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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 July 2015 Vol 41 No 54

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Wednesday, 15th July, 2015

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

PRAYERS

(THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE DEPUTY SPEAKER

DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that Christ Embassy Ministries will be distributing Bibles and Bible Study Guides to Members of Parliament on Tuesday, 21st July, 2015 at 0830 hours in the courtyard. All members are invited to attend this event.

INVITATION TO A LECTURE ON DIABETES

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Zimbabwe Diabetic Association invites all Members of Parliament to a lecture on the silent killer diabetes, which will be given by Dr. Mangwiro in the National Assembly on 22nd July, 2015 at 0830 hours.

  1. HOLDER: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I just need to stand guided by this House because on today’s paper, I saw that hon. members on your left hand side and on my right hand side – whether there is a new political party. I read in today’s paper that there is Muchandipa Dzamara Chete, instead of Movement for Democratic Change – [Laughter.] - Can you clarify that?

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. member, I do not think there is a point of order because the party which participated in the elections and made Members of Parliament to come to this House is Movement for Democratic Change and not Muchandipa Dzamara Chete.

  1. GONESE: On a point of order Madam Speaker. My point of order is, today is Wednesday and in terms of our Standing Orders, that is a day specifically allocated for questions to Ministers. For the last two weeks, both sides of the House have made submissions that Ministers have continued to show disdain – [HON. MEMBERS: inaudible interjections.] –

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. members.

  1. GONESE: I was saying, two weeks ago, a ruling was made by the Speaker of this honourable House that Ministers must take their obligations seriously because it is not only in terms of the Standing Orders but also in terms of the Constitution that Ministers are obliged to attend Parliament and it is not discretionary, is peremptory – [HON. MEMBERS: inaudible interjections.] –

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. members, the House would like to hear what the hon. member is saying. Would you please lower your voices? We do not want to hear what you are talking here.

  1. GONESE: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I was making a point that in terms of that ruling, it was made abundantly clear that it is not just in terms of our Standing Orders but also in terms of our Constitution that Ministers have an obligation and that, it is not discretionary, it is peremptory. They have to attend Parliament. It is regrettable that in spite of that ruling, last week again, a similar situation obtained, as a result of which questions without notice had to be stood over.

          We believe that it is unacceptable. We cannot continue in that vein. We cannot have rulings which Ministers choose to ignore. We believe that the time has come for this august House to flex its muscles; to bare its teeth to ensure that Ministers perform their duties in accordance with the provisions of not just our Standing Orders but also the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I also believe that at this point in time Madam Speaker, all the members of this august House should speak with one voice. As the Presiding Officer, I believe that it is pointless for you to simply say that we will look into the matter. We cannot continue with a situation that we get policies that the Leader of the House, who is also not present today, is going to inform Ministers. We have got some Ministers who never attend Parliament at all.

          It is important that we do not continue sounding like a broken record. We do not continue saying the same things over and over again and expect different results. It just shows that the Ministers do not want to abide by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Standing Orders of this august House. I believe that justice has to be done.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. member. I think your point of order has been noted. Can we please proceed with those Ministers who are here, while we are waiting for those who will be coming? At the momen, we have six Ministers. I think the others are still on their way. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

  1. C.C SIBANDA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members.

  1. C.C. SIBANDA: What is Government policy in terms of the payment of school fees under the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM). As we are now witnessing that parents are being asked to pay because there is no disbursement, taking into account that most of those who benefit under the BEAM are orphans.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. member for asking that pertinent question. It is important that the nation appreciates the fact that we are known as an education power, precisely because we are inclusive when it comes to education. Whether we have indigent learners or learners with various affections, they are all welcome in our school institutions.

Government in the 1990s created the BEAM as a safety net to protect the indigent learners from falling off the radar of the education system. At the time, our nation had embraced the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) as espoused by the World Bank then. My Ministry remains the source ministry for the children who are assisted by that safety net. But in its wisdom, Government housed the BEAM in the Ministry responsible for looking after the young people the elderly and so on, which is the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Services. I would appreciate it if perhaps from your Chair, the question could be re-directed to the appropriate Minister?

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! Owners of the following vehicles, would you please go out and park your vehicles where others can safely remove their vehicles? AD9346 Silver Ford Ranger, ACO1695 Blue Ford, ADL0749 Grey Ford, ADI9473 White Ford, ADE7428 Silver Nissan X-trail, ADK7906 Silver Fortuner, ADL0576 Black Jaguar, and ADL9362 Ford.

  1. NYANHONGO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Dr. Made. Hon. Minister, can you highlight to this august House, we are continuing to see vegetables and fruits coming from South Africa, is it that our local farmers are failing to produce vegetables. We also have a number of cases where a lot of fruits – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections].

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. members, I think we should listen to these questions because it will help everyone in the House. Why are we making such noise? You can proceed hon. member.

MR.. NYANHONGO: Thank you Madam Speaker, we have a number of cases where we are seeing a lot of avocado pears for example, rotting at Mbare Market. To my surprise, I do not know but we are seeing a lot of avocado pears coming from South Africa. There are also carrots and bananas coming from South Africa. What is the policy? Is there any policy that is in place to try and support or protect the local farmers? Thank you Madam Speaker.

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT, (DR. MADE): Madam Speaker, I really want to thank the hon. member for raising this question. This question is very pertinent to be precise. Hon. member, it is very clear that the first area we deal with is the Zimbabwean farmer as the producer and to be direct, to the horticulture sector. The hon. member referred to both fruits and vegetables which are critical. I am fully aware of the fact that there are also imports into the country.

          There are imports that we have allowed, but there is also a lot of smuggling into the country that is taking place. Therefore, from an importation point of view, we do not allow just any commodity to come into the country. However, this time we are going to tighten the position. What we need from our farmers is reliability, which means we must focus on the marketing aspect of assisting our farmers to deal with the issues of packaging and presentation of the produce.

Madam Speaker, it is also true that we are exporting and we even export the avocado pears. This is why I am saying we look at it with caution, not that we exchange exporting avocado pears for importing them, not necessarily. I want to give a very good example of where we have immediately denied any imports, in the area of sweet potatoes. I want to use this one as an excellent example.

Our farmers are producing excellent quality sweet potatoes. It does not matter which direction you get out of Harare, be it the Mt. Hampden Road, Mutoko Road or Masvingo Road, you will see the farmers on the roadside with excellent sweet potatoes, but it is very important that we also deal with the packaging.

However, I want the nation to know that we look at these commodities and see where we have enough. Certainly, the hon. member comes from an area where fruit is produced, avocado pears, apples and so on. I want to assure the House that on fruits and vegetables, we will protect our farmers to a possible extent, but we will also do it according to the tenets of SADC or even the AU in terms of the trade. We are allowed to look after our farmers but we must also know that we also trade with other countries. However, our farmers can be assured that we are going to look after them.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you hon. Minister, but I think the mentioning of avocado pears was just an example. I think all in all, there is an outcry on the importation of a lot of Zimbabwean produce which are produced here.

*MR. MAWERE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question is on how these communities are getting into the country. We know this is contraband and most of these are GMOs, which has led to obesity of our children. Do you send your inspectors to go and check on these products as they land wherever they will be offloaded? Thank you Madam Speaker.

  1. MADE: I want to thank the hon. member and assure him that the nation must know that there are various authorities that deal with matters at the borders.   It is not only the police per se, but there are various authorities that include even agricultural authorities that deal with sanitary issues. If a vehicle is already at Mbare, this is why I am saying, on matters that are relating to smuggling - yes, indeed, all the authorities are sensitive to all those matters.

