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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 15 MAY 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 33

Tuesday, 15th May, 2012.

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

 

PRAYERS

(MR. SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR. SPEAKER

URBAN COUNCILS AMENDMENT BILL [H.B.5, 2011]

MR. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that following the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development's decision to approach the Supreme Court regarding the proposed amendment of the Urban Councils Act, debate on Order Number 18 on today's Order Paper stands suspended in terms of Standing Order 62 (d) until a judicial decision on the matter has been made.

LANGUAGE USE

MR. SPEAKER: I have to advise hon. members not to switch languages during debates as this may result in the distortion of their contributions. Hon. members should stick to one language of choice so that interpretation is done efficiently and effectively.

FAMILIARISATION TOUR OF DEVEN ENGINEERING (PVT) LTD.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, I also have to inform hon. members that those who registered to go on the familiarization tour to Deven Engineering Pvt. Ltd, that the trips will be undertaken in groups of 25 members at a time. The first group will visit on Wednesday the 16th of May, 2012 while the second group will visit on Thursday 17th May, 2012. Departure time on both days will be at 0900 hours from Nelson Mandela Avenue entrance.

Hon. members are also advised to check for further details from their pigeon holes. Other interested hon. members may contact the Public Relations department at Pax House, Third Floor, South Wing Office Number 4 or Phone Extension 2310 or 2143.

ZIPAH MEMBERSHIP DATA BASE

Hon. members are also advised that the Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDs ZIPAH is currently updating its membership data base. Membership forms have been distributed in the members' pigeon holes. Some can be collected from Parliament staff at Pax House. Both new and old members are encouraged to fill in the forms so that they can become bonafide members and participate in the ZIPAH activities. At the launch of ZIPAH on 1st March, 2012 officiated by His Excellency the President, ZIPAH resolved to embark on group voluntary counselling and testing and male circumcision by the end of June, 2012. Hon. members wishing to participate in these programmes are kindly requested to indicate by completing forms that have been placed in their pigeon holes. For any enquiries, members can also contact Mr. Y. Chuma and Ms. E. Masara at Pax House, Third Floor, Office Number 1.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. May I move that Orders of the Day, Numbers 1 to 3 on today's Order Paper be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day have been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

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

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2012.

MR. SPEAKER: The member who moved the motion is kindly requested to wind up the motion. I will give him the opportunity to do so tomorrow.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT AND TOURISM ON CONSERVANCIES AND FORESTRY PLANTATIONS

Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism on Conservancies and Forestry Plantations.

Question again proposed.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, Sir. I want to add my voice to this very important motion by Hon. Nezi. I want to emphasize that conservancies have got 3 or 4 reasons, that is to empower the people, to keep the natural resources as they are and also to effectively manage them. However, I am astonished that the mover of the motion and the people who discussed before me never touched on the preventive measures of foot and mouth diseases by animals. What I want to emphasize here is preventive measures against diseases. They spoke eloquently about conserving the areas but I can see that there are no fences that are built around those conservancies. Animals move randomly and there are a lot of diseases that are spread when wild animals mix with domestic animals. I am challenging the Committee and the responsible authorities to take guard for fencing and also fireguards so that conservancies should never be exposed to fires where natural life is burnt by veld fires.

Secondly, people who are stationed in these conservancies illegally, the law should take its course, police should not be partisan, they should move swiftly so that they have to maintain the environment at its natural resources. Our children and generations to come must appreciate the nature that God gave to Zimbabwe. With these few words, I think we should know that conservancies are natural and are for the people and animals. We have to take care to preserve them in entirety than to expose animals from diseases that are carried by wild animals. I thank you.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2012.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON WOMEN, YOUTH, GENDER AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ON THE CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS AFFECTING THE OPERATIONS OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRES IN ZIMBABWE

MRS MATIENGA: I move the motion standing in my name that this House takes note of the First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth, Gender and Community Development on the challenges and constraints affecting the operations of Vocational Training Centres in Zimbabwe.

MR. SITHOLE: I second.

MRS MATIENGA: First of all, I would like to congratulate you Mr. Speaker for the degree that you achieved. It is such a joy and pleasure that we are being led by a leader who knows what he is doing. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker for that achievement and we urge you to continue excelling, the sky is the limit.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender, Youth and Community Development conducted field visits to 14 Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) in seven provinces. The purpose of the visits was for the committee to acquaint itself with the challenges bedeviling the smooth operations of the VTCs in the country, with a view to finding out how best these constraints could be addressed through responsive policy recommendations to the relevant ministries.

2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE INQUIRY

The main objectives of the committee's inquiry were:

· To understand the state of affairs and the VTCs operations.

· To appreciate the challenges and constraints faced by the VTCs with a view to recommend policy responses by the relevant ministries.

 

3.0 METHODOLOGY.

Between June 2010 and November 2011, the committee toured the following VTCs and received submissions and oral evidence from the centers' administration officials and students: Ruwa Skills Training Center (Mashonaland East); Mt. Hampden Vocational Training Center (Mashonaland West); Chitungwiza Vocational Training Center (Seke); Norton Vocational Training Center (Mashonaland West); Mt.View (Mashonaland East); Magamba Training Center (Manicaland); Nyanyadzi Training Center (Manicaland); Chipinge Vocational Training Center (Manicaland); Mushagashe Training Center (Masvingo); Jairosi Jiri Association for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled and the Blind (Bulawayo); Sizinda Training Center (Bulawayo); Bulawayo Vocational Training Center (Bulawayo); Gweru Urban (Midlands); and Kaguvi Training Center (Midlands).

4.0 BACKGROUND

In 1994, the Cabinet approved the Training for Enterprise (TFE) programme. Magamba and Kaguvi Training Centers were chosen to pilot the TFE concept before replication of the same to other provincial training centers. The TFE programme was conceived as a development project to support the reorientation of the Government's Youth Training Programme (YTP) in order to increase the number of entrepreneurs in rural areas as well as to absorb the majority of youths who could not get enrolled into the formal tertiary education institutions due to a number of reasons, including failure to obtain five 'O' level subjects. Initially, VTCs were under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education. The Ministry of Youth Development took over these VTCs in the year 2002.

During the melt-down of the economy VTCs were not receiving any financial support from Government and most PSIP projects that were being implemented at VTCs were suspended. With the advent of multi currency and economic recovery since 2009 VTCs have increased their enrolment. However a plethora of financial, administrative as well as institutional constrains continue to affect the smooth operations of these institutions. It is against this background that the Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Youth, Gender and Community Development carried out the field visits to familiarize with challenges affecting the smooth operations of the VTCs in the country.

 

5.1 OBSERVATIONS: AND OVERVIEW OF CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINS AT VTCS

 

5.1 MASHONALAND EAST

Mt View Vocational Training Center

The center has 450 hectares of which 100 hectares are arable. The rest of other hectares could be productively used for ranching purposes, yet the committee observed that the center was keeping 6 cattle only against a carrying capacity of 59. Mt. View VTC opened in 1980, closed in 1985 due to lack of water and students were transferred to Magamba Training Center. It reopened in 1998 and proper training resumed in 2005.Mount View has potential to enroll 125 students, yet only 59 students, 23 males and 16 females was its enrolment as of November 2011 due to operational constraints.

Challenges affecting the smooth operations of the center included power cuts which made meaningful production programme difficult, shortage of water as the center is being supplied with raw water from Kushinga Phikelela, 7 km away. Water supply for domestic consumption is from a bore hole. Other challenges reported to the committee were that the center's boundary fences had been vandalized by the resettled farmers. In addition, Mt. View VTC had problems in procuring stock feeds for piggery and poultry projects which it was supposed to run to generate revenue. The center would require a budget of $600 000 to function at full capacity, yet all the VTCs in the province were to share the $300 000 disbursed to VTCs in 2011 after a long period of non-support from Government. The institution has critical accommodation challenges since the male students hostel was still under construction, and female students were sharing accommodation premises with lecturers.

