this issue of the United States Dollar. Those are two different issues that we should not bundle into one. Access to health is something that we will continue with and make sure it is successful while at the same time we are rectifying this issue of shortage of United States currency with regards to shortage of medicine we are already talking to various partners to help us ensure that we get enough medicines in our warehouses. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. You have spoken well Minister that you would want to people to equitably access the health care but we would want the people listening to be happy as a result of my supplementary question. That should also allay any accusations that may be made to Government on the premise that it failed to fulfill its promise. Since it is a target, give us some timeline regarding how long it may take for people to be able to access the health care conditions that you have just laid down so that people will not dismiss you as just performing a mere talk show. I thank you.

HON. DR. O. MOYO: I want to thank Hon. Matambanadzo for the question he has asked. The question has made us much wiser and I will also respond wisely to the question. I will be factual and not fictitious Mr. Speaker Sir. The issue of us having a national health insurance has been on the cards for around 15 years now. It originated from the National Social Security Authority debate. It was peddled for over a long time well before I even became the Minister and I heard about it. When I came in, I said I want that objective to be fulfilled and at the moment we have consultants working on the documentation to ensure that we come up with a report that speaks to all the necessary areas. The report will be send to Cabinet and end up here in Parliament.

My observation is that there are certain issues that had to be looked at first and we are already polishing-up the document as we speak so that we come up with a very good document. We are coming up with a document that will not make us take up to 15 before implementation of the programme. My plea Mr. Speaker Sir is that when the document is now in place and they come to Parliament, we quickly scrutinise it and agree so that it is implemented earlier. Let us agree today that universal health coverage is important and a necessity. It is a necessity that we all access free medical health care in the country. It is a good thing that you have responded but unfortunately at the moment, I am not in a position to commit in giving you the time lines. I will not want to be found to have misled this House and I cannot readily say it will take three (3) or six (6) months but I urge you to be patient. You will hear from us as to how far we will have gone and if it is possible Mr. Speaker Sir, we would come here and give you the milestones and indicate how far we have will reached this position unlike what used to be done in the past where something would happen ten years or fifteen years down the line.

My plea is that, please hear me out well and be patient with me. I will be honest to inform you on progress. I will come back and give you progress or the lack of it. I thank you.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you had raised a point of clarification and we will have the last supplementary from Hon. P. D. Sibanda.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I would want the Hon. Minister to clarify a certain point. When we were at the Pre-Budget Seminar, it emerged that pharmacies were charging their products in United States dollars but today you have said it is an offence for pharmacies to charge in United States dollars. If you go to the pharmacies next door here and there, you will find out that medicines are being charged in United States dollars. We should not just come here and speak what the ordinary people want to hear and seven (7) days down the line, what have you done to ensure that pharmacies are charging people in bond notes? I thank you.

* HON. DR. O. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thank you {HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjection.] -

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, may the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please.

*HON. DR. O. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I am grateful for your question which is also a reminder and yes, we spoke about it. We said we were going to carry out an investigation and we said that while we were in Bulawayo. What I would want to reiterate is that we are looking for ways and means to correct that anomaly.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Minister when you answer please address the Chair and do not worry about people who are distracting you. Thank you and please carry on – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] -

*HON. DR. O. MOYO: Hon. Speaker Sir, this is an issue which we are looking at. Yes we indicated when we were in Bulawayo and it has to be finalised, I totally agree. We are going to finalise the matter and I will be consulting with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance. After that, we will give you the proper answer.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  Thank you Hon. Speaker.  With your indulgence, Hon. Speaker, may I preface my question with the following information?  There is a cartel of medical drug importers in this country that are getting money, hard currency, from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to import drugs.  I will give you an example of a drug that they are importing form India at 68c but those same companies, when they come here and they claim their foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, they are claiming about US$12 for the same drug that they would have imported for 68c.

I just wanted to find out from the Hon. Minister if there are any measures that Government is taking to ensure that the importation of medical drugs is vested into the National Pharmaceutical Company rather than for it to remain in the private sector which is ripping the country of foreign currency?  Thank you Hon. Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Hon. Member has come up with a very good statement and question.  This is something which we are actually looking at.  Investigations were also being carried out.  We have looked at the supply chain, we have looked at the manufacturers, and have looked at the wholesalers and retailers.  The example that he gave is something which we are investigating at the moment and we will be coming out with a conclusion in the very shortest possible time.

I totally agree that at the moment when foreign currency is very scarce, there has got to be visibility and transparency on how it is utilised and we are saying we want to empower our own NatPharm so that we can be able to create a NatPharm which is the supplier of choice for both public and private.  So, we totally agree, but the other issues regarding the costs, those are issues which are under investigations.

HON. MLISWA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  I rise on a point of order of constitutionalism in that we seem to be allowing a situation where there is no compliance to the Constitution.  The health issue on Section 29 of the Constitution, it is very clear in terms of what the Ministers in Government must do.  The State must take all practical measures to ensure that provision of basic, accessible and adequate health services throughout Zimbabwe are in place.  It is a must and I see that we are running into a situation where we are not following the Constitution.

The Constitution again, if you go to Section 2, talks about the supremacy of the Constitution and it is important that for whatever we do, constitutionalism is there and failure for us to respect this Constitution - I am afraid to say this is a sacred sacrosanct document which guides this country and I think we are in violation of it.  As such, Mr. Speaker, I want you to make a ruling on whether these Ministers are complying with the Constitution that we have.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Hon. Member, we are dealing with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.  When you say your Ministers you are being out of order.  What I can only say is, Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care, if you can take note of the provisions of the Constitution, Section 29 and please comply accordingly.  Thank you.

HON. MASANGO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  What is Government’s policy on taking over the running of mission hospitals which are finding it difficult to render adequate services to people?  For example, at Makonde Christian Hospital in Mhangura, it is now providing just the basic services - [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order!  Hon.  Masango what is important is once you go into detail then you are titivating towards written questions.  So, I think let us stick to the policy.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. O. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I think you have guided us so perfectly.  This is an issue where I would need to get the Provincial Medical Director to go and visit the facility, report back to us and then if the Hon. Member would like, we can then report back.

THE HON. SPEAKER:  While the Hon. Minister is up standing, I ruled Hon. Masango out of order when she was titivating towards specifics.  The question is - what is Government policy on taking over mission hospitals.

HON. DR. O. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  The Government works very well with mission hospitals.  We actually have a department which works strictly with the mission hospitals and there is an organisation which is working in conjunction with mission hospitals.  There is absolutely no reason why if a mission hospital is failing, Government should not be able to give assistance.  So, that is our policy, we will not let that particular hospital falter.  We will give as much assistance as possible.  Thank you.

*HON. T. ZHOU:  My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in line with people who whenever they want to rehearse their drama they allege they have been abducted after they would have lost elections.  What is Government’s policy and what does the law saying in regards to such people.  I thank you – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order!  Hon. Members, we are not at a picnic here – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. KABOZO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Sport, Art and Recreation – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] -  I understand that there are so many footballers who are playing football outside the country and they have shown interest in playing for the national team but they have got a problem in acquiring passports.  Is there any Government plan to make sure that they acquire passport so that they can play for our national team? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, order!  Hon. Kabozo can you repeat your question please? – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. KABOZO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, there are so many footballers playing football outside the country and they have shown interest in playing for our national team.  Is there any Government plan to make sure that they acquire their passports so that they can play for our national team – [AN HON. MEMBER:  Vakaenda sei?] –

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Maybe I can answer the question – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

When you are playing for a national team, you are supposed to hold a passport of that particular nation.  These footballers or sport persons hold passports which are not Zimbabwean passports.  So, when they are called for duty, they come here and they do not disclose in time that they do not hold a Zimbabwean passport.  They do not give adequate time for the processing of the passport.  That is the problem.

*HON. MUGIDHO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  With the challenges that people are facing on the road especially the disabled, what measures do you have to address the plight of people with disabilities because bus operators are complaining that these people get on the bus to try and fend for a living. 