In actual fact, in cases where there is no proper paper and where it is a threat from a phytosanitary point of view, those commodities will be seized and they will be destroyed according to the laws that protect commodities that are not brought in with phytosanitary certificates. Remember, the reason why we do this is exactly why I said when we export, if we do not follow the rules, we will be penalized for accepting commodities that have not come into the country according to the phytosanitary procedure.

  1. ZINDI: Thank you Madam Speaker. What is the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development in terms of coordinating these producers for reliability of the horticulture which the Minister has assured the House that he will give protection to the local producers. What is the policy in terms of coordinating the production to ensure reliability?
  2. MADE: I want to thank the hon. member for the question. Firstly, I did not talk of protection in general but, it is very structured…

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Minister, hon. members are requesting that you raise your voice.

  1. MADE: I would want to thank the hon. member for raising that supplementary question. The protection is not just in general but it is according to the laws that look after farmers worldwide in terms of producing. I have already indicated that yes indeed, we also do import but the hon. member must know that there are different commodity associations and there is the Horticulture Association that also deals with horticulture in terms of recording and dealing with farmers. We also have the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) and this is why AMA must be further strengthened so that we know when and what commodities are available.

          When I gave the example of sweet potatoes, it is because very deliberately, you can see even in the crop and livestock assessment; I gave figures of for example the tubers, the parsleys and the other crops. This is how we are getting the information, even from the extension workers and the Agronomy Department of the Ministry. So, I want to encourage particularly rural Members of Parliament to deal at the local level as well as at the provincial level in terms of the entities that I have referred to so that we strengthen the question of information and data knowing what commodities are being produced and in what quantities and quality. Members are also free to contribute to better ways on how we can strengthen this.

          *MS. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. I would want him to inform this House when he is going to introduce the new Board of the Grain Marketing Board and when was the last time he appointed the Board?

          *THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I would like to thank the hon. member for the question. There is no retracting because the board which is functioning is there.

          *MS. MPARIWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is, does he still remember which year he announced the board which he is saying is still there? When was it put in place?

          *DR. MADE: That is not a policy question and the hon. member can put it in writing

  1. CHIBAYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Hon. Made. The price of cotton does not motivate our cotton producers and, I think that we are actually killing the cotton industry. We have people, especially from Midlands where I come from and they survive on the growing of cotton. What is your Ministry doing to review the price of cotton?

THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): I want to thank the hon. member for such a pertinent question. At the moment, cotton prices are being determined by the buyers. I know that it is very important…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you please raise your voice?

*MR. MURAI: The Minister is complaining about his voice but we see that when there are at rallies, they will be shouting at the top of their voices.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, there is no point of order.

*DR. MADE: I want to thank the hon. member who asked about cotton prices. It is a very pertinent question. We know that at the moment, the buyers are the ones who determine the prices and they are complaining that the prices of cotton where they sell it are very low. What is important is that we should focus on beneficiation so that we use cotton here in making a lot of things, using our cotton which we grow; so that we can sell finished products rather than exporting the raw material. We can export clothes and blankets. That is what our Government desires to realise and that is what our President is encouraging us to do – to focus on beneficiation of raw materials.

Secondly, the Cotton Marketing Board which was in existence is the one which used to buy cotton. It would give a fair price to the farmers and when they sell that cotton, if they are able to sell it at a higher price, then they would give supplementary.

Thirdly, we should look at the inputs that farmers use; how expensive they are so that we know how to come in and help the farmers. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is looking into that to see that our equipment and inputs are low cost so that our farmers will realise a better margin/profit from their proceeds. I cannot articulate everything but his question is very pertinent. The Government is also seized with that issue. I also want to add that we do not only get fibre from cotton but also oil and cotton seed cake which feeds our cattle. As a result, we should also look at that because when these companies are selling, the proceeds from cotton should be retained by farmers as well so that they benefit from the growing of cotton. This is an industry that as Government we should not let it die. Farmers are crying that many depots have been closed but I have talked to AMA to open those depots so that farmers do not travel long distances to sell their cotton. We are doing everything so that the farmers will benefit. I thank you.

          *MRS. MNANGAGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education. We know that not all our children in primary schools are talented academically, how is your Ministry collaborating with the Ministry of State for Liaising on Psychomotor Activities in Education so that those who are not academically talented are imparted with necessary skills?

          *THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): I want to thank the hon. member for asking a question which is on our hearts especially when taking into consideration the research that was being done in October 2014. About 35 years ago, we were seized with this issue of education and we now know where we have done very well and where we have been handicapped. We also have results that those who are in the streets and out of education, we now know what skills they have been imparted with during their education days. When we were looking at the review of the curriculum which started in October, we also had in mind the question that was raised by the hon. member that psychomotor education should also be included in school curriculum and that there should be no discrimination between academic training and technical training.

We are of the firm belief that every child can develop when being educated academically and also technically because at the end of the day, the two go hand in hand. We are waiting for our Cabinet to approve the recommendations of our research so that we can go ahead and implement the findings.

          ENG. MUDZURI: My question is directed to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development. Can the Minister highlight to this House when Government is likely to review a policy on student grants. When students finish their higher education having borrowed a loan or a grant, they are supposed to work for three years and pay back the money. The situation prevailing now is that there are no jobs and these students cannot get work and cannot collect their certificates until the three years are over. They are actually made to suffer without doing anything for those three years, when is the Ministry going to review that policy and make sure that students are enhanced to work elsewhere and go to school elsewhere?

          THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER AND TERTIARY EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT (DR. GANDAWA): I want to thank the hon. member for a very pertinent question. We are all aware that the economy is not performing very well but it is a case that is on our hearts that students should be afforded with grants or loans. We are actually seized with the matter and we are engaging various stakeholders including the banks to make sure that we mobilize resources for students in our institutions of higher learning to access the loans. Suffice to say that, it is true that the students that are on cadetship are bonded for three years before they can access their certificates. However, it does not stop the students from working anywhere else they want to work. We avail them with copies of the transcripts so that they can access employment from wherever they want to go. The Government will therefore liaise with the employers that will have employed the graduates so that at least they can recoup the money invested in their education. You will agree with me that all the students that have received funding from Government have not been paying, they have not paid for the money that was invested in them – [MR. CHAMISA: Havana mabasa] – We are aware of that situation and once that is corrected, it is upon everyone in Zimbabwe - in industry including Government to make sure that we revive the industry and create jobs. We have to create jobs for the people otherwise Government alone cannot resuscitate the industry. It calls for all of us as Zimbabweans to make sure that we revive and create new industries. So, it is upon institutions of higher learning which falls under my Ministry and the industry to collaborate and find ways to make sure that we create jobs. We have identified the gaps that we must fill.

          ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam Speaker, the Hon. Minister has not answered my question. My question is, when are they likely to review this policy where students are not employed? They cannot pay the loans; they spend three years without having a job. Government should review the policy so that these students can be given certificates.   When they have not managed to get a job, they are being asked to pay the full amount to access certificates. When is the Government likely to review that policy?