5.2 MANICALAND PROVINCE

The Committee visited Magamba, Chipinge, Nyanyadzi training centers in Manicaland . As alluded to above, Magamba Training Center, is one of the centers that was mandated to pilot the TFE concept in 1995. The Committee noted that Magamba Training Center supervised six satellite centers, namely, Kukwanisa in Mutasa, Mutare VTC, Marange VTC, Nyanyadzi VTC, Chipinge VTC, and Buhera VTC, and that all had Acting Principals, due to freezing of posts by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Magamba Training Center

Magamba Training Center started operating in the 1980s. In 2005, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Agriculture. The center trained 865 graduates through the Agricultural Apprenticeship Programme by the time the MOU expired in December 2010. The VTC Head informed the committee that the challenges faced by the institution included that it had only received $113 600 (40%) of the $321 421 recurrent fiscal support that it was suppose to get from Government in 2011 for seven centers operating under its supervision. The committee also learnt that the center was getting its budget through the Ministry of Agriculture and as a result the ministry was converting some of the funds meant for Magamba Training Center for its use. The center has critical shortage of irrigation water for its 10 irrigable hectares. The committee noted that $120 000 was required to install the irrigation infrastructure. It terms of transport, the committee was informed that a small bus donated in 1995 was old and the college needed a truck to ferry training materials, for its 826 students as of November 2011, of which 332 of them were on attachment.

Nyanyadzi Vocational Training Center

The center which started in the 1930s, and in 2005 more departments were added and these are clothing technology and horticulture. With 87 graduands in 2011, the center was facing challenges such as shortages of manpower, had no substantive principal, due to posts freeze by the Public Service Commission (PSC), no vehicle for transport services along the 99 km to and from Chipinge, and obsolete and inadequate tools and equipment. The center also reported to the committee that it was continuously losing much of its land to communal dwellers who were taking college land.

Chipinge Vocational Training Center

The center was opened in 2004, and its main challenge is that it is still using a farm house as its only infrastructure available. Further to that, unavailability of water, no ablution block, inadequate office space, inadequate lecture rooms, workshops, unavailability of boarding facilities and lack of computer equipment, made the operation of the center extremely difficult. There was no substantive principal when the committee visited the center.

5.3 MASVINGO PROVINCE

In Masvingo province the committee visited Mushagashi Training Center. The center opened its doors in 1980. Currently, courses offered include welding and clothing technology, agriculture, building, hotel and catering, carpentry and joinery, motor mechanics, hairdressing and business management being compulsory. The committee learnt that the center entered in to an MOU with the Ministry of Agriculture to train extension workers. The MOU expired in April 2011 after having trained 1 585 students. Enrolment at the time of visit by the committee was at 91 male students and 55 female students. In addition to the above the center's major challenges include lack of unified curriculum of courses offered at all VTCs, shortage of manpower due to freezing of posts. The institution would require a budget of $1.4 million yet only $300 000 for the whole province had been disbursed to be shared with its satellite centers that include Gutu, and Masvingo VTCs.

5.4 BULAWAYO PROVINCE

The committee visited Jairos Jiri Association for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled and the Blind, Sizinda, and Bulawayo Vocational Training Centers.

Jairos Jiri

The center started in the early 1950s and its clientèle target is the poor marginalized youths with disabilities from all over the country. The center has capacity to train 250 trainees per annum, and would require 30 members of staff to function at full capacity. However, the PSC had approved 20 posts only in 2005. In addition, out of the 20 posts only 4 had been filled by the Ministry of Youth Development Indigenization and Empowerment leaving 16 posts for which the institution is struggling to pay. Other challenges faced at the center included inadequate raw materials, obsolete and inadequate tools and equipments, delays in the payment of boarding fees for students by donors yet the center need to use the fees to buy food and training materials. The center had huge outstanding bills for electricity, telephones and water to be settled.

Sizinda and Bulawayo VTC's

Sizinda Training Center and Bulawayo VTC were opened in 2000, and like most VTCs the major challenges affecting both centers is that they do not have their own premises and are operating from Bulawayo City Council community halls. As a result they are forced to cut their training time during afternoon hours when the city council uses the centers for traditional dances and percussions. Other challenges include that they do not have training material and machinery, unavailability of computers, inadequate teaching staff and low morale due to low salaries and bad working conditions. The committee was also informed that Bulawayo VTC had students from Botswana enrolled and that some of its students had also gone to Botswana for attachment, and as a result their supervision was a challenge.

5.5 MIDLAND PROVINCE

The Committee visited Gweru Urban and Kaguvi Training Centers.

 

Kaguvi Training Centre

The center opened in 1982 and as alluded to above, it was one of the centers to pilot the TFE programme. As of November 2011 its enrolment was 265. The main challenge highlighted to the committee was that the center had lost land to resettlement programme. Originally it had 1500 hectares. This has been reduced to 900 hectares after resettlement programme, effectively reducing its arable land to only 20 hectares of its original 200 hectares, as well as cutting the institution's access to borehole water that it critically requires for its operations, particularly irrigation. The committee was informed that the center had 53 cattle, yet it has carrying capacity of 300 herds of cattle. Other livestock included 101 pigs, 400 layers, 99 rabbits, 42 goats, and 1500 broilers. The center appealed to the committee to assist it to settle the land dispute and give the land back to the college, since it is supposed to run agricultural research and development programmes with institutions such as Midland State University, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Lupane University.

Gweru Urban VTC

The center was established in 2000 and is located at old sports bar in Mtapa High Density area, thus the center has no adequate office space, lecture rooms, workshops and store rooms. Other challenges reported to the Committee were the need for a vehicle, shortage of staff and training material. Like most satellite centers, the committee was informed that Gweru Urban had no control over its budget and it had recently been delivered with wrong training material from Kaguvi VTC which procures training materials for all its satellite colleges.

6.0 Summary of Findings

1. The tuition fee that is charged to students, at US$250 per term, is too high for most students who come from poor families.

2. At most if not all centers the infrastructure, lecture rooms, offices and accommodation hostels, ablution facilities, are either in inadequate, in a bad state, or are still under construction. At Mt View VTC female students and lecturers were sharing hostel premises with members of staff, and male students hostel was yet to be finished and be furnished with beds and that US$80 000.00 would be required to complete that PSIP project. Chipinge VTC does not have any other structure, except the former farm house that is being used to provide offices, lecture rooms and workshops. Other centers such as Chitungwiza VTC, Gweru Urban, and Norton do not have adequate space for offices and workshops since there is no adequate space. Ablution facilities for Norton VTC were not functional. As for centers such as Sizinda and Bulawayo, they do not have centers of their own; they are still using Bulawayo City Council community halls as their premises. Mt Hampden center was still in the process of renovating its hostels, and repainting kitchen, stoves, fridges and cold rooms.

3. Lack of adequate support from Government. All centers reported that budget allocations had resumed only in 2011 with all provincial VTC's allocated, at most US$300 000, which they had to share with their satellite centers. Challenges emanating from these arrangements were that most satellite VTCs in all the provinces visited were marginalized since they do not get the adequate share of the budget that they deserve, as the provincial centers would consume much of the funds allocated and in some cases would procure training material not even required by the satellite centers.

4. Some centers do not have functional ablution facilities such centers include Norton VTC and Chipinge.

5. Some VTCs had lost part of land to either communal farmers or to resettled farmers. Nyanyadzi VTC reported that it had lost much of its land to communal farmers while Kaguvi Training Center reported that it was still locked in a land dispute threatening to reduce its arable land from the original 200 hectares to a mere 20 hectares.

6. Water supply to the majority of the VTCs is a challenge constraining the operations of VTCs production units, particularly at centers such as Mt Hampden, Chipinge, Mt View, Nyanyadzi, Kaguvi and Norton VTC's.

7. Most VTCs are being run by Acting Principals and these posts could not be filled since all posts had been frozen by the PSC.

8. Lecturers and non-academic staff had very low morale due to poor conditions of service, low salaries, no rural allowances, and poor grading system as compared to sister department such as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education where lecturers at polytechnics and colleges with similar qualifications earn higher salaries.

9. Most if not all VTCs do not have motor vehicles that they can use to transport their bulk training material such as metal sheets and wood, and as a result they use private and public transport even when carrying confidential documents such as examination questions and answer scripts.

10. There is lack of uniform curriculum for VTCs course since the TFE adopted for pilot project in 1995 has not yet been standardized in all the provinces and there is no single board or structure responsible for the TFE programme and no college or university is part of the arrangement.