What measures do you have in place to address the plight of people living with disabilities?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  This is a pertinent issue that needs to be addressed.  The allowance they have been getting is very little.  They have been getting about $15 per month.  As a Ministry, we expect this House to assist when the budget is presented to ensure that we are allocated enough funds to look after people living with disabilities.  I am happy that Hon. Members of Parliament from both sides of the House have realised the importance of these issues.  When the budget is presented on the 29th of November, 2018, you will assist us. 

It is our hope that people with disabilities can live a life that we all live.  Some cannot even send their children to school but as a Ministry, we submitted our bids.  I believe that what they have been getting is very little, so let us assist each other for more allocation to be made.

*HON. MUTSEYAMI:  My supplementary question to the Minister is that since this issue requires a lot of funding, what assistance are you giving especially to the leaders so that when the leaders are addressing these issues, there may be people who can communicate with those who have hearing impairment and sign language comes into play like what is happening on ZBC news – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  That question does not arise.

*HON. KARENYI:  My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care.  Minister, your Ministry has a policy that expecting mothers are not supposed to pay maternity user fees but when they go to the hospitals, they are made to pay.  May you enlighten this House as to whether the policy exists? These expectant mothers are paying maternity user fees and they are also expected to pay for cotton wool, razor blades and other things.  If the policy states that they should not pay, why are they being made to pay for these items?

*THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. MOYO):    May the Hon. Member notify my Ministry all those expecting mothers and the hospitals because the administration of the hospitals is the ones who are doing that.  The policy is that all expecting mothers should not pay for anything.  We said that we do not want to hear that an expecting mother who will be performing a national duty should be made to pay.  I thank you.

          *HON. KARENYI: My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that; it is my request in this august House that you should investigate on your own.  Go randomly to any given hospital to investigate this because as we moved around as a Committee of Health, that is what we were being told by the citizens of Zimbabwe.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: There was no supplementary question.

          *HON. KWARAMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My supplementary on the issue mentioned by Hon. Karenyi is that; if you visit the rural areas, you will find out that women visit the hospitals and are told not to pay.  However, these women are expected to buy cotton wool, gloves or even the methylated spirit that is used on the baby.  

          What I am saying is that, when the user fee was still applicable, the situation was better, now that it has been scrapped, they are not getting anything.  My question is, Hon. Minister, what are you doing about it to help the expecting mothers?  I thank you.

          *HON. DR. O. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, that is what I said earlier on.  I said that for us to know what is happening, they should also assist and inform us where this is happening.  I said that our policy does not permit expecting mothers to pay any user fees.  No one is supposed to make them pay when they visit the hospital for the purpose of giving birth.  I thank you Mr. Speaker.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Order.  Although it was not a supplementary question from Hon. Karenyi, I think the nature of the supplementary question is begging for you Hon. Minister to make some spot-checks unannounced.  Thank you.

          *HON. SEWERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  As has always been your programme each year to assist people with presidential agricultural inputs, people are waiting for those inputs.  When should we expect these inputs to come since the rainy season has drawn near?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO): Thank you Mr. Speaker.  As we speak right now, the programme is taking place at district level, people are being given inputs.  However, if the Hon. Member wants us to bring statistics on how many people have benefited or those we expect to give inputs to, we can do that next week on Wednesday so that the House can be informed on how people are benefitting from this Government programme.  I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

          +HON. M. M. MPOFU: Thank you Mr. Speaker:  My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development.  I would like to know how long it takes to construct a 1km road.  I ask this question because for five months, they have not even constructed 1km in my area.  I thank you.

          +THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHASI): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.  I cannot answer at this juncture as to how long it will take to construct a 1km road.  Maybe if he gives me the name of the road and when they started constructing it, I will find out from the engineer.

          HON. SACCO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My supplementary question to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is; what is Government policy in terms of gravelling the rural roads now that we are faced with the rainy season where most rural roads will be inaccessible?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: That supplementary question does not arise.

          HON. S. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  What is Government policy on the permit of the movement of cattle during the night?

THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. KARORO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  Government policy is that movement of animals after 6 o’clock p.m. is prohibited.  Any movement after 6 p.m. is a crime.

+HON. N. NDLOVU:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question goes to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.  Why is it that people are asked for licences yet they are not receiving any signals from ZBC?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION, PUBLICITY AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. SEN. MUTSVANGWA):  The Government policy is to make sure that all Zimbabweans, no matter where they are, receive the signal.   This is the project we are on, digitalisation.  Obviously, if there is no signal completely, I do not see why people should be paying these licences – [HON. MEBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order.  Hon. Sikhala, if you want further conversation with the Hon. Minister, you can do so outside. 

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

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker.  My point of order is that, may the question time be extended by one hour.

HON. MGUNI:  I second but to 30 minutes not one hour.

HON. CHOMBO:  My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.  What is the Government policy in protecting the people and livestock from the crocodiles that are attacking them. menace across the country?

THE MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (HON.  SEN. MUPFUMIRA):  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank the Hon. Member for her question.  My advice is, we do not have a policy for crocodiles.  However, I would advise the Member to respect each other’s environment.  We have our environment.  We must respect the animals wherever they are and just take care not to get into their territory.  I thank you.

+HON. MKANDLA:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  My question is directed to the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.  I would like the Minister to explain how PSMAS is operating.  People are contributing towards PSMAS but when you want to buy medication for $68, you are asked to pay extra yet you are contributing about $100 per month.  Where is that money going?

*THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. MATUKE):  That is a very important question from the Hon. Member.  As a Ministry, we say that is not lawful because you would have signed a contract.  It is not lawful. We are saying that is not allowed and those actions borders on criminality because the members would have contributed their hard earned cash in the hope of getting services. Let me assure the House that as a Ministry we are going to look into this matter and we will report to you as soon as we have made our investigations.

          HON. SIKHALA: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. We now have an overwhelming number of qualified legal practitioners from our own local institutions like Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe and also a supplement of other qualified legal practitioners from South African universities. What is the Government policy over the phasing out of under qualified personnel who have been seconded to work in the Judiciary Services Commission and also in the National Prosecuting Authority where we have under qualified soldiers and police officers who are working as prosecutors in our courts? What is the Ministry’s policy over the issue of phasing out police officers and soldiers from our courts?

          THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI):  I want to thank Hon. Sikhala for the question and indeed he is very correct. The NPA Act stipulates that all our law officers must have a degree and we are in the process of ensuring that we comply with that requirement of the NPA Act and very soon we will phase out all those who are under qualified  from our establishment. I thank you.

          +HON. R. MPOFU:  I rise on a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir. I am very sorry for this blind person to be talking to you like this. I submitted my name for a question but they are not giving me a chance to talk, maybe it is because I am blind. Hon Members must consider people like us. It is not my fault that I am blind. I have been standing for more than three hours now and I have not been given a chance.

          THE HON. SPEAKER: I understand and I will give you a chance.

          HON. SIKHALA: My supplementary question is that, it is after some time when the National Prosecution Act has been promulgated in this Parliament. What is the timeframe the Minister would give us that the implementation of that Act would be done?

          HON. ZIYAMBI: Let me start by saying that we do not want to disturb the justice system. What we are doing is that we applied to Treasury so that we can be allocated posts and I am very happy that this year we got some posts that were allocated for prosecutors. So, progressively, as we fill in the posts, we will request that those that have been seconded should go back. We do not want to create a shortage when we have not been given posts. I acknowledge that we need to get rid of them. We have even encouraged those that are under qualified to go and upgrade their qualifications and join the Prosecution Unit since they are already there.

          So, for me to give a timeframe, it is not dependent on me alone but it is also dependent on Treasury when they give us a full complement of the staff that we require. I thank you.

          HON. ZENGEYA: I rise to ask a question to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that is it now a Government policy to construct private property or residence by Government or State officials using taxpayers’ money?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is not Government policy.

          HON. ZENGEYA: Supplementary question. I am giving reference to the construction of the private residence which is a multi-billion dollar property which is being constructed for  His Excellency, Hon. Mnangagwa in Borrowdale off Crowhill –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-.

          THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order! Hon. Member, the question does not arise.

          *HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My question is directed to the Minister of Home Affairs and in his absence to the Leader of the House.  What does the policy say concerning those people who report matters to the police informing them of an incident which is false? Secondly, what does the law say to people who say they wanted to be murdered or abducted. What does the law say?

          THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Members can you stick to policy questions.

+HON. R. MPOFU: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government. Hon. Minister what is Government policy on houses that were constructed by the Government through the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle Programme. There are no sewer systems for those houses and some people who have no money cannot even construct their own sewer tanks. Some of them are now using the bush and are getting water from dams. What is Government policy regarding that because people may suffer from Cholera. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. G. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Our policy is clear and there is definitely something that has gone wrong. There has been a lot of construction going along for a very long time that has not been certified by the local authorities because a certified local government area must have sewerage, water reticulation and in some cases, electricity supplied to the households. I am aware that in a number of places throughout the country, in a number of areas in the last few years, people have settled in uncertified accommodation and that is causing very unhygienic existence. Government policy is to look at those and see how we can upgrade so that our people are not faced with the chances of cases of outbreaks of cholera or typhoid because of unsanitary conditions they live in. I thank you.

HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Industry and Commerce and since he is a White guy let me say it in English.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, can you withdraw your statement ‘he is a White guy’.

HON. MATAMBANADZO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, I withdraw. My question goes to the Minister of Industry and Commerce. Hon. Minister, what is the Government Policy on non-performance of management of government companies and parastals. What is the policy regarding those whose performance is poor and also those who are employed in companies which are not posting good financial results from their operations? For example, Cold Storage Commission, Lancashire Steel and ZISCO Steel in which management of those companies have failed to run the companies yet the under-performing management is still holding their positions while at the same time getting all their employment benefits from those organisations such as fuel, cars, et cetera, yet the companies are virtually closed. What is the Government Policy in that regard?

THE MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE (HON. MODI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and first of all I want to tell everyone here that I am not a ‘White guy’, I am a Zimbabwean. Thank you for that.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order Hon. Minister. Order, order Hon. Minister. Hon. Minister, where a statement is un-parliamentary and has been withdrawn, you cannot comment on it; so proceed with your answer.

HON. MODI: Mr. Speaker Sir, I apologise for that. The first question the Hon. Member asked is about ZISCO Steel. Our Ministry is working on it and very soon we will have results on ZISCO Steel. The same applies to the Cold Storage Commission (CSC). We have an investor and we are almost in the final stage of the plan. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

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

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

TITLE DEEDS FOR RESIDENTS OF HIGHFIELD WEST

10. HON. CHIDZIVA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing when government will offer title deeds to residents of Highfields West whose houses were acquired under the rent to buy scheme.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I want to thank the Honourable Member for affording me the opportunity to apprise this august House on Government position as regards the home ownership policy as enunciated by Government at attainment of independence.  This policy should also apply to residents of Highfields West.  Prior to independence, about 99% of the total housing stock in high density areas was rented accommodation.  At independence, local authorities were required to convert such houses to home ownership on rent to buy basis as follows:-

1)   They were to determine their housing stock to determine the maximum number of houses which could be converted to freehold tenure, either by lease with option to purchase or outright purchase.

2)   The council would pass a resolution to the effect that it intends to convert a particular number of houses to home ownership.

3)   It would proceed to submit its proposal to the Ministry indicating the following:

a.     The number of houses to be converted to home ownership and the areas in which they are built

b.    The year in which the houses were built and the cost at which they were built.

c.     The proposed selling price.

d.    The submission included and the draft purchase agreements and

e.     Sitting tenants would be given a period of six months within which to exercise an option to purchase or to enter into a lease with an option to purchase.

The initial selling prices on all the houses offered for sale in the high density areas would be determined according to replacement value at current building cost suitably adjusted for depreciation.  The selling price should never be less than the balance of the loan outstanding. Where local authorities exist for councils to carry out evaluations on an individual or type basis, such councils will proceed to do so.  Where inadequate facilities for valuations exist, councils would adhere to the principle or formula as shown in the appendices that they were given at that particular time. Where houses are offered to sitting tenants, a discount would be offered as follows - Madam Speaker, I want to emphasise this because there are still many houses that need to be sold to individuals and this information I am giving to Hon. Members of Parliament has been passed on to our local authorities.

1.     2% each year for the first five years of continuous occupation would be discounted.

2.    3% each year for the next 10 years of continuous occupation would be discounted.

3.    4% of each year for the next 15 years of continuous occupation would be discounted.

No deposit was required for the purchase of properties by sitting tenants and that is what we are expecting local authorities to do and I urge Hon. Members to read what I will lay before this august House so that they can go and help residents who want to purchase houses that they have been renting for so long.  I thank you.

GWERU CITY COUNCIL TOWN CLERKS

12.  HON. CHIMINA asked the Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing to explain how the Ministry will deal with the two Town Clerks who are employed at Gweru City Council.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  I want to thank the Hon. Member.  One of the town clerks in question was suspended from office on 15th January, 2016.  I am talking about the town clerks who were suspended from the City of Gweru.  He was suspended by Mr. T. Mangami in his capacity as the Chairperson of a three member commission appointed by the then Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing.  A disciplinary Committee was put in place by the Commission and the Committee conducted a hearing on 26th April, 2018.  The Committee found Mr. Matawu guilty and recommended dismissal.  The recommendation to dismiss was brought to council and subsequently to the Local Government Board for approval.  The Local Government Board approved the discharge of Mr. Matawu on 3rd July, 2018.

Aggrieved by his dismissal Mr. Matawu approached both the High Court and the Labour Court.  He then approached the High Court seeking for a declarator on the appointment of the Commission and the extension of office beyond the period of three months.  To this end, the administrative actions taken by the Commission, including the suspension and disciplinary proceedings, were also going to nullify.  On hearing the case, the High Court ordered on 15th March as follows:-

“It is hereby declared that the term of office of the Caretaker Commission appointed by the first respondent, who is in absentia, to run the affairs of the second respondent expired 90 days from 14th August, 2015, the date of the appointment and that legal tenure could not be lawfully extended by the first respondent. 

The suspension of the applicant from office of the Town Clerk by the third respondent by letter dated 15 January, 2016 and the subsequent disciplinary action taken including charging the applicant with acts of misconduct and the appointment of a tribunal to try the applicant were all a nullity and void and of no legal effect.

The disciplinary proceedings presided over by Disciplinary Tribunal set up by the third, fourth and fifth respondents to hear the matter against the applicant are hereby set aside. 

The first and second respondents shall bear the costs of this application jointly and severally the one, the other to be absolved”.

This was the judgment of the High Court.  On receipt of the order Council set on 21st March, 2018 and resolved that management be authorised to engage Mr. Matawu for negotiation of termination…

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order Hon. Members.  May the Minister be heard in silence?

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  for termination of his contract by mutual consent as advised by Council’s legal practitioners and this did not happen and what has now happened is that His Worship the Mayor was tasked to again renegotiate for termination of Mr. Matawu.  That a Committee comprised of the Mayor, Mr. Makombe, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Shiri, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, the Chairperson of the Human Resources, the Chairperson of the Environmental Works and Planning Committee, Consultancy and Labour, the Director of Finance. 

All these constituted a Committee that was going to look into the matter.  That the negotiating team’s terms of reference be as follows:-

·       To conclude negotiation by mutual consent by attempting to find common ground only on the outstanding sticking issues

·       To conduct the negotiations within seven working days to come up with a deed of settlement and

·       To propose an alternative option for termination of employment which is less costly. 

In this regard, the matter is being handles by the council through the engagement of the lawyers from the Town Clerk in question and we await the conclusion of their deliberations.  I thank you.

HON. CHIMINA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  Who is supposed to be responsible for catering for those expenses and costs of those illegal activities that were done by the Commission as well as by the Minister to wrongly appoint a Commission since we read that there is an issue of cost there, as well as the double payment because the reinstatement is without loss of salary or benefit, which means for that period, Gweru City Council is paying salaries to two people in terms of the operative part of the order.

HON. J. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, I read the court’s decision on who is to pay costs and that position remains.