  1. GANDAWA: Thank you Madam Speaker and I want to thank the hon. member for the question. I have indicated that the students will always access their results and a copy of their certificates is availed to them for the purposes of seeking employment. With regard to reviewing the situation of grants and loans, I indicated that we are seized with the matter.   We are engaging various stakeholders to make sure that students get access to funding. We are looking at the possibilities of reviving the issuing of grants and loans. I thank you Madam Speaker.
  2. MURAI: Hon. Minister, the same graduates are said to be recruited so that they are deployed to other countries, with the Labour Exportation Bill already signed, what benefit we are going to enjoy as a country and is not brain drain?
  3. GANDAWA: I want to thank the hon. member for the question. The Human Capital Export Policy has not been signed. We are in the process of consulting stakeholders to come up with the export policy. Let me say, we are in the process of creating a database of our graduates so that at least we have the statistics from 1980 to date. The database could have been fragmented, so we want to know and trace where our graduates are and how they are performing. As to the case of the brain drain, human export policy does not encourage brain drain but it encourages brain circulation. People go out to work in other countries they tend to benefit from availing themselves for experience in terms of the use of advance technologies in those particular countries, when they come back to the country, they will bring in new skills. I thank you Madam Speaker.
  4. MUDARIKWA: Thank you Madam Speaker, My question is directed to the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Hon. Mandiwanzira. Honourable Minister Sir, good afternoon to you – [Laughter] – What is the national policy on availability of internet in the rural areas? Thank you.

          THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (MR. MANDIWANZIRA). I want to thank Hon. Mudarikwa for that very important question. The policy of Government is that all schools, all institutions in the rural areas and even in the urban areas must have access to internet. This is not just a policy that the Zimbabwe Government is pursuing. Even within SADC it has already been agreed that all countries within the region, by 2018 - at least 80% of their populations must be able to have broadband access, which means internet. So Government is working towards that including connecting rural schools. Where broadband is not available through fibre, we are we are doing so through Vstar. Thank you.

  1. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I think the issue of access is very important. My question to the Minister of my former Ministry – [Laughter] - is in two parts. The first one is to do with enhancement of access of ICTs, particularly in the rural areas. The element of infrastructure sharing has to be sorted out and the element of global operators has to be sorted out. Is it true and can the Minister confirm that Government has given a deadline to various companies in terms of infrastructure sharing and also, is it true that Government has chosen to buy shares in Telecel?...

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order, hon. member is that a supplementary question or it is a new question?

  1. CHAMISA: It is a loaded supplementary – [Laughter]-

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, no!

  1. MANDIWANZIRA: I want to thank Hon. Chamisa for the question. It is correct and it is indeed true that the issue of access will be enhanced through infrastructure sharing where networks can share infrastructure. So, instead of duplicating investment or triplicating investment, they can then share areas where they can deploy investment to avoid doubled effort.

          It is true that we have given operators in the sector to agree a framework for infrastructure sharing in the next 90 days because consultations have been taking place for more than a year. It appears there is resistance by the operators to agree, therefore we have had to give them a deadline so that there is a solution to serve the cost of telecommunication services and to ensure that we advance the deployment of telecommunication services to areas that are remote and service is not yet available through the entire concept of infrastructure sharing.

  1. CHAMISA: On a point of order Madam Speaker, the Minister did not answer the second question.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is an outstanding question on its own and it is not a follow up question from the first one.

  1. CHAMISA: I thought I had already posed it.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you please ask that question on its own and not as a supplementary question?

  1. CHAMISA: Thank you very much Madam, I really appreciate. My question to the Minister is to do with Telecel, we have read and we are made to understand – can you confirm that it is indeed correct that Government intends or has already made a decision to acquire Telecel. If it is correct, is it also right for us to conclude that Government is now behaving like a leopard that starts accusing a goat of smelling in a particular way so that it can deal with it?

THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, POSTAL AND COURIER SERVICES (MR. MANDIWANZIRA): Hon. Chamisa’s question will help us to clarify what exactly is going on. You may all be aware that the majority shareholder in Telecel is a company called Vimpelcom with its headquarters in Netherlands and majority owned by a Russian investment group. Vimpelcom has been on the market since last year, selling its interest on the African continent including its 60% shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe. This company had almost reached an agreement with a company outside Zimbabwe to buy this 60% and Government took a deliberate decision to stop this kind of transaction on the basis that since its establishment, foreign shareholding in Telecel Zimbabwe has exchanged hands more than twice without capital gains tax being paid in this jurisdiction. As a result, we made a decision that Zimbabwean assets cannot continue to be traded outside the country without the country benefitting from capital gains.   So, since they were in the market, they also, following a strategy they used in Algeria where they sold 51% of their business to the Algerian Government, Vimpelcom offered the Government of Zimbabwe their 60%. At the same time, the other 40% shareholder in Telecel Zimbabwe which is Empowerment Corporation also wrote to Government offering to sell its 40% to Government.

As you are well aware, Government does not have enough resources to be financing that kind of transaction. Therefore Government has many companies that it owns 100% and it has given this interest to one of the companies that it owns 100% to pursue it in the commercial sense. That company is ZARNET and from what I know, it is in the process of negotiating with the shareholders for an acquisition.

*MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. I think we have gone past the time for questions without notice.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Order hon. Members. We waste most of our time arguing amongst ourselves. Can I answer the hon. member? In the new Standing Rules we take the questions without notice up to quarter to four o’clock.

  1. MUTSEYAMI: My supplementary question to Hon. Mandiwanzira is, with the presentation that he has done with regards to Government buying shares from Telecel, is it not much of a mouthful for Government to take such a responsibility bearing the track record of our Government which is in place with its whole lot of failure in Net One, NRZ, GMB, CSC, the list is endless. Do you not think that you have to look for other responsibilities to take over the company?
  2. MANDIWANZIRA: I will not respond on the performance of NRZ, GMB or CSC because I have no jurisdiction over them. I can only talk in the context of Net One and Telecel. Let me clarify what I just said. I did say that Government, recognizing that it does not have the immediate financial capacity to do this transaction, has chosen one of the entities that are 100% owned by it to pursue the transaction in a commercial way. This means it is a company within the context of a private company but owned by Government that can go and borrow from banks to do that kind of transaction. Therefore, Government is not directly looking at purchasing this business. The hon. member also makes an allegation that we have run down Net One. The reality of the situation is that - [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Inaudible interjection] -

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, you are being answered, if you have answers why did you ask the question?

  1. MANDIWANZIRA: Madam Speaker, the situation as far as Net One is concerned is that Net One is a viable going concern, which last year had the solid ground to attract US$218 million worth of investment. Nobody would lend such an amount of money to a company that is going down. All is being done to ensure that this business is viable and eventually pays dividends to Government. It is also important for me to highlight the importance of Government involvement in the telecommunications sector. All our lives are now dependent on telecommunications infrastructure. Our health, e-government, education etcetera, therefore it is so important that a neutral player like Government is at the centre of infrastructure in telecommunications to ensure that is not abused by individuals for whatever agenda they may have. I thank you.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. Members. Vehicle Number AAH 0377 is blocking other vehicles. Can the owner please go and remove the vehicle.

  1. MARIDADI: My supplementary Madam Speaker, we hear what the Hon. Minister is saying ….
  2. MUDEREDZWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

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

  1. MUDEREDZWA: Madam Speaker, I think the way business should be conducted in this House should ….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please continue.

  1. MUDEREDZWA: I am suggesting that the way business should be conducted in this House…-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can we hear what he wants to say?

  1. MUDEREDZWA: It should reflect the composition of this Parliament. The composition of this Parliament is 2 is to 1. MDCs one … -[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members! Hon. member, point taken. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- hon. members, we were still on supplementary questions. Where is the hon. member…

  1. WADYAJENA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?

  1. WADYAJENA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The hon. member made a mistake. It is actually 5 is to 1. –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members. Let us have order in the House. Hon. members, do you realise that we are wasting time arguing and at the end of the day, order hon. members. I recognise the hon. member to pose his supplementary question then after that, I know how I am going around the House.