11. Some VTCs have large outstanding bills for electricity, telephone and water.

12. Electricity power cuts continue to affect smooth operations of most VTCs.

13. In some cases such as in Bulawayo at Sizinda Vocational Training center, VTCs premises were used as political campaign centers during elections time.

7.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

7.1 The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Youth Development Indigenization and Empowerment reduce VTC's fees from US$ 250 to US$100.

7.2 The Ministry of Youth Development Indigenization and Empowerment should urgently engage the Ministry of Local Government Rural and Urban Development as well as local authorities to secure premises for VTCs with ideal and adequate space for the centers infrastructures.

7.3 The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and that of Public Works should roll out a programme to construct requisite structures that include offices, hostels, ablution facilities, and workshops for metal and carpentry related programmes at all VTCs.

7.4 All VTCs should have stand alone budget, and should be entitled to fiscal support direct from the Ministry of Finance.

7.5 The Ministry of Youth Development should issue all VTC's with vehicles for use by the administration in the ferrying of training material.

7.6 All VTCs which have lost land to resettlement programmes or to communal farmers, in particular Nyanyadzi VTC and Kaguvi VTC, should be urgently assisted by the Ministry of Youth Development to repossess the land as it is vital for the training and benefit of the entire nation through youths training as opposed to benefiting specific individuals.

7.7 All VTCs should be allowed to recruit substantive Principals with the requisite skills and competences and the PSC should remove the freeze of critical posts like principals.

7.8 The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment should put in place an administrative structure that should run the affairs of all VTCs, including improving the working conditions and salaries of academic and non-academic staff.

7.9 All VTCs should report on the revenues they are raising through their production units to enhance transparency and financial accountability at all centers.

7.10 All VTCs should not be used as centers of political activities and political campaigns ( as was the case at Sizinda VTC in Bulawayo) before, during and after elections in order to improve the image of the centers as non-partisan institutions of youths development.

7.11 The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment should handover the standardization of the VTC's syllabus and curriculum to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education with more technical expertise in the education field.

8.0 CONCLUSION

The committee strongly feels that it is the responsibility of the Government of Zimbabwe to provide education services to the under privileged youths of the nation through efficient and vibrant Vocational Training Centers. It is therefore the duty of the Government to ensure that these institutions' requirements are well catered for through the priotization of VTC's during the national budget allocation. Government should come up with a major intervention strategy to ensure that these vulnerable youths are well trained for enterprise to survive the prevailing hard economic environment. I thank you.

MR. SITHOLE: I would like to add my voice on the report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youths, Gender and Community Development. Mr. Speaker Sir, as Hon. Matienga has said, as Government, as the august House, we need to go back to why, did we form these vocational training centres because as we visited the vocational training centres as a committee, we realized and we were able to conclude that as Government we are no longer taking care of what they should do. I think the main purpose was to assist and enable the disadvantaged community so that they could be able to get the skills because some of the youths were not able to go to academic colleges.

Madam Speaker, we realised that there is a critical shortage of personnel which affects the professional, running of the institutions. In all the vocational training centres which we visited, you would find, maybe two are properly trained and the majority of them are not trained or they are semi-skilled. So as a result, what they offer to the vocational training centres is not up to standard. The majority of the vocational training centres are run by Acting Principals. As it has been alluded to by the Committee Chairperson, I think the Ministry responsible, whether it is Public Service Commission or whatever, honestly they need to make sure that we have got substantive heads in all the vocational training centres.

Madam Speaker, the issue of infrastructure in all the provinces in Manicaland, in Masvingo we realised that the majority of the infrastructure are really dilapidated. It looks like no one is taking care of the institutions. It is not because of the principals but the issue is funding. I wonder ….

Hon Cross having crossed between the Chair and the speaker on the floor…

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Cross, you bow to the Chair. Thank you.

MR. SITHOLE: I think the ministries responsible; the Ministry of Youth and the Minister of Finance and Public Service, I do not think they are really serious. If we have no funding, why do we let those vocational training centres operate? If there is not enough funding, it is better we stop the operation of those institution. We need an urgent attention because as you are aware, some of the boys or the girls were sharing accommodation with the principals. Why do we put a mouse and a cat in one room? What are we trying to achieve? With this pandemic of HIV/AIDS I think we are exposing our youths to certain behaviours which we may not like. I think enough funding is really necessary.

Madam Speaker, my question still arises, why did we fund, why did we put the vocational training centres in place when we have no funding as Government? I think the Minister of Youth and the Minister of Finance, honestly speaking, you go to Nyanyadzi, you go to Masvingo, and you go to whatever vocational training centre we have in Zimbabwe, it is really unbearable. Some of the students have no beds to sleep on. They have no blankets, food or mattresses. They have nothing. So it is really pathetic Madam Speaker. We also realised that in some of the few institutions where they have very viable income generating projects. The main concern of the Committee was that there is no auditing, which means those few Principals who are running their institutions properly, we are exposing them to corruption because if there is no auditing, whats next? They are likely to misuse the funds because no one is really making any follow-up. So, as a Committee we thought it was important that all the institutions, whether they have got a proper managed income generating project, they are making a profit or they are not making an income. I think, it will be proper for Government to make sure that audit is done at its appropriate time.

Another concern Madam Speaker, is the issue of vehicles. There is no one institution which we visited as a Committee where we found a good vehicle - it is either it has no tyres. It was unbearable, even someone who is taking care of his own pigs cannot run an institution like that. So, I think, honestly as a ministry, as Government we must take things seriously. It does not auger well, it does not pay us for us as a Committee to cheat or to give a statement to this august House to say, things are properly run. I think, as Parliament, the relevant Ministries must take urgent action if we want the proper skills to be given to our youth in the Vocational Training Centers.

Another issue Madam Speaker which we were surprised to see, is the issue of land. You heard the Chairperson of the Committee, in all the institutions which we visited, whether they are surrounded by communal farmers or surrounded by resettlement farmers, there is a trend which is cancer developing. People are encroaching into the land. We managed to get some of the names but I think, those people on authority, the Ministry responsible must just vacate the land and leave it to those institutions so that they do their projects properly.

If they were allocated 100 hectares, which means the proposal for that particular Vocational Center for it to be viable, they included the projects to be done on the 100 hectares allocated to the institution. So, if a big guru or if an ordinary communal person, whether in resettlement encroaches and take 10 hectares or 20 hectares, it means in reality, you are already disadvantaging those poor youths. So, Madam Speaker, I think this is an issue where I think, Minister Kasukuwere should come to the rescue and lobby for those youths because they are really in trouble - some people are encroaching on their land.

Madam Speaker, I think, much has been said by the Committee Chairperson but in general, there is a reason why we put in place the Vocational Training Centers. So, as a result we need to revisit the programmes, let us go back to the table ….-[HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections-

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. members. Order please.

MR. SITHOLE: Madam Speaker, I am saying, there is a reason why as Government of Zimbabwe, we put the Vocational Training Centers. There is a need to assist those kids, there is need for those boys and girls who are not up to scratch due to some other reasons, who cannot go further with their education to get assistance from Government. So, as a result they will be enabled at least to get some certain skills through the Vocational Training Centers but the problem is funding. I think, as the Zimbabwe Government, we need to improve.

I am happy Minister Kasukuwere is here. So, I think, he will take it upon himself to discuss with his colleague, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Biti to try at all costs at least to do something. Even if they have got a budget of about $100.00, then you fail to give them $100.00, why not give them half. When we tried to go through the papers, they do not even get an allocation of 5% - they totally get nothing - it is pathetic. I thank you Madam Speaker.

MS. MANGAMI: Thank you Madam Speaker. I also want to contribute to the Motion which was raised by the Committee. Honestly speaking, skills training is the most noble idea that our Government has brought into this country. It actually uses the concept of the hands on approach, even the under achievers are able to work on the aspects which they will be trained on. So, it is important that when they are through with their training there is need to give them an amount to start on their project on the concept which they used to call, 'incubation'. Where they would give the person who has been given a skill time to train and perfect the skill as well as earning something and gives back that amount to the Government when one has been empowered.