INCORPORATION OF WOODLANDS SUBURB INTO GWERU CITY COUNCIL

13.  HON. CHIMINA asked Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing whether the Ministry will consider incorporating Woodlands suburbs to Gweru City Council since the suburb’s services are provided for by the said local authority.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, the housing scheme commonly known as woodlands was developed in two phases.  Phase 1 of the development was done by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on State land.  Both pieces of land are adjacent to each other and they fall outside the Gweru municipal boundary.  The provision of municipal infrastructure for both phases 1 and 2 namely water, sewer and roads was done by the respective developers largely on a parallel approach and without supervision by Gweru City Council.

This parallel development approach created a situation where houses were developed before servicing standards and specifications were fully met by the developers.  This situation prevails up to now and both developers are expected to rectify snags identified in the construction and installation of the said roads, water, sewer and other services.  They are still to be provided with the public lighting infrastructure notwithstanding Sewer and other services they are still to be provided with public lighting infrastructure. 

Notwithstanding the fact that both phases are yet to be satisfactorily provided with services, Gweru City Council proceeded to connect and provide woodlands with both water and sewer services  and is also collecting refuse.  This was done for public health consideration in spite of the fact that the scheme is not under the jurisdiction of Gweru City Council.

The suburb is therefore within the boundaries of Vungu Rural District Council which is a different constituency with its boundaries.  Gweru City Council on the other hand has its own boundary and under the jurisdiction of urban constituencies. 

Again, until 2023 when the Constitution allows us to change boundaries, we cannot do anything but we have directed the local authorities to work together so that we give service to those people.  I thank you.

EXPANSION OF WATER TREATMENT PLANT IN MARONDERA CENTRAL CONSTITUENCY

15.  HON. MATEWU asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to state when the water treatment plant for Marondera Central Constituency will be expanded considering that the population has tripled since its establishment in 1975.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, the water treatment plant for Marondera Central Constituency area is soon to undergo expansion.  A developmental integrated urban water management master plan has been developed.  The programme is now eight months down the line and the team has submitted a bill of quantities to the African Development Bank, our cooperating partner for that project and are now awaiting release of funds for water and sewer.

In this first week of November, the water management team will undergo training to capacitate them on technical aspects needed on the ground so that we can undertake that project.  I thank you –[AN HON. MEMBER:  Inaudible interjections.] -

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you for your protection Madam Speaker maam.  I would like to know from the Minister if there is a deliberate thrust and policy regarding all water and sewer reticulation systems, in particular where there is provision of portable drinking water, seeing that all towns - including Chegutu West have such a problem of an archaic antiquated and moribund infrastructure that is providing less than is now adequate for the present circumstances.

HON. J. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, the Government policy as stated in this august House is that there has been delayed maintenance of most urban infrastructure, water, sewer, roads, you name it – and because of that, Government has undertaken, together with cooperating partners service level benchmarking for all urban local authorities and we are now extending it to all urbanised areas, business centres, rural service centres and growth points to see the extent to which we now need to mobilise resources to undertake public works that will make sure that we upgrade our infrastructure systems. 

We have been given the figures and we now know the amount that is needed and we are now processing, as I mentioned to Hon. Members in Bulawayo that the figures cannot be accommodated by our fiscus.  The Minister of Finance and Economic Development and I are looking at off line means of financing this delayed maintenance which has become capitalised.  We have to do that if we are going to avoid instances of typhoid and cholera that are always omnipresent because of this decaying infrastructure.  The policy of Government is; let us look at it together with the local authorities and let us do something about it in our own time.

ALLOCATION OF RESIDENTIAL STANDS IN ELMSWOOD FARM

16.  HON. MATEWU asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing when the residential stands on Elmswood Farm in Marondera Central would be allocated to individuals who have paid for them in 2014.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, let me inform this august House that Elmeswood Farm in Marondera District falls outside the gazetted boundaries of Marondera Municipality or Marondera Central Constituency.

However, let me give the answer which will benefit all Members of Parliament who are concerned about this issue. The position of the farm is that the land has still not been handed over by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to the Ministry to facilitate handover of the farm to the Municipality of Marondera.

There is another complication on the farm in that the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement had issued an A2 offer letter to one Mr. Jani on a farm identified in the year 2000 as suitable for urban expansion and peri-urban to Marondera Town. The said occupier has resisted the survey of the stands on the farm and thus the surveyor-general could not only put pegs on the farm for a portion of the land. 

Furthermore, he has also taken this Ministry and the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement to court contesting the withdrawal of his offer letter.  Thus in light of the above, the Municipality has failed to move people on the farm due to the complications and omissions listed above and because we are in court, we await the court ruling.  I thank you.

HON. MATEWU: Madam Speaker maam, hundreds of people paid their money and so far, you are throwing the ball between the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government.  Can you not deal with this issue with the Ministry of Lands to ensure that all those who paid their money when your predecessor Hon. Kasukuwere assured all the residents that they will be moving after they paid US$500, they we then asked to pay a further US$1 000.  Most residents paid US$1 500.  Are you going to give them their money back and when if this is not coming out as you had said to them?

HON. J. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, I thought that my answer was very clear.  We tried to rectify it and rectification of this matter means....

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker maam, I have got a point of order.  I have just been called an idiot by Hon. Sikhala –[HON. MEMBERS:  Aaah....] –

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sikhala...

HON. NDUNA:  I ask you to intervene Madam Speaker.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Hon. Sikhala, please withdraw.

HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker maam, I have never been called an idiot ever in my life.  I was in the military for ten years and we had ways of dealing with such issues.  I ask Madam Speaker for you to protect me before I protect myself – [HON. MEMBERS:  Haaaaaaah!] -

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I hear you Hon. Nduna.   Hon. Sikhala, please may you withdraw –[HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

HON. SIKHALA:  Madam Speaker, I am actually surprised that you can make such a ruling. I have never called him an idiot.  You can ask everybody who is next to me – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Madam Speaker, you will realise that from the beginning of this session, this Hon. Member showed that he has personalities against me.  Initially, he raised a point of privilege before the beginning of this session and the Hon. Speaker undressed him to say that was not in terms of the rules of Parliament.  Now that he has been humiliated by the ruling of the Hon. Speaker, he comes here to manufacture and concoct a lie that I called him an idiot – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – I did not say that Madam Speaker.

          HON. NDUNA:  I ask you to protect me Madam Speaker Ma’am.  It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the bite…

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, do you have some witnesses – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          HON. NDUNA: I have witnesses Madam Speaker Ma’am and they number more than 70 – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order.  Hon. Nduna, we will listen to the audio later and then I will make a ruling.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Madam Speaker, I was answering the Hon. Member and my answer was; yes, we are taking remedial action.  The first remedial action is to look at – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  May the Minister be heard in silence please.

          HON. J. MOYO: The first remedial action we want to take is to take back that farm and make it rural State land.  That is why we went to the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement because they have given out an offer letter and they have to withdraw that offer letter and reverse it to State land.  Once that has happened, we will now have to transform it from rural State land to urban State land.  If we do that, it will give us the opportunity to do a survey for title.  Only after we have done those processes will we start processing for those who have paid so that they can get title.  That is why we were going through that route. Without that process, we cannot do it. 

          However, whilst we were doing this, the occupier whom I have named, went to court to challenge the withdrawal of his offer letter and that tied all our hands.  We have to deal with the withdrawal of the offer letter by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. Meanwhile, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing cannot receive that land and the local authority cannot do anything.  Those are the processes.  I thank you.

BILLING INVOICES FROM CHITUNGWIZA MUNICIPALITY

          17.  HON. G.K SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state measures being taken to ensure that residents receive up to date billing invoices from Chitungwiza Municipality.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  The municipality is in the process of implementing Geographical Information Systems (GIS).  This will assist in the identification of properties not being billed and once they are identified, they will be billed.  The municipality is also in the process of replacing static water meters in areas where residents are being charged on estimates and at the moment, 4 500 out of 17 000 water meters have been replaced.

          The municipality is in the process of engaging the services of companies which facilitate online customer services.  The process was initiated as a result of scarcity of computer stationery for the printing of statements.  This will facilitate online balance enquiry and payments.  The municipality has also come up with a general valuation roll, which is awaiting approval from the Valuation Board.

          Noteworthy, is the fact that the municipality is reversing charges billed to residents who are not receiving its services at the moment.  Some areas of land have been allocated to residents but services are not yet available in those areas.  The council was charging and now it has reversed.  I thank you.