  1. MARIDADI: Thank you Madam Speaker. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister –[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections]- Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is that Hon. Minister, the companies that you are talking about, we all know that it is on the brink of collapse …

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Why are you waiting, ask your question.

  1. MARIDADI: Now I am proceeding, I have not forgotten, I was waiting for you to pay attention. My question is that the Hon. Minister of ICT says that ZARNET will partake in that transaction on behalf of Government, and we know Hon. Minister that ZARNET is on the brink of collapse. That is number one and number 2 is, you talk about Net One and you say because there are investors who want to put money into Net One, that does not say anything about Net One as going to maintain the status. Net One costed a lot. Did it declare dividend to Government? We know that Net One is not profitable. Hon. Minister, ZARNET is on the brink of collapse and Net One is not doing well. Thank you.
  2. MANDIWANZIRA: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you very much and thank Hon.Maridadi for the two questions. He makes this allegation that ZARNET is on the brink of collapse. Let us assume that we agree that it is on the brink of collapse. There are two things that you do to collapse business. You either allow it to collapse or you do something that makes it grow. In this particular case, its efforts to buy a profitable enterprise are one way of saving a collapsed business.

On number two, what the hon. member has said relates to Net One and say that Net One is on the brink of collapse and it is not profitable. I actually need to remind him of what I said earlier that Net One is a recipient of $280 million loan that was obtained from the Exim Bank of China. When you invest, $280 million, you do not do it to make a loss, you do it to make a profit. What that $280 million is going to do that it is going to allow Net One to deploy as much base stations as it can across the country in almost everyone’s constituency which means, their constituency members will have access to that network. It is also going to allow Net One to deploy the very latest in mobile telephoning which is 4G or long term evolution which is LTE. It is now in the process of deploying 4G which is going to be the best network in terms of service in the country and we hope that it will be profitable. We are watching Net one very closely and we have the mandate from His Excellency, the President to almost supervise directly the enterprises that are State owned. That is what we are doing to ensure that the concern that it is not profitable is addressed. I want to thank you Madam Speaker.

  1. NKATAZO: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, but I can see that he is not here. I do not know where I can refer my question to. So may be …

*MR. MATANGIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. What is the Government policy regarding the irrigation schemes in rural areas that are now derelict because we do not have electric motors, we have pivots but they do not have wheels to make them mobile?

          What are you doing to repair and maintain them so that we can have sufficient food for the country?

          THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): Thank you Hon. Matangira for such a pertinent question regarding irrigation programmes.

          The Government’s policy is to revive as much of these irrigation schemes as possible because we know that they will lead to self food sufficiency in the country. In resolving the problems, we are working with farmers who are into these programmes so that we assist them according to their needs.

          *MRS. CHITEMBWE: My question is directed to the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture. We have been given 10 days in which to pay up the money we owe to the former national soccer coach Valinhos, as a condition to participate in the World Cup. Minister, what plans have you put in place to pay off the former national coach in order for us to be able to participate in future world matches?

          *THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE (MS. KANENGONI): This is a very interesting question and we are seized with this case so that we pay up because we were banned. It is very bad for the country’s reputation.

          Therefore, we asked the Sports and Recreation Committee to make investigations into ways in which we can undertake this Valinhos issue and return to the mainframe soccer.

          *MRS. MAHOKA: My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. What is Government policy regarding the money being owed to farmers who delivered grain to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) since 2009 and 2013?   In 2015, we have farmers who delivered to GMB and have not yet been paid. Are these farmers now donors to the Government, if not when are they going to be paid?

          *THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, MECHANISATION AND IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT (DR. MADE): Thank you Hon. Mahoka for this very important question regarding the payment by GMB to farmers who delivered their grain. - [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjections] - As a Government …

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. member, we have to learn to respect each other as hon. members in this House. Hon. Minister, you may proceed.

          *DR. MADE: We are in the process of paying farmers for the grain that they delivered to the GMB. We know that there are some farmers who are in arrears who delivered in 2009-2013 who have not yet been paid. We need to have a relook and examine the amounts we owe them because at times, the records are in shambles and we always ask them to bring documents related to the GMB so that we can make the payments.

          At the same time, we have had some farmers who have come to the GMB and obtained loans. So, we need to verify whether the unpaid farmers are in the scheme of farmers who have taken loans and have not repaid them. After we go through that process, we will be able to make payments as soon as we have the money.

          *MRS. CHIBAGU: Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr Made. In Mushumbi Pools, the pivot for the ARDA is now missing; the pivot in Guruve is missing. You promised me that you would come to these ARDA irrigation schemes. When are you coming to examine these areas?

          *THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, can you put your question in writing.

Questions Without Notice were interrupted by THE DEPUTY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.    

ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

  1. BUDHA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House whether the Ministry has the capacity and competence to establish and run a National Health Insurance.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the hon. member for that question. The National Health Insurance has been on the cards for a long time.

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order hon. members! Those who are going out, can you do that quietly because business of the House is still in progress.

  1. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. National Health Insurance has been on the cards for a long time. As a Ministry, we are awaiting that it comes to fruition because it provides more coverage to more health institutions. Currently, only about 10% of our population is covered by medical aid. The establishment of a National Health Insurance will mean more people will be covered and as a Ministry, we welcome that. However, the mandate of establishing a National Health Insurance Scheme lies with the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, through NSSA. We feel capacities can be built and created to run a robust National Health Insurance Scheme under any ministry, including the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Thank you Madam Speaker.

          *MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the chance to ask my question. My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Parirenyatwa. The situation these days regarding medical aid societies is that they are bankrupt. They are no longer respected and are failing to offer the rightful service to the contributors of these medical aid societies.

  1. PARIRENYATWA: I want to thank the hon. member for that question. We will come to it because it is also on the Order Paper. Thank you.

          *MR. MURAI: I would want to ask the Minister of Health and Child Care on a rumour that major hospitals like Parirenyatwa have increased their fees and a few now can access the services. Is there anything that you are doing so that people will get assisted using low rates? Thank you.

          *DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you for such a pertinent question referring to Parirenyatwa Hospital. Parirenyatwa did not increase hospital fees but what it has done is that when you go to the hospital, you would pay a deposit for one day but these days, they said you have to pay deposit for three days. On that we are discussing with them; we have engaged them so that we will come up with a solution because some of our patients cannot access the services. Thank you.

          *MR. CHAPFIKA: Hon. Minister, with this deposit of three days, would you know how long the patient would be staying. Is it fund raising? You know that we do not have money and our economy is not well. Why are you punishing people because people cannot afford?

          *MR. WADYAJENA: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The hon. member said there is no money in this country, is there no money for real?

          THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. member, would you please take your seat. Hon. Minister, can you respond to the hon. member’s question?

          *DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Chapfika for his question. What I had said is that they have settled for three days but we have engaged them on the way forward so that we go back to where we were because things are difficult for people. I have heard what you said, we have engaged Parirenyatwa Hospital so that we come up with an amicable solution. Thank you.

  1. LABODE: Hon. Minister, I get worried about the National Health Insurance, especially in an economy where we have 90% of people not working. Who is going to contribute towards that National Health Insurance? I do not think we should plan on the 10% who are working to pay for the 90%. Actually, we are chasing the wind. It is about time we said maybe we stall this project and revive the economy.
  2. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Labode for that contribution. It is true that we need to look at who will contribute. As you know, the issue of the National Health Insurance Scheme has been on the cards since 1998 and each time, it has been stalled because of some of those reasons that are in the pipeline now. We are recognizing that only 10% of our population is covered by any medical insurance at all. What about the rest – it is out of pocket and that is very heavy on the people to pay as a demand. So, it is better to pay upfront and we are looking at, not only those who are working but we are also going to look at the informal sector. It is going to be a mammoth task. It is still in formation but clearly, I think the whole concept of a National Health Insurance Scheme is what we are pushing for so that it is acceptable, then we will be able to grade how people are going to pay depending on the economy at the time. Thank you.