For example, one can take even two years in the incubator, using Government funds, being also in business - by so doing, you will have completely empowered the youths. So, I believe, most people who are successful in the world use the hands on approach because by so doing you will be actually working on your own. If they have been trained, it is not necessary that become employees instead they should be employers if ever they would want to be and then they can also be working on their business. So, there is need really for the institution to be given the necessary tools like tractors, computers like the other members alluded. Of course, the vehicles are important because they are like any other institution.

I want to believe our colleagues who are coming here from China have got this home industry concept. If these youths are trained, have got the skills then our home industry will flourish when they are given those skills. So, there is need for those fees, of course, part of it should be paid by Government so that they are affordable and everybody is enrolled whether you have been successful in terms of academic qualifications. We have discovered that in Zimbabwe those that are academically qualified - some of them do not have employment. So, it is necessary that if they are having such skills, they will be able to employ themselves. I want to thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to contribute.

MR. MAHLANGU: Thank you Madam Speaker. I stand up to add my voice on the presentation that was done by Hon. Matienga on the challenges and constraints affecting the operations of VTCs [Vocational Training Centers] in Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, I can say, during my time when I served as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, I was given this big challenge through the Minister - I think, it is good that the Minister is here, to supervise the VTCs in this country. As you know, there was a lot of talk about these VTCs, how they were being run whereby there was a lot of politics in those VTCs in terms of people who were saying that they were being used for political expedience by some politicians. Yes, I really agree with that. I think, with my Minister we really agreed with that, that there were some of course politicians who used to abuse these institutions for their own political expedience. But that does not take away the importance again of these VTCs in terms of uplifting our young people in this country. These VTCs, if they are used to their capacity across the political divide, they can actually assist in terms of youth development in this country. Again Madam Speaker, youth development is a crossing cutting issue. We do not have to look at the Ministry of Youth alone. We also have to ask other ministries to come in and also assist in youth development even all the stakeholders. When I talk about stakeholders, I also talk about the Members of Parliament that are here even the councillors themselves; they are part of youth development that would ensure proper youth development in their own constituencies not to leave everything to the Ministry of Youth alone.

The challenges that the ministry is facing I think they have been alluded to before by Hon. Matienga. Yes, as a member of the committee, I stand here to agree hundred percent. I am not going to go through them because they have already been said but what I can say is that if those challenges are overcome by the Government, by all of us I think they are going to go a long way in ensuring that our VTCs performs to the capacity they require.

Madam Speaker, also there is the issue of fees in those VTCs. I believe and I think that the Government should play a leading role in terms of assisting the poor youth that are going to those institutions. I think the fees are exorbitant. I think that the Government should actually come in to assist in form of subsidizing the fees that are paid in those VCTs so that all our youth can access those VCTs. We should also ensure that the youth across the political divide not from only one political party benefit from these institutions, I can say all political parties should utilise those VTCs. The problem that we are having is the past experience. The past where we are coming from Mr. Speaker is where people have been seeing those VTCs as institutions of violence. There are some people who come from my constituency, who viewed these UTCs as institutions of violence, I can actually witness to that. That is how we were seeing those VTCs in the past, but from the time when I served in that ministry, there is a lot of reforms that has so far taken place in terms of changing them so that they can accommodate all the youth in this country across the political divide.

So I want to stand up here today and give again a vote of confidence from what has transpired and the developments that have taken place in those VTCs, I think even my predecessor the Deputy Minister of Youth can agree with me hundred percent that if all the youth can use those VTCs, they are going to cut the unemployment rate which is at 80% in this country. They are going to help us to ensure that our youth do income generating projects. Also Madam Speaker, I agree 100% what the hon. members are saying from the background. What I am saying is that Zimbabwe is transforming to be a Zimbabwe that we want all of us here. If we want to transform Zimbabwe to be a Zimbabwe that we want, it is a collective effort that we must put in ensuring that these centres become centres of all the youth of Zimbabwe. It is up to you that you should have actually spoken well about these centres so that at the end of the day, these young people cannot be afraid to go into those centres.

It is a challenge to all of us Members of |Parliament that these VTCs are not ZANU PF VTCs, these VTCs are not MDC VTCs, these VTCs are for the people of Zimbabwe, let us stand up and support these VTCs. That is what I am saying. If we want to move forward as a country, it is very important. Yes, it is very important. Let us consider the past, the past is over. Of course we have the national service centres, we have got sad stories about them but now we have the Government of national unity. The Government of National Unity is here, it is up to us as Members of Parliament to encourage our young people to use these VTCs effectively.

Without much ado, I now call on the Government of Zimbabwe to prioritise the VTCs in their budget and I now call on the Members of Parliament that are here to see that the next budget allocation the first priority is given to the youth of Zimbabwe. It is about the future of this country, the youth of this country. Madam speaker, I want to end by saying I am giving a vote of confidence to the report that has been presented by my Chairperson. That was an eloquent presentation that she did and I want to add my voice and say thank you very much Chair for the presentation. I also want to thank the Committee for the job that it did. It took us about two weeks to go around all VTCs. We left our homes to do this job. I think it took us time and it was a commitment among the committee members. I thank you.

*MRS. ZINYEMBA: I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for the report that is being debated at the moment that is actually looking at youth training centres. I am only supporting that when we look at our children even the old who are here, we want to see that when we leave these children will be exactly where they should be. Those children who have not been able to succeed in education from primary, secondary, and tertiary level should have something that can sustain their lives. Things like sewing, building and all other skills that children can learn using their hands so that those that excelled in academic education can actually have those and be able to sustain themselves.

Once they have the knowledge of doing things, they will be able to sustain themselves and our country can develop. This is my plea that children are the future, children are our heritage and for that reason we should realize that as people who are here in Parliament, to see to it that every child should have the chance to have a good future and be able to sustain themselves. I want to support what has been said by Hon. Mahlangu, when we mix politics with these children, we are destroying them. We want to liberate these children so that they can have a sustainable future.

There are times when we wish some of the ministries should have their allocations reduced so that those monies should be able to sustain our children. If we have children that do not have anything to do, we end up saying the children are not looking after us. Thank you Madam Speaker.

*MR. MUDAVANHU: Thank you Madam Speaker, I also support the issue of vocational training centres (VTCs) that has been raised by our Chairperson and seconded by Hon. Sithole. A lot has been said but I would want to express my pain with what I saw when we went to Jairos Jiri Vocational Training Centre where we realised that the staff were all trained there. There were speaking fluent English and this made me realise that there is nobody with disability but we have different abilities. We saw the things they made and I myself cannot make them. The problem that is there is inadequate resources. This is a major challenge and the nation should look into this considering the fact that we have 85% or more unemployment rate in this country and the VTCs can assist the youth. I think the Ministry should increase them in rural areas.

We have realised that most of the youths whom we are abusing as politicians by giving them balls instead of giving them training, I feel that these VTCs should be increased by at least 3 or 4 per district. Youths are loitering around doing nothing. This also helps these children from being abused and used in political issues because they will be able to work for themselves. We realized that in most areas, there is electricity, so if they are taught to use welding machines, they can spend their time welding and stop them from stealing livestock. This is why it is important to increase VTCs so that our children will have something to do.

The problems that we witnessed were the issue of resources, the teachers are frustrated and the situation is not good at all. There is need to go back and investigate what is going on within the Ministry. I would want to add by saying Hon. Kasukuwere, you really have a burden. You are concentrating on indigenisation but there is a great job waiting for you. We would want to see that you have assisted the children since it is your Ministry. The children I saw, I do not think they will be able to buy shares unless you empower them. We are looking forward to see that the work is being done like what my ' ambuya' Zinyemba has said. She said that children are the future generation.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order hon. member. There are no ambuyas here. I would want you to withdraw that.

MR. MUDAVANHU: I withdraw Madam Speaker. I was about to finish, problems as Hon. Mahlangu highlighted, are not only for this Ministry. The problems need the assistance of all the people from the Chiefs, Headman, parents and the whole nation so as to assist the VTCs to be a success. I realised that if we develop and support them, this will create employment. Thank you.

MS. A. NDHLOVU: I would like to start by thanking the Committee for a job well done: Hon. Matibenga and your team, I salute you. As one of the young persons of this country, I have a very big heart for the youths of this country and I want to say that Africa has declared its population a youthful one and Zimbabwe is not spared. The years Madam Speaker, 2010 to 2018 have been declared the decade of youth development. Zimbabwe being a member of the African Union family, has made commitments to the empowerment of young people by empowering them economically, socially and other areas and to achieve the set goals. It is imperative that the country gives skills to the young people.