PROCESS OF OBTAINING TITLE DEEDS

          18.  HON. G. K. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state measures being taken by Chitungwiza Municipality to simplify the process of obtaining title deeds.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO: Thank you Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, let me inform this august House and not just the Hon. Member who asked me the question because it affects all of us.  Anyone who has been occupying council rented accommodation and wishes to secure their tenure should visit the council offices for guidance.  Council will assess their property file for compliance at all district offices.  However, they need to be guided by the following;

1.    If one is occupying former council core-houses, one needs to first of all fill in the ‘Conversion of rental accommodation to home ownership’ forms.  Those forms are available.

2.    They need to clear all council dues and get a rates clearance certificate.  The owner must do that.

3.    They should be issued with a certificate of occupation from the planning section of the municipality.

4.    The property should be title surveyed.

5.    Council will then issue a recommendation for title which would then be attached to the above mentioned documents and forwarded to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Urban State Land Department for processing of title.

Applications are processed as and when they come.  Any individual who meets the outlined criteria is eligible for title.  However, those occupying tied housed do not qualify.  Let me say, tied houses are those houses, either owned by a separate Ministry for which they are reserving for those who they transfer from other areas to the other or it can be owned by a private company and that company will be intending to make sure that when their employees leave, those who will have joined will be given the houses.  Conditions that I have outlined above apply to everyone including those who bought vacant stands and developed on their own.  The process of getting title deeds is the same.  I thank you.

HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  We have houses and stands that have no title deeds that have been paid for over 25 years.  Is there a timeframe to local authorities as Government policy in terms of acquisition and giving of the title deeds to the property owners? 

HON. J. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, there is no timeframe.  The timeframe is determined first by the owner who, when they have paid for what they have paid for, must go to the council and do the following five issues that I have talked about.  The second issue is the occupier is the one who seeks survey for title and pays for it.  I know that many of our people have difficulties in paying for surveyors. This is where they need assistance but we do not have the money to survey title for individuals.  We have done block survey titles and that is why most of them in the past have been given sectional titles.  Survey titles so that you can get an individual title, you have to pay for the survey yourselves.  Once that has been done, we believe that in the Ministry, we can do it quickly because there is no reason why we should keep a title that has been surveyed.  I thank you.

HON. G. SITHOLE:  My supplementary question is that most of the houses, occupiers have already signed contractual agreements with the Ministry of Local Government.  They were on a rent to buy scheme and already paid in full the amount that was required.  Why is it now there are new conditions which were not part of the previous contract?  They now need to pay again when they have already paid in full for those houses.

HON. J. MOYO:  I have just said, if they have paid in full, there is no need to pay some more.  The local authority that has done all the five  things that I have indicated and an occupier has fulfilled those, there is no need to pay more. 

 Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE HON. SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order No. 64.

HON. O. MGUNI:  Madam Speaker, I propose that we allow the Minister to finish answering his questions.

HON. MUTSEYAMI:  I second.

REHABILITATION OF THE SEWAGE SYSTEM IN CHITUNGWIZA

19.  HON. G. SITHOLE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state when the sewage system at House Number 20870, Unit A Extension in Chitungwiza which has been mal-functional for the past three years will be rehabilitated since it poses as a health hazard to the neighbourhood.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Thank you Madam Speaker and Hon. Members for allowing me to finish the outstanding questions because I think the Hon. Member wants them to be answered for his constituency.  Madam Speaker, I have requested for answers from Chitungwiza and the problem at 20870 Unit A Extension was brought to the attention of the municipality two months back from the present day.  From the date the issue was brought to the municipality’s attention, council has been closely monitoring operational condition of the sewer line to determine the cause of stoppages and take necessary action.  Information gathered from the residents indicates suspected vandalism of the line downstream near the property in question.  The municipality is continuing its assessment of the situation at this property and is also prioritising gathering materials such as asbestos, cement, pipes, rubber rings and collars in its attempt to repair the section of the line whenever the problem persist.  However, let me assure the august House that the problem is under control and I have not only got the information from the municipality of Chitungwiza.  I have asked my officers to follow up so that we do not unnecessarily disadvantage one occupier.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION OF MABVUKU-TAFARA ROAD

20.  HON. S. BANDA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to give reasons for the poor workmanship in the rehabilitation of the Mabvuku-Tafara Road, particularly, from Mabvuku Police Station to Kamunhu Shopping Centre where tar resurfacing was done on a structurally weak base and it is already bleeding.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question.  However, let me inform this august House that the Mabvuku-Tafara Road, particularly from Mabvuku Police Station to Kamunhu Shopping Centre has been satisfactory attendance.  Assessment of the base was done by the engineers and was deemed suitable for use.  However, the resealed area needs attention.  We have discussed with the council so that attention can be given.  I thank you. 

HON. MADZIMURE:  Who is going to pay for the cost?  Do you have a system where after every job has been completed, it is certified to have passed the standards?

HON. J. MOYO:  Madam Speaker, that question needs me to go to the council to see whether there was a bond that was deposited before the person who did the job so that if something went wrong, they could use that and get the cost.  I thank you.

REHABILITATION PROGRAMME FOR ROADS IN MT. PLEASANT

21.  HON. S. BANDA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to outline the rehabilitation programme for roads in Mount Pleasant, including roads targeted for pothole repairs and resealing.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, the roads in Mount Pleasant have been included under the emergency roads and rehabilitation programme.  The City of Harare has requested for funds to the tune of $3 million to cater for these roads.  All public transport routes within the area are covered.  Some of the roads that are covered include Pendennis, Harare Drive, the Chase and a few others in the area and the money has been made available.  I thank you.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCORDING GROWTH POINT STATUS

22.  HON. MUNETSI asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state the requirements for a rural shopping centre to be accorded a growth point status.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Madam Speaker, in terms of the country’s laws, there are different statutes accorded to rural shopping centres.  In terms of the development hierarchy in the country, we have the following centres available in our Rural District Councils.  First at the Apex level, we have a town, a growth point, a district service centre, a rural service centre and business centre.  There is a criteria used to upgrade rural shopping centres and there is a laid down procedure/criteria.  It must have an economic base, the ability of a centre to generate revenue base on specific economic activities can contribute to its upgrading.

2. Growth Potential – If there is expansion in terms of housing, commercial stands, commercial institutions, institutions of learning, clinics, industries in a centre, it is a justification for upgrading. The distance between the rural shopping centres is considered in order to come up with the sphere of influence of each centre to avoid overshadowing each other.

3. Availability of a reliable water source is considered when upgrading the rural shopping centre.

4. Availability of land for expansion services, infrastructure, residential, commercial, industrial institutions, cemetery, solid and waste disposal without compromising communal areas.

Procedure

The Ministry is in the process of preparing a settlement policy which will guide and upgrade these settlements centres. The procedure will be clearly spelt out in the policy. The process is a bottom-up approach with consultations of all stakeholders being made. It starts with the community at grassroots level through their representatives and traditional leaders such as village heads.  Consultations are made at district level up to provincial level with technocrats carrying out feasibility studies.

          There should be a strong justification for rural shopping centres to be upgraded. The wish of the Ministry of Local Government is that all these centres should, at the end of the day, have title deeds so that we can attract investment in all our urbanised centres in the rural areas. I thank you.

STATUS OF LAND BETWEEN ST IVES AND AVALONE

23. HON. DR. MATARUSE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to:

a)                apprise the House on the status of the land between St. Ives and Avalone, in Chinhoyi Town Council which Destiny for Africa Network claims ownership and has been collecting contributions from Agape Housing Cooperative since 2011; and

b)               state whether the Ministry could investigate alleged cases of mismanagement of funds of the housing cooperative by Destiny for Africa Network.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking this question.

                   i.                        Destiny for Africa Network applied for land between St Ives and Avalone on the 13th March 2013.

                ii.                        The allocation memo of 75 hectares was approved on the 3rd October 2013.

             iii.                        The State Land Management section then wrote to the Department of Physical Planning, Mashonaland West Province advising them to carve off the 75 hectares.

             iv.                        The piece of land was carved off and it was numbered 18080 Chinhoyi Township.

                v.                        The layout plan was prepared and approved on the 19th November 2014.

             vi.                        Valuation for all the stands was done and the developer submitted their payment plan.

          vii.                        The land in question is still state land and a memorandum of agreement will be signed upon payment of the requisite 10% deposit of all the stands.

       viii.                        Title deeds will then be issued when the land has been fully paid for and a certificate of compliance issued for the scheme by the respective local authority.