CLINIC FOR SILEWU WARD IN HWANGE EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. MR. SANSOLE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care when Silewu Ward in Hwange East Constituency will have a clinic, considering that residents walk long distances to Makwandara Clinic.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Hwange Rural District (RDC) in its developmental plans, intends to construct a Rural Health Centre in Silewu Ward. Unfortunately, the limited fiscal space being experienced does not allow for that at the moment. Once resources become available, the construction of the Rural Health Centre in Silewu is top priority of the Hwange RDC. Our Ministry will then supply medication and staff. Thank you Madam Speaker.

STEPS ON ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF SHORTAGE OF NURSES AT RURAL CLINICS

  1. MR. MAVENYENGWA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to reveal the steps the Ministry has taken to address the issue of shortage of nurses at rural clinics to address the anomaly of patients queuing for 8 hours before being attended to.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): I would like to thank the hon. member for that very important question. The authorised establishment for most Ministry of Health and Child Care clinics is as indicated below:

  • 1 Registered General Nurse
  • 2 Primary Care Nurses

The establishment for Mission and Rural District Council run

clinics is 2 Primary Care Nurses.

          My Ministry is very much aware of the need to review the establishment at Rural Health Centres and clinics in view of the increased workload. Requests to review the establishments were submitted to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development who advised that for this financial year, they only have capacity to pay the salary costs for posts vacated as from October, 2014 to date.

          Whilst the established posts might all be filled up, the nurses available at a health facility might be less due to the following factors:

  • Nurses have to attend courses of varying duration resulting in less numbers to attend to patients in any given day.
  • In some instances, nurses are taken from one facility to

provide services at a health centre built by the community whose establishment is not yet authorised.

  • There are also instances where supportive supervision visits

that are critical to improvement of quality health facilities divert the attention of the nurse in charge of the health centre from the patient.

        A workload of Indicator on Staff Needs Study (WISN) using a World Health Organisation (WHO) tool will be conducted and the results will be used to determine the appropriate staffing for each level of facility of the health care delivery system. This information will be utilised in negotiating with Treasury on the need to increase the staff establishment for the health centres.

        My Ministry will continue to engage Treasury for a review of the establishment in view of the following:

  • Increase population;
  • Increase disease burden; and
  • The need to reduce walking distances to a health facility, which

should be 8 to 10 kilometres. Thank you Madam Speaker.

+MRS. MISIHAIRABWI- MUSHONGA: Minister, what is happening at Mpilo Hospital that when someone passes on and is put into a mortuary, they are eaten by rats? It happens on several occasions that people burry their relatives when they have already been eaten by rats. Is Government paying these people at the mortuary or could you please tell us what is happening?

  1. PARIRENYATWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the hon. member is alleging that bodies are eaten by rats in the mortuary at Mpilo, which is not true because Mpilo Hospital has a functioning mortuary at the right temperature. However, the problem we are finding is that, there are a lot of touts who stand outside the hospitals and divert corpses and keep them elsewhere and claim that they come from our hospitals. I can say with all certainty that, that is not happening at Mpilo or UBH, in Bulawayo.

DISTRIBUTION POLICY OF THE RECENTLY COMMISSIONED HEALTH EQUIPMENT

  1. MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain the distribution policy of the recently commissioned US$100 million worth of health equipment and further state how it will benefit Chegutu Rural Hospital, Brunswick Clinic in Ward 24 of Chegutu West, Welfare Centre Clinic and Chinengundu Clinic in Ward 10.

        THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. This question is about Chegutu Hospital and the US$100 million worth of health equipment under the Chinese loan. The contract for medical equipment and supplies through the China Machinery and Main Corporation CIMEC covers medical equipment spare parts, consumables for major medical equipment surgical instruments, hospital equipment and disposable materials.

        The requirements range from small pieces of equipment needed at clinic level to highly sophisticated medical equipment required at central hospital level. An all inclusive consultative process through the various levels of health care from primary, secondary to tertiary as well as across professional lines to determine the required types and quantities of equipment was done. The provinces and clinics would submit specific needs through the district structures to the Provincial Medical Directors (PMD). The list has been consolidated on delivery and allocations are then made on the basis of the requests with central hospitals receiving their share and the provinces delivering to the PMD for distribution to the specific facilities based on their needs.

        For the health facilities in Mashonaland West, allocations are then made through the PMD’s office in Chinhoyi, in response to specific needs and requirements. Deliveries of the hospital equipment are on-going and to date, 13 consignments have been received so far. The latest tranche for Mashonaland West, among other provinces was received at the beginning of the year and this included beds, emergency trolleys and drug trolleys. Further deliveries of hospital equipment are expected in August 2015 for central hospitals and provinces.

        Chegutu District Hospital also received some equipment from the US$100 million loan facility from China. Chegutu Hospital received 14 beds, 1 ultrasound scan, 1 incubator and 5 monitors….

        *MR. CHINOTIMBA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. Last week, we were promised that today, ZBC will not leave Parliament until we debate the motion which was moved by Hon. Mashakada. Now, they are leaving while the Minister is still responding and they are not covering the response. Indeed, the Minister is responding to questions which are supposed to reach to the people out there. My request is, since we asked for the time to be extended, ZBC should also extend its time of coverage to Six o’clock in the evening. Last week we were told that this question is not going to be responded to when ZBC is not here. What this means is that we are going to debate Hon. Mashakada’s motion and yet ZBC has gone.

  1. CHIMANIKIRE: Point of Order Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I debated that particular motion without ZBC, so, what is so special about this submission that it needs ZBC?

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Your point of order is overruled hon. member. Order in the House, can the owner of the following vehicle; ADI or is it ADL0668, go and remove this vehicle, it is blocking other vehicles. Thank you. Hon. Minister of Health can you resume your debate.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, I have completed responding to question five.

PLANS ON IMPROVING PROXIMITY OF HEALTH SERVICES TO PEOPLE IN MASHALA WARD, HWANGE EAST CONSTITUENCY

  1. MKANDLA asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to state the Ministry’s plans to improve the proximity of health services of people in Mashala Ward in Hwange East Constituency who are currently walking up to 15 km to receive health services.

 

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Ministry in liaison with Hwange Rural District Council has plans to construct a Rural Health Centre in Mashala Ward and a site has been identified in Kasibo area. Hwamge Rural District Council is in the process of mobilising resources and if everything goes according to plan, work is expected to commence this year.

  1. NDUNA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Minister had not finished on question No. 5, unless I did not pick it up, but whilst he was contributing, Hon. Chinotimba rose on a point of order and he was now starting to speak on Chegutu, which is relevant to my question number 5. So, if he can be allowed to continue.

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Hon. Nduna, I had actually given the Hon. Minister the opportunity to continue on that question and he told me that he had actually concluded. He had finished, maybe you did not hear his conclusion.

CLINICS IN NEW RESETTLEMENT AREAS OF REDCLIFF

  1. MR. H. NCUBE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care what plans are in place to built clinics in new resettlement areas in Redcliff.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Ministry intends to expand the current Satellite Clinic at Nkukuleko School to a fully fledged Rural Health Centre. The current limited fiscus space has hampered plans to construct new Health facilities and hence we encourage Communities to do their own initiatives and the Government will support in as far as staff, drug and recurrent expenditure is concerned.