It is common knowledge Madam Speaker, that the youths in particular and children in general, are gifted differently. Some are gifted academically while others are gifted in practical issues. Zimbabwe therefore found it of paramount importance to set up the VTCs so that it does not discriminate against its young people because of the differences. This is due to the fact that they are heterogeneously gifted, they are not homogeneously gifted. Young men and women of this country Madam Speaker, as a way of empowering them need the skills from the VTCs. Zimbabwe has done well in realising this need and the VTCs have played a significant role in empowering those that are not academically gifted as those that qualify to go to universities or tertiary institutions.

One of the things Madam Speaker, which the illegal sanctions imposed on this country has done is to deny the young people their right to employment. The VTCs therefore come in to bridge the gap created by the illegal sanctions, the effects of the sanctions on the young people because also tertiary education Madam Speaker has become unaffordable. Those who qualify to go to colleges and universities will end up being trained in the VTCs so that they are able to employ themselves. The Minister of Finance therefore Madam Speaker, should see it as a priority that the Ministry of Youth is adequately resourced so that the VTCs, among other issues, are adequately financed.

Hon. Matutu over there is holding his head because this is his portfolio and I want to thank him for the commitment that he has made to make sure that young people in this country get decent life. Most of our young people Madam Speaker are unemployed or under-employed. The VTCs therefore, play a very significant role which should never be underplayed. I agree with the previous speakers that the VCTs are not meant for any one political party. Poverty and unemployment Madam Speaker, does not discriminate. The young people regardless of which political affiliation are affected by the same challenges. I therefore want to urge all the hon. members in this august House to support the Vote for the Ministry of Youth to be increased as we review the mid-term budget so that the young men and women of this country can add value to nation building. I want to remind Hon. Mushonga that the reason he is able to be where he is today is because education in this country was affordable. He was able to attend university under a loan scheme which I doubt if he managed to pay back but today, Hon. Mushonga does not want the young people of this country to be empowered through skills training.

I want to also recommend that the VTCs training scheme should be more holistic than what it is now by way of being able to support the graduates. Upon graduation, the ministry should be able to give the graduands a starting loan and equipment which of course they have to pay back so that it goes back to the other young people that are unemployed.

Madam Speaker, I want to end by thanking you for giving me this opportunity and once again congratulate the committee for a job well done because when you empower the young people, the future of your country is guaranteed. I thank you.

MR. CHITANDO: I am not a member of the committee but ...- [AN HON. MEMBER: But a former teacher] - It is very good you have said a former teacher because I am going to talk from a psychological and sociological point of view from a teacher's point of view. First of all, I want to give you an experience which the committee had when they visited Norton. They were told to park at a certain place because the head from the ministry had to rush on foot to the institution. The reason why she had to rush to the institution on foot was that she was fearing that members of the committee would be attacked. I think the Committee Chairperson can witness that. The reason why I am giving this narration is that there is a psychological effect why people are not sending their children to these institutions. As a Government, we should try by all means to address that issue, if we do not address this...

MS. A. NDHLOVU: On a point of order Madam Speaker. The hon. member is addressing this august House with his hand in his pocket and that is disrespectful.

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is true hon. member, do not put your hand in your pocket.

MR. CHITANDO: Thank you Madam Speaker, I did not think it was against the Standing Rules and Orders. The other aspect which we should address as Government is when a parent is sending his son or daughter to an institution, there are reasons why he or she does so. One, it is the credibility of results, the credibility of education which that child is going to get. We have spoiled the institutions so I am urging the minister and the ministry to go and find ways of addressing the general public to have an acceptance of these institutions. The problem is that we have gone to the extent of politicising these institutions. We cannot run away from it, it is true and there is evidence to that. So if we do not address the politicisation of the institutions, we are running away from the truth. The problem of Zimbabweans is that we have a denial attitude. If we say, people were murdered, there was violence in 2008, people say no. Let us agree that it was there and find a way to move forward. In Masvingo, if you talk of Mushagashi, you are not talking of an institution where you expect good. You are talking of an institution which manufactures murderers, that is the perception. So we have to correct that perception. Let us not deny, let us accept so that we can correct that. If we do not accept that, we are wrong. We should accept that there is a mistake, we should accept that there was Gukurahundi, so what can we do? Let us not sweep things under the carpet, let us say it, let us be frank when we discuss the mistakes of yesterday.

With these few words, I urge the minister to find mechanisms, to find psychologists and sociologists who can address this issue so that these institutions can be accepted by the people of Zimbabwe.

MR. MATSHALAGA: I too would like to add my voice to this very important report by the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth, Gender and Community Development. The issue that they have focused on is a very important issue. Let us go back a little bit and look at our education and training institutions. Youths are probably 40% of our population, the 18 to 25 age group, those who are out of school, very few of our youths, after O level, find places in either 'A' level institutions or for further education.

So, I am disappointed Mr. Speaker that these vocational training centres which are supposed to be more numerous than even our secondary schools are not only few but empty and are not even operational. This is most disappointing that we as Parliamentarians should sit here and condemn the majority of our youth to poverty because once they are not well trained and skilled, the future will not be there for them.

I want to of course thank the Committee for demystifying some myths that we heard aboutvocational and training centres. Most people thought that these were Border Gezi training centres where it was more politics. From the report, it is a report that is full of praise of the institutions but it is a catalogue of the problems that they face largely because this Government or Governments before have not given priority to this very important task of developing skills and therefore imparting skills to our youth to join the world of work.

Firstly, I would like to talk about the institutions and I would like to look also at the staff, then at the current syllabus that is being offered and what our exploitations are. We need to seriously reconsider the hierarchy of vocational and training centres. Currently, I think they are put on a low ladder and as a result very few of our parents consider that as an option. For us who come from areas where there are other opportunities like korokozas, our youths find themselves engaged in such very demeaning areas where they will just go round searching for gold. Sometimes they are even condemned to domestic workers most of the times when they could, with given skills, do something better, not only for themselves but to contribute to the nation.

Again we have a problem, I understand because of our national attitudes, most of these institutions are understaffed and also most of the heads, those who are supposed to be driving the institutions, are on an acting capacity. The report was silent on whether they were qualified to run these institutions but my assumption is that most of them may not be well qualified to run these institutions. So, we would urge the House to support the Minister to ensure that these vocational offices are manned by well qualified staff who can be able to impart the skills.

When they talked about what they do, the training, they talked about the most traditional of skills like carpentry, farming, sewing and I think we should never be seen to be limiting the vocational training centres. We should actually now be introducing computers so that we now have people who do photography, graphics, and computer based tailoring, designing and what not. Let us not be too narrow minded about what these people can do.

I think Minister, we urge you to ensure that you are well equipped to be buying the necessary materials that will ensure that these people can go out there and compete. This is what has happened in countries like China and Japan. Vocational training centres are highly priced because they churn out very skilled people who are able to even provide hydraulics for boring.

This is what we should at least be promoting. I have also noted from the report that the focus of the current curriculum is for them to train them there in the vocational training institutions. I think what we should do is to try to get linkages where these people can at least appreciate the world of work. If they are doing electronics, they should have attachments to be given free access to that world of work so that we do not simply churn out farmers. There is a limit to which we can have farmers and tailors.

Then I was actually presently shocked that these people pay school fees of $250. I understand from the minister that they have reduced it. I think these youths in these youths training centres, at least the entry point should be more of qualification than school fees. If you have fees they should be token fees.

With these few words, I thank you Madam Speaker.

*MR. CHIMINYA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I am a member of the Committee which went round the vocational centres making inquiries on their operations. I will add my voice to the findings of this Committee as stated by the Chairperson of the Committee.

Let me start by saying during these visits, there were some observations made. The Government introduced a noble idea when these vocational training centres were introduced for the benefit of the youngsters to benefit in industrial vocation trainings. As Parliament, responsible for the legislation on these centres, let us not be disturbed by detractors who are turning these institutions into extensions of political parties or ideologies. Government had good intentions when these centres were introduced, the industrial development of the youth.