The following conditions were given for the proposed development on the piece of land in question.

                   i.                        The site shall be used for no other purpose save for high density residential development.

                ii.                        No development shall commence prior to the approval of detail layout plans accompanied by a layout report by the Director of Physical Planning in terms of Section 43 of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 29:12 as revised.

             iii.                        Prior to the commencement of any operation:

a)    A development permit from Chinhoyi Municipality should be obtained before implementation of the approved layout plan.

b)   The council shall be furnished with an EIA report as approved by EMA.

c)    No stands shall be disposed, allocated before full servicing has been completed.

d)   Servitude over and/or under the land for public utility purpose shall be granted by the lessee and/or owner as and when required.

e)    No excavation or sand extraction shall be allowed on the site. Only equipment usually associated with implementation of the layout plan shall be allowed.

f)     Under ground water extraction shall be made with consent and permission of ZINWA.

2.      On the second question, I want to thank the Hon Member but that question should be directed to the relevant Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development. They are the overseers of all cooperatives. As a Ministry, we have been discussing with the Ministry concerned to make sure that cooperatives remain as cooperatives and do not turn themselves into land barons. I thank you.

ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT IN SEKE CONSTITUENCY

24. HON. KASHAMBE asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to state measures being taken to stop illegal settling which is mushrooming in areas such as Nyatsime, Murisa and Dema in Seke Constituency?

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): As highlighted by the Hon. Member, it is indeed a fact that illegal developments are rampant in areas cited in the question and others where land barons, individuals, cooperatives sometimes are subdividing communal land, land reserved for schools, open spaces, under power lines, road servitudes and buffer zones. The victims are home seekers who have been fleeced of their hard earned cash because they want a roof over their head. It is for this reason that Government has appointed a Land Commission which is going all over the country to ascertain what has happened and they will be making recommendations.

          However the following are the measures being taken to address the problems.

i)                  Awareness campaigns by local authority to the public. Some billboards are being put to indicate areas which are not allowed to develop. People are educated on proper procedures to develop land. For this reason we call upon all Members of Parliament to assist in the campaigns so that our people are not fleeced by those who are greedy and are getting money at all cost.

ii)               The Ministry is in the process of crafting the Land Developers Bill which will put punitive measures to those who carry out illegal development.

iii)            Regular inspection and surveillance by local authorities and we have been talking to all local authorities about this issue. This morning we have discussed with over 1300 of the 1958 councillors to say you are the ones who come from the wards of this country and we want you to pass this message so that our people are saved from these greedy people.

iv)            Issuance of prohibition and enforcement orders by local authorities. We are saying all local authorities should issue prohibition and enforcement orders so that there is no illegal settlement.

v)               Training of local authorities and councillors on their role and development control. I want to emphasise the Regional Town and Country Planning Act gives more powers to the local authorities for development control while it gives them powers for layout plans, those plans have to be approved by the Minister but when it comes to development control, they are the controllers and wherever I have gone, I have emphasised this so that we do not have mushrooming of illegal settlements throughout the country. I thank you.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to the Minister is to do with the land developers. We still have the essence of bringing in land developers with all the challenges that we have had for the past 20 years. Why do we not, Hon. Minister, get rid of the land developers for now? Then we move the task of developing land only to local governments or Councils throughout the country and study success of that programme since the land developers have so far failed the country dismally.

HON. J. G. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, I think this supplementary question is a desirable one but we have constraints on financing. In the past, all site and services of infrastructure were done by local authorities. When we were accessing financing from developing partners from prescribed assets of pension funds and insurance funds, that dried up and we know the reasons why they dried up. Sanctions came and we could not access that money. Now individual developers who have always also been there and were not playing the major part came into fore and they had their own money and we could not refuse them. There is a fine line between a good developer and a bad one and we must encourage housing developers who are doing very good work. I just came this morning to see one housing developer in Ruwa next to another bad housing developer but this housing developer is doing it properly. They are using their own funds and they are saying before people could occupy the area, we would put water and sewerage, roads and even provide energy saving solar energy while those who want gas, they have found a way of producing gas through waste management disposal systems that they are creating and those we must encourage. They are doing a good job but we must discourage the bad ones as you know, they are undermining our systems in fleecing the poor people who want housing.

HON. KASHAMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister is that the residents of Nyatsime falls under Manyame District but there is a fight that Chitungwiza Municipality want to take over Nyatsime yet the residents themselves have paid a deposit to Chitungwiza Municipality although there is no service being done to these residents from the same. Now they want to go to Manyame where they belong because the area falls under Mashonaland East and they cannot go to Chitungwiza. Chitungwiza Municipality is a failed municipality already and we cannot overload Chitungwiza – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.]-. We cannot overload Chitungwiza Municipality with other responsibilities when they have already proved unable to catch-up with what they already have in their hands. We actually had an interview with the residences and they said they want to go to Manyame and, do not mind about whatever they have paid to Chitungwiza. They are prepared to start afresh under Manyame.

HON. J. G. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, there are a lot of areas which are grey areas and around all our cities and municipalities the land belongs to Rural District Councils. We have taken over 100 000 hectares of land and gave it to developers and home seekers. Out of the over 100 000 hectares, 90% of that is coming from what is presently Rural District Council areas. As I have said when I was replying to the question about Gweru, we cannot change boundaries until 2023 yet, some of those areas like Nyatsime are next to Chitungwiza. Chitungwiza should have provided for the water, sewerage and road networks connectivity but Chitungwiza itself is under pressure and I agree with him. Manyame Rural District Council is however in a worse off situation because they have not been providing urbanised services. What we are not encouraging local authorities in terms of the law both in the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District Councils Act, there is a provision for different councils to cooperate in order to provide a service to the people who have been settled adjacent to those areas.

We think that should apply to Manyame and Chitungwiza relative to Nyatsime. Physically Manyame is the property rates owner and it is correct that it should be charging rates to property on their land. Manyame should be doing it but there is no harm if Manyame cooperates with Chitungwiza so that Chitungwiza can connect water and sewer pipes as well as servicing the roads so that people have proper water reticulation. We have said that cooperation should occur all over the country because we have found ourselves situated in that manner. Take for example, Caledonia is in Goromonzi yet Goromonzi has no urbanised services. It is Harare that has the urbanised services and if they cooperate, they can service those people. In Bulawayo, Ranchmore is in Umguza and Umguza does not have urbanised services but Bulawayo does. Therefore we encourage them to do the same. We can go on to Gimboki in Norton or the other one in Mutare and find out that the situation is the same. As a result, we have gone around the country encouraging this cooperation because it is both statutory and legal that councils do so. I thank you.

OPERATIONALISATION OF PROVINCIAL AND METROPOLITAN COUNCILS

25.  HON. MAPHOSA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing when provincial and metropolitan councils provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe will be operationalised.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. G. MOYO): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The Hon. Member is asking me when we will operationalise the Provincial and Metropolitan Councils and I assured Hon. Members when we were in Bulawayo that we are processing the Bill and we are doing it in tandem and as I have said Chapter 17 which relates to financial provision for devolution and which governs the metropolitan and provincial councils is being processed by the Minister of Finance and we are processing Chapter 14 which is setting up the institutions. Those Bills will be appearing before this august House before the end of the year as I have promised. Thank you.

HON. MAPHOSA: Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to ask the Hon. Minister what will happen to those who were elected in the last elections into provincial councils. Is it water under the bridge or the Ministry is doing something about it?