PLANS TO ALLEVIATE THE DEMAND OF CO-PAYMENT BY HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDERS

  1. MS. MANGWENDE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry is aware that some health service providers are demanding co-payment from Medical Aid contributors, and, further to inform the House the Ministry’s plans to alleviate the problem as some patients may not have the required cash.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, question No. 10 and question No. 17 are very similar, so I will answer them together. The Ministry of Health has made it clear to all medical aid societies that, it is illegal to deny medical attention to their fully subscribed clients/members as also is outlined in the Medical Services Act. The matter was discussed during a joint forum which was composed of the service providers, funding organisations and the Ministry of Health and Child Care. The Ministry has also written to medical aid societies warning them to desist from bad practice.

To further strengthen the operations of medical aid societies and service providers, the Ministry of Health and Child Care is in the process of establishing an Authority that will oversee and manage medical aid societies. The Authority is being put in place with all relevant capacities to enable it to regulate the medical aid societies, which the current arrangement does not have.

Members of any medical aid society are encouraged and urged to report to the Ministry of Health and Child Care for denial of medical attention by their respective medical aids, when they are up to date with their subscriptions.

  1. MANGWENDE: Hon. Minister, the problem is still there. Where people are being denied medical services due to their type of medical aid plan, when you say people should report to the Ministry, which in particular, is the official place where people should go and report? Thank you.
  2. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you very much for that question, which will make it easier for the population to understand how it works. If you have got any grievance and you want to forward it to the Ministry, it goes through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Child Care at Kaguvi Building. We can also provide you with the appropriate phone numbers. I think it is important that you follow it up if you have got any such grievance and it will help us and the nation at large.

UPGRADING OF LADY STANLEY HOSPITAL

  1. MR. M.S NDLOVU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to state when Lady Stanley Hospital in Ward 6, Bulilima will be upgraded into a district hospital as promised during the SADC Malaria Day Celebrations held at the hospital by the Minister of Health and Child Care in 2011.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me the time to respond to Hon. Ndlovu’s question. Bulilima is a newly created district after having been split with Mangwe and it is the Ministry’s policy that every district should have its own District Hospital and hence, my predecessor had indicated the upgrading of Lady Stanley into a District Hospital.

However, the Ministry has realised that Lady Stanley is not centrally located and a new site for a new district hospital has been identified in Masendu Ward. The new district hospital is on top priority on the Ministry’s infrastructure development plans. However, due to limited fiscus space, it may take a bit long for the project to take off. We will continue to lobby funds through Treasury and other partners for the project to commence.

DISCONNECTION OF WATER AT GOKWE HOSPITAL DUE TO NON-SETTLEMENT OF A BILL

  1. MS. MANGAMI asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry is aware that water at Gokwe Hospital was disconnected due to non-settlement of a water bill of US$110 000.00. If so, to state when the Ministry would settle the bill so that water can be reconnected.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Gokwe South District hospital ZINWA debt has accumulated US$210 000. The idea of a payment plan with ZINWA was not workable due to limited resources. The Provincial Medical Director is working on this issue. At the moment, the Gokwe South District Hospital is using boreholes to mitigate the problem. They have been paying the water bills with the little hospital fees ($500.00) that they have managed to raise. Releases made so far were mainly for drugs and food amounting to $7 143.00 and their annual budget is $61 516.00.

          We are in the process of putting together all ZINWA debts for submission to Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to offset against ZINWA’s ZIMRA debts. We also encourage the local leadership to assist with this particular problem. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

CONVERSION OF HOMESTEADS INTO CLINICS IN MWENEZI WEST RESETTLEMENT

  1. MR. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Health and Child Care when the proposal to convert homesteads into clinics would be done in Mwenezi West resettlement: Barber Mateke, Hen and Guest House.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir and thank you Hon. L. Moyo for asking this very important question about converting homesteads into clinics.

It is the Ministry’s top priority for health services to be closer to the people. The Ministry is trying by all means to decentralise health services to the lowest level, hence a bid for US$5 million to Treasury was made to cater for improving health facilities of resettlement areas. However, due to limited fiscus space at the moment, our plans as a Ministry have been affected. As soon as funds are available, the named homesteads would be converted into clinics to cater for Mwenezi West resettlement.

AVAILABILITY OF LOCAL MOBILE NETWORK SERVICES TO MATIBI II AND SENGWE COMMUNAL LANDS

  1. MR. GWANETSA asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services to explain to the House when the local mobile network services will be made available to Matibi II and Sengwe Communal Lands in Chiredzi South which are currently getting their mobile network reception from South Africa.

       THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (MRS. MUTSVANGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, on Question Number 20, as you can see, that does not come under the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services. I have already indicated this and I think that the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Mr. Mandiwanzira is already seized with this one and he will be responding to the House.

INSTALLATION OF BROADCASTING SERVICES IN BULILIMA WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. MR. NLEYA asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services to inform the House when local broadcasting services will be installed to cater for the population living in the southwest parts of Zimbabwe, particularly Bulilima West Constituency.

       THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF MEDIA, INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (MRS. MUTSVANGWA): Mr. Speaker Sir, while my Ministry is not in a position to give a definitive date when broadcasting services will be accessible in the Bulilima West area. Let me assure this august House and hon. members that all things being equal, many disadvantaged areas without broadcasting services will begin to enjoy these services by the end of the year. This time frame is linked directly to the full implementation of the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project which is underway.

       Mr. Speaker Sir, to achieve universal access, our broadcasting engineers have used technology software planning tools to identify the specific location of transmitter sites for maximum coverage of the whole country. They were also able to pinpoint coverage gaps arising from the nature of the geographical terrain in certain areas and the solution will be to deploy new transmitters in those areas to make sure that we fill those gaps and Bulilima West Constituency is one of those areas.

       Indeed, coverage gaps were identified in that area and certainly two transmitters will be installed to make sure that that whole area is covered. The point that I am making is that the National Digital Broadcasting Migration Project is being implemented with universal access of broadcasting to Zimbabweans wherever they reside. We tend by latest, mid-2016 to be able to provide access to broadcasting services in the whole country.

       Apart from also installing a nationwide digital television broadcasting transmission network; the project is including also installing a nationwide FM Radio transmission services. The contractor obligated to put in place a transmission network with coverage that would ensure universal access of broadcasting services to Zimbabweans by that date which is at the latest mid-2016.   Mr. Speaker, the problem of poor and lack of broadcasting services in the area of Hon. Nleya, as well as in other areas experiencing similar problems, will certainly be addressed. I therefore, at this point, plead with hon. members to bear with the Ministry in the interim as we work flat out to complete the digital migration project. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

STATUS OF DOGWE MINE IN TSHOLOTSHO

  1. MR. Z. SIBANDA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to appraise the House on the status of Dogwe Mine in Tsholotsho in view of the fact that the Chinese have left the site.

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you hon. member for that question. The question relates to Dogwe Mine which is in Matabeleland North Province. We gave instructions to our Acting Mining Director in Matabeleland North to look into this matter and information was brought to our offices which we felt was not sufficient. We realised that there were many more complexities to the matter than had originally appeared. We have asked them to do a much deeper investigation, including people that have been sent from Head Office here. I want to assure the hon. member that the matter will be fully investigated and we will then communicate the full answer to the hon. member.

          The mine belongs to a company called Carnister Resources and that company has a number of claims in the area. It is registered at exploration stages but we do notice that there is much more that we will need to look at in order to give full answer to the hon. member. I thank you.