As Members of Parliament and Parliamentary Committee Members responsible for these institutions, let us be constructive for the benefit of the institution and the youths. I am asking that as Government we must have a drive with the VTCs so that they are not partisan because there are others who have made them partisan when they are not.

Secondly, the other issue is that when we visited other areas we saw that some were inhabitable, like Chipinge Vocational Center. It is inhabitable. It was a white farmer's house that was changed into a VTC. A person who is in charge of Magamba is the same person who is in charge of things in Chipinge, if you consider the difference in the distance between the two. The information that we were looking for, he just took from the notice board that was behind him. The committee will agree with me that we are supposed to have principals from schools that are substantive who stay at the VTCs. Not that a person who heads a province is the same person who will allocate other VTCs money. We saw that this disadvantages other VTCs.

The other issue that we saw is that there are young people who are living in poverty. Others did not even complete school. We saw that the fees structure does not encourage the children to go to the VTCs. As the Government, let us look at the fees. Looking at the syllabus, VTCs must have their own syllabus that is recognized. In the rural areas there are a lot of problems - boreholes break down, people die and they do not even have money to buy coffins. Those people who make coffins from wardrobes are those people who would have come from VTCs using the knowledge that they would have gained from these VTCs.

There is a programme on VTCs that took place around 1989, all those people that you are seeing welding in the rural areas were trained by the Government under this programme before it was politicised. You will find that some of these things benefit your child and your brother's child. You will be helping Zimbabwe. So I am appealing to you that we work together.

We need a direct funding from the Ministry of Finance. We saw things that had been purchased for Kaguvi and yet they do not want to use those things, they are just lying idle. We would like each VTC to prepare their own budget and account for that money. We also saw that there were some Government officials who went and claimed land belonging to VTCs and made it their own. They were even given offer letters to that land. Let us not try to use our political influence in doing wrong things. Things that belong to the people should be used by the people. We are not going to name any names.

The Minister faces a great task ahead of him because most people think that if someone is going to Mushagashe in Masvingo, people think that he is going to be taught about politics. There are other madhumeni who are doing their job and contributing to the development of the nation yet they were trained at Mushagashe. We as Members of Parliament should not think that just because a ministry is headed by a ZANU PF Member of Parliament then that ministry belongs to ZANU PF or is headed by an MDC Member of Parliament, then that ministry belongs to MDC.

There are no jobs here in Zimbabwe but if a young person can make his own coffins and sell them and if a person can repair a borehole people will not die of thirst. If you politicise this then you do not have the people at heart. I would like to thank the committee because I saw hon. members from both parties uniting when we were travelling. I would like to thank you, chairperson, for leading us even though we encountered some problems along the way.

On the issue of indigenisation, we saw that the youth are there and they are willing to be included in Government programmes. So, the Hon. Minister you have a great task of ensuring that the youth of this country are catered for. Let us as Government work together and ensure that the youth are encouraged in, for example, coffin making because in the rural areas if you tell someone, let us go to Mushagashe they think that people are being murdered there. Yet they are wrong.

In VTCs there are problems. Some of the children are sleeping on the floor. If we go to Nyanyadzi, they have equipment such as chisels, hammers, nails and many more but what they are lacking are funds. If the Minister of Finance was here he would make this his priority so that the youth can be employed. There is even a shortage of food. At Nyanyadzi, the land that was put under irrigation should be put back under VTC so that the youth can irrigate and sell vegetables.

*MR. MUZA: Thank you Madam Speaker. You will forgive me because there are some words I cannot say in Shona, so I will say them in English. I want to start by thanking the committee for a job well done as what the august House has realised that it was a good job. I want to agree with those who say that the aim of the VTCs was to come up with a pool of skilled people who should be able to sustain themselves. In English it would be called education with production. We will be looking at those who will be able to do agriculture or farming, they are the ones who should be setting a ministry and work together. Those who engage in cattle ranching in various areas and those without cattle will be given dairy cows. They will be given dairy cattle and beef cattle to rear in their areas. Those who can do sewing, can be helped to get machines so that they can make uniforms for the companies in their areas and make school uniforms for schools in those areas as well. They can make furniture for the same schools. Those that can do building and construction will assist to build school blocks for primary and secondary schools. They will be assisted with the networking that would have been created between the VTCs and the Ministries of Education and other companies in the areas that they reside. This will give them sustainable living and a viable market.

Those who started the VTCs could note another limited factor that the VTCs should remain at their level. They should by now be up graded to the level of colleges in the country. The extent of the programmes that they give can also be improved since we have agreed that the majority are the people with low capacity of intelligence to pursue towards university level. This means that at the end we will be having skilled manpower who will be addressing all the various ministries in this country. This reduces poverty amongst us when all this is done. The issue of VTCs has problems of funding, we will have reduced this because when we give them funding for capitalisation or capacity building this will help them to kick-start. When we open the market for them they will have been commercialized and they will be able to work for themselves. Also the Ministry of Indigenisation and Empowerment which is the ministry that looks at the VTCs should include them in the indigenization programme. They should ensure that these VTCs come up with groups of people who are skilled in sewing, welding and construction and their monies should be targeted towards these children to sustain themselves.

Lastly, we have agreed in this august House that this issue should be supported to improve future life. We need to introduce what is known as youth development levy that should be focused at VTCs. As was happening in Angola, they say that the excise duty that is obtained from beer goes towards that fund. This means that we want to come up with a fund that is after financing these VTCs but I want to say that unless our ministries which are responsible unite, it means our future will not be bright.

MS. T. KHUMALO: I would also want to add my voice on the question of the VTCs in terms of the youths and would like to commend the committee for a job well done. I would like to address the Minister of Youth; I have had the opportunity to go right round Zimbabwe. The saddest scenario that I encountered was where you would find youths loitering around and sitting under trees. If it is in rural areas, they are at bus stops doing nothing. If you go to the urban and peri-urban areas, what they are only doing is you will find them in bottle stores. They will be drinking their selves to death.

The Minister of Youth has a huge challenge because what is happening on the ground means to say we are going to have a serious generation gap in terms of our youths. Some school of thought says Minister of Youth you have a problem but that problem is an opportunity in work clothes. What is needed to be done is for us to de-politicize these VTCs. These VTCs Madam Speaker, should be the ammunition for this country to upgrade our youths to be respected citizens for the future.

Currently, there is no employment creation besides when we come as politicians where we want to use the youths as the machinery to go and beat up their kith and kin. When they have completed the beating up of kith and kins we then dump these youths. Sooner than later they are the same youths that are going to turn around against us and beat the hell out of us for using them, abusing them and dumping them. The curriculum in this country is no longer fitting. If Hon. Kasukuwere goes into mining, he is called a miner but we are all looking for the same product. We are dehumanising our youths by calling them gold panners because they are working on behalf of the miners. The work that they do is labour intensive and it is killing them day in day out. If these youths are given the opportunity to be trained to be miners, give them the small machineries that they will use in order to mine whatever mineral they want to mine. They will be able (1) to save lives, (2) to sustain homes and (3) have livelihoods.

If that is not improved we have a huge problem and come 15 years down the line, there is going to be a serious gap in terms of a generation that is not educated. The Minister of the Youths, is one of the recipients of the Government funding of going to the universities that were well equipped. Today Vocational Training Centres do not have the tools to empower this generation. The greatest challenge is we have sentenced our youths to death and we are all smiling to the bank after they have used their sweat.

Coming to the question of indigenisation, I sincerely and honestly hope that the Minister of Youths will be able to give us statistics where the youths have benefitted, not on political lines but as youths, because the indigenisation process if you go around, everybody that you meet that talks about indigenisation are the older generation. You find them carrying chunks and chunks of papers where they have been given permits to mine. They have been given permits to takeover company B. They have been given all sorts of things.

If you go to the youths, those same youths have nothing to show in terms of indigenisation. So my question is, who are you indigenising when the person that matters most who is the youth, you are not indigenizing? Instead you are indigenising those that are already eating honey and milk, those that are stealing on behalf of the youths and those that are denying the youths to be human beings. At the end of the day we have the youth who are now going to be stateless (3:16-3:18) because you have failed to indigenise them. You have failed to empower them. So my request from the ministry is I think there is need for us to go to the drawing board and this time we are not feeding napalmto these youths. Let them tell you what they want, how they want it, when they want it and for what reason.