HON. J. G. MOYO: I can only answer the question relative to the 2018 election. Mr. Speaker, the Constitution requires us to have an enabling Act and that is what we are processing. As we are processing this, we have not ignored the ten (10) who have been elected in all the provincial councils and not the provincial metropolitan councils. Hon. Members peruse the Constitution, you will find out that there is an omission. We did not, in the metropolitan councils, state them as members and yet in one of the sections of the Constitution, it refers to them as if they were there.  So, how it will be processed, I do not know, but what we are doing now is wherever we are going around training, and I have said we have covered all the provinces except two right now, we request provincial council members who were elected, the ten who were elected.  Of course, all of you are provincial council members by the way, except those in metropolitan areas – we have requested them to come for training as we prepare.

So, we have a situation where we are progressing the enabling legislation, but we are also making sure by that the time we have finish with the legislation, those who have been elected are prepared to undertake their jobs.  So, training is already taking place.  We are not excluding them.  I thank you.

HON. GONESE:  On a point of order.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order Hon. Member?

HON. GONESE:  My point of order is that as I understood, the Hon. Minister has not responded to the question which was asked.  The question was clear.  It was referring to those who were elected in terms of the 2013 elections when the Constitution was already in place.  We have got provincial councilors who were elected in 2013 who were never sworn into office.  So, we want clarification so that the Hon. Minister informs the nation as to what is going to happen to people who participated in an election, got elected and the five years expired without those councilors being sworn into office and being allowed to take their positions to which they were elected.

I think it is important for the Executive, for the Government, to tell us what is going to happen, if anything.  If it is water under the bridge, let the Minister say so, instead of ducking and diving and avoiding the question.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Hon. Gonese, I think you have really answered yourself that the time that they were actually elected expired.  So, really for the Minister now to answer because you have answered yourself that time has expired and the Minister has got nothing to say.

HON. GONESE:  Hon. Speaker Sir, I think it is important for us to get a policy pronouncement from the responsible Minister.  I am not the Minister.  I am simply asking; let us have a proper pronouncement so that they know that this is now whatever the position is.

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I honestly cannot answer that question and the Hon. Member knows that.  If the Hon. Member wants to put the question so that consultations can take place, so that I bring a comprehensive answer which is collective, I can do that, but I cannot answer that without instruction.  Thank you.

REPAIR OF ROADS IN ZVIMBA NORTH CONSTITUTENCY

26.  HON. CHOMBO asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing when roads in Zvimba North Constituency will be repaired.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for asking the question.  However, let me also inform this august House that the Zvimba Rural District Council is the road authority for most of the roads in Zvimba North Constituency with the exception of the road between Banket and Raffingora, the 11 km road which is under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.  If she is asking about that particular one, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development is the responsible Minister.

However for 2018, Zvimba Rural District Council had identified roads totaling 315km to be rehabilitated in the constituency.   To date 239.6km have been rehabilitated representing 75% of progress.  Works are still underway to complete the remaining 75.4km by 31st December, 2018.  The local authority requested all its councilors to identify roads within their wards that need rehabilitation for 2019.  The Hon. Member of Parliament is therefore advised to approach Zvimba Rural District Council for clarity on the works that are being implemented in her constituency.  

We also, for the purposes of the record of the Hon. Member and her constituency, attach all the roads that are being undertaken and I would not like to labour the Hon. House by detailing all of them, but I will submit the record as required.

ALLOCATION OF STANDS

27. HON. MUGIDHO asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to explain whether there is a reserved quota for people with disability in allocation of stands for residential purposes by councils.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, let me start by thanking the Hon. Member for affording me the opportunity to appraise this august House on policy regarding allocation of stands and houses to people with disability by councils.  Firstly, Mr. Speaker Sir, it is Government policy that local authorities are required to give special consideration to disabled persons on the waiting list.  However, the discretion on how to operationalise the policy is reposed with the local authorities through their housing policies whether to adopt the quota system or any other effective system since the disabled are most invaluable in terms of resource allocations.

The following are the recommendations of the National Council of Disabled Persons of Zimbabwe on house designs for the disabled which are an integral part of a policy and local authorities are well acquainted with these same policies:-

On housing there should be ramps.  We have given sizes of the ramps and the record will show exactly what we have specified so that again, Hon. Members can take to their constituencies and inform people.

The policy also includes the sizes of kitchens and these we have given to the local authorities so that also when they are approving housing developments, they can put those.  It includes what must happen in bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms.  All this we have given to local authorities and I will put it for the record so that the Hon. Members will have full information in order to go and assist the people, but the operative is we have told the local authorities that it is imperative that we empathise, we look at our vulnerable groups and do something for their housing.  I thank you.

HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Within the Ministry, do they have a monitoring mechanism to ensure that these proposals are adhered to, because if they do not, then the organisation of disabilities will not be able to ensure that is done?

HON. J. MOYO:  Mr. Speaker Sir, what we do in terms of monitoring, we give model building by-laws which when they are enacted by the local authorities concerned, become legal instruments for which all of us citizens and Members of Parliament should use to monitor.  We use these also so that those who are disabled can approach the councils and say you have produced a by-law, it is imperative that you follow what you have done. Otherwise, monitoring by a single Ministry becomes very difficult and we are putting by-laws so that it becomes a public statute for all of us to help in the monitoring. I thank you.

          HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Hon. Minister. Just for clarity, this aspect that you are talking about is it yet to be implemented or it is already underway because as I am talking with reference to the area that I live in, Chikanga-Dangamvura, I have never seen that programme being done to the less privileged in terms of being disabled and all that.

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir, Dangamvura is a little bit an old township and gimboki is moribund. We definitely have informed local authorities and if you went to some of the local authorities nearby in Caledonia, you will see a section that has been designated for the disabled. As Minister, I went there to inspect to make sure that the conditions that are precedent which were put in these policy directives are being implemented. Yes, there is no water and things like that but at least in terms of the proper housing where I have described your bedrooms and whatever, those are being implemented.

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

WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PROVINCIAL AND METROPOLITAN COUNCILS BILL

14.  HON. CHAMISA asked the Minister of Local Government,

Public Works and National Housing to explain

a)  why a Bill to make provision for the establishment of provincial and metropolitan councils has not yet been brought to Parliament and

b)  when the Bill will be brought before Parliament.

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Mr. Speaker Sir, let me inform this august House that the Ministry was engaged in a consultative workshop with stakeholders from the 8th to the 12th of October 2018 to deliberate on the issue.  However, the drafting of the Bill is now at an advanced stage and will be submitted in Parliament before end of the year.

LIST OF GOVERNMENT HOUSES AND OCCUPANTS IN GUNHILL AND HARARE SUBURBS

          28.  HON. ZENGEYA asked the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to provide a list the Government houses in Gunhill suburb in Harare and the names of the occupants.

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Mr. Speaker, the following is the list of tenants of Gunhill Villas as requested by the Hon. Member.

VILLA NUMBER

CURRENT TENANT

14232

B.K. Changara

14234

Engineer S.G. Mlilo

14235

L. Ngwenya

14236

Justice L. Makoni

14237

Justice A. Guvava

14238

Hon. S.E. Damasne

14239

F.A.O

14240

Justice F. Chatukuta

14241

L.M. Reza

14244

B Mutongowana

14245

Rtd Col. J Mhakayakora

14246

P. Mahlaba

14247

W. Nyamuriwa

14251

Comm. General P. Zimondi

14268

Hon. M. Chikukwa

14270

Dr. R. Ndhukula

14271

Hon. J. Hungwe

14272

A. A. Kunth

14276

L. Malaba

14277

J. Mathema

         

HON. MGUNI:  Mr. Speaker Sir, on a point of privilege, I would like to thank the Minister who has been answering these questions in a way that was so accurate, satisfactory and well researched –[HON. MEMBERS:  Hear, hear.] -  It showed that he knows exactly what he is talking about.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  Thank you very much Chief Whip. 

Hon. Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing may you go ahead to table the Report by the Auditor-General on the Management of Solid Waste by local authorities.

TABLING OF REPORTS

          THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of Section 12 (1) (b) of the audit Office Act Chapter 22:18, I lay upon the Table the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Solid Waste by Local authorities under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

HON. SIKHALA:  On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker Sir.   As indicated by the Minister earlier, that he was supposed to give a Ministerial Statement over the question that I asked him some time ago.    I would be very happy if he presents the Ministerial Statement now because we have been waiting for this reply for a long time. 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO):  Mr Speaker Sir, I give this Ministerial Statement having been directed by the Speaker after Hon. Sikhala asked a question and there has been communication between my Ministry and Hon. Sikhala.  He has provided us with a lot of information but this statement is made in order to outline what has happened, given the question that he asked.