MINING OF TIN/RICH LITHIUM AT KAMATIVI MINE

  1. MS. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Mines and Mining Development to inform the House whether or not rich lithium is being mined at Kamativi Mine?

          THE MINISTER OF MINES AND MINING DEVELOPMENT (MR. CHIDHAKWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker and to the hon. member for the question. I had not prepared a written response on this matter but in order not to delay the hon. member, if you allow me I will be able to give a full response right now, off-the-cuff.

          The questions relates to rich lithium that is not just in Kamativi but in quite a number of locations in Zimbabwe including sitting on dumps across the country. Kamativi closed some years ago on the basis of the collapse of price of tin as it was competing with plastics and so forth. When we went back to look at the mine, we actually discovered that the mine is not just a tin mine, but it is probably less a tin mine than other minerals. We have listed seven minerals including tantalum, lithium beryllium and a few other minerals which makes seven.

          What we have done is that some time ago, we asked ZMDC to describe exactly what we wanted to achieve as a Government in order to get Kamativi back on line. This we did in respect not just of Kamativi but in respect of the other mines that were owned by ZMDC that are today not operating. We asked them to flight an advert requesting private Zimbabweans who may be interested in participating in the resuscitation of these companies to respond to our advert looking at the various things that we wanted to achieve from the exploitation of the minerals right up to the value addition refinery of the production. We received 5 applications in respect of Kamativi and we have gone now to a very advanced stage of looking at those to see whether they meet what we originally said we wanted to achieve. We are now at the final stages of deciding who we are going to work with on the resuscitation of Kamativi.

          I want the hon. member and this Parliament to know that we are not just asking for tin, we have said anybody who wants to go into Kamativi with ZMDC will have to have the capacity to do all the seven minerals. We must have the capacity to do them right up to very high levels of beneficiation. We are confident that we will be able to get to that objective.

PROVISION OF FEEDING PROGRAMMES IN CHEGUTU WEST CONSTITUENCY

  1. MR. NDUNA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to state the plans the Ministry has put in place to ensure provision of feeding programmes at the following schools in Chegutu West Constituency where children travel long distances:

(a)     Tivarton Primary School which is 10 – 15 km away from the children’s homes;

(b)     Shingirirai Primary School in Ward 25, which is 25 km away from the children’s homes;

(c.)    Bosburg Primary School in Ward 24, which is 5 – 10km away from the children’s homes;

(d)     Rogate Primary School, which is 16km away from the children’s homes;

(e)     Pickstone Primary School, which is 12 – 16 km away from children’s homes.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Our response is to indicate that the area for school feeding is a work in progress as I speak. On the Ministry’s fiscal budget, there is an allocation of $200 000 for the school feeding programme for the year 2015. The release of these funds obviously is dependent on availability of resources from Treasury. Considering that there are 5 863 primary schools and 2 424 secondary schools with a total enrolment of 4 066 160, it is important for the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to carefully target the School Feeding Programme to meet the greatest need and make the maximum intended impact.

          With this in mind, the Ministry has prioritised the provision of school meals for the youngest learners in the Infant School Module which begins at ECD A for 4 year olds and continues till the end of grade 2. This does not preclude the extension of the School Feeding Programme beyond this level when the funds so permit.

Coming to the 5 schools in Chegutu West Constituency that the hon. member has specified in the question, the principle of prioritising the School Feeding Programme for the youngest learners is part of the Ministry’s plan.   Consultations are underway to identify measures that our country can adopt from the sustainable approach to school feeding that Brazil introduced as part of its “Zero Hunger Campaign”. A Memorandum on this is soon to be submitted to Cabinet for a decision on the way forward.

          In the meantime, all heads of schools are being encouraged to make their schools as learner friendly as possible by introducing responsible initiatives such as the School Feeding Programme. Hon Members may also wish to note that the new curriculum that is being developed for schools include the strengthening and the teaching of agriculture with emphasis on the relevant practical competences for each grade.

          According to our research, we established the average travelling distances by the children at the mentioned schools as follows:

  1. Tivarton Primary School is 12km
  2. Shingirirai Primary School is 8km
  3. Bosburg Primary School is 12km
  4. Rogate Primary School is 7km
  5. Pickstone Primary School is 18km

The Ministry’s thrust in this sense is to shorten the distances travelled by school children to and from school to the lowest level possible. The obtaining scenario in Chegutu West Constituency which is characteristic of farming communities, when we compare with our policy of 5 km walking distance to the nearest school, shows that indeed we have gaps not just in Chegutu West but across the country as the children that we are now taking in at ECD A, that is 4 year olds, indicates they cannot sustain a 5 km walking distance to and from their home. As a result every possible infrastructure in the area of residence should be investigated for possible utilisation by the new schools as they shorten the travelling distances for the local communities. This will of course be supported by the Ministry with both the supervisory as well as additional resources and some monetary grants.

In the meantime, all heads of schools are encouraged to work in this spirit. Consequently, this approach is expected to change the mindset and lead to greater productivity in the food chain in our school as we both look at the infrastructure, the school feeding as well as the attendance and consequential activities surrounding the emergence of these schools in these communities. The revamping of the teaching of agriculture will see the teaching of the subject from infant. This is hoped to make the growing of crops and rearing of animals second nature of our students, some who were not happy to soil their hands. Consequently, this approach is expected to change the mindset and lead to greater productivity in food production and this directly fights hunger throughout the country.

          I want to thank the hon. member for making such observations and raising such an important matter that is critical for the welfare of our learners.

POLICY REGARDING TRANSFER OF SCHOOLS FROM MWENEZI RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL TO THE BAPTIST CHURCH

  1. MR. L. MOYO asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what the Government policy is regarding schools which illegally transferred from Mwenezi Rural District Council to the Baptist Church.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): I must thank the hon. member for this question. The Ministry notes with great concern the inconsistencies, administrative gaps and inadequacies in the submissions with regards to the transfer of schools from Mwenezi Rural District Council (RDC) to the Baptist Church. It is standing policy that schools consult the Ministry before such transfers are effected. The Ministry, through the responsible Provincial Education Director, in a letter dated 25 October, 2010 advised council on steps to be followed. The conditions were never adhered to.

          Consequently, the schools remain under Mwenezi RDC and following this statement to this august House, administrative action will be taken to ensure that the RDC has full access and control of those schools

COMPLIANCE OF THE CURRICULUM TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

  1. MS. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what the Ministry has done to ensure that the curriculum complies with new dimensions in respect of the ever increasing Gender Based Violence which is affecting school going age children especially the girl child.

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): I want to thank the hon. member for that question. Gender Based Violence has been identified as a key

cross cutting theme which should be fused in every syllabus in the school system so that no child will miss out on important insights to protect themselves and their siblings. In fact, in Heritage studies, it will appear as a new content area of study that will strengthen its place in the proposed orientation programme that caps every learner’s studies up to Form 4. More so, learners, through Guidance and Counseling lessons will continue to be taught how to handle issues of abuse, gender violence, HIV/AIDS and other such matters that have impacted negatively on all affected learners, both boys and girls.

  1. NDUNA: What I need to know from the Minister is, on administering of corporal punishment in particular to our young girls at school, what is the Ministry’s policy regarding this particular issue?
  2. DOKORA: As I speak, corporal punishment is not allowed in the school institutions. Thank you.

USE OF CELLPHONES IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

  1. MS. CHIRISA asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education what the Ministry’s position is regarding use of cell phones at primary schools?

          THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): Mr. Speaker, I have difficulties in pronouncing the word cell phone whether to say cell phone or to say celephone at primary schools – [Laughter] – the more usual context in which I hear this question is more in the celephone context in which they mean tumbudzi kind of gadgets. The Ministry has not made comment on the use of cellphones because they are dysfunctional in a learning context. There is however policy in place and in use in embracing of technologies such as smartphones, laptops, iPads and tablets. Desktops are still welcome but they are less visible today. But quite clearly, technologies are evolving as the hon. members know. Smartphones, tablets et cetera can be a good source of information where students research on various subjects under the guidance of school professionals. These professionals are fully in control at any one time, every behaviour in cyber space is rule-governed and controlled by passwords or codes. As I did in the Upper House, I invited Senators to indicate when we can arrange a demo visit to see how this actually works out in a school situation. But otherwise, there is no liberty of kids simply doing as they please in a school situation. Thank you.

  1. CHIRISA: Whilst we appreciate that we move with the times, my worry is at primary school level at what age exactly. We are talking of a primary school starting at Grade Zero, Grade 1 so for us to be told that they will be using these gadgets for research, what kind of a research will a grade 1 child be doing.
  2. DOKORA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I want to explain by reference to some of the experience that those of our age had in going through primary school education. I want to make reference to the periods that we used to have to say go out of the classroom and bring the soil in classroom and spread it on a wooden tablet and then you write shapes there and drawing things, we go out and we draw on the grounds. Today the four year olds do not have to go outside the classroom, they can draw on the tablet with their finger and make shapes and other things on that tablet, they can also save this material on that tablet. So, we can begin to carry a record of this child’s learning activities all the way to the exit point in Form 6. Thank you.

WRITTEN ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE

COMPLETION OF CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN GOKWE-KANA CONSTITUENCY

  1. MR. O. NCUBE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care when the construction of the following clinics in Gokwe-Kana Constituency will be completed:
  2. a) Lukukwe
  3. b) St Hughs
  4. c) Mwambani
  5. d) Dzuke

       THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): As a Ministry we welcome this development and the four clinics are being implemented by Gokwe South Rural District Council and progress has been slowed by limited fiscus space. Once the clinics are complete the Ministry will support in terms of staff and medical supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

CLINIC IN WARD 2 OF CHOMUTUKUTU AREA

  1. 8. MR. MASHANGE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry has plans to build a clinic in areas around the border with Mozambique particularly at Ward 2 in Chomutukutu area.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Ministry has plans to construct a clinic in this area and a site has been identified at Chomutukutu. At the present moment, Central Government has quite a number of capital projects which have been at a standstill due to limited fiscus space, otherwise construction could have commenced for this particular proposed Rural Health Centre. We will keep on lobbying for its financing from Treasury for the project to commence.

LACK OF A GENERAL PRACTITIONER AT MARY MOUNT MISSION HOSPITAL IN RUSHINGA

  1. MR. MASHANGE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to explain to the House why Mary Mount Mission Hospital in Rushinga has been operating without a doctor for the past 10 years.

       THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): Mary Mount Mission Hospital has an establishment of one doctor. Efforts have been made by my office to recruit and send doctors to the mission hospital as indicated by the table below:

Number

Period

Name of Doctor and comments

1

1980-1997

Dr. E. Tarira, transferred to St Alberts Mission Hospital

2

1997-1999

Dr. Mat and Dr. Alice (Nuns)

3

1999-2000

Dr. Munjanja

4

2001-2006

No Doctor

5

2006-2007

Dr. Murimira

6

2007-2010

No Doctor

7

2010- June 2012

Dr. Mambo

8

July to December 2012

Dr. Mlingwa seconded from Chimhanda

9

2013 to date

No Doctor

 

       My Ministry will re-engage the Mission Authorities with a view to ensuring that the community around the hospital enjoys the services of a doctor in the shortest possible time guided by Treasury Concurrence.

EXPANSION OF MASVINGO GENERAL HOSPITAL MORTUARY

  1. MS. CHIGUDU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry has got plans to expand Masvingo Provincial Hospital Mortuary so that it adequately caters for the population in Masvingo.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): There are two mortuaries at Masvingo Provincial Hospital, one old which as a capacity of 9 bodies and the other new one which has a capacity of 12 bodies. The old mortuary is currently being refurbished by Nyaradzo Funeral Services as a way of giving back to the community. However, the Ministry has prioritised the construction of a new Provincial Hospital for Masvingo Province in its developmental plans and this should come with a standard state of the art mortuary and Chapel.   Proposals have been submitted to various possible donors for this noble project.

WAITING ROOMS AT MAZORODZE MATERNITY CLINIC

  1. 12. CHIGUDU asked the Minister of Health and Child Care whether the Ministry is aware that there are no waiting rooms at Mazorodze Maternity Clinic and if so, whether there are any plans to improve the situation.

          THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): The Ministry is aware that there is no Waiting Mothers’ Home at Mazorodze Maternity Clinic which is run by Masvingo Municipality. The Ministry has requested the respective Municipality to put such a facility, but it has indicated that they do not have funds. However, the Ministry will approach donor/partners such as UNFPA who have been putting up such structures in some of our health facilities to include this clinic.

PLANS ON DECONGESTING THE DENSELY POPULATED GOKWE-NEMBUDZIYA CONSTITUENCY AND GOKWE NORTH DISTRICT

  1. 18. MR. WADYAJENA asked the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement to state plans the Ministry has put in place to de-congest the densely populated Gokwe Nembudziya Constituency and Gokwe North District in general, considering the absence of commercial farms for resettlement in the district.

THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (DR. PARIRENYATWA): May I start by thanking Hon. Wadyajena for asking this question? Since the inception of the Land Reform Programme, the Ministry has always been aware that there are a number of districts across the country which do not have commercial farms for resettlement purposes, e.g. Gokwe North and Chivi amongst others.

As a result, Government issued a directive to all Provincial Lands Committees affected by the above situation to liaise with their respective districts so as to accommodate the affected districts in their allocation schedules in the sister districts.

Prospective farmers are also advised and encouraged to apply for land in any province of their choice, even outside their home area. The land reform applies to the whole country and does not consider a person’s origin.

As a matter of record, a number of people in the Gokwe district at large, have been successfully resettled in other districts in the Midlands province and some have been resettled in Mashonaland West.

CONSTRUCTION OF SCHOOLS IN GOKWE-KANA CONSTITUENCY

  1. MR. O NCUBE asked the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education when the construction of the following schools in Gokwe-Kana Constituency will be completed:
  2. a) Msala Secondary School
  3. b) Masekesa Primary School
  4. c) Maboke Secondary School
  5. d) Marirangwe Secondary School
  6. e) Ndandulo Primary School and
  7. f) Tachi Secondary School

       THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DR. DOKORA): It is the intention of the Ministry to improve the infrastructure for the whole country and as such efforts are being made. The Government has recently approved the Ministry’s plan to build quality school infrastructure at satellite schools through joint venture partnerships. The Ministry is expecting partners who will construct schools within a short period of time.

       The partners will hand over the schools to the Ministry for immediate use by the learners. The Ministry expects a grace period of five none repayment of about five years. Thereafter, payment would be done and the repayment duration may extend to twenty years. In this regard, the Ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. We expect that the majority of our schools will benefit from this exercise, including these indentified schools from Gokwe-Kana Constituency.

          Oral Answers to Questions With Notice were interrupted by THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 34.

          On the motion of MS. CHIKWAMA seconded by MS. MAHOKA, the House adjourned at Fourteen Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.

 

 

         

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:45
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National Assembly Hansard NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 15 July 2015 Vol 41 No 54