The moment we do that it is going to be controlled by them and them alone but as long as you are then pushing a proposal down their throats let me assure you that you will not have a taker. The takers are going to be the geriatrics that here that includes me and you. Oh, what I am asking you to do is to give the youths the opportunity where they have their own symposium. Where they are chairing each other. They are the chairs of the discussions or the panelists. Let them come up with the proposal in terms of where they want to go.

When I was young in the political arena, I was in ZAPU, we were told that we were going to be future leaders. Today I am old. The youth that have followed behind me have been told that they are going to be future leaders. When are they going to lead? They are only called future leaders when push comes to shove, for them to go and campaign for us in our constituencies. The moment we win we discard them. The language of calling our youths future leaders must come to an end as of today. They are only going to be future leaders when they are empowered. Today, we have given beds to these kids, taken them to school. We are still buying them underwear. We are paying lobola for their wives. We are looking after their kids and we are growing old. We have nothing to leave these innocent soles that we have cultivated a seed that will make them leaders that will make sure that the people that they lead will be so petrified of them. The moment they see them everybody goes underground. I want to believe that as a country if we educate the youth, we will build a generation that will make us proud when we are lying in our graves because they are going to carry the baton stick to the next level.

Madam Speaker, I have not spoken about the issue of VCTs. The issue of HIV/AIDS, we cannot be left out when it comes to these Vocational Training Centres. As a country we have a problem whereby we want the truth to look like lies and the lies look like the truth. We want to behave as if these youngsters are not sexually active and we forget that they are sexually active and that is nature which is never remote controlled because if it was remote controlled no one will be infected by HIV/AIDS as we speak today. Our youths are dying in numbers through HIV/AIDS and one of the greatest challenges is that they are been denied the right to antiretroviral treatment because of the status that they have. To us they are nonentities (7:15-7:17).

I want to also challenge the Minister of Youth that in your programmes, the opening remarks in any meeting with the youths should be the question of HIV/AIDS. The President of this country on the HIV/AIDS Day in his speech he said and I quote, 'Zero Stigmatization, Zero Death, Zero Infection by 2015'. That was a political declaration made by the member state countries within SADC. There is no way we are going to achieve the Zero agenda by 2015 as long as the youth are not on fold.

When we talk of the youths it is not the unemployed alone. Go to tertiary institutions as I speak now, there is an increase in sexually transmitted infections, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. I am talking of the universities of this country. I am talking of the secondary schools of this country. Our kids are becoming sexually active at a very early age and where there is poverty there is a lot of sex. Take it or leave it. A good example to prove that, go to a mining compound where the poverty is at the highest peak. There are a lot of pregnancies because the only way to alleviate the pain of hunger is to have sex. As Zimbabwe the time has come to bite the bullet and deal with the issue of HIV/AIDS like yesterday.

Madam Speaker, I would like to also thank this committee for being able to go to these institutions because the tasting of the pudding is always by eating. Once again I would like to thank you and I would like to end up by saying lies can spread like wild fire the world over whilst the truth is trying to tie its shoe laces. I thank you.

*MRS MAHOKA : Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to start by thanking the Committee for a job well done in investigating the problems being experienced by VTCs throughout the country. The issue that I want to talk about here is that we might discuss and come up with nothing. Every hon. member in this House is here as a result of the work of the youths. So the youths are a group that needs to be highly considered. Without the youths we would not be having hon. members in this House and we seem to have forgotten about them after we have gained entry into this House. Youth are the future of the country who need to be considered seriously.

I also want to urge the Minister of Finance to look into the issue of the youth in all VTCs and allocate the needed funds because for us to be where we are today, we were at one stage youths as well. We were all brought up and became youths at one time and were educated, so we need to do the same for the youths of today by allocating the conducive funding for them to be educated in these VTCs. There is also need to have in place loans that can be accessed by youths who will have completed the vocational training so that they can be self-sustainable. The youth should not experience challenges in accessing funds for projects. Therefore, we should allocate more money to the Ministry of Youths.

I also urge the Government to look into the issue of the employees or staff at VTCs. They should be given adequate salaries to alleviate poverty I am sure you realised that they are struggling. I am also proposing that if each hon. Member would contribute a dollar from his/her salary to contribute to the Youth Fund, this would assist in addressing the challenges. We should not use youths in unconducive situations or work, we should not look down upon them when we see them and only use them when we want something. All the youths in this country should be considered equally because we all need those youth.

I do not want you to think that the youth only belong to ZANU PF in this country only and do not look at the youth and think they are only MDC. The youth are the youth of Zimbabwe and we are their parents - so we should consider the youths as just youths in their country Zimbabwe and give them what is due to them.

I want to say to the Committee, we talked about this issue without the Minister present who deals with finance. We should have discussed this in his presence so he could also factor this as he drafts the budget. The youth should be allocated the highest stake in the budget because they make up the majority of the population. Thank you.

*MR. MACHACHA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I want to thank you for the time that you have given me to add my voice. I do not have much to say because most of the issues have already been addressed because you picked me late. I want to thank the Committee for the report that they have tabled to look into the country, the future of the country is in the hands of the youth.

I want to share with the hon. members in this House that the VTCs is where the future of the country lies because in the areas that we live the assistance is mainly from those people who went through VTCs. I see the youth in areas that we live in, it might be in the rural areas if there is a funeral we are able to get coffins. The scotch carts that we use to carry water in the rural areas are made by youths who have gone to vocational training centers and these can also be used to carry farm produce from the fields. Farming in itself, we also have those who have come from the VTCs who assist in poultry production. If you look at Zimbabwe, the meat that is normally consumed is chicken, the knowledge on how to rear chickens is coming from the children who have gone through VTCs. I think, what has been advocated to increase the number of VTCs will assist.

Zimbabwe is a country, known for its hardworking people. If you look at South Africa, Zambia, Botswana - the Engineers and Journalists are mostly from Zimbabwe. If these VTCs are increased, more youths can benefit and our country will develop and we will become the envy of those around us. I also urge the Parliamentarians here that we need to unite and speak with one voice on the issue of VTCs and have the hope of removing thoughts of using these training centers to gain political mileage because the issues that were raised in this House that the VTCs were being used for political mileage, the education that was now being offered was no longer skills based but of teaching children violence to beat up their parents.

So, we need to change our mindset and have foresight that if we send our children to VTCs - these centers should remind us that our children can be taught life self-sustaining skills and not politics and violence. I am happy that this issue was brought to this august House in the presence of the Minister of Youth and in his hearing. I hope that the Committee was able to see and unearth a lot of irregularities. Minister you have heard that you have a mammoth task ahead of you - the youth are the future of this country. If the issue of VTCs is addressed, Zimbabwe will be a country to be admired by the whole world.

As I said, most of you agree with me that our children in Zimbabwe - I come from Mash. West and am greatly pained that most of our youths are crossing the border into Zambia and do many jobs in Zambia like tilling the land. You find that Zambians are not as industrious as us and you find that our youth because of lack of employment in this country, they are crossing the borders to go and work in Zambia for them to be able to sustain themselves. Zimbabwe has hard working people and most of them are in Botswana, Malawi, and South Africa.

If these plans are properly implemented, the status of the Zimbabwean people will be elevated. We will export experts to other countries and this will make us proud because of our resilience, intelligence and capabilities. Minister, I would like to say this report which has been introduced by this committee is very noble and adds a feather onto your cap. Please adopt and implement it for your benefit, and the benefit of the nation. The ball is now in your court. If you were to adopt all these ideas made in this august House your personality and ministry will be elevated.

In conclusion, I would like to thank this committee for tabling this noble report on vocational training centres. If we adopt these ideas we will develop ourselves, the nation and the world. Thank you Madam Speaker.

MR. F.M. SIBANDA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. I think I am the last person in this session to speak about this. Therefore I will take time and elucidate everything that I think is correct. Somebody said that Lyndon Johnson the late President of America once said youth are the flowers of today and seeds of tomorrow. This has a bearing on our youth and Government today. They are flowers of today who should be nurtured and then they become quality seeds. Somebody said, I cannot remember who said it, 'every cloud has a silver lining'. This is a very practical statement. I am referring to this statement because I was privileged to teach in the primary school, secondary school and tertiary education.