There has been a serious outcry from our fellow Zimbabweans regarding the decision taken by councils to engage ‘debt collectors’ in collecting debs on behalf of local authorities.  I will specifically acknowledge the elaborate submissions and questions brought to my attention by Hon. Sikhala.

As Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, I have to set the record straight on Government’s position on the engagement of debt collectors by local authorities that fall under my purview.

As Government, we are relying on Section 9 (2) of the Legal Practitioners Act which states that, ‘Subject to any other law, no person other than a registered legal practitioner who is in possession of a valid practising certificate issued to him shall –

a) sue out any summons or process or commence, carry on or defend any action, suit or other proceedings in any court of civil or criminal jurisdiction in the name of any other persons; or

b)  for or in expectation of any fee, commission, gain or reward in any way instruct or assist any other person to sue out or threaten to sue out any summons or process or to commence, carry on or defend any action, suit or other proceedings in any court of civil or criminal jurisdiction; or

c)  appear, plead or act in the capacity of a legal practitioner for or on behalf of any other person in any action, suit or other proceedings in any court of civil or criminal jurisdiction.  Provided that, nothing in this subsection contained shall prevent any director or officer in the sole employment of a corporation or any other member of a partnership doing any such act as is mentioned in paragraph (a) in the name of such corporation or partnership.

HON MASENDA:  On a point of order,  I do not think we have a quorum.

          [Bells rung.]

[Quorum formed.]

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.  We have got more than the required 76 Hon. Members.  We have got 81.  Hon. Minister, you can start from where you ended.

          HON. J. MOYO: Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: May the Hon. Minister be heard in silence please.

          HON. J. MOYO: I was giving the legal status of who is allowed to collect debt.  These were the provisions in the Act that I was quoting.  I go further and say; at the same time, there is no legal provision in the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) or the Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13, which supports the engagement of debt collectors by local authorities.  I have not been advised of any legal framework in Zimbabwe which regulates or authorises the operations of the so called ‘debt collectors.’ 

          In the absence of such a legal instrument, no authority can be established to monitor their operations and conduct.  This is why we have received numerous allegations of ruthlessness and unethical behaviour in their conduct of business.

          My Ministry has communicated Government’s position to all local authorities that they need to use legal means in collecting their debts including engaging lawyers who are authorised to represent clients or using their own internal lawyers.  A circular has been in place, being ‘Local Government Circular No. 3 of 2010,’ which directed all local authorities to desist with immediate effect from contracting debt collectors to recover unpaid levies.  Local authorities need to account for why they are contravening Government directive and yet they are not supported by any statute.  Someone needs to be answerable.

          We have investigations going on and we have communicated to our local authorities to desist from engaging debt collectors.  I know that Harare City Council has since terminated their contract with the debt collectors and as for Chitungwiza Municipality, they are in the process of making sure that they abide by the Ministry’s directive and regularise this issue, considering that they have a pending contract which they will need to terminate.  We continue to receive reports from all other local authorities.  What remains for us is to investigate and see how the monies that were being collected were used. 

          We therefore urge ratepayers to honour their financial obligations with local authorities in respect of the services they enjoy.  Let us all bear in mind that councils are our own local governments.  If they fail to get our support, they face a demise, not only in their quest to deliver quality and continuous services but even in their establishments.

          We are duty bound to ensure the survival of these entities we created for our own convenience.  To this end, we need to give them support.  Where there are serious disagreements between rate-payers and local authorities, we as Government are there to foster constructive dialogue which will usher in a win-win solution.  So, no debt collectors, but for those who were engaged, we are now investigating how the monies were used by those who were collecting it.  I thank you.

          THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon. Minister.  What I just want to say is that, thank you very much Hon. Minister – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – You have been so clear and decisive on the issue.  I really do not know whether Hon. Members have got grey areas that need the Minister to explain further.

          HON. SIKHALA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.  To add to your voice Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank you Hon. Minister.  You have been very thorough; we want to be very honest, we are proud of you, you did very well today in answering the questions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – I promise that residents will be very happy with your Ministerial Statement today.

          Where I want clarification Hon. Minister is; if you could have noticed on the documents and the data that I brought to your office, residents were depositing their money or were made to deposit their money into the private account of the debt collectors in contravention of Section 282 of the Urban Councils Act that provides that, ‘only council account is the one which residents can deposit their money into.’  The residents’ money has been deposited into Well Cash’s private account.  How is that money going to be accounted for? 

          I am happy that you said you are investigating them.  Would you please reassure this House that the private account will be investigated on how money was disbursed into different individual’s accounts and who those people are so that we make public the names of the people who benefited criminally from the rate payers’ money which was deposited into Well Cash’s private account Hon. Minister.

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. Minister for that statement.  Hon. Speaker, it is a fact that 10% of all debt collection or the money collected by debt collectors go to the debt collectors.  It was also presented here by the Hon. Minister’s predecessor that $7 million was owed by residents of Harare at some point and 10% of that was $700 000 which was supposed to accrue to Well Cash debt collectors.

          However, my fervent view Hon. Minister, is that today you can make a statement that says; the accounting officers of those local authorities are Town Clerks and they are quite alive to the fact of the employment of the debt collectors.  The councillors come in and go and it is not in their purview to make sure that they employ the debt collectors.  I ask Hon. Minister, with the powers vested in you because you are the employer of the accounting officers, that you apply the sanctions for the Town Clerks who have been employing these debt collectors without anything supported at law or by law – that you apply the sanctions of making sure that they are dis-employed, and you apply that sanction retrospectively from the time that those debt collectors were employed if they are still employed, including those Town Clerks who are there in their places.  Therefore, if you can apply the issue of dis-employing them retrospectively including in Chegutu Town Council, Hon. Minister.

          HON. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I also want to thank the Minister.  He is one Minister whom everybody can be proud of when he stands up.  Minister, are you also going to find out whether there was a council resolution or it was a decision by the council administration considering the gravity of the matter and the fact that the law is very clear.  This was almost fraud.  Are you going to take action on those administrators, meaning the town clerks,  the chief executives of those towns and cities that have engaged the debt collectors out of requirements of the law.

*HON. MATAMBANADZO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker.  I would like to thank the Hon. Minister of Local Government for  the job that he has done in trying to solve the issue of debt collectors.  Debt collectors have caused many people to lose their houses all over Zimbabwe, including where I come from.  Is it possible for the Minister to further carry out investigations and find out how many people have lost their houses through these fraudulent activities, especially the poor people.  They were putting their own charges, taking the documents to courts, had them stamped and demand the entire amount once.  As a result, many houses were auctioned using these fraudulent measures.  May you find more into this issue?  I thank you.

 HON. MOYO:  Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.  I want to thank all the Hon. Members who have contributed.  Hon. Sikhala, I already said in my statement that we will investigate and I do not want to prejudice the investigations that we are going to take.  Yes, I have been given enough documentation by Harare and Chitungwiza and we will get more documentation about what happened from other local authorities as we investigate. 

Hon. Nduna, the employees proposed and I can combine it with Hon. Madzimure.  In the councils where I have gleaned in, the resolutions were made by councillors as collective.  We have to investigate both council and the decision making process but there are decision takers who are the collective councillors who made those resolutions.

Hon. Matambanadzo, we will investigate.  We know that some people might have lost houses because of it.  I want to assure the House that it will be part of the investigations.  I thank you.

*HON. MACHINGAUTA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker. 

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER:  What is your point of order?

HON. MACHINGAUTA:  My point of order is not long.  I thank the Minister for answering the questions and I ask him to come back after carrying out his investigations and make another Ministerial Statement to inform us on the new status quo.  Can he come up with directors and debt collectors that are involved in the scandalous affairs for the sake of the Members of Parliament and the people at large?  I thank you.   

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (HON. J. MOYO), the House adjourned at Nine Minutes to Six o’clock p.m.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 14 JULY 2018 45 no 17