As early as 1970s, we had two structured primary and secondary education. We had F1, which was academic oriented. That one was a white-collar job, professional people who were perceived to be intellectuals. There was F2, which was labour intensive and also vocational in nature. Their teachers were trained at Mutare Teachers' Training College as T2s. The other ones T1, were trained at Gweru Teachers' Training College. Why am I saying that every cloud has a silver lining? I am saying so because it is not everything that the regime of Smith did was 100% bad but they had a focus also in one way or the other, hence I am saying every cloud has a silver lining.

The F2 curricular was labour intensive. If a study would have been done today one would find out that the prosperous people in Zimbabwe these days as I speak, are those who were young those early years. 1972 to 1997, were prosperous because they were trained in what we called education with production. This was a critical exercise where children were to be tested attitudinal and intelligence quotient. Those gifted were going to do Form 1 to Form 2 academically. Those less gifted psychologically and intellectually, they would be trained in hands on intensive labour philosophy.

So Zimbabwe lost a chance when we took over in 1980. We disregarded this type of education and we wanted our children to excel to Form 4, Form 6 and university without hands on education. I am very glad that in this House 60% were once teachers though some turned to be lawyers. I have known Hon. Chimhini, a dynamic teacher who instituted some of these philosophies as education with production. As a teacher too I also thought we should now talk about the curriculum. Somebody talked about the curriculum, about the syllabus. Syllabi is so universal, it is holistic but I want now to come to streamline the curricula, the status of the VTC of today. What are the subjects taught there Hon. Kasukuwere? Do we have relevant subjects taught in Bikita? Do we have relevant subjects taught in Kariba vis-a-vis fishery?

I propose the following subjects to be taken seriously whenever we have a curricula and syllabus for our youth as I have said they are the flowers of today and seeds of tomorrow. I propose they should be taught how to grow cotton where cotton terrain is fertile like Mashonaland West. Sugar-cane, Chiredzi and Hippo Valley and fishery in Kariba. They should be relevant to the people. We should also have tobacco where Mount Darwin and Dotito are very good at growing tobacco. They should turn that Border Gezi Training Institution to be vocational like the other one I know of Chaminuka. They should also train driving lessons. These people who are very good at dexterity, they are very good at balancing, they are good drivers, so there should be lessons of driving school in these WADCO vocational centres whereby when they graduate, some of them become drivers of cotton. They become drivers of locomotives. It is simple dexterity; it does not need a lot of intelligence.

It is like those boys who play football. They are very good at balancing but to sign their signatures, they use print. So let us understand the psychological disposition of these people. They should be taught simple basics of mechanics, welding, hair dressing. |I need to zero on this one. I have seen several people from southern part of this country that is Matabeleland North and South in Bulawayo, they rush for what they term greener pastures but when you reach South Africa, they will always ask what do you have. Mina ziko certificate and then they say how will you be employed? I have even gone to Magwegwe Community to urge girls and boys to go to Lobengula Training Centre but when you go there, it is next to zero equipment and training facilities. So you might have shells but without facilities. So honourable minister, we need to be serious on talking about the curricula, hair dressing salons and those people with papers, they use their names because it will be written F.M. Sibanda or Agnes Chimhini. They never forge because they have a paper, those people who leave for South Africa so that they even change their identity. They have nothing to show off. Let us train our children, for example in hairdressing. In rural areas, we have dry terrains like Gokwe, part of Mashonaland Central and Masvingo. Who is doing borehole drilling; we should train our boys and girls to be trained as artisans in borehole drilling. I think this is one of the subjects because we have to train people in Chiredzi and Masvingo where there is dry land. They have to be trained than to hire, we might hire machinery but the labour should be within our area of operations.

I think my sister T. Khumalo talked about HIV and AIDS. It should be a programme, a syllabus, a curriculum and not to tell us here in Parliament, I am 65 and I am told to go and get circumcised. To me that appears to be an insult. This has to be done to a child who is only 14. I have signed 18 children without circumcision, therefore let us be relevant about training. We should train children at a tender age. Paul has said, 'give me a child at 7 years, I will teach him the doctrine that he will never depart from.' So, let us not start here, it should be from bottom upwards. Those Members of Parliament, I think you will die at the table, leave it alone for your children. I am sorry I might be de-campaigning somebody but that is my position. I do not want to be misquoted. The truth is let us train our children whilst they are at a tender age.

I know the papers will take it that I will be in the publicity tomorrow and it is very good, earning publicity is good. There is also road maintenance, we have been told food for work. You leave the roads to deteriorate so that you employ youths as cheap labour. Let us train our boys and girls to do road maintenance, macadamy. I am sorry it started in Rome and that is why we have got macadamy, the tars. Our children should be told Hon. Kasukuwere that Mt. Darwin roads should be extended to Rushinga. Our boys and girls should be seen doing that and we pay them handsomely. We will never run short of labour. We will never have children going outside, we will have our children here. We have to teach them high technological expertise, bridge construction. We are looking at inferior mines, we are looking abroad. Our roads go to Gokwe, they go to certain areas. You will be surprised how cars access certain areas. I do not want to talk about areas, but go to Silobela where I come from, there are no roads. Go to Magwegwe where they say Bulawayo is the second city, it is so degenerated that cars are broken every day.

I saw this in 1993 when I went to Zambia and what is happening now is exactly what was happening in Zambia and Tanzania by then. Madam Speaker, road construction, bridge construction and brick laying has been one of our core business. Carpentry, what is happening. Farming, when I say farming I mean horticulture farming. I do not talk about these other ordinary farming; horticulture farming, dairy farming, mining. Hon. Mpofu is talking about mining and Hon. Kasukuwere is talking about indigenisation. Without training, we will have imported artisans. The Chinese who are coming here, some of them never finished Grade 7 but they are so articulate in their hands. They cannot even understand any English, which is why in labour disputes they have to hire somebody from China. What I am trying to say here the Chinese that are here, if you want their background are very good manually. We should now look at these things.

I have asked the Deputy Minister several times about the youth development fund. If you check your Hansards, you find that I have done so. We have been told in this House by Hon. Kasukuwere that the fund should be got, without collateral, a friendly fund that is gotten from certain organizations like Old Mutual, which is ours by right. However, how many youths have benefited? After challenging the Members of Parliament last year, I went to my constituency, Magwegwe, over 300 youths applied but none of them have come to me. Possibly when they get the money they run away but I always meet them, none.

So, we should do away with this thing, perception and reality. Perception becomes reality when there is no practice at ground. I have seen former Border Gezi Training Centres but people still have perception that when trained there, you are now a sell-out. I went out in full force in Magwegwe mobilising youths to go and train at Lobengula, I only got 3. The rest were from other areas north of Bulawayo. They were even renting for 6 months but our own people there had been a negative perception. I became unpopular when I spoke about this after hon. Mahlangu as he was the Deputy Minister of Youth. He advised us to mobilise youth and they said are you now training our children, are you sending our children to Border Gezi? So that perception hon. Minister has to be corrected. People still believe these training centres are for militia training.

Let us separate the military bases and institutions. These need to be created. As long as we do not correct this perception, our children will be always crossing to Malawi, Zambia, South Africa to do menial jobs as what Prof. Jonathan has always said. However, he does not appear in Parliament several times. I wonder why he is getting money for de-campaigning us. I am here and I am doing national service but somebody comes here 20 days and gets his money. That is atrocious and the highest calibre of corruption. I am challenging the Speaker and everybody here, such people should be fired. I am going to move a motion next week to say that those Members of Parliament who default other people by corruptive means have to be fired. I do not think what I am doing here is personal, it is national.

I need to congratulate the youthful minister, Mr. Kasukuwure and he should continue depoliticising these institutions. Lastly, in Bulawayo we have got only 3, Lobengula, Sizinda and Jairos Jiri. The second biggest city in Zimbabwe, where we are proposing a new Parliament to be seated, has only 3 vocational centres. It is a mockery for our intelligence. Therefore, I am appealing to the most energetic and youthful minister to go out and build more schools in Bulawayo. I thank you.

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

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 16th May, 2012.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF CONSTITUTIONAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS , the House adjourned at Five Minutes to Five o'clock p.m.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 06:33
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National Assembly Hansard Vol. 38 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD - 15 MAY 2012 VOL. 38 NO. 33